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Fantasy Five: The turn around has started

Thursday, 10.14.2010 / 8:18 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Fantasy Five: The turn around has started
NHL.com's Matt Cubeta gives you a quick look at whats going on in the world of fantasy hockey.
Welcome to the Fantasy Five -- a quick glance at what's going around in the League. The Fantasy Five is where you'll come to find information and advice on anything fantasy hockey-related. We'll cover current injuries, line changes, statistical streaks, hot waiver-wire pickups, goaltender battles, occasional positional re-rankings and a look at players to start in the games ahead of us.

While today's format is a little different because we're still in Week 1 of action, you can usually expect a variety of content on a daily basis starting soon.

For now, here's what's going on around the League:

1. A few days ago, NHL.com pointed out several players who were off to rough starts (The Early Goings). As expected, some of these slow-starting elite players finally broke out over the last couple of days. The most notable breakout game saw Martin Brodeur turn aside all 24 Sabres shots he faced on Wednesday night in a 1-0 overtime shutout. It was only a matter of time before the veteran bounced backed from his slow start.

Last season, Sidney Crosby scored 51 goals -- his first coming on opening night. He got his first of the new season Wednesday night -- in Game No. 4. Again, no need to panic; Sid is obviously a born star and will be just fine.

Marty and Sid weren't the only players who've come to life. After being held scoreless for their first three games, the Anaheim Ducks' top line finally found the net. Ryan Getzlaf turned in the best performance, scoring the game's first goal and setting up three more -- that puts him right back to his point-per-game pace; Corey Perry scored his first goal and notched a season-high five shots on goal; Bobby Ryan tallied the game-winner and had an assist as well as 4 PIMs -- that gives him an NHL-high 27 (Perry is second in the League with 25).

Two more superstars who finally woke up on Wednesday night were Capitals playmaker Nicklas Backstrom and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Each player posted a goal and an assist in their fourth games of the season. The two points were Backstrom's first of the season, whereas Toews now has a goal and a pair of assists.

Remember to have patience with your proven commodities. All will work out.

2. Recent injury updates:

Rene Bourque, LW, Calgary -- While the reports aren't official, Bourque may have suffered a concussion on Sunday night after colliding with the Kings' Kevin Westgarth. Bourque is currently listed as day-to-day, and with his history of head injuries, he could be out for the foreseeable future.

Mike Green, D, Washington -- Green left Wednesday's game against the Islanders with an apparent stinger and did not practice on Thursday. He could return on Friday, and the injury isn't considered to be serious.

Andrei Markov, D, Montreal -- Markov has yet to play in a game this season as he recovers from knee surgery, but there is a slight chance the veteran defenseman will be in the lineup on Saturday. This could be a huge boost for anyone who used a draft pick on Markov.

Jason Pominville, RW, Buffalo -- Pominville left Monday's game against Chicago with a concussion and missed Wednesday's contest. While there is no timetable for his return, the injury wasn't pretty, and he could be out for a hefty chunk of time.

Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville -- Rinne is out for Thursday's contest and is currently sidelined with a lower body injury, but he could return for Saturday's game against Washington.

Brian Rolston, LW, New Jersey -- Rolston underwent successful surgery on Thursday to repair a sports hernia and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks.

John Tavares, C, NY Islanders -- Tavares skated in practice on Wednesday and was reported as having no issues. He is listed as doubtful for Friday's and Saturday's game, but could return to the lineup as soon as Wednesday.

Out indefinitely: Alexandre Burrows, Brian Campbell, Michael Leighton, Peter Mueller, Kyle Okposo, Vaclav Prospal, Brian Rafalski, Marc Savard, Jordan Staal, Mark Streit, Semyon Varlamov

3. The biggest surprise through one week of action: Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur. The 25-year-old left wing has 4 goals and 1 assist in three contests, and his Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey ownership has increased to 18 percent. MacArthur has never scored more than 17 goals and 31 points (both back in 2008-09 while playing for Buffalo) in any season, so temper your expectations. One bonus is that he is receiving some power-play time in his first season with the Leafs (2:29 per game so far), so he could contribute a little in that category. However, his overall ice time is only at 15:25 per game, which isn't exactly promising. Yes, he's off to a nice start, but 20-25 goals is probably his ceiling.

4. We spoke about goaltender battles in NHL.com's Early Goings, but it clearly looks like a 50-50 split in Philadelphia with Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky. They have alternated starts in each of the team's first four games.

 
Corey Crawford has started Chicago's last two games, sending Marty Turco owners into a major panic. You still have to give Turco a chance; it's a new team for the former Dallas Star and an adjustment period might be needed. Turco is slated to be in goal on Friday against Columbus, and with the team in front of him, expect Turco to be fine. However, it might be a safe idea to pick up Crawford as a complement.

Dwayne Roloson got his first start in goal for the Islanders on Wednesday night against the Caps. He stopped 22 of 24 shots, but DiPietro is the No. 1 on Long Island for the time being. However, with the Isles playing on back-to-back nights on Friday and Saturday, you can expect each to play one game.

Mike Smith started for Tampa Bay in Wednesday night's 4-3 win overtime win at Montreal. Dan Ellis made his team debut on Thursday against the Flyers.

Toronto's Jonas Gustavsson also made his first start of the season on Wednesday -- he stopped 22 of 25 shots and recorded his first win of the season for the 3-0-0 Leafs by beating Pittsburgh 4-3.

5. Lastly, it can't be said enough: have patience with your guys. One week is clearly not enough to predict what to expect for a full season. You obviously drafted them for a reason, so give 'em a chance.

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OFFSEASON FANTASY RANKINGS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. alex Ovechkin

CUBETA & JENSEN'S COMPLETE RANKINGS