NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

12/30/2009
Carolina Hurricanes v Dallas Stars

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.

This week we will go over several streaking players in the NHL leading us to another extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.

Here are today’s picks:

C: Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues –  Despite his position in most fantasy leagues, Steen plays left wing on the second line for the Blues.  Although this team deals with lack of production at times, this second generation forward continues to score at an alarming rate.  With nine points in his last five games the chemistry with current line-mates TJ Oshie and David Backes seems electric

Prognosis:  Hopefully Steen will gain LW eligibility.  Regardless, his production rivals many top fantasy superstars so ride him while he is hot!

C:  Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres –  With Derek Roy day-to-day, Connolly should get extended ice time.  This news comes on the heels of a four-game point streak in which this 28-year-old center produced six points.  Since the lockout, the Syracuse, New York, native averages nearly a point-per-game making him a safe bet in all formats.

Prognosis:  Another grab him while he is hot comment would fit here.  When healthy, Connolly makes a solid number two center in all formats.  If your league excludes PIMs, even better.

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NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

12/22/2009
Chicago Blackhawks v Washington Capitals

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.

This week saw several players breakout, several produce above their means and others who continue to produce all of which leads us to an extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.

Here are today’s picks:

LW: Dean McAmmond, New Jersey Devils –  As of this writing, McAmmond slots between Zach Parise and Patrik Elias.  Having said that the veteran center boast a four-game point streak where he scored two and assisted on four more.  Although center is his position called upon in real life, the 36-year-old qualifies at LW due to playing there the majority of his career.  Does anyone remember the McAmmond – Craig Conroy Jarome Iginla line? I sure do, that was a looooong time ago.

Prognosis: McAmmond showed signs of life last year with the Isles when he posted 9 points in 18 games.  His current projection mirrors these numbers with 8 points in 16 games.  This production marks the veteran’s absolute ceiling.  At best he will pot 40 points, but with David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus eventually returning even that is a stretch.  Stream if desperate, definitely not a keeper.  Otherwise read more for better options on the left side.

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Christmas Spirit Yields Big Returns

12/19/2009
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders

Today, we will see two big name players return to the lineup.  Are these guys the Christmas present their teams have been waiting for?  Most likely, but who now gets coal in their stockings with their returns.

Andrei Markov makes his long awaited return after missing every Habs game since October 1.  A victim of unfortunate circumstances, the veteran defenseman cut his leg on the skate of goalie Carey Price, a scary and freaky play to say the least.

Now Markov returns and should soon return to form, but at the expense of both recent call-up and subsequently recently demoted Yannick Weber and Marc-Andre Bergeron.  A recently sent down Weber adds to his frequent flier miles while Bergeron finds himself skating on the fourth line, a situation he is not used to being a natural defenseman. The 29-year-old journeyman defenseman, mostly known for his prowess on the powerplay, will have trouble keeping up his torrid scoring pace now that his playing time will be greatly diminished.  Fantasy owners should be in full blown sell mode.

Could this make Bergeron expendable to the Habs and available to a team in need of a solid powerplay QB?

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Keeper Watch: HABitual Post-Hype Sleepers

12/17/2009
Atlanta Thrashers v New York Islanders

‘Keeper Watch’ will come out every Wednesday, noting the changes in value for top prospects who are most likely available in your league. We will also focus on young players once considered top prospects. Similarly to our ‘Endorsed Pickups’ I will try not to focus too much on one position, which will leave some noteworthy players off the list.

Not many rookies on this list, as the rookie boom seems to have slowed in recent weeks.  Still there are some young guys worth looking at in your keeper.

LW: Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal Canadiens –  The controversial winger, usually referred to as AK 46, returned to form in the last couple weeks.  A former 10th overall pick, the older Kostitsyn now has 14 points over his last 12 games for a team that desperately needs scoring.  One can only expect this scoring to continue as this player has the polish and the pedigree not to mention will receive large minutes in lieu of the injury to Brian Gionta.

Prognosis:  Grab him and stream him while this trend keeps up.

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Weekly Fantasy 3 Stars – Week Ending 12/13/2009

12/14/2009
Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs

Similar to our Daily 3 Stars, this section will break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every week 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 therefore omit salaries.

THIRD STAR: Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders (0-0-1) –  Okposo became a powerplay specialist, helping John Tavares to score a plethora of goals on the man advantage.  In three games, the 22-year-old posted six assists five of which coming on the powerplay.  The St. Paul, Minnesota native fired eleven shots on goal averaging nearly four a game, despite his lack of goals.  Scoring at a two PPG clip over the past week makes him our third star of the week.

SECOND STAR: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks (0-1-0) – The winging Sedin brother is putting his earlier injury behind him.  The native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden produced five goals and two assists over his last three games, a solid week to say the least.  Two of his seven points came on the powerplay while he fired a massive 22 shots on goal.  The 29-year-old posted a nice plus two over that span making him a good choice for second star of the week.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/08/2009

12/09/2009
Nashville Predators v Philadelphia Flyers

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.

Another good night around hockey. We witnessed the Flyers win their first game under new coach Peter Laviolette as well as a breakout performance in Nashville. In addition, the Anaheim Ducks finally snapped their four game losing streak with help from goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

THIRD STAR: Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers (0-1-1) – Briere played solid game helping his team route the Islanders 6-2. The diminutive forward assisted on two goals, one a powerplay marker by Jeff Carter. In fact, both assists came on Carter markers, showing solid chemistry with an elite fantasy player. In addition, the 33-year-old took three shots on goal, sat four minutes in the box and finished the night a plus one. An impressive effort in which he contributed over five offensive categories.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 11/24/2009

11/25/2009
Montreal Canadiens v Chicago Blackhawks

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)

THIRD STAR: Mike Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens (0-0-1) – Only one game last night, making the options for 3 Stars pretty thin.  Cammy stood out among his peers, scoring a goal, adding five shots and finishing the night a plus two.  The Canadiens victory over the Blue Jackets was a pretty well-rounded effort in which four different players scored.  The left wing now has four goals in his last three games making him one of the hottest player in hockey.

SECOND STAR: Anton Stralman, Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0) – The secret is out on Stralman, he is one of the hottest PP quarterbacks in the league.  I admit it, I have been sceptical but this kid is simply impressive.  Adding a goal and an assist (one on the powerplay), the Swedish defenseman finished the night contributing in four of six offensive categories.  Not his best outing, but it certainly adds to his numbers evenly.  See if Stralman is still available in your league and take a long hard look at your teams current defensemen.

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