Thanks to Stacy Podelski for the video as we delve into what is a balanced Friday with eyes wide open. Last night was very strange to say the least. The odd part is the following. Is Josh Bailey our Fantasy POTN? There was a tinge of controversy as to who’s performance was the most noteworthy, accomplished, etc. Votes were made and lines were crossed. We even disagreed and debated with other fantasy sites out there. Yes we went toe to toe with some of the brightest for this choice but it was 100% worth it. The back and forth is always appreciated but we let it ride with this one.
Here is our Fantasy POTN from last night in the NHL for your fantasy hockey leagues.
Mike Smith, G, Phoenix Coyotes — Defense and particularly goaltending wins fantasy championships. San Jose needed the two points and so did Phoenix. They battled hard and many chances were to be had. In the end, Phoenix prevailed 2-0 over San Jose to secure the all important two points but Smith’s 37 saves were crucial in keeping the game scoreless for so long before Radim Vrbata would strike for what would prove to be the gamewinner. Think of how good Smith has been this year even with the few hiccups Phoenix has had. Would they be this good with Ilya Bryzgalov back there? Something tells me no. Clearly Dave Tippett has the ability to put a system in place for goalies to succeed but Smith has exceeded anyone’s expectations even then.
QUICK LOOK BACK:
Josh Bailey, W, New York Islanders — Clearly something was in the water and no it was not white and flaky on Long Island either. Come on people! Whatever it was, Bailey took advantage of a Pittsburgh team that just seems to have problems playing the Islanders. In the 5-3 win, the Forward accounted for all five points (2 goals, 3 assists). It was honestly the best I have ever seen Josh Bailey play and last night he really did put it all together. The question becomes why doesn’t this happen more often? Bailey does have talent but just for some reason his frame and consistency leave something to be desired. His hot streak is now at six games to the tune of 12 points. Also, he is only 22 so I guess there is more upside still but does anyone know if that happens with the Islanders? Either way, the last few games will be interesting as people look to pluck Bailey off waiver wires.
Ryan Malone, W, Tampa Bay Lightning — It was too tough to leave Malone off this list even if it was at the expense of a four point night (all assists) by Danny Briere. We did what we had to do. Malone scored three goals that felt like they were all pinball goals but hat tricks are hat tricks no matter how you slice them and Malone is one of those players that does heat up a bit this time of year. With Vincent Lecavalier back, his value actually goes up unlike Teddy Purcell, who will see his value downgraded some. He is one of those guys you may want to own at least for this crucial stretch, if he is available of course.
Friday, March 30, 2012
|Winnipeg||at||Carolina||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Florida||at||Columbus||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Montreal||at||NY Rangers||7:30 PM | Gameday|
|Pittsburgh||at||Buffalo||7:30 PM | Gameday|
|Nashville||at||Detroit||7:30 PM | Gameday|
|Colorado||at||Calgary||9:00 PM | Gameday|
|Los Angeles||at||Edmonton||9:30 PM | Gameday|
|Dallas||at||Vancouver||10:00 PM | Gameday|
This is a rare eight game night for a Friday which sets up the big 12 game bonanza tomorrow night. How you set your roster tonight is going to likely have a big effect on Sunday because usually Friday is maybe four or five deep in the scheduling tooth. There are matchups galore here and then some highly unknown.
Think about it. Does anyone have any clue how the Montreal Canadiens are going to come out against the New York Rangers tonight? They are a team that can give the Rangers severe fits because of the Erik Cole-David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty trio. Add in Carey Price and his ability in net and some could say hey this has potential. However, they can also lay more eggs than anyone could ever ask for and the Rangers do tend to pounce on teams like this when it comes to the weekend. There are a lot of unknown quantities. It would be safe to say Henrik Lundqvist could shake some rust off tonight and starting Marian Gaborik or Brad Richards might be a good idea.
Nashville and Detroit is the other high quality matchup to look at. Nashville has balanced scoring galore while Detroit is riding the Henrik Zetterberg line almost to death. Detroit should expect a healthy Jimmy Howard hopefully and maybe Pavel Datsyuk finally starts playing like Datsyuk. All seems set tonight for an epic showdown to start determining the four seed for Round 1. Pekka Rinne has to step up as he has been leaving some clunkers out there over the past few weeks. The pressure is actually on Nashville in this one oddly enough and for fantasy purposes too. Take a look at Alex Radulov tonight and see how he reacts to a big game atmosphere. That will have long running fantasy consequences.
Lastly there is the Marcus Foligno-Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford line. If there is any line hotter right now over the past couple weeks then good luck finding it. Tonight Buffalo faces a wounded Pittsburgh team who has been gauged by the New York Islanders twice this week. Could Buffalo look ahead a bit on this one? Maybe. Ryan Miller is the hottest goalie in the league right now and on a Pekka Rinne like run (remember that 17 W’s in 20 stretch?). This is one that Buffalo may get a Jason Pominville-Thomas Vanek type of magic night. However, do not sell Pittsburgh short as Sidney Crosby likes playing in Buffalo and so does Evgeni Malkin. This is going to be some game to watch ladies and gentlemen.
Thanks again and good luck tonight in your fantasy leagues. Over the weekend, we will be considering the season turkeys so keep an eye out for that.