When you look back at last night, everything went as expected pretty much until the Calgary-San Jose game. Okay maybe not. Last night had a whole lot of unexpected. Just think, there were only a few games on the schedule. Tonight there is ten games and that is why we call this the NHL. Remember we look back and look ahead on Fantasy Hockey ONE always. Now it is time to get to work. First up, is the Fantasy POTN.
Olli Jokinen, C, Calgary Flames — Was anyone else really going to be placed here? Jokinen accounted for all four points (3 G 1 A) in a huge 4-3 road win over the San Jose Sharks. This is a player that truly embraces the “contract year” effect and I am sure Ranger fans are still wishing he had just scored in that shootout. That being said, Jokinen earned our Fantasy POTN but was not our only standout performance in the light Wednesday Night schedule.
A LOOK BACK:
Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres — As hard as the Boston Bruins tried to rattle him, Miller stood tall making 36 saves in a 6-0 whitewashing. Over his last five starts, Miller has given up a total of five goals and has two shutouts along the way. Three of those games have gone the distance and he has won two of those also. Miller has been exactly what the Sabres and fantasy hockey fans have needed. With the team positioned to turn it around, can Miller keep it rolling? That will be the question.
Jason Pominville, RW, Buffalo Sabres — So there was no Thomas Vanek? No problem! Pominville set the tone and scored twice in the big home win over the Boston Bruins last night. This puts Pomiville on pace for 28 goals and maybe a 75 point season which would not be bad considering that brutal middle stretch that seemingly every Sabres struggled mightily. When Vanek returns to the lineup again, will Pominville take off even more? Buffalo needs that and so do fantasy teams honestly.
Sam Gagner, C, Edmonton Oilers — The guy just seems to want to extend his 15 minutes longer and longer. Just when you think its died down a bit, Gagner scores two goals like he did last night in a 4-2 loss at Detroit. Simply he is seeing the opportunities and cashing in on them. We did see Week 17 would look pretty good for him still and so far that is panning out. Will he get traded? Right now, the shorter term focus is more viable here for your fantasy squads.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
|St. Louis||at||New Jersey||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Montreal||at||NY Islanders||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Tampa Bay||at||NY Rangers||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Toronto||at||Philadelphia||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Winnipeg||at||Washington||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Dallas||at||Columbus||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Nashville||at||Ottawa||7:30 PM | Gameday|
|Los Angeles||at||Florida||7:30 PM | Gameday|
|Vancouver||at||Minnesota||8:00 PM | Gameday|
|Calgary||at||Phoenix||9:00 PM | Gameday|
The schedule is good and packed with ten games solid. Also, there will be no Twitter blowups of what Sam Gagner has done. We kid there naturally. However there are some very interesting matchups that will have heads scratching at the end of the night I am sure. There are no games from the late show so to speak either. All action will end before Midnight ET. That could be a good thing I suppose especially for the fantasy hockey fans out there.
We roll into the Pick Six with Ian Gooding on this Thursday and then more knowledge will come. Fantasy knowledge is power.
I’ll kick off the Pick Six for Thursday with a list of confirmed starting goalies, courtesy of Goalie Post: Scott Clemmensen, FLA; Cory Schneider, VAN; Leland Irving, CGY; Johan Hedberg, NJ. The other goalies listed have not been confirmed, but they might be wise starts given recent play and matchups.
Evgeni Nabokov, G, NYI – start
Avoiding Islanders goalies may now officially be a thing of the past. Nabby has won six of his last seven starts, including a 1-0 shootout shutout against the Flyers on Tuesday. The punchless Canadiens could provide an even easier test on Thursday. Keep in mind that his value for the remainder of the season is very difficult to project. The Islanders may decide to trade him to a contender, who may employ him as a backup.
James Reimer, G, TOR – start
Optimus Reim has re-established himself as the Leafs’ number one goalie, thanks to three consecutive wins, two of which were shutouts. Reimer was named the NHL’s Third Star last week after making 74 saves without allowing goals in back-to-back games against Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Ottawa on Saturday. Expect him to continue to get the call as the Leafs attempt the improbable – a playoff berth.
David Perron, RW, STL – add/start
Perron has been an interesting player to watch since returning from a year-long concussion. He has probably flown under the radar in many fantasy leagues despite his 20 points (5g-15a) in 27 games. He is also a +8, which is a number that could climb, since many of his Blues teammates are solid plus players this season.
David Clarkson, RW, NJ – add/start
Normally a penalty minute wonder, Clarkson has a five-game point streak with five goals in his last five games. Clarkson, who is already up to 21 goals this season, is being used on the power play, which is where he recorded his most recent tally on Tuesday against the Rangers. The Blues are a stingy squad this season, but don’t be afraid to add Clarkson to your team for help in both goals and penalty minutes (88 this season).
Byron Bitz, VAN – watch
Bitz was a surprising star on Tuesday against Nashville, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the first period playing alongside the Sedins in an interesting line shuffle from Alain Vigneault. He probably won’t stay there and won’t likely remain as a top-6 forward, but Canucks need more toughness and may have to look from within. Bitz has missed the last season and a half following hernia surgery and was playing in only his second game with the Canucks. If you combine Bitz’s second game with his first, he has accomplished a Gordie Howe hat trick, since he fought during Saturday’s game against Colorado. For what it’s worth (a lot), Henrik Sedin could miss Thursday’s game against Minnesota after blocking a shot during Tuesday’s game (National Post).
Craig Anderson, G, OTT – bench
The rollercoaster season for Anderson continues. Mr. Anderson allowed five goals against Toronto on Saturday, and then he was pulled in the first period against St. Louis on Tuesday after allowing two goals on four shots. Thursday’s matchup against a surprisingly strong Nashville offense won’t be any easier for Andy, unless Sens coach Paul MacLean decides to start Alex Auld instead. Either way, the bench is probably the best place for the struggling Anderson on Thursday.
THE LATE STUFF:
Ilya Bryzgalov (Illness) — Bryzgalov will not be in net due to the flu.
Mikko Koivu (shoulder) — Will play for Minnesota tonight. Off IR.
Martin Brodeur (ankle) — Gets night off. Hedberg starts tonight.
Jose Theodore (knee) — Available but still not in game shape. Not starting.
Nick Backstrom (head) — Washington forward is going to be out for awhile!
Good luck in your fantasy hockey leagues tonight and as always we will be live tweeting the latest news and more. Do note as we mix in some daily fantasy hockey advice as well and thanks again to the Daily Joust for all of their help. Thanks for reading.