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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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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Flyers NOW Turning the Corner?

12/08/2009
New Flyers coach Peter Laviolette

A few days ago Puck Daddy did an article about the Flyers and their coaching change.  Until tonight, the article appeared very wrong.  After tonight it reads oh so well.

Say what you will about the Islanders, they are a very competitive team.  In fact, before the game they were ahead of Philadelphia in the standings.  Now they are tied and that should be the closest the Islanders get to the Flyers all year.

Their new coach, Peter Laviolette, moves from the press box to the bench, giving them a strong leader who most likely will push them over the top.  Although there were rumors of no fighting and a less physical team I would like to remind you these are still the Broad Street Bullies.  Dan Carcillo felt no need to tone down his game, and it looks like Chris Pronger won’t either (see Boarding call on Tavares).

For this team to be successful they need to maintain their physical nature while feeding off consistent production from their top two lines.

This is why this game is a true turning point.

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