Posted On Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 12:32 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Huberdeau heats up; Larsson gets time

The Florida Panthers have surprised some with their play this season, in the mix for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs halfway through the season. That's also made for some fantasy surprises.

Fantasy Spin has mentioned forwards Scott Upshall and Nick Bjugstad, and defenseman Aaron Ekblad. But one player who hasn't been discussed in depth is forward Jonathan Huberdeau (33 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, C, LW).

Huberdeau had 31 points in 48 games in 2012-13, winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. Last season, in 69 games, he had nine goals and 28 points, a big dip in scoring.

Posted On Friday, 01.09.2015 / 2:03 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Sharks' Karlsson benefits from new line

Melker Karlsson
Center - SJS
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 9
SOG: 22 | +/-: 4
Getting ice time with great players either at even-strength or on the power play can boost a lesser-known player's production.

We've recently seen that from the San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals.

Sharks forward Melker Karlsson (1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, center) scored a goal and played 13:06 in a 7-2 loss against the St. Louis Blues. He has a goal in each of his past four games, and has played on a line with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski in the past three games.

True, he may be receiving more ice time because Joe Thornton remains out of the lineup, and the lines may change, but Karlsson isn't likely to become a healthy scratch when Thornton returns from injury.

In 13 games, Karlsson has nine points, eight penalty minutes and a plus-4 rating, numbers that translate well over a full season.

Posted On Thursday, 01.08.2015 / 1:22 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Bruins forward Lucic worth keeping

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic is owned in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues, mostly by those not willing to part with a three-time 20-goal scorer who has played nowhere near how he has in seasons past, when he was a complete fantasy player who scored and ranked among the leaders in penalty minutes and hits.

This season, Lucic (left wing eligible) has been one of the biggest fantasy disappointments; he has six goals and 14 assists in 41 games. No matter who his linemates have been, the numbers haven't been there.

But Wednesday could be a sign that is about to change.

Posted On Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 12:51 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Blue Jackets' Connauton scoring goals

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Kevin Connauton (6 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) had a goal in a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars. He's scored four of his six goals this season in his past seven games.

Connauton played 14:34 (including 4:09 on the power play), the fewest among Columbus defensemen by more than three minutes, but he made it count with three hits, three blocks and a plus-2 rating. Claimed off waivers from Dallas on Nov. 18, he has 34 hits and 23 blocks in 26 games with the Stars and Blue Jackets.

Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky (63 percent owned, C, LW) didn't score, but has seven points (two goals, five assists) in the past five games. He has nine points and 15 penalty minutes in 12 games this season after missing two months because of abdominal surgery.

Posted On Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 12:06 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Perron pays off; Sceviour scoring

David Perron went from the last place team in the NHL to playing on a line with Sidney Crosby, and as a result, his ownership in Yahoo leagues vaulted from 34 percent to 58 percent.

It didn't take long for Perron (LW, RW eligible), traded from the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, to deliver in his first game with the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring on his second shot, which was assisted by each of his linemates, Crosby and Steve Downie.

The Penguins lost 4-1 to the Montreal Canadiens, but Perron played 15:47 (including 32 seconds on the only power play Pittsburgh had) and had six shots and four hits. He had two points in his past five games with the Oilers, and didn't have a goal in his past 10 games.

Playing with Crosby, Perron should see a boon in points and time on Pittsburgh's power play. Perron has 78 hits and 20 penalty minutes this season.

Downie (46 percent owned, LW, RW), the League leader in penalty minutes with 141, has eight goals and 20 points, including seven in his past five games. In addition to playing with Crosby, he's been logging time on the power play.

-- The Dallas Stars haven't been able to find a forward to play on the top line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. In December, Jason Spezza, Cody Eakin and Ales Hemsky all had their chances but couldn't generate much offense.

Posted On Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 1:19 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Koivu, Bjugstad starting to score

Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu (34 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, C) hasn't been much of an offensive threat this season, but that might be starting to change.

Koivu had two points, including a goal on the power play, in a 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. He has 14 points in his past 17 games after scoring five in his first 19.

Koivu has scored double-digit goals in eight straight seasons, and has averaged 0.80 points per game since 2006-07. He's also likely to increase his power-play points (five this season). Koivu had 18 power-play points last season, and 36 percent of his career points have been on the power play (169 of 471).

Goalie Darcy Kuemper (65 percent owned) has been a must-sit when starting at home. Kuemper had been pulled in four of his past six starts at Xcel Energy Center, but stopped 34 of 35 shots Friday.

Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon (9 percent owned) scored a goal, and has three points in his past five games.

-- Florida Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad (25 percent owned, C) scored in a 2-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres. Bjugstad, who led the Panthers with 38 points last season as a rookie, has two goals in three games, and is leading them in scoring with 22 points.

Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 3:54 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Trade to Pens makes Perron must-own

The first major Edmonton Oilers trade domino has fallen, and fantasy owners of David Perron are jumping for joy.

Perron, a polished point producer, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, leaving behind a team tied for last place in the NHL standings in favor of a perennial Stanley Cup Playoff contender.

The fantasy implications are so obvious that owners shouldn't waste another second to add Perron off the waiver wire. In only a few hours following the trade, Perron's ownership in Yahoo leagues has skyrocketed from 34 to 47 percent -- and with good reason.

The 26-year-old was one of five players (Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Blake Wheeler, James van Riemsdyk) with 28-plus goals, 115-plus hits and 220-plus shots on goal last season. Despite a dip in production and a minus-17 through 38 games this season, he joins a team with serious offensive firepower, but one in desperate need of reinforcement on the wing.

Posted On Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 12:02 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Eriksson boosting Bruins line

The Boston Bruins got David Krejci back seven games ago, and that has given a boost to a line he isn't on.

Loui Eriksson (60 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, LW, RW) had an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, and Carl Soderberg (33 percent owned, C, LW) had a goal and an assist. Chris Kelly (3 percent owned, C, LW) did not have a point, but the three forwards have combined for 25 points in those seven games.

Eriksson has four goals and nine points in his past six games, and six goals in his past 11. Soderberg has nine points, and Kelly has seven in the seven games.

The Bruins' top line of Krejci (three points in his past four after returning from injury scoreless in three), Milan Lucic (no goals in his past six) and Seth Griffith (two points in two after a 10-game drought) hasn't been scoring much lately.

Boston has games against the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes this weekend, so look for Kelly, Soderberg and Eriksson to continue their scoring streak.

-- New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome (25 percent owned, C, RW) had no goals and four assists in his past nine games. He matched that point total in a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets with a goal and three assists, his first four-point NHL game. Strome never had more than two points in an NHL game.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 1:09 AM

By Staff -  / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Roy gets assist, Oshie scores again

Derek Roy hadn't scored a point for the Nashville Predators since Nov. 22. It took him 4:37 to get one in his first game with the Edmonton Oilers.

Roy (1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, C), who was traded to the Oilers on Monday, assisted on a first-period goal by Matt Hendricks in a 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Roy, who left the game briefly in the first period, played 14:53 primarily with Teddy Purcell and Nail Yakupov at even strength. Roy had 2:32 of power-play time.

The 31-year-old had 28 points in 42 games as recently as the 2012-13 season, but he provides little in the peripheral categories and position eligibility. Roy, who had 10 points (one goal) in 26 games with Nashville (none in his last six), maybe can get a scoring boost if he winds up playing with Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle at some point.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 12:41 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Brodeur shutout complicates Blues

Just when it seemed like Jake Allen had a firm grasp on the St. Louis Blues' goaltending job, Brian Elliott is about to return to the lineup, and Martin Brodeur got a shutout in his first start in 11 days.

Brodeur (24 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) made 16 saves in a 3-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, proving he still has some value for fantasy owners. His prior start was a disaster, allowing six goals on 37 shots in a 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, a game when the Blues had a 3-0 first-period lead. He's 3-2-0 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.

Allen (60 percent owned) started six of the seven games prior to Monday and allowed more than three goals per game. He is 11-5-2 with a 2.76 GAA and a decreasing .899 save percentage.

Elliott, who sustained a knee injury Nov. 25, has been medically cleared to play and is expected to return as early as this weekend. He is the best option of the three (8-4-1, 1.82 GAA, .931 save percentage) but is owned in 79 percent of leagues.

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