A KICK IN THE CAN?
Sometimes a goal is really not a goal. Anaheim had celebrated like they had a goal. Ryan Getzlaf fans at first sure thought they had a game winner. Referee Tim Peel almost presumed that Getzlaf had his stick down on the ice but New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov kept his stick off the ice. Thankfully a coach spotted the kick and sure enough the review had to be done. Once it was seen on the Jumbotron, there was no doubt. Goals and assists were going to be taken away fantasy wise right down to the shot on goal. Sure enough, no goal was ruled and the Devils would eventually win the game in the shootout. Call this a fantasy lesson learned.
Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey Devils — It was not just the 36 saves made by Brodeur, it was also the fact that he had to work a little overtime and even in the shootout to earn the victory. Anaheim was relentless even down 2-0 last night. Watching that game last night was a lesson in why the Devils need a somewhat physical defenseman with a puck mover. The one to offset the size advantages teams like the Ducks enjoy and the puck mover to get it the heck out of there so Brodeur does not face so many close chances. It is those scoring chances and the saves that made Brodeur our Fantasy POTN. It also did not hurt that he won this game.
A LOOK BACK:
Blake Wheeler, RW, Winnipeg Jets — It just seems that Wheeler has had a pretty good season for the Jets. Wheeler’s three points (1 G 2 A) gave him 42 points on the season. Projections suggest about a 55 to 60 point season for the forward and that could be a sign of things to come. Pleaes note his elevated ATOI (Average Time On Ice) was 20:48 last night which is encouraging for fantasy owners. Those who were calling for another line change were proven wrong as Wheeler set up Bryan Little for two goals. The Jets are on to something but the question remains can this duo go on a run?
Ryan O’Reilly, C, Colorado Avalanche — O’Reilly really can do a little of everything and it does have some in fantasy circles going Matt Duchene who? That is right the Center for the Avalanche tallied three assists in the 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers last night. With 44 points on the year, O’Reilly may very well be on his way to a 60 point year. This would not have been possible if not for the Duchene injury. He will be back soon and that is when things will get interesting for fantasy as well as Colorado.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
|Pittsburgh||at||Philadelphia||1:00 PM | Gameday|
|Chicago||at||Columbus||1:00 PM | Gameday|
|Minnesota||at||St. Louis||2:00 PM | Gameday|
|Carolina||at||NY Islanders||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Washington||at||Tampa Bay||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Toronto||at||Vancouver||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Dallas||at||Phoenix||8:00 PM | Gameday|
|Calgary||at||Los Angeles||10:00 PM | Gameday|
We have “The Ocho” as far as amount of games on Saturday. Now it is time to bring in Ian Gooding and his Pick Six for a very interested fantasy weekend.
Let’s get started with what you need to know fantasy-wise for the weekend:
Teams playing both Saturday and Sunday: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Vancouver
Teams playing neither Saturday nor Sunday: Ottawa
Goalie starts Saturday, according to Left Wing Lock: Corey Crawford, CHI; Brian Elliott, STL; Cam Ward, CAR; James Reimer, TOR; Roberto Luongo, VAN; Mathieu Garon, TB; Kari Lehtonen, DAL
The emphasis of the weekend Pick Six seems to be on slumping players, which is the situation facing four of the six players listed today.
And remember, you’ll have to look for Jeremy Lin “Linsanity” puns somewhere else. This is a fantasy hockey blog! (I probably instantly quadrupled the number of hits on my article by including his name, though.)
Rick Nash, LW, CBJ – start
As of this week, the most-asked question over the next week and a half will be, “Will Rick Nash be traded?” Nash is deservedly the hottest commodity on the trading block, but his season totals (18 goals, 39 points, -22 in 57 games) resemble good but not great. Nash’s plus/minus alone stands to improve with a trade to, well, anywhere. His goal and assist pace could also improve with a move to the right team, since one (of many) of the Blue Jackets’ problems has been finding linemates with the right chemistry. My feeling is that he will be dealt eventually but not this month, since this kind of trade will need to be carefully planned if GM Scott Howson has any designs on keeping his job.
David Booth, LW, VAN – start
Booth is finding his niche alongside Ryan Kesler on the Canucks’ second line with goals in three consecutive games and points in five of last six games. He has a very healthy 22 points (11g-11a) in 31 games with the Canucks, which makes it somewhat surprising that he is available in over 75 percent of Yahoo leagues. Booth’s acquisition could also spell the end for the underachieving Mason Raymond in Vancouver.
Milan Hejduk, RW, COL – bench
Hedjuk was on pace for yet another 30-goal season when he was named Avalanche captain in mid-November. Since that time, Hejduk has been allergic to the twine with just six goals in 43 games. The good news is that he has points in three of his last four games and that he has received more than 20 minutes of icetime per game recently. However, at this pace he will be lucky to hit 20 goals, let alone 30, this season.
Mike Richards, C, LA – bench
As far as fantasy leagues go, Richards has been more bust than elite performer this season (28 points in 50 games). Richards’ modest point total has a lot to do with his recent slide, as he has just one goal in his last 23 games and two points in his last 13 games. Richards was counted on to provide the Kings with a wealth of scoring, but the Kings are currently dead last in team scoring (120 goals – an average of two per game). His value could be replenished if the Kings pull the trigger on a Rick Nash deal, since Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner aren’t getting the job done either.
Ryan Smyth, LW, EDM – bench
After a point-per-game pace in his first two months back in the city that he adores, Smyth has been pushed aside in favor of the youth movement. Captain Canada has a meager two points in his last 19 games while being the subject of trade rumors. Now is a good time to look at other options at the left wing position, unless Smyth’s fantasy value drastically improves with the right deal. But then you’ll have to listen to him tell you how much he will miss Edmonton again.
John-Michael Liles, D, TOR – bench
Since his return from a concussion, Liles has not scored a point with a (-5) in eight games. He is a notoriously streaky player dating back to his days in Colorado, so expect him to pick things up eventually. But he probably isn’t the best option on Saturday playing against a Canucks team that has made steady improvements in the goals-against department as the season has worn on.
Trade Deadline Musings:
It just seems a little strange that we may hit a calm period in the trade deadline. Rick Nash does have a double audition this weekend as Columbus plays twice. Minnesota and Dallas also play twice this weekend and they are two teams who could potentially become sellers or teams that make lateral moves at the very least. Think of this realistically, the Hal Gill move did at least open things up a bit. While this still does not have the makings of a blockbuster trade deadline, the chatter sure feels like it, doesn’t it?
There may be a few more minor deals in the coming days and then a calm into next weekend when the chatter rises to a fever pitch. It always does and then before you know it, February 27th will be here. Then we really will see what the chatter actually brings and then we can assess the fantasy impacts. As fantasy meshes with reality, fantasy trade deadlines are happening now so bear with us as we sort of fact from myth.
Good luck today with your fantasy leagues and remember again to try Daily Joust for your daily fantasy hockey needs. Thanks for reading and get those lineups in. There is less than an hour to go.