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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

On the 'D'-fence: D-men who help you win

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy d-man expert all season long.


It seems like the National Hockey League season just got under way, but we are nearing its conclusion.

NHL teams are looking at 10 or less games to go on their schedules, which means that the fantasy hockey playoffs are under way or will be starting soon.

During the playoffs, especially in head-to-head leagues, every category gets magnified significantly. Suddenly, a player who specializes in winning faceoffs or logs a ton of hits can mean the difference between winning and losing not only a category but a match.

Two categories that tend to be ignored, at least until an owner realizes that he is trailing during a scoring period, are PIMs and shots on goal.

Here are a handful of options that are available in most Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues that can bolster your PIMs or shots on goal, while at the same time contribute to other areas that help make them more viable for a roster.

These players are also great candidates to pick up for a game or two during the scoring period to play on nights when more productive options are idle.

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The Front Line: Impact of critical fantasy injuries

Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every season we see numerous NHL players go down with injuries. Sometimes they're long-term injuries and other times they're nothing more than a day-to-day concern. This is nothing new to fantasy owners, and it's something we all have to make decisions about on a daily basis when setting our rosters.

However, this season we seem to have seen even more than the normal amount of injuries. Maybe it's due to the long layoff before the season began, maybe it's because of the shortened training camps, or maybe it's just plain bad luck. But with just under three weeks of regular season action remaining, there are several key players out of their respective lineups.

Instead of our usual "Trending Upward" and "Trending Downward" sections, let's break down the most notable injuries that are likely to have an effect in your fantasy league, and then provide you with some advice on what to do if you own any of these players.

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Fantasy All-Access: Prepping for the Fantasy playoffs

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff will provide you with fantasy hockey advice in his weekly piece: "Fantasy All-Access." From the waiver wire watch to roster trends and prospect rumblings, Sitkoff is here to help you all season long.

With 20 days left until the end of the NHL regular season, it's crunch time in fantasy hockey. The NHL Trade Deadline has passed, which means teams have run out of time to make that last crucial addition, but that doesn't mean you should be resting on the laurels that got you into the playoffs.

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In the Cage: Dissecting Bishop's value in Tampa Bay

Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, the Director of Goalie Scouting for McKeen's Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Ben Bishop
Goalie - TBL
RECORD: 8-5-0
GAA: 2.45 | SVP: 0.922
When the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Anders Lindback from the Nashville Predators, most poolies realized Lindback, who had only 38 games of NHL experience behind Pekka Rinne, would need some time to get comfortable playing under the pressure of an elevated role on a very different type of team.

Because of this, we strategically placed him 25th overall in our initial Top-30 fantasy goalie rankings.

Lindback had a few stretches of solid play, but more often than not, he was struggling to adjust. He went 4-1-0 with a 2.80 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in his first five games, but 3-3-1 with a 3.56 GAA and .872 save percentage in his next nine appearances.

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Fantasy experts set for post-Deadline hangout

Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

The fantasy hockey playoffs are underway and the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline is now in our rearview mirror. So what's next for your fantasy squad post-Deadline?

Find out Thursday, Apr. 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET as NHL.com's fantasy hockey experts get together for their latest Google+ hangout. They will break down all the significant moves leading up to the Trade Deadline and analyze the fantasy impact of these transactions.

Whether your players were dealt or their line combos will simply change as a result of trades, these decisions in the coming days will be some of the most important ones your team will face all season. Luckily, NHL.com's team of insiders is here to guide owners in the right direction.

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On the 'D'-fence: Deadline D-men on the move

Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy d-man expert all season long.


The NHL Trade Deadline is upon us and by 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, a number of players will have changed zip codes.

In recent years, the weeks leading up to the deadline have contained as much, if not more action than deadline day itself and that was again the case this season. Of importance here are the 11 defensemen that have changed teams over the past two weeks.

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Fantasy All-Access: Countdown to trade deadline

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey contributor Matt Sitkoff will provide you with fantasy hockey advice in his weekly piece: "Fantasy All-Access." From the waiver wire watch to roster trends and prospect rumblings, Sitkoff is here to help you all season long.

Roberto Luongo
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 7-4-3
GAA: 2.44 | SVP: 0.904
Welcome to NHL Trade Deadline week, as the days, hours and seconds count down to Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, with players rumored to move and fantasy owners quick to pick up or trade for players whose value instantly rise. We will have you completely covered here at NHL.com with our daily blog, instant analysis of trades and our Google+ #NHLHangout on Thursday.

One player we are watching closely is Roberto Luongo -- not just for his hilarious would-be tweets during the deadline, but a Luongo deal could be the difference in a fantasy championship at two different ends. Cory Schneider is finally playing like the goalie that was taken on average 32nd overall in Yahoo! drafts; although he had a clunker on Saturday, he had won six consecutive starts, registering two shutouts, a .964 save percentage and an 0.99 goals-against average in that span.

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In the Cage: Backup goalies on the trade block

Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 12:53 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, the Director of Goalie Scouting for McKeen's Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Jonathan Bernier
Goalie - LAK
RECORD: 7-2-0
GAA: 1.94 | SVP: 0.923
The trade deadline is only six days away, and there's sure to be some kind of stir in an otherwise quiet, stagnant goalie market. With that in mind, below are five backups that we feel could be on the move by next Wednesday.

Jonathan Bernier, Kings: The former first-round draft pick has been dealing with trade rumors all season long, yet his focus and consistency has been outstanding. His 7-2-0 record comes with an exclamation point in the form of a 1.94 goals-against average and .923 save percentage, proving his upside as future No. 1 is as clear-cut as ever. But if Bernier is moved, the Kings would need to acquire a decent backup in return, unless they opt to sign journeyman Peter Mannino to a two-way contract.

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On the 'D'-fence: Gonchar great despite no Karlsson

Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy d-man expert all season long.

Sergei Gonchar
Defense - OTT
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 20 | PTS: 22
SOG: 55 | +/-: 4
Most people figured that the Ottawa Senators were finished the moment Erik Karlsson was lost for the season back on Feb. 13. They were already missing Jason Spezza and Jared Cowen, which would have been tough to overcome by itself, but mix in the loss of the reigning Norris Trophy winner? No chance.

All the Senators have done since that fateful February day is go 11-4-4 and keep pace with both the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in the Northeast Division. One of the main catalysts for their success has been Sergei Gonchar.

Gonchar, who turns 39 years old in less than a month, has been nothing short of amazing for the Senators and has done a masterful job of offsetting the loss of Karlsson.

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The Front Line: Alex Ovechkin returning to elite form?

Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy forwards in his weekly segment: "The Front Line." From updated rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy forwards expert all season long.

UPDATED TOP 100 FORWARD RANKINGS


It's time, folks. Alex Ovechkin is officially back among the elite fantasy forwards, and this time, you can't argue it. And we're not talking about him moving up because of his current five-game goal-scoring streak -- this goes back long before then.

On Feb. 26, I moved Ovechkin up five spots in my forward rankings to the No. 13 overall slot. Several readers criticized the move, saying he didn't deserve the bump. He did. For starters, on Feb. 23, Ovechkin recorded a hat trick and an assist in a 5-1 victory over the Devils -- sure, that's nice. But look a little further back and you could see how he was slowly rounding into form.

On Feb. 3 (the Capitals' ninth game of the season), Ovechkin notched a power-play assist, a plus-1, two penalty minutes and five shots on goal -- nothing too special, but a solid fantasy line nonetheless. He carried over that strong performance into a five-game point-scoring streak in which he totaled three goals and four assists while averaging 4.6 shots on goal per game. This gave fantasy owners a glimpse of hope that Ovechkin might be returning to his dominant fantasy ways. Unfortunately, after the five-game streak, the Washington captain was then held without a point for three straight contests while posting a minus-3 rating.

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