Fantasy All-Access: A November to remember

Monday, 12.02.2013 / 12:00 PM
Matt Sitkoff  - NHL.com Contributor

The second month of the fantasy season is over and some of the big names in the NHL reclaimed their spots at the top.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had only 10 points in 13 games played in October, but followed that up with 25 points in 15 games played to lead all scorers in November.

The Chicago Blackhawks embarked on their Circus Trip to end the month and Patrick Kane, the reigning Conn Smythe trophy winner, had a 12-game point-streak where he had eight goals and nine assists.

Finally, New York Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot burst on the scene with an NHL-leading 1.15 goals-against average and .956 save percentage for goalies with at least five November starts, and his two shutouts were tied for the most in the League in the 11th month of the year.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Clarke MacArthur, Ottawa Senators (owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- When the Senators acquired Bobby Ryan, the entire fantasy world thought this would bring an instant boost to Jason Spezza. In reality, it has sparked his current linemates, Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur. The 28-year-old MacArthur, a free-agent acquisition, now has 20 points in 28 games with a plus-10 rating. The Senators have three games this week (@FLA, @TBL, TOR) and the two-time 20 goal scorer appears on his way to a third such season.

Andy Greene, New Jersey Devils (owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The 31-year-old is following the footsteps of his elder teammate, Jaromir Jagr, and tied for the lead in points by a defender for his team (13). The 5-foot-11 Michigan native has a six game point-streak with six points during that streak. The Devils have four games scheduled this week (@MTL, MTL, DET, @NYR) and the Devils' leader in total minutes (672:22) will get a chance to continue his hot streak.

Jonas Gustavsson, Detroit Red Wings (owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- As our goalie expert wrote in detail about the rise of "The Monster"(http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=693674), Gustavsson followed it up with another stellar performance Sunday against Ottawa and has a 7-0-1 record this season, stealing time from Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings have three games scheduled this week (PHI, @NJD, FLA) and with one back-to-back scheduled for Friday and Saturday expect the 6-3 goalie to get a shot at keeping his perfect record intact.

ROSTER TRENDS

Shots, shots, shots -- More and more fantasy leagues are incorporating shots as a category to fight over in weekly and rotisserie leagues. No surprise the leader in this category is the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin with 138 shots on goal. Ever since Ovechkin has come into the League he has led in shots in seven of his eight seasons. Leading the League this season with 29 games with at least one shot on goal is Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry. Leading the back line with shots on goal is Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets with 95, while leading the rookies is Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche with 72.

Unbalanced attack -- Ovechkin is our fantasy leader with 21 goals but he only has eight assists, meaning 72.4 percent of his points have come by lighting the lamp. Other unbalanced goal/assist stat lines include Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone with seven goals and one assist, and Minnesota Wild rookie wing Justin Fontaine with six goals among his first seven NHL points. On the other side is Fontaine's teammate and Norris Trophy finalist Ryan Suter, who has a League-high 15 assists without scoring a goal. Two other defenders follow Suter, as the Toronto Maple Leafs' Cody Franson has 13 assists with no goals and the Capitals' Mike Green has 12 assists with no goals.

PROSPECT RUMBLINGS

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche -- The top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft is starting to produce as we expected, now playing on a line with Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly. The Cole Harbour native has four points in his past five games. As we predicted in the preseason (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=678605), MacKinnon is now on pace for 16 goals and 52 points but is still only owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues.

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