Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, NHL.com Fantasy Insider Sergei Feldman will give you The Real Spiel on some of the quirks and trends that permeated your week of fantasy hockey by way of in-depth analysis.
PERES-TROIKA: The Real Spiel on the New York Rangers’ Top Line
Center - NYR
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 55
SOG: 192 | +/-: 2
The New York Rangers
have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season and much of the team’s success can be attributed to the team’s attention to detail in the defensive zone and the brilliant play of Hart Trophy candidate Henrik Lundqvist
. Of late, however, the club’s play in their own end has been less sharp and, as a result, their lead atop the Atlantic Division is less secure. Fortunately, Brad Richards
, Marian Gaborik
and Carl Hagelin
have shouldered the load for the Blueshirts. The recently constructed top line on Broadway has done nothing but deliver offensively, in victory or defeat. Richards, the big fish in free agency this past offseason, is playing his best hockey of the year at the most important time, as he is riding a five-game point streak, in which he has amassed 10 points. In those five games, two have been three-point nights and one was a two-point affair. To Richards’ right skated Gaborik, one of the premier goal-scorers in the NHL. He is in the midst of a four-game point streak and has goals in three straight, leaving him with a total of 35 on the year, good for third in the League. While the production of the two aforementioned forwards shouldn’t really come as a surprise, first-year pro Carl Hagelin
has been the surprise for the Rangers. The 23-year-old has points in three of his past four games and 35 total through 52 games. Top teams sometimes slow down as the season winds down, so as to get ready for the playoffs, but the Rangers have a division to play for. As they fight for supremacy, they will rely on their top line, which has likely made the difference between playoff victory and defeat in fantasy leagues.