Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 4:11 PM

By Eric Goodman - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Filling in for injured Islanders D-men

When defenseman Johnny Boychuk was traded from the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders prior to the start of the 2014-15 season, fantasy hockey team owners saw an opportunity to increase their offensive and power-play numbers and started steadily adding Boychuk to their respective rosters. The payoff has been huge with Boychuk remaining in the top 10 among defensemen in assists (12) and power-play points (eight) this season. But with Boychuk and defensive teammate Lubomir Visnovsky being placed on injured reserve Wednesday, it’s time for fantasy owners to start digging for that next diamond in the rough.

Since Boychuk has been one of the bigger surprises this season and Visnovsky hasn’t done much since returning from an upper-body injury Oct. 23, the gap between those players and those available on the waiver wire isn’t tremendous.

The following players are suitable replacement options, each with different availability to account for larger and smaller leagues.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.16.2014 / 2:38 PM

By Eric Goodman - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Candidates for replacing Nichushkin

Choosing Dallas Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin in fantasy drafts came with a big risk, but Yahoo owners selected the 10th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft in 48 percent of leagues despite hip and groin problems that hampered the 19-year-old since training camp.

Now that Nichushkin will have hip surgery and is expected to miss four months, fantasy owners now must find a long-term replacement for a player Fantasy Insider Matt Cubeta named his top sleeper pick this season.

Whether in a deeper league or one with 12 teams or fewer, the following forwards should help strengthen your lineup as replacements for Nichushkin, who had no points and two shots on goal in four games this season:

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Posted On Monday, 11.03.2014 / 3:35 PM

By Eric Goodman - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Finding fill-ins for Oilers' Hall

Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall will miss 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain, the team announced Sunday, leaving fantasy hockey owners with the tough task of finding a stopgap for the dual position-eligible Hall, who finished in the top 10 in scoring the past two seasons.

With the reality being there isn't anyone on the waiver wire that can produce like Hall, owners will have to settle for grabbing one of the following wings, centers or dual position-eligible players to help string things along until Hall is back in action.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 2:49 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Bruins' Krug in short term

The dominoes continue to fall on the Boston Bruins defense as Torey Krug is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a broken finger. This injury further depletes the Bruins top power-play unit and fantasy blue lines around the globe.

With Krug (96 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) joining teammate Zdeno Chara on the injury list, fantasy owners should stash the 23-year-old in an IR slot and look for a short-term replacement.

It's difficult to cover all of Krug's strengths (points, power-play points, shots on goal, plus-minus) with one waiver-wire pickup, but you can certainly find available defensemen who can help your team stay afloat in one or more of those areas. Taking league depth into account, here are some options:

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 12:30 PM

By Eric Goodman - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky

The news Tuesday that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was placed on injured reserve with a broken finger and is expected to miss 1-2 weeks has some fantasy hockey owners on edge. Finding a suitable fill-in for the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner won't be easy, but there are some decent options available on the waiver wire to help ease the transition.

It's a surprise Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens (Yahoo ownership: 37 percent) is not included on more fantasy rosters. The Oilers wrap up their seven-game homestand this week when the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks visit, and Scrivens is in the midst of a four-game winning streak. Be sure to check back on Thursday when correspondent Justin Goldman offers more in-depth analysis on Scrivens' hot play.

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Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:41 PM

By Matt Cubeta - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Bruins defenseman Chara fantasy insider Matt Cubeta takes a look at some injury replacement options for Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks because of a knee injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 2:22 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Kings' Muzzin should excel upon return

Defenseman Jake Muzzin has been cleared to play and is likely to see his first action since sustaining an upper-body injury during the preseason when the Los Angeles Kings host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, according to Jon Rosen of

While Muzzin should be owned in most leagues, fantasy owners tend to be impatient early in the season. As a result, he's only owned in 37 percent of leagues. That's way too low considering how many games are left to play and how impressive he has been to this point in his NHL career.

Muzzin, who had six goals, six assists and 48 shots on goal in 26 games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Stanley Cup champion Kings, returns after missing their first six games. And boy could their offense use another source of scoring from the blue line.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 3:08 PM

By Eric Goodman - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Red Wings' Datsyuk returns to lineup

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will make his season debut Tuesday at the Montreal Canadiens after missing four weeks with a separated shoulder. Fantasy owners know their lineups will get a boost from the slick-skating Russian, who is averaging just under a point per game over 12 seasons in the NHL, but how Datsyuk's teammates statistics will be affected is something to keep an eye on.

Datsyuk practiced at left wing Tuesday with Henrik Zetterberg at center, though Datsyuk said they could switch at times during the game.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 3:08 PM

By Eric Goodman - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy spin: Devils' Severson bursts onto scene

Offensive contributions from defensemen have often been considered a bonus for NHL and fantasy hockey teams alike.

There is an increasing need in the NHL for defensemen to not only prevent scoring chances but also play a larger role in creating them and because of that, dependable fantasy options have emerged.

With so few high-scoring defensemen out there, the scramble to find that diamond in the rough usually starts within the first few weeks of the fantasy season. Any player that shows the slightest spark early on gets watched closely and quickly snatched up. If there is room on your roster, then strong consideration should be made for New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Damon Severson (Yahoo ownership: 19 percent).

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 5:53 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Don't sweat Gibson situation

Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson is being sent down to the American Hockey League, but there's no reason to overreact if you're one of his NHL fantasy owners.

Gibson will have a two-game stint with the Norfolk Admirals to stay fresh while Frederik Andersen (3-0-0; six goals allowed this season) rides his hot streak. Gibson is expected to return to the Ducks after his short reassignment; until then, Jason LaBarbera will be Andersen's backup.

Anyone who watched the Ducks in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs knows coach Bruce Boudreau will not sit back and watch after his team loses. Boudreau likes to change things up, and that goes for line combinations and goalie starters. He will stick with the hot hand and is not afraid to tinker with something that is not working out.

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