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(Page 27 of 48)
Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Center Stage: Sharks quartet thriving down the stretch

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 1:57 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy centers in our weekly segment: "Center Stage." From updated center rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy center expert all season long.

Earlier this season we discussed the possibility of Joe Pavelski entering the elite group of fantasy forwards. Recently, we've also talked about Logan Couture rising in our fantasy rankings and turning into a mainstay among some of the better forwards in the National Hockey League. Throw in the fact that the Sharks also have veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and you're staring at four extremely useful fantasy forwards.

Pavelski, Couture and Marleau all possess dual-position eligibility in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues, while Thornton is listed just at center. This Sharks foursome has stepped up their game recently and should be relied on heavily down the stretch for fantasy owners.
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On the 'D'-fence: Fantasy GMs prepare for deadline

Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Tuesday 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 National Hockey League's trading deadline is just 13 days away and it is universally looked at as a holiday of sorts for hockey fans. The rabid masses want to see what their respective teams will do to bolster their rosters as they make a run toward championship glory. It is also a chance for those who follow teams that may not be in contention to hope for better things down the line in the form of prospects, picks and a chance to make a run next year.

The same holds true in the fantasy hockey world where many leagues share the NHL's trading deadline or see theirs fall shortly thereafter. This is your chance as a team manager to tweak your roster for that same run toward glory or to start your rebuild for next season, and there are a handful of very effective defensemen that you just might be able to get on the cheap if you are the wheeling and dealing type.
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Fantasy Mailbag: Michalek turning corner just in time

Fantasy Insider Pete Jensen answers your weekly fantasy hockey questions

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com fantasy insider Pete Jensen has you covered all season long with the weekly Fantasy Hockey Mailbag. The most compelling questions posed each week will be answered in an effort to provide you with the best chance to succeed in your particular league.

Submit your best questions for the NHL.com Fantasy Mailbag by contacting
PJensen@NHL.com.



ADAM FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA is concerned about Milan Michalek's recent point-production, along with his rating and inability to produce PIMs and hits. He's considering dropping Michalek for an available player, such as Martin Erat or David Clarkson.

It's no secret that Michalek (LW/RW) was mired in a 12-game goalless drought before his tally in the Ottawa Senators' overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. But over Michalek's last two games, he has been active with 12 SOG and two assists to go along with that goal -- an indication that he may finally be turning a corner after missing five games due to a concussion in December. Michalek has been back in the lineup for well over a month, but has only produced five goals and six assists in 22 games since returning from injury.
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In the Cage: Coming off the shelf

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, goalie specialist and founder of The Goalie Guild Justin Goldman 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.

If a goalie is coming off the shelf -- whether due to injury, sickness, or a stretch of being benched -- they face higher levels of pressure to snap back into rhythm without missing a beat. This isn't an easy process at all, but that doesn't mean they're granted any leeway. Produce wins or take a seat on the bench -- that's the life of an NHL goaltender. 

Poolies should understand that confidence is the fuel that fires the pistons of a goalie's engine. If they make one or two big saves, everything changes -- time slows down and they're more likely to find that rhythm. But if they give up one or two big goals at the wrong time, it's like putting sugar in their tank.

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The Real Spiel: Dynamic duos having fantasy impact

Saturday, 02.11.2012 / 7:45 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

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.

TIP OF THE CAPS: The Real Spiel on Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin

Alex Ovechkin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 20 | PTS: 43
SOG: 189 | +/-: -5
The Washington Capitals have been fighting for a lead atop the Southeast Division the whole season and, currently, they sit two points out. In turn, the typically dominating Caps are sitting outside the playoff picture. As for why, there are many factors to point to. As for whatwill get them over the hump, there are two factors to point to: Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. The dynamic Russian duo haven’t been so dynamic in 2011-12. In fact, while Ovechkin is on pace for a career-low, Semin is on pace for his lowest output since 2007-08. Tempting as it might be to remain worried about their production the rest of the way, there are recent examples of productive play, and the two Russians may be en route to dominant final stretches. Former Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner Ovechkin has seven points in his past five games, including three multi-point nights. In that span, he’s been a minus player just once and has collected 20 shots. For most fantasy owners, Ovechkin is still a valuable piece. After all, through 51 games, the Moscow native ranks fourth in the NHL in power play goals (10) and eighth in the League in shots (189).

Meanwhile, Semin has played well too of late. He’s got three points in two games and five points in his past five games and has been a plus player or better on every occasion in that span.  As he approaches 200 NHL goals, and 200 NHL assists—he has 190 goals and 197 assists right now—Semin could be poised for a bounce-back back-end of the season. If the two continue to click, watch as you fantasy teams emerge into contenders, much like the Caps might emerge into contenders in the East.


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Right of Way: Clowe, Skinner back for fantasy owners

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Friday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy right wings in our weekly segment: "Right of Way." From updated right wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy right wing expert all season long.

Coming into the season, only five right-wing-eligible players were rated among the top-25 in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues: Corey Perry, Evgeni Malkin, Martin St. Louis, Jarome Iginla and Patrick Kane. Of these five players, only Malkin and Perry remain within the top-25 right now. Here we are, about two-thirds of the way through the 2011-12 season, and there are currently 12 right wings among the top-25 -- proving the position could be considered the deepest in fantasy hockey.

In fact, right wing has turned out to be arguably the most valuable position in fantasy hockey this season. The center position sports 10 players within the top-25 in Yahoo! and the left wing position has just eight players (these numbers obviously include players that are eligible at multiple offensive positions). Only four goalies rank among the top-25 and one defenseman finds himself on that list (Erik Karlsson).
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Turn Left Here: Kovy flourishes with multi-point games

Thursday, 02.09.2012 / 11:52 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy left wings in our weekly segment: "Turn Left Here." From updated left wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy left wing expert all season long.

Yesterday we discussed the most consistent forwards of the 2011-12 NHL season. Today we'll look at who has turned in the most multi-point efforts.

Having the ability to post at least two points in a single game is not an easy task, but of course there are players that achieve that feat with such frequency that it appears easy from our viewpoint. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom might be the most impressive of anyone this season.

Backstrom may be on the sidelines right now, but in 38 games this season he has posted 15 multi-point nights, which is simply remarkable. Backstrom has had 26 games in which he's recorded at least one point, but in well over half of those he has had at least two. Fantasy owners, and clearly the Capitals, have desperately missed Backstrom and are hoping he can return from his concussion sooner rather than later.

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Center Stage: Elias, Malkin among most consistent

Wednesday, 02.08.2012 / 12:35 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy centers in our weekly segment: "Center Stage." From updated center rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy center expert all season long.

Let's talk about consistency. Despite this piece usually being about fantasy hockey's centers, today we're going to discuss all the forwards and what it means to be a consistent performer. How important is it to fantasy owners for a player to be consistent? Do we care if they rack up four points one night and then go three straight games without a point, or would we rather see them post a point in each of the four games?

There are many ways to gauge how talented a player is, but his ability to perform at the same level night in and night out is one of the best ways to tell what kind of value that player carries. When some third or fourth-liner has a career night with three points, do we automatically assume he's going to perform like that for the rest of the season? Of course not. Odds are that night will be the lone time he posts three or more points all season long.
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On the 'D'-Fence: Ryan Whitney back on the ice

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Tuesday 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.

If we were to tell you that you could grab a defenseman off of the waiver wire who has averaged .57 points per game over his seven year NHL career, has a 59-point season on his resume and was scoring .77 points per game through the first 35 games of last season before suffering an injury in December, would you leap at the opportunity?

No-brainer, right?

What if we were to tell you that the player has missed 113 games over the last four seasons? Does that temper your enthusiasm at all? If so, then you are well aware of what it feels like to own or to contemplate owning Ryan Whitney.

The talented Oilers' defenseman has long tantalized fantasy owners with his mixture of skating ability, vision and scoring prowess, but it all comes with a disclaimer that reads "proceed with caution."
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Fantasy Mailbag: Assessing Couture's keeper value

Fantasy Insider Pete Jensen answers your weekly fantasy hockey questions

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com fantasy insider Pete Jensen has you covered all season long with the weekly Fantasy Hockey Mailbag. The most compelling questions posed each week will be answered in an effort to provide you with the best chance to succeed in your particular league.

Submit your best questions for the NHL.com Fantasy Mailbag by contacting
PJensen@NHL.com.



DANIEL FROM TORONTO has been offered a deal where he would receive Matt Duchene, along with Devin Setoguchi, in exchange for Logan Couture and Dustin Brown. Both Duchene and Couture are keepers in his league.

Duchene and Couture (both C/LW eligible) are the long-term centerpieces of this deal, and both warrant keeper status in most leagues. Couture (22 G, 19 A, plus-10, 10 PIM, 12 PPP, 152 SOG) was an All-Star and has had tremendous success on the San Jose Sharks' secondary line this season. He's done nothing but instill more confidence in his owners as of late, with four goals and five assists during his current six-game point streak, including a goal Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Logan Couture
Center - SJS
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 19 | PTS: 41
SOG: 152 | +/-: 10
Duchene (12 G, 12, minus-8, 6 PIM, 9 PPP, 92 SOG), meanwhile, injured his knee on Dec. 29 against Phoenix and has been stuck on Injured Reserve ever since. His extended absence has been a red flag to his owners, considering he had missed only three games over his first two NHL seasons. With 15 games already lost to injury, Duchene remains a question mark in his ongoing recovery. There's no question that Duchene was productive alongside rookie Gabriel Landeskog when healthy and is certainly a great keeper option, but he wasn't even on pace to sniff his 67-point showing from last season even before the injury. He's struggled to diversify his fantasy game outside of point-production, has been unable to compensate for his negative rating and low hit and PIM totals.

Brown (13 G, 14 A, plus-3, 36 PIM, 10 PPP, 147 SOG) has experienced five separate stretches of four-plus games without a goal this season, but is healthy and a key piece for a contending club in the Los Angeles Kings. Setoguchi, like Duchene, has missed time due to injury this year, and while he possesses goal-scoring ability, he's been dragged down in his team's inconsistency for large chunks of this season. That Brown has been a much more stable fantasy force for L.A., and has dual eligibility -- along with better numbers in every category -- makes him clearly a more valuable asset. Both Duchene, 21, and Couture, 22, are solid power-play producers and integral pieces to the core of their respective teams moving forward, but it's hard to ignore that Couture is fixated on one of the deepest, most talented clubs in the NHL. With viable options around him whether on five-on-five or the man advantage, his keeper value is much higher than that of Duchene at this juncture of their careers. Considering you have Couture and Brown in your grasp at the moment, it should take more than Duchene and Setoguchi to budge in a trade offer.
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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
30 in 30 fantasy hockey preview index
Ward vs. Khudobin | Promising Wild trio
Elliott vs. Allen | Gibson vs. Andersen
Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey ranks
Be aware of goalie trends, strategies
Buy-low veterans with hidden upside

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