Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:12 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Canadiens power play gets going

The Montreal Canadiens had lost two games in a row and their power play had one goal in the past seven games (1-for-21). After a slow start Wednesday, the Canadiens scored three power-play goals to rally for a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal was 0-for-4 on the power play entering the third period before scoring three man-advantage goals in a 3:53 span to pull out the victory. Max Pacioretty had two of the goals, and P.K. Subban the other. Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec, Sergei Gonchar and Andrei Markov made up a power-play unit that clicked.


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Posted On Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 6:24 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Dubnyk worth adding after trade to Wild

It's not a rosy picture right now in the "State of Hockey," but goalie Devan Dubnyk's improvement this season suggests he can give the Minnesota Wild a much-needed lift in net.

With starter Darcy Kuemper (56 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) on injured reserve and veteran Niklas Backstrom (33 percent owned) struggling, the Wild acquired Dubnyk on Wednesday in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes. Since Nov. 22, Kuemper's season has gone off the rails with a 4-7-1 record and four or more goals allowed in six of his 13 appearances. Backstrom has started the past four games for Minnesota with Kuemper out, allowing 16 goals.

Entering 2014-15, Dubnyk (20 percent owned) didn't have a winning record in any of his five NHL seasons. The statistical highlight of his career was a .920 save percentage in 38 outings during the shortened season of 2012-13. But a few months working with Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke has done wonders for his stock, with this trade being primary evidence.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 11:33 PM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Big results from little-owned Predators

The Nashville Predators have been one of the NHL's surprise teams this season, and many of their players have been surprisingly valuable for fantasy owners. Nashville has 13 players with at least 10 points, and several are available in most leagues.

Forward James Neal is owned in 96 percent of Yahoo leagues, but his linemates are largely available. Neal, who missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, returned Tuesday in a 5-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks and found success with Colin Wilson (36 percent owned, C, LW) and Mike Fisher (12 percent owned, C).

Since Dec. 23 (four games), Neal has played 57 percent of the time with those two, according to dobberhockey.com. Neal has four points in his past three games; Wilson had two goals and two assists Tuesday, has eight goals in his past 11 games, and is plus-21 this season; and Fisher had two points and has seven goals and 12 points in 13 games.

Craig Smith (21 percent owned, C, RW) is another option. He has 13 goals and 11 assists this season.

-- Goalie Petr Mrazek (38 percent owned) made his first in what likely is majority of starts for the Detroit Red Wings with Jimmy Howard sidelined with a groin injury. Mrazek made 24 saves in a 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres. Mrazek (6-3-1, .920 save percentage, 2.16 goals-against average) has been consistent when given a chance this season, and the Red Wings have a favorable schedule with three of their next five games against the Sabres, Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild.

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Posted On Monday, 01.12.2015 / 1:16 AM

By Sean McCullen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Panthers right wing Hayes heating up

Florida Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes (owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues, RW) is worth a look for fantasy owners in need of a boost in goals. Hayes scored in a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, giving him seven goals in his past 12 games. He played 16:18, including 1:24 of power-play time.

In his first full season with Florida, Hayes has a career-high 13 goals in 32 games. Although he's been scoring lately, Hayes has one assist and is minus-1 over his past 12 games, so he won't help much in those categories.


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Posted On Sunday, 01.11.2015 / 2:53 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Red Wings' Mrazek likely to get starts

Petr Mrazek could be the Detroit Red Wings' No. 1 goalie for the foreseeable future after Jimmy Howard (90 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) sustained a groin injury and left the ice on a stretcher in the first period of a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock didn't have an update afterward, but said Howard would return to Detroit to undergo tests.

Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson thinks Howard, who was named to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, will miss some time.

"You know Howard doesn't get carried off on a stretcher if it isn't severe," Ericsson told MLive.com. "We're just hoping and praying [Howard] is going to recover fast and get back in the game as soon as possible."


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Posted On Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 12:32 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.

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Posted On Friday, 01.09.2015 / 2:03 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.


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Posted On Thursday, 01.08.2015 / 1:22 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.


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Posted On Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 12:51 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.


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Posted On Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 12:06 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.

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