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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Flames' Hiller early surprise

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

The Calgary Flames were tied 3-3 late in the third period Tuesday with the Washington Capitals. With only a few seconds remaining in regulation, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller pulled off a beautiful right-toe reaction save on Capitals forward Tom Wilson to earn a point in the standings and plenty of public praise from his coach.

Thanks to Sean Monahan's overtime game-winner, that save also helped Calgary earn a second point.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Power-play points key category

Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

Scoring in fantasy hockey leagues has grown to include statistics like hits, blocked shots, and time on ice, but at its root it still comes down to goals, assists, and points. As part of that base scoring, many leagues have begun to give extra credit for things such as shorthanded points and what we're going to discuss today: points on the power play.

There are plenty of players getting power-play minutes around the NHL, but when you are trying to locate steady sources of productivity you have to consider a number of different variables.

First, you want to look at the team itself.

Is the power play clicking at a high rate? Which players make up the unit? Will the players in your lineup be the ones picking up the points when that power play scores?

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Lightning stacked up front

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Coming into the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were a complete team on paper -- from their forward group to their blue line to their goaltending.

Tampa Bay has been ravaged by injuries early on, so the fact that the Lightning are still tied atop the Eastern Conference standings through 12 games speaks volumes about their depth. The injury bug started with prospect Jonathan Drouin in training camp, escalated with defenseman Victor Hedman the second week of the season, and continued with Ryan Callahan, Alex Killorn and Brett Connolly in recent weeks.

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Fantasy All-Access: Best October performances

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The first month of the fantasy season has come and gone, so now is a perfect time to give out some awards to the standout players of October.

The "Category Hog" award goes to Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry, the top-rated player who led the NHL with 10 October goals, was a plus-9, had 25 penalty minutes, four power-play points and had 37 shots on goal.

The "Glad I Drafted That Guy In The Late Rounds" award goes to Vancouver Canucks right wing Radim Vrbata, who was selected on average in the 14th round in Yahoo leagues. He was the 20th-ranked player for the first month with 11 points in 10 games.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Scrivens, Lehner solid adds

Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens allowed 14 goals on 70 shots in his first three games of the season, against the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes.

Since then he has allowed 12 goals on 181 shots in his past six games (4-2-0), for a .934 save percentage. That includes a 29-save shutout against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, one day after being named the NHL Second Star of the Week.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Devils' Severson serves up points

Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

Each new season brings with it a few standout rookies capable of significant fantasy contributions; sadly they don't often emerge on the blue line. In fact, over the past four seasons no first-year defenseman has finished higher than fourth in the rookie scoring race.

That could be changing this season with Damon Severson of the New Jersey Devils.

Severson wasn't able to add to his totals on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, but he has played at a level that is far beyond his 20 years. Devils coach Peter DeBoer and teammates such as Jaromir Jagr have been blown away by Severson's poise and have spoken in glowing terms about his maturity, pucks skills and willingness to take chances to finish a play.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Stars trio making waves

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The Dallas Stars had secondary scoring on their mind when they acquired Jason Spezza, but his early impact has made their primary unit second to none.

Eight games into the season, Dallas' top three point-getters (Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Spezza) have combined for 34 points, outperforming elite lines around the League including the likes of Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist (27), Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Radim Vrbata (31), and "That '70s Line" of Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli (33).

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Fantasy All-Access: Buy low on MacKinnon, Rask

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

By the end of this week, 29 of the 30 NHL teams will have played 10 games, making it a perfect time to look around your fantasy league and find some buy-low candidates to trade.

On average, forward Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche was drafted in the third round in Yahoo leagues, but he has no goals and four assists in nine games. This start might have owners thinking sophomore slump, but don't forget he had seven points in his first 11 games last season, yet finished the season with 56 points in his next 71. The talented center could be had for a low price.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, is off to a slow start with a .897 save percentage and is now playing without his biggest weapon, defenseman Zdeno Chara, for the next 4-6 weeks. Email, text or tweet the owner of this talented goalie in your league and watch how they will be eager to trade him for a Darcy Kuemper or Frederik Andersen. They're solid goalie options, but don't forget Rask's best months in his career are December (1.85 goals-against average) and March (20 career wins).

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Staying patient, Drouin among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last week I advised owners to stay patient with some players that were struggling early on. At that time, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture had one point in four games. Fans were asking if they should look to trade or drop him (crazy, but true). I advised his owners to stay patient with the 25-year-old forward. In his next four games he went on to record four goals and three assists.

With players of Couture's caliber, you must stay patient. I typically use four weeks as my benchmark in fantasy hockey. If a player is still really struggling after four weeks, I might start considering my options. You can either sell them at their lowest point and just take anything back you can get, or you can drop them outright.

On the other hand, the same goes for a player that's exceeding expectations. If they've been a pleasant surprise for four-plus weeks, I tend to start believing in that player and think he can carry the hot start for at least most of the season. Of course it doesn't always work out, but four weeks usually gives a player about 12-15 games to prove himself.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Hot start for Ducks' Andersen

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

A month ago none of the fantasy experts doubted that a tandem of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson would be talented enough to keep the Anaheim Ducks competitive in the daunting Western Conference.

But it was anyone's guess as to which goalie would earn more starts and produce more fantasy value.

Furthermore, when two unproven or inexperienced goalies are vying to claim a starter's job in terms of workload, a tricky pendulum effect usually takes place. Minutes earned and overall fantasy value will swing back and forth between the two depending on their performance, coaching decisions and other variables, so there's no knowing how long that will last.

But with six straight wins to start the season, Andersen is proving the job is his. Behind this red-hot start, the native of Denmark has 26 wins in his first 31 decisions (26-5-0), which is a new NHL record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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