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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 1:40 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Players with value to gain in Sochi

Fantasy owners can take a break from setting their lineups during the NHL's hiatus for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but there's no time to rest when it comes to monitoring the waiver wire.

Olympic stats won't count in standard fantasy leagues, but strong performances could lead to positive momentum that could carry over to the stretch run of the 2013-14 season. Whether a young player expedites his development or an experienced player rekindles the fire, there's much to gain in Sochi from a fantasy standpoint.

The majority of prominent players from legitimate medal-contending countries are owned in Yahoo leagues. For Canada, 12 of 14 forwards have a fantasy ownership of 96 percent or greater. The goalie landscape, where most assets are owned in 80 to 100 percent of leagues, allows even less room for waiver wire additions.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 4:30 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Abdelkader can help with hits, points

The Detroit Red Wings still have their share of injuries, but the return of center Pavel Datsyuk on Thursday is sure to provide some sense of relief.

But for wing Justin Abdelkader, it's all about keeping the ball rolling.

With three goals over his past two games, the 26-year-old has benefited from playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist on Detroit's top line. Abdelkader's linemates have assisted on two of those three goals, providing an ailing team with much-needed offensive continuity.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 12:00 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Horton perfect fit for Blue Jackets

It's been much better late than never for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton.

After missing the first 40 games of the season due to offseason shoulder surgery, Horton has made a seamless transition into Columbus' top-six forward mix and is, for now, living up to the sizable contract he signed this past summer.

He wasn't drafted on average in Yahoo Fantasy leagues, but that's history. Horton is quickly ascending the fantasy ladder and gaining more ownership by the day with his new team.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.31.2014 / 12:11 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Category specialists on waiver wire

With the Olympic break approaching and the fantasy playoff picture beginning to take shape, owners are looking for ways to boost their chances on the waiver wire.

But while scoring-related categories (goals, assists, power-play points, shots on goal, rating) are usually most coveted, owners in rotisserie leagues or ones that take real-time stats into account are looking for ways to satisfy their league-specific needs.

Here are four readily available players that should be considered specialists in non-offensive categories. Their high level of production in their respective categories, along with a touch of offensive capability, could pay dividends for your team down the stretch of the season.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.24.2014 / 3:11 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Sharks' Pavelski among most adaptable

Joe Pavelski saw time on the San Jose Sharks' third line earlier this season and was drafted on average with the 87th pick in Yahoo Fantasy leagues. He's currently the NHL's second-leading goal-scorer (28).

That paints a perfect picture in regards to Pavelski's adaptability and overall value, both in fantasy and reality.

Pavelski, who has center and right wing eligibility in Yahoo Fantasy leagues, continued his torrid surge with his 19th goal in 21 games on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets. That goal marked his third game-winning tally in as many contests and stretched his point streak to four games (seven goals, one assist).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 4:21 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Predators' Josi regaining value

When the Nashville Predators drafted Seth Jones with the fourth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, fantasy owners couldn't help but envision him on the team's top defensive unit for many years to come.

Suddenly, 23-year-old defenseman Roman Josi became an afterthought from a fantasy standpoint.

Jones was paired with star blueliner Shea Weber early on this season, logging a ton of minutes and even producing power-play points. Over his first 14 games, Jones had seven points, four coming with the man advantage. His seamless transition was well-documented, opening eyes around the League.

But since then, Jones has cooled off considerably with 11 points over his next 37 games. His rating has staggered to minus-19. Over that time frame, Predators coach Barry Trotz has limited Jones' ice time based on his earlier workload.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.17.2014 / 12:34 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Ducks' Bonino severely undervalued

The scorching-hot Anaheim Ducks are the talk of the NHL, but Nick Bonino is still being overlooked.

That needs to change.

The Ducks have won 18 of their past 19 games and have yet to lose in regulation in 22 home games this season (20-0-2). Their top-line combo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry is currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins' duo of Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for the NHL's most productive point pair (35 common goals).

But as integral as Anaheim's front-liners have been to its historic stretch, the team's depth scoring has made it unbeatable of late, especially at home. That's where Bonino's value truly lies.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Varlamov carrying Avalanche under Roy

Few players have been more responsible for the resurgence of the Colorado Avalanche than Semyon Varlamov.

And, make no mistake, first-year NHL coach and legendary goalie Patrick Roy has everything to do with his netminder's remarkable turnaround.

Varlamov played 88 regular-season games in an Avalanche uniform prior to this season and left something to be desired over that span with goals-against averages of 2.59 in 2011-12 (53 games) and 3.02 in 2012-13 (35 games). Varlamov, drafted in the first round by the Washington Capitals in 2006, totaled the most losses (21) of any goalie during the shortened season.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 3:25 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Rookie centers there for taking

When it comes to rookie centers this season, it's been Nathan MacKinnon and the rest.

The No. 1 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft has been as good as advertised for the Colorado Avalanche. He's covered five categories (goals, assists, plus/minus rating, power-play points, shots on goal) for fantasy owners and is owned in more than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues as a result.

But if you missed out on MacKinnon (Yahoo average draft position: 154.3), first-year centers Tyler Johnson, Aleksander Barkov and Mark Scheifele are there for the taking in most leagues. While they don't offer dual-position flexibility, each is worth the attention of deep-league fantasy owners.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.10.2014 / 1:32 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Time to buy low on Capitals' Holtby

It's no secret this season has been a step in the wrong direction for Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.

His goals-against average has ballooned to 3.08 after surrendering five goals in each of his past three outings (0-2-1) dating back to Dec. 17. His slump and Michal Neuvirth's injury opened the door for rookie Philipp Grubauer, who improved to 6-2-3 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .931 save percentage with a win Thursday over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Grubauer, 22, has received the bulk of playing time over the past month and change -- and deservedly so.

But fantasy owners should look to take a calculated risk ahead of the final three months of the 2013-14 season. The opportunity to buy low on Holtby while his value has hit rock bottom is worth pursuing. He's a proven second-half performer for a team all too familiar with the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild