It was a light night and yet excitement rained down from the skies in a pair of one goal contests. Buffalo battled and won on a Jason Pominville overtime power play tally while Pittsburgh rallied from down 2-0 to win 3-2 over the Toronto Maple Leafs. While it pushes Carolina and Toronto one step closer to elimination, it helps Pittsburgh in its push to catch the New York Rangers and aids Buffalo in trying to flag down Winnipeg for the eighth seed in the East.
The question now becomes who was our Fantasy POTN? This was a tough one to answer but I think we have found one suitable for the masses.
Pascal Dupuis, RW/LW, Pittsburgh Penguins — Here is one that was almost joked about at the beginning of the night that the second line would figure in most of the scoring because Toronto would be so preoccupied with the top line. We should have just shut up because it came true again and again and again. The problem with the Winger is he is a “Grade A” case for the Crosby Effect. However he does seem to like playing with Steve Sullivan and Jordan Staal. Either way the two goals, assist, and four shots were very welcome for fantasy owners who still are holding on to Dupuis. With Sidney Crosby headed back in the near future, the time is NOW to pickup Dupuis and even then you may be too late already.
QUICK LOOK BACK:
Thomas Vanek, LW, Buffalo Sabres — We will let Jason Pominville share this one a bit as they both had a goal and assist each. However, Vanek was firing from everywhere as he had nine of Buffalo’s 42 shots on Cam Ward. Ward probably deserved a better fate but Vanek was a catalyst in setting up the overtime game winner and Pominville let the population go up. Give Buffalo credit, they did not quit tonight at all and were justly rewarded.
Cam Ward, G, Carolina Hurricanes — Yes we tip our hat to a losing effort because honestly Buffalo should have won the game in regualation. Ward was very good all night long and made 39 stops in all. The problem is Ward gave up three again but at least this time it came with a very solid save percentage. It offers some consolation to those who still own him in leagues. Question is can Ward finally give up two or less? The eventual answer is yes but still uncertain.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
|Buffalo||at||Boston||7:00 PM ||
|NY Islanders||at||New Jersey||7:00 PM ||
|Florida||at||Philadelphia||7:00 PM ||
|Tampa Bay||at||Washington||7:00 PM ||
|Los Angeles||at||Columbus||7:00 PM ||
|NY Rangers||at||Ottawa||7:30 PM ||
|Anaheim||at||St. Louis||8:00 PM ||
|Colorado||at||Nashville||8:00 PM ||
|San Jose||at||Dallas||8:30 PM ||
|Minnesota||at||Phoenix||9:00 PM ||
|Montreal||at||Edmonton||9:30 PM ||
|Winnipeg||at||Vancouver||10:00 PM ||
Now there is a robust schedule that fantasy and hockey fans alike can sink their teeth into. When all else seems to come crashing down, we bring in Ian Gooding with his Pick Six to make sense of busy nights like this. Here we go……
At this time of year, teams are not all facing the same situation. Some teams are fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot, some teams have packed it in and are playing for jobs next season, while some teams would prefer that the playoffs start today. These differing situations can play a key role in the production of players on your fantasy team. As well, these situations are clearly noted in the Pick Six for Thursday – a day featuring 24 of the NHL’s 30 teams in action.
David Krejci, C, BOS – start
After a prolonged slump through most of 2012, Krejci has found his form once again on the Bruins’ top line with Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic. Krejci and his linemates are each riding a four-game point streak, so it’s time to move him back to your starting lineup now. Since the Bruins seem to enjoy playing the Sabres, there shouldn’t be any doubt that all three linemates are start material – especially Lucic, given his recent past when the two teams play.
Evander Kane, LW, WPG – start
E-Kane recently had an eight-game point streak snapped, but he will be looking to impress in front of friends and family in his hometown of Vancouver on Thursday night. During his streak, Kane scored seven goals and added seven assists, including a four-point night last Thursday against Florida. The Canucks appear to be lollygagging their way toward the playoffs right now, so Kane could earn a couple of points while his Jets steal a couple points of their own to help their playoff cause.
Daniel/Henrik Sedin, VAN – watch
Speaking of the Canucks, Daniel and Henrik owners have to be growing concerned. Daniel has just one point in his last six games, while Henrik is on a six-game point drought. These two have a history of consistent play and bouncing back, but the trouble is that the Canucks have very little to play for with at least the number two seed in the Western Conference all but wrapped up. Since the twins are both elite performers, you should continue to start them and hope the slumps end soon.
Ben Bishop, G, OTT – add/start
Following a brief stint with the Senators’ AHL team, Bishop made his first start as a Senator against Tampa Bay on Tuesday. He made 25 saves in what had to have been a wide-open affair, a 7-3 win over the Bolts. Bishop faces a tough test against the Rangers, but as mentioned before, he has the potential to be a solid mid-level fantasy goalie for the remainder of the season as the Senators attempt to catch Boston for the Northeast Division lead.
Dustin Tokarski, G, TB – watch
Tokarski was recalled from the Lightning on Wednesday and could even receive his first taste of action on Thursday against the struggling Capitals. His NHL resume is very brief (44 minutes two seasons ago), but he has the kind of goaltending numbers (27-11-0, 2.34 GAA in AHL) that are unheard of in Tampa this season. Assuming that the Bolts don’t make a serious run for the playoffs, there should be no reason that the elderly Dwayne Roloson starts every game down the stretch while Mathieu Garon is sidelined.
Ryane Clowe, LW, SJ – bench
Considered the strong favorite to win the Pacific Division this season, the Sharks have made things interesting recently, allowing Dallas and Phoenix to have a say for the number three seed in the Western Conference. A look at who’s struggling on the San Jose roster reveals Clowe, who has just two points in his last nine games, two goals in the last month, and only half his goal total (12) from last season. At a minimum, those in shallow leagues should move Clowe to the bench, as the Sharks face a hungry, motivated Stars team that is currently playing solid hockey at both ends of the rink.
Good luck fantasy hockey fans tonight and as always we will be providing unique commentaty and live action via @TheProgramBTR. Thanks again for reading and remember to always keep your head on a swivel.