Posted On Saturday, 01.17.2015 / 1:36 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Bogosian among D-men worth looks

Defense often gets overlooked in fantasy hockey. Many owners value penalty minutes the most, but having defensemen who can add scoring and shots and help in plus-minus can provide a big boost.

Here are a few possible pickups:

Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 12:27 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Dubnyk, Ortio worth a look in net

Much has been made of goalie Devan Dubnyk's fantasy impact after his trade to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. In his first start, he did not disappoint.

Dubnyk, whose fantasy ownership increased to 28 percent in Yahoo leagues, had a favorable start against the offensively challenged Buffalo Sabres and made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season, a 7-0 victory. He is 10-5-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.

Even when Niklas Backstrom (32 percent owned) and Darcy Kuemper (54 percent owned) are healthy, Dubnyk is the better option for Minnesota and has the superior numbers. The Wild have a favorable upcoming schedule with home games against the Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Minnesota also has three games with the Edmonton Oilers remaining. While with the Coyotes, Dubnyk defeated his former team three times this season.

-- If you missed out on Dubnyk, here's another option: Calgary Flames goalie Joni Ortio.

Ortio (5 percent owned) won his second game in as many starts, 4-1 against the Coyotes. He made 27 saves after his 36-save shutout against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 4:26 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Predators goalie Rinne

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was on track for one of the best statistical seasons in NHL history.

Unfortunately, that quest is taking a backseat to his injury, so fantasy owners need to act quickly.

Rinne is expected to miss 3-5 weeks because of a knee sprain sustained Tuesday in a win against the Vancouver Canucks. The injury will sideline him well past the upcoming break for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:12 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - 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.

Posted On Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 6:24 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - 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.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 11:33 PM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - 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 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.

Posted On Monday, 01.12.2015 / 1:16 AM

By Sean McCullen - Staff Writer / - 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.

Posted On Sunday, 01.11.2015 / 2:53 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - 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 "We're just hoping and praying [Howard] is going to recover fast and get back in the game as soon as possible."

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.

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