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Posted On Friday, 11.08.2013 / 1:56 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Stars' Nichushkin picking up steam

Whether we're talking fantasy or reality, Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin has a bright future ahead of him.

And glimpses of his promise are already evident this season.

The 18-year-old Russian has put together a three-game point streak after a slow start to the season (two points in his first 12 games). His patience in the offensive zone in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday allowed him to feed Rich Peverley for the game-winning goal.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.06.2013 / 4:44 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Lehner valuable in deep, keeper leagues

It hasn't been easy for Ottawa Senators goaltenders through 15 games this season.

Craig Anderson (4-4-2) and Robin Lehner (1-2-2) are the only goalie teammates in the NHL to each face 40-plus shots on goal on three separate occasions in 2013-14. Ottawa has won once in those six games and is allowing a League-worst 38.1 per game.

To top things off, Craig Anderson injured his neck in a collision Sunday against the Dallas Stars and is day-to-day.

Thus, the burden on backup goalie Robin Lehner seemed even heavier entering Tuesday's road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Luckily for the Senators and fantasy owners, the 22-year-old answered the call by stopping 32 of 33 shots for his first win of the season.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 4:25 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Denmark's talent suddenly on the map

It's no surprise when countries like Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia produce NHL players that pay dividends in fantasy hockey leagues.

But the first month of the 2013-14 season has seen Denmark emerge as a new source of fantasy assets.

Coming into this season, no goalie from Denmark had ever played in an NHL game. The country's career points leader is New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen, who is only 29 years old.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 1:51 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Few better than Kessel in recent years

Tuesday was just another day at the office for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel.

The 26-year-old had a hand in each of his team's goals, scoring twice and dishing out a pair of assists, as the Leafs blanked the Edmonton Oilers, 4-0. His four-point night marked the 10th time in 13 games that he's registered at least one point.

Over the past 10 days, no player League-wide is producing at a higher level than Kessel. With seven goals, 10 points and plus-7 rating over that four-game span, Kessel is single-handedly carrying fantasy owners in head-to-head league formats.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 1:13 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Time to add Lightning blueliner Gudas

Whether one of your fantasy defensemen is injured or simply failing to meet your expectations, there is hope on the waiver wire.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas has emerged as a fantasy commodity -- and his worth isn't just stemming from point production.

Gudas, who has registered a point in four of his past five games, leads the NHL with 53 PIMs and all defensemen with 40 hits. Owned in only 17 percent of Yahoo leagues, Gudas is producing in multiple categories and catching the eyes of fantasy owners in the process.

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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 12:06 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Clarkson's return can boost your team

David Clarkson's 10-game suspension has been served. Now, he can go back to serving fantasy owners with top-notch category coverage.

The Toronto Maple Leafs power forward will be in the lineup Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets in what will be his first regular-season game with his new team. Clarkson, who signed a seven-year contract with the Maple Leafs in free agency, can finally put the preseason incident that led to his suspension behind him.

If you were one of the wise fantasy owners to select Clarkson in the late rounds of your draft and store him on your bench, this 29-year-old should give your team an immediate lift. On the flip side, if you chose to play it safe and leave Clarkson on the waiver wire, the clock is ticking.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:30 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Playoff hero Krug sees role expand

Torey Krug's breakout performance for the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs made him a household name.

Now the rookie blueliner's power-play role not only has carried over to his first full NHL season, but also expanded.

But what's even more stunning is how long it's taking fantasy owners to notice.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 1:15 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Surprising forward-defenseman pairs

It's no secret that chemistry between two skaters can pay major dividends in fantasy hockey.

Having two players on your roster that work cohesively and regularly combine to account for team goals can compound normal statistical production in your favor. It's comparable to having a strong quarterback-wide receiver connection in fantasy football. Common success between two players can give your team a sizable boost.

But while this season's most productive forward-to-forward point pairs (Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, etc.) could have been anticipated prior to the season, it would have been much more difficult to detect which forward-defenseman combinations have been most valuable to this point.

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Posted On Friday, 10.18.2013 / 12:21 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Oilers' Arcobello could be of assistance

When one of Wayne Gretzky's records is broken, it's only natural for fantasy owners to take notice of everyone involved.

Edmonton Oilers wing Taylor Hall scored two goals in eight seconds on Thursday against the New York Islanders, besting Gretzky's team mark of two in nine seconds from 1981. Oilers center Mark Arcobello was lucky enough to be a part of Hall's milestone by association.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially from a fantasy standpoint. And it turns out Arcobello's performance sheds some light on a diamond-in-the-rough fantasy asset worth an investment.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 3:00 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Category coverage puts Hanzal on map

Injuries are piling up around the League, with Rick Nash (head), Vincent Lecavalier (lower body) and Scott Hartnell (upper body) all on injured reserve in Yahoo Fantasy leagues and James Neal (upper body) set to join them on that list.

So where can fantasy owners find someone playing top-line minutes to fill a void left by one of the aforementioned forwards?

Look no further than Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes. His multi-category performance early on this season puts him in very small company.

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