NHL Players in the Olympics

01/07/2010
2010 Bridgestone Winter Classic - Philadelphia Flyers v Boston Bruins

The title says it all.  This article will be no more than a comprehensive list of NHL (and some other players owned by NHL teams) players set to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

01/05/2010
Ryan Shannon of the Ottawa Senators in action.  Click the picture for more NHLHS Endorsed Pickups!

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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Will the Red Wings Make the Playoffs?

01/04/2010
Stanley Cup Finals - Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Five

Coming into last year, the Detroit Red Wings looked stronger than ever.  Fresh off a dominating cup win they added arguably the best sniper on the market and seemed poised to create another dynasty, even in this cash strapped salary cap era.

This year certainly seems to be another story.  Gone are Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson amongst others leaving the team with roughly 31 percent of the offense to replace.

Who did they bring in?

Todd Bertuzzi, Drew Miller, Jason Williams and Patrick Eaves amongst others.  Those four combined for a whopping 54 goals last year, a little more than half of the 89 goals that left this past offseason.  If you subtract 35 goals from last year’s totals the team still would finish 7th in scoring and not first.

GM Ken Holland planned on using rookies and young players such as Ville Leino, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm in scoring roles, hoping it would force them to step up their games and make up the remaining 35 goals needed.  What Holland did not expect were injuries.  Injuries and injuries alone could derail all hope this team had to make the playoffs, let alone another return to the Stanley Cup.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/03/2010

01/03/2010
New York Islanders v Ottawa Senators

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.

Only four games and eight teams in action following an exciting night in hockey.  Of the four games, it was the first contest which we derived all of our stars for the night.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Arron Asham, Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-1) –  Asham helped his team keep the game close, playing his part in half of the Flyers scoring this Sunday.  The rugged winger scored a goal and assisted on one by Darroll Powe helping the team tie the game before their eventual fall to the Senators 7-4.  Not usually known for his scoring prowess, the 31-year-old added two penalty minutes, one shot and a plus one giving him contributions across five categories.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/22/2009

12/23/2009
Vancouver Canucks 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.

Only three games and six teams in action so the choices were few.  Unlike yesterday, the big name players showed up and dominated this list as should be expected. Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (0-0-2) –  Getlaf scored with 25 seconds left in regulation.  Seriously. The 24-year-old also assisted on a Scott Niedermayer blast leading his team to a 4-2 victory over Colorado.  In addition, Getzlaf took four shots on net, sat two minutes in the box and finished a solid plus two.  Now with 10 goals and 41 points on the season, the Regina, Saskatchewan native continues to justify his ranking as a first round pick.

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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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Jaroslav Halak On The Block

12/10/2009
Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

According to the Web Staff over at Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are actively shopping Jaroslav Halak (H/T to crashthecrease.com).

The 24-year-old netminder is 6-4-0 in 11 games, including an impressive 46 save effort against the Ottawa Senators.  Earlier in the year the Czech native amassed a four game win streak, an feat when you consider how injury riddled and weak the Montreal defense has been.

A quick look around the league shows a handful of teams needing depth between the pipes.  The Flyers lost starter Ray Emery for six weeks leaving their team to the fate of Brian Boucher.  The Oilers may have to rely on Jeff Deslauriers longer than they would like while Nikolai Khabibulin sits at home with a bad back.  Pascal Leclaire remains on the sidelines as he watches Brian Elliot inconsistently block pucks.

Perhaps the most interesting rumor circulating involves Darren Helm and the Red Wings.  As earlier whispered here.  Does Halak really offer an upgrade to Jimmy Howard or the legendary Chris Osgood?

A quick look says no.

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Trade Rumors: Christensen in, Valiquette Out

12/02/2009
St. Louis Blues v Anaheim Ducks

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.


Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 11/25/2009

11/29/2009
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: Troy Brouwer, Chicago Blackhawks (0-0-1) -We mentioned Brouwer in our most recent Keeper Watch so showing up here is not a big surprise.  One game removed from a four game point streak, the 24-year-old scored a goal and added an assist.  The former 7th round pick took one shot, added two penalty minutes and finished the game a plus three.  Brouwer continues to improve on a strong Blackhawks team that looks like the real deal.

SECOND STAR: Wayne Simmonds, Los Angeles Kings (0-1-0) – The 21-year-old also continues to improve for the young Kings.  Simmonds posted a goal and an assist, leading his team to a 3-1 victory over the Oilers.  The former 2nd round pick added four penalty minutes, five shots on goal and a plus one to his line for the night giving him our second star.

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Injury Updates 11/25/2009

11/25/2009
Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers

Here are some fantasy-relevant injured players around the league.

Tonight’s Status Updates:

  • Tim Thomas may have a broken hand. [TSN]
  • Adam Foote and Scott Hannan play tonight. [All Things Avs]
  • As we’ve been saying all week, Marian Hossa returns tonight. [Tribune Icing]
  • Rene Bourque remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. [Flames Insider]
  • Eric Staal back with the Hurricanes tonight. [Canes Now]
  • The Senators play without Pascal Leclaire, Alexei Kovalev and now Mike Fisher. [Ottawa Citizen]
  • Chuck Kobasew set to return. [Russo’s Rants]
  • Chris Drury all set to return, Ales Kotalik questionable. [Rangers Rants]
  • Dan Boyle will play tonight, Devin Setoguchi still not ready. [Working the Corners]

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