Veterans Day is a time to salute those who have served in the armed forces, and here at All-Access we salute the veterans of the NHL who are still producing for fantasy teams.
Forty-one-year-olds are still showing their fantasy relevance this season as the New Jersey Devils' Jaromir Jagr and the Detroit Red Wings' Daniel Alfredsson have already reached double digits in points, while the Dallas Stars' Ray Whitney is still making wizardly passes and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is still making saves and winning games. Finally, 43-year-old Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks, though missing some action due to injury, has shown he can still produce with seven points, two coming on the power play.
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Dustin Penner, Ducks (owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- Quick, name the player leading the league in plus-minus. If you guessed correctly, you said Dustin Penner. The 31-year-old winger is turning back the clock and having a very successful season while playing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He recently enjoyed a five-game point streak that saw him contribute one goal and seven assists. This week the Ducks play three games on the road (@FLA, @TBL, @CAR), where the big winger has four points in five games.
Ryan McDonagh, Rangers (owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- As the Rangers are breaking out of their early season slump, so is the talented 24-year-old defender. McDonagh has seven points in his past seven games after having only five points in 12 games played in October. New York has three games scheduled this week (NJD, @MTL, @LAK) -- look for the d-man to continue his rise up the fantasy ranks.
Ilya Bryzgalov, Oilers (owned in less than 1 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The team that is ranked last in goals-against average needed a change in net and it comes in the Russian netminder who last played in an NHL game back in April. The 33-year-old will probably need time in the American Hockey League to get back in hockey shape, but his previous two seasons in the Western Conference saw him win 78 games and post his career high in save percentage. In a season that has seen only three goalies ranked in the top 20 of Yahoo players, the enigmatic Bryzgalov is worth the risk if your team is struggling to get decent production at the position.
Special players -- Special teams are important to a successful fantasy team, and a couple of players this season are really contributing with their power-play prowess. The Washington Capitals lead the NHL in power play percentage and of course that has helped the big names like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, but how about Marcus Johansson? Owned in only 28 percent of Yahoo leagues, he has seven of his 15 points on the power play this season. The Phoenix Coyotes defensemen are scoring at a torrid pace, none more than Keith Yandle who leads the League in defensive points on the power play (nine). Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara only has three goals this season, but all of them have been with the man-advantage.
How many goalies to carry -- A big question plaguing many fantasy owners is how many goalies they should carry. The facts are nine teams have played their No. 1 goalie under 65 percent of the time and only four teams have played their No. 1 over 85 percent. Our advice is to target handcuffs by trades or waiver wires. Think of it this way: If you have three goalies but one handcuff, that guarantees you all scheduled starts that week. That could be the edge, as your opponent has to hope his main guy starts a majority of games that week.
Danny DeKeyser, Red Wings -- The Detroit, Mich., native decided last season to join his hometown team after a very successful three seasons with Western Michigan. The 23-year-old made his NHL debut on April 5 vs. Colorado and got his first NHL point three games later, but a wrist injury in the playoffs caused him to miss most of the Red Wings' run. This season, the 6-foot-3 defenseman is playing on the top pairing with Niklas Kronwall and got his first NHL goal on Nov. 4 vs. Winnipeg. Averaging 21:05 time on ice, DeKeyser is definitely a prospect to keep your eye on.
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