Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/07/2010

01/08/2010
Nashville Predators v Dallas Stars

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.

Really big night for hockey, as there were 10 games and 20 teams playing.  A ton of great efforts as you will see from our extensive honorable mention section.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 7, 2009:

THIRD STAR:  Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-1) –  Carle stood out in Philadelphia, posting three of the Flyers seven points.  The 25-year-old scored a powerplay goal and assisted on both a powerplay goal and even strength goal.  Now with his third team, the 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner seems to be settling down once again.  He also managed a plus three rating and two shots on goal in over 23 minutes of ice time.

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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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Moves Imminent on Broadway

12/29/2009
New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun recently reported that the New York Rangers are shopping wingers Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.

The Rangers brought in both players this past off-season to bolster their offense with hopes that they would fit into coach John Tortorella’s system.  GM Glen Sather hoped they would fill holes and perform at levels, but at this point both have vastly disappointed.  Now Sather looks for alternative options to “beef” up his top six in order to gain a bigger presence up front, something Kotalik should provide.

What do I mean?

The Rangers want size in front of the oppositions crease in order to create more traffic to generate more offense.

When the team they signed Marian Gaborik they had one goal in mind: the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Currently, the Rangers sit on the outside looking in, knowing some tweaking in the line up is a must.

Tortorella simply cannot work with the mix of forwards he currently has.  Outside of Gaborik, most of the team fail to put together a consistent effort. We know the personality of Mr. Tortorella, a fiery, intense coach with a limited tolerance.  The team’s current players show they cannot play his system properly.

It is time to make a change.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/26/2009

12/27/2009
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.

Big night in the hockey world as we saw 12 games and 24 teams in action.  We also received a small bonus with a not to boring Sunday here at the Hot Stove.  Some great rivalries fought in battle against each other in what was an irresistible event for every hockey fan.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (0-1-1) – Another huge night for Ovi as the right wing scored one and assisted on two more.  The Great 8 fired five shots on goal while finishing the evening a plus three.  In the midst of numerous trade rumors, this 24-year-old showed why his team currently sits in first place and that perhaps they don’t need support from a rental player.  Ovi now scored an impressive 25 goals in his first 30 games.

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The Seven Million Dollar Man

12/26/2009
Rangers Sign Chris Drury And Scott Gomez

How does a team know their investment will pay off?  Better yet, What would inspire a team to devote a large percentage of their cap space to one single player? This article plans on analyzing the production from “top-tier” forwards based on a seven million dollar cap hit or higher.

As of this writing there are 14 forwards making this salary or higher, with most of these players filling the scorecard adequately.  These 14 forwards discussed are Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Alexander Ovechkin, Scott Gomez, Evgeni Malkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Thomas Vanek, Dany Heatley, Chris Drury and Eric Staal.

A quick glance at this list screams Drury and Gomez as the noticeable busts.  Coming into a weak free agent year for centers the two cashed in on GM Glen Sather’s ludacris spending.  However, a deeper look into their 2009-2010 season makes other players current production look similarly as bad.

In addition, this article will identify the best of the bunch showing exactly if and why the top salaries are actually worth it.  Impending free agent Ilya Kovalchuk believes his worth to be 20 percent of the current cap, an enormous 11 plus million cap hit. With his current production, not to mention countless intangibles would you consider the 27-year-old worth it?

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/23/2009

12/24/2009
Pittsburgh Penguins v Los Angeles Kings

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.

With 12 games and 24 teams in action, we saw plenty of hockey to get us through the Christmas break.  Now in the middle of a mandated break, us hockey fans as well as players anticipate a big day on Saturday.  Having said that, since there were so many teams in action, choosing three standout players proved incredibly difficult. Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Marc Savard, Boston Bruins (0-0-1) –  Savard played a vital role in the Bruins 6-4 victory over the Thrashers.  Going blow-for-blow with the offensive powerhouse in Atlanta, the 32-year-old center stepped up and lead his team to victory.  On the night, Savard put three points on the scoreboard, a goal and two assists all of which coming on the powerplay.  In addition, the Ottawa, Ontario native fired four shots on goal while posting a plus one rating.

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Ilya Kovalchuk Going NOWHERE

12/21/2009
Atlanta Thrashers v Florida Panthers

Unfortunately this is not an actual news story but simply one man’s bold prediction.  Before you blast me for the headline, lets look at the facts so you can see my thought process.

The latest from Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution states that the talks between the two are currently at a stand still.  However, Kovalchuk went on record to state, “he would like to stay with the same team his whole career. However, he understands that hockey is a business.”

Yes Ilya, hockey is a business.  You need to see that the business of the Atlanta Thrasher is Ilya Kovalchuk.  This team lives and dies by the blade of his stick.  The signings of Nik Antropov, Maxim Afinogenov as well as the acquisition of Pavel Kubina directly correlate to this team wanting to succeed with Kovalchuk.

So lets go over some facts.  The consensus rumors cite Kovalchuk wanting the league maximum over a ten year span, a total he certainly deserves.  By the CBA agreement, the maximum allows for 20 percent of the teams cap.  As the cap currently stands at 56.8 million and looks to stay within that range with our booming economy, our Russian star stands to make at least 11.36 million a year.

By my calculations even if Kovalchuk does sign at this maximum contract at the maximum cap hit, the Thrashers boast over 20 million worth of cap dollars left on their budget.  How many other teams can say they have this much room? Better yet, how many teams already have surrounded Kovy with teammates he thrives with due to both nationality and chemistry?

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