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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

In the Cage: Is Gustavsson worthy of a pickup?

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.

Now that Randy Carlyle is the new coach in Toronto, every player has a clean slate and a chance to elevate their role and playing time with the team. For the goalies, Jonas Gustavsson already has a head start on James Reimer after backstopping the Leafs to a 3-1 win against Montreal on Saturday.

With serious lower-body injuries to Tuukka Rask and Niklas Backstrom last week, many poolies are looking for replacements. But is Gustavsson -- aka, "The Monster" -- worth acquiring at this crucial stage of the fantasy season? He only stopped 21 of 22 shots against Montreal, and that was his first win in over a month.

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On the 'D'-Fence: Hot commodities at trade deadline

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 trade deadline has come and gone, and though it might not have been as busy as some had hoped, we did see a number of defensemen change addresses before 3 p.m. Monday. In fact, 18 rearguards found themselves on the move which pushed the total to 22 over the last five days.

Though all of those moves did not come with fantasy implications, a number of them did, as player value was either gained or lost by the shuffling of rosters and depth charts. It is the perfect example of "one man's loss being another's gain" and today we will look at some of the scenarios that should be on your radar as we head down the stretch of the NHL and fantasy seasons. 

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Fantasy: Hodgson, Kassian lead deadline day deals

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2012 NHL trade deadline came and went. We saw 16 trades go down on the final day of the deadline and the majority of fantasy owners, and NHL fans in general, were wondering what would happen to coveted superstar, Rick Nash. Perhaps to the disappointment of Nash's fantasy owners, he was not traded.

Rick Nash is still Rick Nash, so if you've got him on your squad, you know what you're getting. This hasn't been his best season (62 games: 21 G, 22 A, minus-23, 32 PIMs, 14 PPP, 236 SOG), but he is still an elite forward capable of single-handedly carrying your team to a fantasy championship -- especially for those of you in head-to-head leagues. 

While Nash didn't end up getting traded, there were some other players that could see an increase in fantasy value and are available in most fantasy leagues. Let's have a look:
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In the Cage: Bishop or Lehner down the stretch?

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.

On Sunday morning, Ottawa acquired 25-year-old Ben Bishop from St. Louis in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. A team that desperately needed help in goal due to Craig Anderson's hand laceration, the Senators not only traded for immediate support, they also likely secured a backup for next season.

On Sunday afternoon, however, it was Robin Lehner that made 28 saves in a 5-2 win over the Islanders. Despite giving up a goal to John Tavares just 49 seconds into the game, the highly-touted Swedish rookie made many key saves in the first period, and was rewarded with the game's “first star” honors.

Now the organization has an interesting decision to make. Do they start Lehner or Bishop on Tuesday night in Boston? Furthermore, do they ride the hot goalie, or do they default to their new arrival?
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Fantasy Mailbag: Sell high on RNH to win now?

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.



ZOEL FROM VANCOUVER is the defending champion in a keeper league that carries over three players per year for a maximum of three years. He is considering John Tavares (5th), Kris Letang (7th) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (14th) as potential keepers. However, he is mulling a proposed trade offer where he would send RNH straight up for James Neal.

Nugent-Hopkins has played only three games since the turn of the calendar year, and the Oilers own the second-worst record in the League. With only a few weeks to go before playoffs begin in head-to-head leagues, decision time has come for his fantasy owners. While it’s likely the 18-year-old will return before the regular season concludes, there’s no doubt that the Oilers will be cautious in dealing with their rookie phenom's recovery. He missed 13 straight games after suffering a shoulder injury on Jan. 2 and re-aggravated the injury on Feb. 6, leaving him out of the lineup for Edmonton’s last seven games. This remains a treatable injury, but it’s important to note that the Oilers’ future hinges on Nugent-Hopkins, who already has a hat trick and a 5-assist outing in limited action this season.

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Right of Way: Carter's new value, others to go?

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.

One of the two big fish is officially gone. With Jeff Carter getting traded last night to the Los Angeles Kings, that leaves Rick Nash as the last remaining prime-time target before Monday's trade deadline.

Carter, center and right wing eligible in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues, should see an immediate fantasy boost for the rest of this season, and his owners should definitely be happy about this trade. While the Kings are dead last in goals per game at just 2.05, Carter will end up playing on a better line than he was in Columbus, and despite this season's struggles the Kings clearly have more offensive depth than the Jackets -- Carter should end up playing the right side to either Anze Kopitar or former teammate Mike Richards
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Turn Left Here: Value of Dubinsky, Semin could rise

Thursday, 02.23.2012 / 10:31 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 centers that could be on the move before trade deadline day (Monday, Feb. 27), and sure enough, one of the players we mentioned was dealt just hours after the story posted. The Blue Jackets shipped out Antoine Vermette to the Coyotes in exchange for a 2012 2nd-round draft pick, a 2013 5th-round draft pick and goalie Curtis McElhinney.

Vermette has center and left wing eligibility in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues, and despite his struggles this season (8 G, 19 A in 60 games), he should definitely see added fantasy value going forward now that he's moved from Columbus to Phoenix.

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Center Stage: Carter among C's to eye on deadline day

Wednesday, 02.22.2012 / 11:14 AM / 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.

With the actual NHL trade deadline less than a week away, fantasy owners are probably trying to prepare themselves for an active day on Monday. We'll all be sitting at our computers waiting for a trade to happen that immediately increases a player's fantasy value -- then we'll quickly attempt to add that player to our roster before anyone else does. That's the goal, right?

Over the next three days, we're going to try to provide you a list of forwards to keep your eye on with the trade deadline nearing. These are the players we believe have the potential to be traded and could end up seeing a change in fantasy value. There aren't a ton of big names linked to any rumors right now (other than Rick Nash and Jeff Carter), but these players could still help in most fantasy leagues. Some of them may be long shots to get dealt and might not even end up being moved, but here are our thoughts (today we'll cover the center position):

Jeff Carter
Center - CBJ
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 25
SOG: 130 | +/-: -11
Jeff Carter (owned in 83 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) -- Like his teammate Rick Nash, Carter has been mentioned among trade discussions quite often over the last few weeks. He obviously has that big contract, which makes trading him a bit more difficult for Columbus, but Carter could still find himself on a new team by Monday. This would likely benefit Carter's fantasy value more than any other player on the market. Despite a hat trick against the Sharks on Tuesday, Carter has had an extremely rough first season with the Blue Jackets (between injuries and his underachieving stats -- 15 G, 10 A in 39 games) and a trade to a potential contender could motivate him to play the way we're used to -- he averaged 38.33 goals over the last three season with the Flyers.
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On the 'D'-fence: Possible deals with fantasy implications

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 trade deadline now is just six days away, which means the deadline in your fantasy league is creeping closer, as well. Owners have but a brief window of time remaining to tinker with their line-ups for the stretch drive and the playoffs, which in most Yahoo! Standard head-to-head leagues kick off in just four weeks. 

A week ago we took a look at some of the defensemen you might be able to acquire on the cheap in your respective leagues that could push you over the top. This week we are going to look at a handful of players who have been making the rounds in the rumor mill and could see their fantasy values enhanced by a "real life" deal. We also are including the percentage of Yahoo! Standard leagues in which they are owned in parenthesis.
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In the Cage: Crawford back on track?

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.

No goalie was under more pressure to bounce back last week than Chicago’s Corey Crawford. He was a thorn in his team’s side at the start of their lengthy nine-game road trip, giving up 10 goals on just 55 shots in consecutive losses to Edmonton (Feb. 2) and San Jose (Feb. 10).

But he rebounded in a surprising way, starting with a 22-save effort in a 4-2 win against the Rangers on Thursday. A four-goal explosion in the first period from his teammates alleviated a lot of the pressure Crawford faced that night, and that allowed him to play in a more relaxed and confident manner.
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