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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 11:53 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Downie adds element to Avalanche

There's no question that rookie Nathan MacKinnon and new coach Patrick Roy stole the spotlight in their sparkling debuts for the Colorado Avalanche, but Wednesday's 6-1 rout of the Anaheim Ducks also made it clear Steve Downie can be an asset to both his team and fantasy owners.

Operating on the team's top line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly, Downie kicked off the season with a Gordie Howe hat trick (one goal, one assist, five PIMs), with both of his points coming on the power play. He also added four shots on goal and two hits in the win.

Colorado's depth up front, showcased by NHL.com leading up to the season with a League-leading nine forwards in its top 300 fantasy player pool, was evident all night long in a virtuoso offensive display. It was merely one game, but four of Downie's teammates -- MacKinnon, O'Reilly, Jamie McGinn and Alex Tanguay -- joined him in recording multi-point games on opening night.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:02 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Grabovski makes immediate PP impact

The fantasy significance of Mikhail Grabovski's opening-night performance went way beyond his hat trick.

The 29-year-old made a strong first impression with the man advantage, an indication that he can be an adequate replacement for Mike Ribeiro on the Washington Capitals' first power-play unit.

As a result, his time on the waiver wire has been short-lived.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.22.2013 / 10:25 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Leafs have most promising tandem

When the Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team in NHL history to lose a Game 7 after leading by three goals in the third period, fantasy owners probably weren't expecting an endorsement of the team's goaltending only a few months later.

But when reflecting on James Reimer's development over the past year and the team's acquisition of former Los Angeles Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, the future looks crowded -- and bright -- in Toronto's crease.

So, just about as suddenly as their lead slipped away in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the case can be made that the Leafs sport the League's best timeshare fantasy goalie tandem.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.08.2013 / 11:20 AM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge: Mason or Emery?

The Philadelphia Flyers' goalie situation got another makeover this summer as Ilya Bryzgalov -- the starter during the past two seasons -- was giving a compliance buyout and Ray Emery was brought in to compete with Steve Mason for the starting job.

But before breaking down the two goaltenders who will compete for crease time in Philadelphia this fall, let's break down the last six seasons of Flyers goalies.

Since the 2007-08 season, the Flyers have used 18 goalies and have had five different players lead them in victories -- including a tie in 2009-10 between Michael Leighton and Emery. The Flyers have averaged 40.6 victories in that span, which should have made their starting goalie a hot commodity in fantasy hockey.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.06.2013 / 10:00 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge -- Fleury or Vokoun?

While everything seemed to come crashing down for Marc-Andre Fleury during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fantasy owners would be wise not to hold his postseason struggles against him when they're looking for goaltending this season.

Fleury got a vote of confidence from Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma in June, which indicates he'll be in position to reclaim the team's starting job. If that's the case, he certainly deserves top-15 consideration among fantasy goalies heading into 2013-14 -- despite the negative perception surrounding his value these days.

Didn't backup Tomas Vokoun clearly outplay Fleury in the playoffs? Doesn't the fact that Fleury has struggled in each of the past four postseasons hurt his fantasy value?

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Posted On Friday, 07.26.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge -- Bishop or Lindback?

Last season was not a banner year for any goalie that manned the crease for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning finished 26th in the NHL with a team goals-against-average of 3.06 and tied for 24th in the League with a .899 team save percentage. Tampa Bay was also one of four teams to have four different goalies suit up last season, with Anders Lindback playing the most (24 games and 21 starts).

The team acquired Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators for Cory Conacher on April 3 and after six starts with the team, Bishop was signed to a new two-year contract extension.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.23.2013 / 1:48 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Jagr has enough left to help Devils

After the departure of David Clarkson and the stunning retirement of Ilya Kovalchuk, the New Jersey Devils are turning to one of the most accomplished players in NHL history to fill a short-term void on the wing.

At 41 years young, Jaromir Jagr will suit up for yet another NHL team -- and remain a fantasy commodity in doing so.

The Devils came to terms on a contract with the coveted unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, setting up a potential tandem of the two highest-scoring players from the Czech Republic in NHL history. With longtime Devils wing and Czech native Patrik Elias (930 career points -- second all-time among Czechs) looking for a new linemate on the right side after Clarkson signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jagr (1,688 points -- first all-time among Czechs) is a candidate to help New Jersey fill that void.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.11.2013 / 9:45 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge -- Brodeur or Schneider?

In terms of productivity and longevity, there has never been a fantasy goaltender quite like Martin Brodeur.

But over the last three regular seasons, no goalie League-wide has been more efficient than Cory Schneider.

With both netminders on the New Jersey Devils' roster entering 2013-14, this inevitable time share should be one of the more compelling storylines of the fantasy season. The Devils, who acquired Schneider in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center, will not hesitate to integrate the 27-year-old into the lineup early and often next season.

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Posted On Saturday, 07.06.2013 / 2:20 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Move can revitalize Ryan on power play

Bobby Ryan no longer has to deal with swirling trade rumors. The dynamic forward has a new home where he can focus on what matters most to fantasy owners: returning to form as an elite offensive player.

The four-time 30-goal scorer landed with the Ottawa Senators in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. The move allows the 26-year-old to turn the page on his time with the Ducks, which was mired by positional changes and line shuffling.

The deal injects a playmaker entering his prime into the Ottawa lineup following the departure of veteran forward Daniel Alfredsson, who signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings earlier Friday. Ryan, who had 30 points, 101 shots on goal and 80 hits in 46 games in 2012-13 for the Ducks, will be a go-to guy in all situations on the wing for the Senators, a team with a wealth of offensive firepower.

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Posted On Friday, 07.05.2013 / 8:53 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Seguin, Eriksson in position to improve

The centerpieces of Thursday's blockbuster trade will get a fresh start -- and fantasy owners should take notice.

When the Boston Bruins dealt Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson in a seven-player deal, each team addressed an important positional need. Both players took steps back fantasy-wise in 2012-13, but changes of scenery suddenly present reasons to give them early-round consideration in your drafts this fall.

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