In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.
Big, big night in hockey with 13 games and 26 teams in action. We witnessed a blow out and even a laser pointer fiasco out west. Cheap plug but our goalie starters went 26/26. Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 9, 2010:
THIRD STAR: Tom Poti, Washington Capitals (0-0-1) –Poti helped the Capitals make short work of their division rivals, with a 8-1 route of the Thrashers. The 32-year-old veteran defenseman scored a powerplay goal and assisted on two more giving him three points on the evening. In a little under 22 minutes of ice time he also fired three shots on net while finishing the game with a perfect plus-two rating.
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NHLHS Endorsed Pickups is a weekly column where we discuss players worthy of your fantasy team. We hold no responsibility over the outcome of your roster, however, if you view past articles you will find a pretty successful track record. Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
This week we will go over some promotions to the top lines and analyze the longevity of their value. In addition, some players elevated their games following an Olympic selection, so there are a number of exciting topics to go over on this weeks edition of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.
Here are today’s picks:
C: Erik Christensen, New York Rangers – Would you believe me if I told you in August Erik Christensen would be the Rangers number one center? The latest pivot for Marian Gaborik recently put together a modest 3 game point streak, putting in two goals and two assists. A waiver flier from the Rangers earlier in the year seems to thrive in the offensive system of coach John Tortorella so as long as the kid stays healthy, he should be productive. The 26-year-old showed past success playing in the Atlantic Division playing with the Penguins before leaving for Atlanta in the storied Marian Hossa swap.
Prognosis: Ride him while he is hot. A good streaking option for at least five more games.
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The New York Rangers claimed center Erik Christensen off waivers while putting backup goalie Steve Valiquette on, says Newsday’s Steve Zipay. Christensen found himself on waivers earlier in the year and went unclaimed, probably due to his meager showing of zero points with a minus three rating in nine games. Clearly Ducks management felt Chipchura was a better alternative down the middle.
Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record spoke with John Tortorella on the issue, and found out adding Christensen is a result of an undisclosed injury to Donald Brashear. However, Torts also said the move should motivate Brian Boyle to step up his game when the team is healthy. Boyle may find himself on the block if his play does not improve in the coach’s eyes.
No stranger to the Atlantic Division, Christensen played parts of three season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before getting shipped to Atlanta as part of the Marian Hossa deal. In the 2006-2007 season, the 25-year-old posted career highs in practically every category finishing the year with 18 goals and 33 points.
The larger question could be, why do the Rangers need a better backup goalie? Vally sports a 2-3-0 record with one shutout, a 3.74 GAA and .852 SV% in six games, below average marks in every category. The necessity for a better backup could have something to do with star goaltender not remotely playing as well as his career marks. For now Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson fills in for the journeyman as he tries to regain his form in Hartford.
Do you think Lundqvist should be traded?
I certainly do not and with his value lower than usual I cannot see GM Glen Sather getting adequate compensation for the Swede.