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Posted On Friday, 02.10.2012 / 12:15 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Jokinen scorching hot for Flames

Hesitate and you might just miss out on one of the hottest players in the NHL, as Calgary Flames' forward Olli Jokinen is having a stretch to remember.

Who would've thought?

Before his recent offensive explosion, Jokinen went 15 games without registering a goal. But he's turned it on as of late.

The 33-year-old is in the midst of a five-game point streak. He also has points in seven of his past eight games. In that span, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound center has five goals and is coming off a hat trick, four-point performance against the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night.

He added the fifth goal on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jokinen was originally ranked 229th in standard Yahoo! leagues, but has improved his ranking to 31st overall. The former first-round pick has 17 goals, 29 assists and 46 points on 157 shots. In addition, he has 40 PIMs and six power play goals.

With the way the Flame is burning up the League, he could be a fantasy player to watch down the stretch.

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Posted On Friday, 02.03.2012 / 1:43 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Gagner Opens eyes With record night

Oh, what a night!

That's what fantasy owners must be thinking after the show Sam Gagner put on Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Edmonton Oilers forward scored four goals - yes, four - and added four assists - yes, four - to book-end an eight-point outing against one of the Western Conference's more elite clubs.

To go along with the offensive explosion, Gagner skated away with a plus-6 rating and threw another six shots on the cage.

Sam Gagner
Center - EDM
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 30
SOG: 86 | +/-: 2
Not many outings will top this record-tying game for the crafty forward, but he is in the midst of a productive stretch. In the past four games, the 22-year-old has 10 points and 10 shots. This small segment of production came after a drought to forget for the former first-round pick of the Oilers.

Coming into the game againt the Blackhawks, Gagner hadn't scored a goal in 11 games and prior to the stretch of points in three of four games, he hadn't collected a point in six games.

Whether or not the 5-foot-11 forward's monster performance will prove to be a springboard to bigger and better things in the second half of the season remains to be seen. But regardless of the totals during the season, any player capable of putting up an eight-point effort is worthy of fantasy consideration.

Currently owned in 7 percent of standard Yahoo! leagues, Gagner - a dual-eligibility player - could be had and could be a sleeper as the season progresses.
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Posted On Saturday, 01.21.2012 / 1:25 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Purcell proving to be consistent contributor for Bolts

Teddy Purcell won't soon be confused with Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis or Vincent Lecavalier, but he's certainly making a name for himself of late.

The 26-yaer-old Tampa Bay Lightning winger is coming off a two-goal night against the Dallas Stars Friday night, a game which also saw Purcell skate away with seven shots and a plus-1 rating.

Teddy Purcell
Right Wing - TBL
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 26
SOG: 74 | +/-: 1
While that kind of evening might not become the norm for the 6-foot-2, 201-pound forward, it has been representative of his recent play.

In the past five games, Purcell has combined for five points, including two multi-point outings. During that same span, he has managed to tickle the twine on three occasions. For someone who sees roughly 15 minutes per night, those stats look that much more impressive.

On the season, the former Los Angeles King has himself 11 goals, 15 assists and 26 points to go along with 74 shots and 16 PIMs. Last year, albeit on a seemingly more dangerous Bolts squad, Purcell finished with 17 goals, 51 points and just under 200 shots. Again, numbers that certainly are nothing to sneeze at.

Owned in 16 percent of standard Yahoo! leagues, the crafty winger may be in play in deep leagues. If you need a steady-as-he-goes performer on your fantasy squad, Purcell could fill that role nicely and, if you're lucky, exceed expectations.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 3:12 PM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Hawks' Shaw, Hayes making impact

Move over Jonathan Toews, and take Patrick Kane with you.

There's a new tandem in town.

They go by the name of Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes, two Chicago Blackhawks rookies who have done nothing but impress since being penciled in on the NHL roster.

The surprisingly dynamic duo has combined for nine goals, four assists and 13 points in 18 games, and both have shown a propensity to participate in the more physical elements of the game, as Shaw dropped the gloves in his first game, while Hayes has amassed six PIMs in his brief stint. Couple those hard-to-find attributes with an obvious scoring touch and knack for creativity and you've got yourself a complete NHL package.

Success at the highest level wasn't written in stone for the two youngsters, as both were selected outside the first round (Hayes, 60th overall; Shaw, 139th overall). Nowadays, both players are riding their dark horses to a photo finish of marvelous play.

In the case of Shaw (5 goals, 6 points, 7 PIMs, plus-1, 19 shots), it doesn't hurt to be playing alongside Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger in place of the injured Patrick Sharp. Shaw is currently riding a four-game goal and point-scoring streak and is recently coming off a multi-point night against Buffalo. His numbers so far are staggering, especially when compared with modest AHL outputs. In 33 games with the Rockford IceHogs, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound 20-year-old scored 12 goals and collected 21 points.

With the way he's dazzling night in, night out, it shouldn't be a surprise to see Shaw's ownership in standard Yahoo! Leagues to go up from his current three percent.

Hayes (4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, 6 PIMs, 16 shots), meanwhile, has points in three of his past four games, including two multi-point nights. He's getting no fewer than 16 shifts a night in his past seven games and is making the most of his opportunities.

Owned in one percent of standard Yahoo! Leagues, Hayes could be a nice addition to any roster, especially as the Blackhawks continue a strong 2011-12 campaign.

Continue to follow the unlikely story, but don't be left behind by other more active fantasy owners, as the chance to jump at both could no longer be available in short order.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 1:51 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Blake's offense gives Ducks boost

Jason Blake is no stranger to a productive NHL season.

After all, he has been part of five 20-plus goal campaigns, including a 40-goal outing in 2006-07.

Despite all the success, the past few seasons have seen a drop in production.

Jason Blake
Left Wing - ANA
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 8
SOG: 30 | +/-: 4
Nowadays, things are looking pretty, pretty, pretty...pretty good. Not only for the Ducks, who are doing nothing but torching opponents night in, night out, but for Blake, too.

In the 11 games he's appeared in this season, the 38-year-old has 4 goals and 4 assists, including a power play goal and 30 shots.

What's more, his solid play has come of late, as Blake is riding a three-game point streak, in which he's compiled six points on two multi-point nights. 

On Sunday night against a formidable Vancouver squad, the 5-foot-10 left wing had himself a pair of goals, three points and threw 10 shots toward the cage.

As the Ducks aim to build on their three-game winning streak, Blake can be a beneficiary of solid offensive production. Keep an eye on him as a  healthy option to boost your fantasy squads.
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:54 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy spin: Selanne continues to excel

Age is just a number, right?

If you ask Teemu Selanne, he'd likely answer in the affirmative.

The 41-year-old winger of the Anaheim Ducks marvels night in, night out, proving that if you've got game, the date of birth that follows you is rendered useless.

Teemu Selanne
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 43
SOG: 124 | +/-: 5
Just dig into the stats. Through 43 games, The Finnish Flash has collected 43 points, an unthinkable pace for an NHL elder statesman. Those points haven't been of the fluke variety, either, where Selanne has been the beneficiary merely of secondary assists. He's been a goal-scoring force too, evidenced by his goal-per-every-three game pace (15 total).

To complement his point production, Selanne brings 124 shots, 7 power play goals and 40 PIMs to his fantasy resume, too.

What's as impressive as his ability to be a factor, generally, has been his play on the ice of late, specifically. In his past five games, the right wing has seven points, including four goals and three multi-point nights.

As the Ducks and their core of offensive powerhouses continue to contribute, Selanne figures to be the man leading the charge.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 12:10 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Kovy lighting the lamp for Devils

Whether he's on your fantasy team or not, it's likely that you've run into the dominant play of New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

That's because he's done nothing but dazzle of late.

Kovalchuk is riding a four-game point and goal scoring streak.

What's more, he has collected two points in each of his past four outings. In that same span, the Russian star has thrown at least six shots toward the cage.

In short: he's been brilliant.

But his stellar play has been there for much of the season. Through 38 games, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound winger has 17 goals to go along with 21 assists and ranks eighth in the NHL with 159 shots.

With players like Zach Parise and youngster Adam Henrique around to complement his dynamic play--not to mention other more than capable players like Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora--Kovalchuk could see his game elevate to even a higher level for most of the second half of the season.

As the Devils continue their climb up the Eastern Conference standings, keep an eye out for No.-17 and his impact in your fantasy leagues.
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Posted On Friday, 01.06.2012 / 2:07 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: League's top rookie on the shelf

All has been well for Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011-12.

Now, things are put on hold, as the NHL's top scoring rookie is expected to be out of the lineup three to four weeks with a separated left shoulder.

He could miss at least 11 games.

Nugent-Hopkins' absense spells bad news bears for fantasy owners, who have benefited from his surprising stellar first season.

Through 38 games, the 18-year-old has collected 13 goals, 22 assists, 35 points and 80 shots on goal. He has also managed to be an even player on a struggling Oilers squad.

Despite the great show Nugent-Hopkins has put on most nights, he has struggled of late, at least in the goal-scoring category. Prior to the injury, he went 10 games without a goal and collected only five points in that span.

While his injury is a setback for fantasy owners, it could be a blessing in disguise of sorts. Obviously, the advice is to keep the talented youngster, but set yourselves up with a solid across-the-board performer in his absense and hope that he recovers fully from his injury and returns with a vengeance as the second half of the season approaches.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.27.2011 / 2:34 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Stewart back on track in St. Louis

The Chris Stewart of the previous two seasons and the one from this year have been two entirely different players.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected 28 goals. This year? He was on pace for 12.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected at least 53 point. This year? He was on pace for 29.

Then Monday night happened and the 6-foot-2, 232-pound right wing collected a pair of goals en route to an impressive 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Included in those two goals was a power play tally. He also ended the night with seven shots thrown on the cage.

In short, the 24-year-old showed flashes of the 25-plus goal-scoring threat he's been in prior campaigns. In fact, the flash started two games ago when Stewart scored a goal and threw another seven shots on net. It's that kind of night in, night out effort that's been missing from Stewart for the better part of the season. For players who've shown they can score consistently at the NHL level, often times it takes just the slightest hot streak before consistent productivity occurs.

Still, even with his strong play of late, on the whole, Stewart has been a disappointment for fantasy owners, so caution should be taken when thinking about adding him to your squads. However, it's equally as important to consider taking a risk on a player who has proven to be successful in consecutive seasons and has show that he may be on his way for number three.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.27.2011 / 2:19 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Stewart showing scoring touch

The Chris Stewart of the previous two seasons and the one from this year have been two entirely different players.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected 28 goals. This year? He was on pace for 12.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected at least 53 point. This year? He was on pace for 29.

Then Monday night happened and the 6-foot-2, 232-pound right wing collected a pair of goals en route to an impressive 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Included in those two goals was a power play tally. He also ended the night with seven shots thrown on the cage.

In short, the 24-year-old showed flashes of the 25-plus goal-scoring threat he's been in prior campaigns. In fact, the flash started two games ago when Stewart scored a goal and threw another seven shots on net. It's that kind of night in, night out effort that's been missing from Stewart for the better part of the season. For players who've shown they can score consistently at the NHL level, often times it takes just the slightest hot streak before consistent productivity occurs.

Still, even with his strong play of late, on the whole, Stewart has been a disappointment for fantasy owners, so caution should be taken when thinking about adding him to your squads.

However, it's equally as important to consider taking a risk on a player who has proven to be successful in consecutive seasons and has show that he may be on his way for number three. 
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Posted On Thursday, 12.15.2011 / 12:22 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Emery continues stretch of hot play

Ray Emery has been on four clubs since 2007-08.

It seems as if he's found a home in Chicago, as the Blackhawks backup to Corey Crawford has done nothing but dazzle between the pipes this season when called upon.

Ray Emery
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 7-1-2
GAA: 2.70 | SVP: 0.904
Anyone can step in and have a good night or two, but Emery has been a consistent stabilizing force in his 11 appearances so far. Consider the numbers: the 29-year-old has a 7-1-2 record with a 2.70 GAA and .904 save percentage. While the latter two statistics aren't mind-boggling, his record certainly is.

Emery can be the perfect complement to your fantasy squad's goaltending crop, if only because the Blackhawks are among the stronger clubs in the NHL and the likelihood of a victory is strong.

Also consider the reason for the seemingly high goals against average: he allowed more than three goals in a game three times in his first five outings. Since then? He did it just once.

As you consider your options between the pipes, don't lose sight of a perfectly nice option in Emery.
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 1:58 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Hackett fills in nicely in net for Wild

Welcome to the NHL, Matt Hackett.

Wednedsay night, the 21-year-old Minnesota Wild netminder stepped in for his first NHL appearance when goalie Josh Harding went down with an injury. The result? Hackett stopped all 34 shots faced his way en route to a solid Wild win.

Matt Hackett
Goalie - MIN
RECORD: 2-0-0
GAA: 1.01 | SVP: 0.974
The following night, with both Nicklas Backstrom and Harding on the bench with day-to-day injuries, Hackett earned his first NHL start. The result? A 42-save outing en route to a 4-2 Wild win over Los Angeles.

If you've never heard of the guy before, you might want to listen up.

With the Wild's top goalies sidelined, Hackett figures to see consistent playing time moving forward. This could mean good things for those fantasy owners crafty enough to jump in and snag the up-and-coming beast between the pipes.

Despite the limited experience, the third-round selection of the 2009 NHL Draft has stopped 76 of 78 shots, while collecting a .974 save percentage and a 1.01 GAA. Moreover, he's 2-0-0.

The Hackett train could be leaving the station sooner rather than later, but wise fantasy owners should enjoy the ride while the opportunity is there.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.07.2011 / 7:34 PM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Is trading Sid your best bet?

Fantasy owners take notice: Sidney Crosby will not join the Pittsburgh Penguins for a two-game road trip, which begins Thursday night against Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia. While the specifics are unknown, Crosby did suffer a "stinger" after colliding with teammate Chris Kunitz Monday against Boston.

His absense was described as precautionary by general manager Ray Shero, after it was made clear that the ImpACT tests Crosby took with Dr. Micky Collins--which help monitor concusssions--"showed no problems."

Even though early reports don't suggest a serious setback, Crosby's fantasy hockey impact ought to be carefully reviewed.

One can't knock his debut performance against the New York Islanders Nov. 21 where he finished with a four-point outing and followed it up with his most productive five-game stretch of his career. And, of course, nobody ought to forget his talent and production since breaking into the NHL.

The guy's an absolute stud.

But while Crosby's arguably been the best player in the League, one option for fantasy owners might be to seek a trade and get a lot back while setting aside the day-to-day worries of the superstar center's health.

Recent injuries should have Sidney Crosby owners considering the unthinkable; contemplating trading the great No. 87. (Photo: Greg Shamus/NHLI)

Think about it.

As the Penguins figure to be a contender in the Eastern Conference, it's possible that the team will treat Crosby with caution more so than they might in years past. Moreover, if you're able to land solid pieces in the trade, you'll need not worry about relying on stellar performances from "Sid."

The key, of course, will be bringing back more than complementary pieces to your team in a trade. But as you debate to keep or to trade, consider this:

Of his seven seasons in the League, four--including this season--have seen the 2005 first-overall selection play in at least 77 games. In 2007-08, Crosby missed 29 games with an ankle injury and, of course, everyone recalls his recent recovery from a concussion.

When he returned to the lineup, he did so at 100 percent health. This recent two-game absense may come and go as quick as Crosby disspelled speculation of potential rust before scoring on his first shot against the Islanders. Still, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound talent's durability ought to be considered.

The fantasy return for a Crosby trade could provide balance in many positions and categories for your squads. As crazy as the notion might appear to be, your duties as fantasy team owners is to think about it.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 2:16 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Kane blossoms at new position

It's fun being the center of attention. Even more fun when you're doing it at right wing.

Chicago Blackhawks playmaker Patrick Kane spent all of 2011-12 playing the center position until Friday night, when he joined teammate Jonathan Toews on the right side of the ice - the side of the ice he's been accustomed to playing since breaking into the League in 2007-08.

The result: a solid two-assist, two-shot outing in what was a winning effort in the shootout for the Blackhawks over the New York Islanders.

For the most part, fantasy owners should've been pleased with Kane's production this year. After all, he ranks third in the NHL in assists, 10th in points and is a top-20 shot producer. Those are more than respectable numbers for any fantasy contributor. But Kane has never finished a season with less than 70 points and 21 goals.

Leading up to Friday's til, though, Kane went six games without registering a goal. Dig deeper and you'll notice he has scored just seven goals in 26 games this year.

Project jumpstart is underway. So despite the goal-scoring dry spell,which has now reached eight games, Kane appeared to be more than comfortable playing alongside captain Toews.

If the two can develop some chemistry, Kane could see a huge jump in production, which would only mean good things for your fantasy squads moving forward.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 1:40 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Smith has been quietly Sens-ational

There are enough Ottawa Senators to choose from when it comes to picking capable fantasy players. That'll happen when names like Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Sergei Gonchar are on the roster.

Zack Smith ought to join that list.

Smith is quietly having a reliable campaign for fantasy owners. The best way to break him down is to say that he does a little bit of everything, which is a compliment in the world of fantasy hockey.

Through 24 games, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound center has six goals, seven assists, 13 points, a plus-6 rating, 34 PIMs and 41 shots on net. If you're in need for depth, Smith can be a solid option.

Although he's been held pointless for three games twice this season, Smith has otherwise been consistent. Particularly of late, as the 23-year-old has points in four of his last seven games. In that span, Smith has two multi-point nights.

As you seek depth and complimentary options on your fantasy squad, keep Smith on your radar and benefit steadily along the way.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:59 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Crosby continues to deliver

If Sidney Crosby's return to the lineup from a concussion Monday against the New York Islanders played out like a Hollywood movie, Friday night's performance against Ottawa was a blockbuster sequel.

Crosby added a three-point night to his resume against the Senators, all of which came by way of assist. In his three games since joining the club, he has amassed two goals, five assists, eight PIMs and fired 12 shots on the not. Add to that a plus-5 rating and three hits.

What's been as impressive as his individual efforts has been impact he's had on teammates.

Pascal Dupuis, riding a strong season without Crosby already, is looking like more than a complimentary piece on Sid's line. Meanwhile, Chris Kunitz is adding points to his hits and shots, too. What's more, Crosby's return allows the Penguins to move Staal up to the second line alongside Evgeni Malkin.

Simply put, Crosby's return is altering the fantasy landscape. If you can't get your hands on #87, consider guys like Dupuis or even Steve Sullivan, both of whom are more-than-adequate beneficiaries of Crosby's productin.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 1:43 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Richards wearing crown for Kings

High expectations were thrust upon Mike Richards since his trade to the Los Angeles Kings from the Philadelphia Flyers this past offseason. Justifiably so, too, as he has been an impact players since coming into the League in 2005-06.

However, until recently, the two-time 30-plus goal scorer has been in la la land in Los Angeles.

Mike Richards
Center - LAK
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 18
SOG: 54 | +/-: 4
In his first 14 games with the Kings, Richards scored only two goals. Not exactly the kind of production most fantasy owners envisioned when they rushed to draft him.

Whatever worries you may have had ought to be brushed away, as it appears that the Richards you've grown accustomed to seeing is back.

The 26-year-old center has collected five goals in his past four games and has points in six of his past seven games. That's not all. Richards has thrown 24 shots on the cage during his recent hot streak and hasn't been a minus player, either. If you're inclined to think fluke as it related to his recent stats, then merely rely on precedence.

Not only does he have two 30-plus goal seasons on his resume, as mentioned, Richards has amassed at least 62 points in four straight seasons. Moreover, he's hasn't finished with less than 184 shots since 2007-08. Whatever the scoring category, the former first-round selection has delivered and has been a fantasy stud.

Richards appears to be feeling very comfortable in a Kings sweater these days and you will be feeling just as comfortable with your fantasy team if you're able to snag him.
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Posted On Sunday, 11.20.2011 / 1:48 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Oilers' youth growing up quickly

While the club is not quite there yet, the two fresh faces of the franchise are taking major strides in their pursuit of becoming elite players night in, night out. Saturday night, the two spilled oil all over the Chicago Blackhawks, combining for three goals, five assists, eight points and seven shots. Not a bad night.

The tough part is deciding which player had the better night. Hall collected a hat trick, but Nugent-Hopkins amassed five assists. Let'Tyler s call it a tie.

This year, fantasy owners have seen unexpected greatness from Nugent-Hopkins, a small-framed, inexperienced rookie. Through 19 games, RNH has 19 points on seven goals and 12 assists and has thrown 40 shots on the cage. Fellow stud Hall, meanwhile, has 14 points in 18 games and has 52 shots thrown on net.

The dynamic duo in Oil Country could be emerging as the next Sidney Crosby-Evgeni Malkin or Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane. Fantasy owners are taking notice, too. Nugent-Hopkins is owned in 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues and has jumped from an original ranking of 244 to 93, currently. Hall is owned in 82 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

While you search for the next long-term solution for your fantasy teams, look no further than the two headliners in Edmonton.

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Posted On Friday, 11.18.2011 / 12:33 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Injury forces Jagr out of lineup

A 39-year-old who hasn't played in the NHL since 2007-08 shouldn't be a point-per-game player, right?

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 11 | PTS: 17
SOG: 44 | +/-: 7
Wrong. Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jaromir Jagr has surprised many with his consistent play through 18 games, in which he's amassed 17 points, a plus-7 rating, 10 PIMs and 44 shots.

Given his unlikey production, Jagr has evolved into a fantasy hockey gem for many owners or, worst case, a more-than-capable complimentary piece for many rosters. The Cinderella story took an unfortunate turn Thurdsday night, as the future Hall-of-Famer suffered a lower-body injury early in the game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The good news is that the injury is not believed to be serious, at least according to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. However, Jagr has dealt with lower-body injuries in the past and they tend to be nagging. Moreoever, Jagr is 39 years old.

Fantasy owners need not panic and should remain patient while the injury becomes more clear. Sooner rather than later the early exit from the game could be but an afterthought. 
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.16.2011 / 11:27 PM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Myers responds after recent benching

Will the real Tyler Myers please stand up?

Since a phenomenal rookie campaign in 2009-10, in which the gargantuan Buffalo Sabres defenseman collected 11 goals, 37 assists and 48 points in 82 games, Myers has seen a steady decline in production, leaving many fantasy owners wondering what to make of the potentially-potent blueliner.

Through 17 games this season, the 21-year-old has just two goals and six points to go along with a minus-3 rating and just 26 shots on goal.

Fantasy and reality crossed paths recently, as the Sabres opted to make Myers a healthy scratch Nov. 14. But in his return to the ice Wednesday night against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils, the 6-foot-8. 227-pounder had a huge game.

Myers tickled the twine twice, including a power play tally, and threw four shots on net. For 60 minutes, he was a factor and it appears he's ready to prove that his recent skid is behind him.

For fantasy owners, patience will be a virtue. The Sabres currently rank in the middle of the pack in goals allowed per game but are in the Top-10 in goals per game. That leaves Myers susceptible to a low plus-minus rating, but also means that Myers is in a system that welcomes defenseman jumping into the play, which means his production opportunities are there.

Give Myers time and/or use him as a complimentary piece on your roster, but don't give up on an obvious talent at a time when he's showing signs of potential big gains.

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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness