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Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:43 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Rangers' McDonagh reaches elite level

It's safe to say New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh is maximizing his offensive production in year one under coach Alain Vigneault.

The 24-year-old has reached the top-15 fantasy realm at his position and continues to flourish as the Rangers' featured power-play defenseman.

And he's just getting warmed up.

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Posted On Friday, 03.21.2014 / 2:21 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Recent call-ups deserve attention

When premier forwards around the NHL (Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Pavel Datsyuk, Vladimir Tarasenko, etc.) are sidelined with injuries, dreams of a fantasy championship tend to hang in the balance.

In keeper leagues, that makes for some difficult decisions. But in one-year, head-to-head leagues, it's important to act quickly.

Luckily, in recent weeks and months, call-ups around the NHL have come to the rescue to make those decisions a bit easier. These are fresh, young options that could inject some life into an ailing roster. Based on where they fall in their team's lineup and what they have accomplished so far in 2013-14, they must be considered down the stretch -- even if their ownership appears low based on your league size.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 11:45 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Back-to-backs benefit Bruins' Johnson

To this point in the season, Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins has been the most valuable fantasy goalie. His goals-against-average (2.07) and save percentage (.929) are tops in the League among goalies with 50-plus appearances. He also leads the NHL with six shutouts.

But come fantasy playoff time, every goalie start is crucial and back-to-back sets need to be taken into account. "Handcuffing" a quality backup is always a worthwhile tactic to guarantee appearances and prevent your team from disaster if the injury bug strikes.

For those reasons, fantasy owners in deep leagues should take a look at the Bruins' remaining schedule and realize how valuable the team's No. 2 goalie, Chad Johnson, could prove to be.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 2:55 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Palat closing in on MacKinnon

Ondrej Palat's rookie season with the Tampa Bay Lightning has had its share of trials and tribulations.

But Palat hasn't been deterred by what has gone on around him. His season has been defined by results.

Riding a five-game point streak, Palat is the NHL's hottest point producer over the past 10 days (four goals, five assists). His 46 points in 68 games trail only Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (52 points in 68 games) in the rookie scoring race. Palat, 22, had his 13th multi-point game Monday against the Vancouver Canucks, pulling him ahead of MacKinnon (12) for the rookie lead.

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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 3:56 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Neal, Kesler injuries loom large

Two top-tier fantasy forwards will be sidelined for an extended period of time. Back to the waiver wire we go, fantasy owners.

Ryan Kesler (C/RW in Yahoo leagues) leads NHL forwards in ice time per game (22:08) and will be missed by the Vancouver Canucks over the next few weeks as he recovers from a knee injury.

James Neal (LW/RW), who serves as Evgeni Malkin's sidekick at even strength and on the power play, is out indefinitely with a concussion.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 5:42 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Jagr helping Ruutu get back on track

Since being traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the New Jersey Devils on March 5, Tuomo Ruutu hasn't looked back on what was a disappointing season through his first 57 games.

Jaromir Jagr is a big reason why Ruutu has turned the page so quickly. Plain and simple, Jagr has helped Ruutu go from fantasy irrelevance to being on the cusp of deep-league ownership in a matter of days.

Owned in three percent of Yahoo leagues, Ruutu has shown instant chemistry alongside Jagr and Travis Zajac with one goal, three assists, a plus-3 rating and nine shots on goal in his first three games with New Jersey. Considering the Devils are vying for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the timing of this development could not have been more ideal.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 3:22 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Right wing injury replacements

With standard Yahoo Fantasy league playoffs beginning on March 17, owners around the globe are hoping to put their best foot forward from this point on.

Unfortunately, those who own Colorado Avalanche forward PA Parenteau (63 percent) and/or Buffalo Sabres forward Chris Stewart (41 percent) will have to move on without their services.

Parenteau sustained a knee injury Monday and is likely to miss the remainder of the regular season. Stewart, who was traded from the St. Louis Blues to the Sabres on Feb. 28, only played two games for his new team before injuring his ankle in a collision on March 6. Sabres coach Ted Nolan has since said Stewart is likely done for 2013-14.

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Posted On Friday, 03.07.2014 / 1:33 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Trades could spark available forwards

The NHL Trade Deadline had no shortage of marquee names changing area codes. Here's a quick roundup of the fantasy implications:

**Ryan Miller is 3-0-0 with five goals allowed since being traded to the St. Louis Blues and is facing significantly fewer shots per game, as predicted.

**Roberto Luongo has seen his value take a short-term hit after being dealt to the Florida Panthers, who are outside of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 2:27 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Impact of deal on Stamkos, Callahan

The Tampa Bay Lightning will get one of the League's most prolific goal-scorers, Steven Stamkos, back in the lineup Thursday after he was sidelined for nearly four months due to a leg injury.

But with this promising fantasy update comes with some bad news in the form of Martin St. Louis' departure via trade. Stamkos will no longer have that familiar face beside him on the team's top line after St. Louis was dealt to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan and two draft picks.

The Rangers add a top-10 point producer to the fold. The Lightning, meanwhile, are bound to see a dip offensively. Callahan has a chance to step in and fill the void left by St. Louis, but that's a major downgrade from a playmaking standpoint. While Stamkos will remain a top-five fantasy asset entering next season, his production could take a hit down the stretch considering the lack of chemistry on his line and his ongoing recovery from injury.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 1:03 PM

By Matt Cubeta -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: St. Louis' value remains similar

What a way to kick off the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline. Two captains swap locations with Martin St. Louis going to the New York Rangers and Ryan Callahan headed to the Tampa Bay Lighting. Can the day's opening trade get any more dramatic than this one? Probably not.

What does this mean for St. Louis fantasy owners?

Prior to the trade St. Louis was the 20th ranked player in Yahoo fantasy leagues and I had him ranked 14th among my top 100 forwards. In 62 games, the former Lightning captain had 29 goals, 61 points, a plus-12 rating, six penalty minutes, 18 power play-points and 167 shots on goal.

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