Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

The Stock Exchange: Projecting final NHL leaders

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

The grind of a fantasy hockey season is just that: A grind. When you consider all the details, big and small, all the nuances and all the possibilities, you're still left with roster setting and juggling, trade offers and rejections and day-to-day focus and attention. But ain't it great?

To get fantasy hockey owners to where they want to be, NHL.com fantasy insider Sergei Feldman brings you his weekly piece highlighting various players who have increased or decreased their value after each week and suggesting which players to buy or sell moving forward. In the end, you'll have a clearer picture of the marketplace and be in perfect position to enhance your fantasy hockey portfolios.

When the 48-game 2012-13 season began, everyone had a theory as to how things would unfold.

Speculation ranged from injuries dominating early headlines to veterans finding their name atop the scoring list, and everything in between. The uncertainty that came with a compressed season had various fantasy implications.

Will the recognized big names remain the powerhouses we've expected them to be?

Will those young studs break through and lead the new wave of fantasy impact performers?

What to make of it all?

Well, as the halfway point of the season approaches, it's as good a time as any to examine where we stand and what to expect from our current crop of the game's best.

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In the Cage: It's all about the Benjamins

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 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 Scrivens
Goalie - TOR
RECORD: 6-6-0
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.923
For a backup, opportunities to play more than sparingly are few and far between. Unless the starter is struggling terribly, the best chance a No. 2 goalie will have to showcase his value is when an injury occurs.

Some backups go years without getting a chance to step into the starter's role (Jonathan Bernier), while others are blessed with that opportunity right away (Braden Holtby). This season, due to so many minor injuries, a bunch of rookies and backups are earning unforeseen chances to increase their fantasy value.

In fact, with Philipp Grubauer making his NHL debut last night, there have now been 12 teams that have used at least three goalies.

For Ben Scrivens and Ben Bishop, their solid play amidst injuries to James Reimer and Craig Anderson has not only elevated their role within their respective organizations, but they have now become ripe for the picking in both one-year and keeper leagues.

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Fantasy experts set for 'Report Card' hangout

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

We're nearly six weeks into the 2012-13 NHL season and it's time to evaluate the fantasy hockey landscape. As always, NHL.com has you covered.

NHL.com and Rotoworld fantasy hockey experts get together today at 2:30 p.m. ET to dish out their report cards in their latest Google+ hangout. NHL.com insiders Chris Foster, Pete Jensen, Matt Sitkoff and Brian Metzer will team with NBC Rotoworld fantasy analyst Michael Finewax to answer as many of your fantasy hockey questions as possible.

The experts will provide a dose of reality in their fantasy assessments of some of the most compelling names around the League. They'll reveal their most surprising and disruptive students to this point, while also identifying players who have fully lived up to expectations. Our team will also touch on which highly-owned players should be dropped and which waiver wire assets are worth pursuing.

Submit your fantasy questions leading up to and during the live video hangout via Twitter (using the hashtag #NHLhangout) and through the Google+ comments section.

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On the 'D'-fence: Kronwall strong without Lidstrom

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The Detroit Red Wings have always been a great source of fantasy production from the blue line, but that was due in large part to the presence of the now retired Nicklas Lidstrom. Would someone on the roster step up to offset such a substantial loss?

Heading into drafts this season, owners hoped that Ian White, who had a resurgent year playing alongside Lidstrom, would be able to provide some offensive punch. His 32-point campaign was good enough to get him drafted in 79 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues. After producing just one point in February and two on the year, he is currently owned in just 18 percent of leagues.

Many were drawn in by the potential of youngster Brendan Smith, our 51st ranked defenseman, selecting him in 76 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey drafts. Unfortunately a sprained right shoulder has sidelined him for all but eight games this season. He has just one assist on the year and has seen his ownership drop to 16 percent.

While a number of owners were left disappointed by White and Smith, many others are patting themselves on the back for selecting a guy who has spent the past nine seasons as Lidstrom's understudy, Niklas Kronwall.

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The Front Line: Brunner leads crop of youngsters

Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 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.


It's been a fun first five weeks to the 2012-13 NHL season. We've seen plenty of highlight-reel goals, assists, saves and hits, but the one thing that seems to be talked about throughout every game this year is the emergence of young players in the National Hockey League.

On opening night we saw rookie Jonathan Huberdeau score his first goal and add two assists for the Panthers. That same night, Tampa Bay's Cory Conacher notched a goal and an assist in his NHL debut and Russian sensation Vladimir Tarasenko chipped in two goals and five shots on goal in his first game.

All three of these extremely talented youngsters have been fantasy relevant this season. Conacher leads all NHL rookies with 17 points in 18 games, with his Yahoo! fantasy ownership at 59 percent. Huberdeau is second on that list with 13 points in 18 games -- he's owned in 45 percent of leagues. Tarasenko (who was lost due to an injury last week) is tied for third in points with 12 in 17 contests -- he's owned in 50 percent.

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Fantasy All-Access: The goalie carousel continues

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.

Of the 538 goalie starts so far going into Monday's action, there have been 72 goalies to see action and 69 goalies to start in a game. Already this season we have seen starters Craig Anderson, James Reimer, Miikka Kiprusoff, Mike Smith, Kari Lehtonen, Corey Crawford and Jaroslav Halak spend time on the injury list.

Some more in-depth numbers to confuse fantasy owners, as 15 teams have their starting goalie play 75 percent or more of the games and 12 teams have their starting goalie play 68 percent or less. Finally, 11 teams have played three goalies this season, while the Flames have played four.

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The Stock Exchange: Chasing down consistency

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

The grind of a fantasy hockey season is just that: A grind. When you consider all the details, big and small, all the nuances and all the possibilities, you're still left with roster setting and juggling, trade offers and rejections and day-to-day focus and attention. But ain't it great?

To get fantasy hockey owners to where they want to be, NHL.com fantasy insider Sergei Feldman brings you his weekly piece highlighting various players who have increased or decreased their value after each week and suggesting which players to buy or sell moving forward. In the end, you'll have a clearer picture of the marketplace and be in perfect position to enhance your fantasy hockey portfolios.

Life as a fantasy hockey owner is no picnic.

Constant roster juggling is inevitably followed by digging through the waiver wire, which is followed by a slew of (ridiculous) trade proposals, which inevitably is followed by more roster juggling.

Enter consistency, the Advil for fantasy hockey owners. It's that one characteristic that's so hard to come by year in, year out, even for the most (seemingly) reliable of players. That's what all fantasy owners strive for, the knowledge that your guy will get your couple goals, few assists, PIMs, hits and shots in a given week and throughout the year.

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In the Cage: Emery defying fantasy odds in Chicago

Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 12:10 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.

There has been plenty of talk about owning tandems this season, and for good reason. The condensed schedule has already forced nine teams to use three goalies, with Calgary already using four. Backups are playing on a more consistent basis than ever before, and that trend won't change anytime soon.

Ray Emery
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 6-0-0
GAA: 2.28 | SVP: 0.925
In terms of fantasy value, Chicago clearly has the best tandem so far, and while they'll eventually lose a few games and regress statistically, we still believe they're the best tandem to own in the long run.

Corey Crawford is 7-0-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average and .935 save percentage, which has been a big surprise considering he was drafted 136th overall on average in Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

Even more impressive than Crawford's play, however, has been the play of Ray Emery.

His fight to overcome Avascular Necrosis was an inspiring story that transcended sports and motivated athletes everywhere. Combined with the time he spent rehabbing and re-strengthening his hips and lower body, then staying healthy since joining Chicago, the lockout was more of a luxury than a layoff for the 30-year-old native of Hamilton, Ontario.

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On the 'D'-fence: 'A great disturbance in the Force'

Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 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.

Erik Karlsson
Defense - OTT
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 10
SOG: 63 | +/-: 6
It isn't often that the reaction to an event in the Star Wars universe can perfectly capture the essence of something that occurs in the universe of fantasy hockey, but that is what happened one week ago in Pittsburgh.

When Erik Karlsson was lost for the season, fantasy owners felt a great disturbance in the force similar to the one that Obi-wan experienced when the Galactic Empire destroyed the planet Alderaan in Episode IV: A New Hope.

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force," Kenobi says in the aftermath of that cinematic event. "I fear something terrible has happened."

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The Front Line: The return of Ryan Kesler

Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 12:33 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.


What would you say if you could pick up a 28-year-old forward that had a 41-goal campaign two seasons ago, has two 70-plus point seasons under his belt and has consistently been known to be a major asset in the PIMs department? You'd have to be interested, right?

Of course we're talking about Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler, who is miraculously available in 41 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. If you spent a draft pick on Kesler back in January and have had him stashed either on your injured reserve or your bench, you're finally being rewarded about a month later.

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