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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

On the 'D'-fence: A look back at the first half

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.

We have officially hit the midway point of the NHL season and with that, the midpoint of the fantasy season. Though it seems as if fantasy owners have reaped the benefits of defensemen that are scoring a bit more than the norm, they have also had to weather a number of significant injuries to players that were expected to be big-time contributors for their teams.

No less than 26 fantasy relevant defensemen have missed varying chunks of time during the first half, including Drew Doughty, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Letang, Mike Green, and our preseason No. 1-ranked rearguard, Shea Weber. The silver lining is that these injuries have allowed others, such as Dennis Wideman (in Washington) and Matt Niskanen (in Pittsburgh) to make a larger fantasy impact than they likely would have under normal circumstances.

Though these injuries have been a big story during the first half, there are several other trends that should be on your radar when trying to determine the impact of defensemen on your fantasy lineup during the second half of the season.
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In the Cage: Midseason mysteries

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.

With the official midpoint of the regular season here, NHL.com's fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will release his updated top-175 overall fantasy rankings on Tuesday, with a breakdown of the top-50 players to come on Wednesday.


Since Monday is the official midpoint of the regular season, we think this is a perfect chance to discuss six mysterious situations (in no particular order) facing poolies in the second half. These unknown elements of NHL goaltending could make or break your playoff run over the next two months, so keep an eye on these developing situations as you jockey for positioning in all of your fantasy leagues!
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Fantasy Mailbag: Ryan's resurgence in the making

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.



JEREMY FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. is contemplating benching or trading Bobby Ryan in his fantasy league. He has three other players with LW eligibility on his roster (James Neal, Taylor Hall and Alex Tanguay), and his league counts goals, assists, plus-minus, PIMs and power-play points.

Ryan's last five games have been a promising twist to a wildly inconsistent season, as the star forward has reeled off five goals, an assist and a plus-2 rating in that span. Ryan is now even with Corey Perry for the team lead in goals, but before his recent surge, the 24-year-old was locked into a six-game goalless streak. Ryan has proven to be a dynamic scoring threat in this League with three straight 30-plus goal seasons, but the bottom line is that the Ducks have the NHL's second-worst record and Ryan's season has been defined by erratic performance on a night-to-night basis with a dip in power-play production.

Bobby Ryan
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 23
SOG: 94 | +/-: -6
A good sign is that Ryan (15 G, 8 A, minus-6, 25 PIM, 2 PPP), and his linemate Ryan Getzlaf, responded well after general manager Bob Murray said he would leave it up to the team's core players to decide their own fate within the organization. Anaheim broke through Friday by scoring three times in the final period to upend the New York Islanders, 4-2. Your roster has depth at LW so Ryan is expendable, but with the recent news that Neal is out indefinitely with a broken foot, I would hold off on dealing Ryan for the time being. If the Ducks' struggles continue, there are no givens when it comes to Ryan's place in Bruce Boudreau's system, but that's not to say his value will not remain high. His recent outburst is an indication that Ryan has the determination to get his game back on track for the second half of the season. You obviously can't bench a fantasy game-breaker in Ryan at this time for Tanguay (5 G, 17 A, minus-3, 18 PIM, 9 PPP), who hasn't played since Dec. 20 because of an undisclosed injury, and with Neal's pace for a 40-plus goal season now in jeopardy, Ryan and Hall will be crucial contributors for your team moving forward. Hall has scored goals in four straight games and continues to show promise on Edmonton's top line, and with Ryan finally streaking, you owe it to yourself to ride out both hot stretches.
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The Real Spiel: Quick playing like royalty for Kings

Saturday, 01.07.2012 / 5:09 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.


QUICK STEP: The Real Spiel on Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Quick
Goalie - LAK
RECORD: 18-10-6
GAA: 1.95 | SVP: 0.933
Los Angeles Kings’ netminder Jonathan Quick has had a quality career since his first full season in 2008-09 and if 34 games this go-around is any indication, he could be poised for his finest campaign yet. Look no further than the numbers: So far, Quick ranks in the Top 10 in every major fantasy goaltending category (18 wins, 991 saves and 1.95 GAA). His six shutouts, 34 games played and even two PIMs are nice bonuses. But as impressive as his stats have been, even more impressive has been his ability to shoulder the load night in, night out for the Kings, who are struggling to get their offense going. Quick has taken things upon himself to be the difference between victory and defeat. In his past five outings, victories have followed, as he has come out on top four times and lost in overtime. He also didn’t allow a goal on two occasions. Not bad – and things don’t appear to be slowing down.

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Right of Way: Could Semin's New Year be brighter?

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.

Earlier in the week we looked at which centers and left wings have disappointed fantasy owners and what those players needed to do to turn their seasons around. Today, we'll break down the right wings and explain what we hope they can do to snap out of their struggles.

Here are five of the biggest right wing disappointments and their New Year's resolutions for how they can turn their season around starting right now:

Martin St. Louis -- Nobody thinks your 31 points in 34 games this season has been disappointing, but it's the rest of your stat line that isn't helping your fantasy owners. A minus-1 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 6 power-play points and only 2.5 shots per game (down from 3.1 last season) are the main reasons your current Yahoo! rating is at 142 overall (you came into the season rated 10th among all players). We're hoping your power-play ice time goes up (down from 4:31 last year to 3:52 this season) and you start firing the puck on net more frequently, which will lead to more goals.
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Turn Left Here: Nash among LW's in need of change

Thursday, 01.05.2012 / 2:58 PM / 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.

Let's get right to it. Just like Wednesday's "Center Stage", here's a look at five of the biggest left wing disappointments and their New Year's resolution for how they can turn their seasons around starting right now. On Friday, we'll finish the position assessments off with right wings.

Alex Ovechkin -- Until your recent surge (five goals in the last three games), you have really let your fantasy owners down. Despite your least productive season last year, we still believed in you and expected a return to your normal 50-goal form. While your current pace of 36 goals is better than last season, we're hoping you've finally found your game now that the New Year has arrived - we need 40-plus goals out of you.

Bobby Ryan -- After posting three straight 30-plus goal seasons and increasing your points total every year since joining the NHL, we really were expecting you to join the fantasy elite this season. Unfortunately you've struggled mightily with just 13 goals and 21 points to go along with a minus-8 rating. We're hoping your new coach Bruce Boudreau keeps you on the top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf and that you receive more than the two minutes of power play ice time you're currently receiving (you're too good to see that little).
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Center Stage: Staal, Getzlaf looking for turnarounds

Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 11:21 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.

It's been a long three weeks since our last "Center Stage" update, but we're back at it with an updated outlook at our fantasy centers.

With the New Year behind us and as fantasy insider Justin Goldman did in his "In the Cage" segment on Monday, it's time to take a look at five of the biggest center disappointments and then post their New Year's resolution for how they can turn their seasons around starting right now. We'll do the same for left wings and right wings on Thursday and Friday.

Eric Staal -- You've been just about a point-per-game player since your sophomore season in 2005-06 (473 points in 479 games), but this season you sport just 25 points in 41 contests. It's time to find your game of year's past. With your brother back on the ice for the Rangers (it was Eric's hit on Marc Staal that led to a concussion), we're hoping your mind is clear and you can return to your usual form -- we'll let the slow start slide if you're able to do that.
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On the 'D'-fence: Green hoping for healthy return

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 12:26 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.

We watched the year 2011 breathe its final gasp a couple days back and fans of the National Hockey League, especially fantasy owners, should be saying good riddance! The year brought with it a rash of injuries that started with a high-profile concussion sustained by Sidney Crosby and left multiple star players in its wake, including several top-ranked defensemen.
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Holiday Special: Fantasy Predictions for the New Year

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

The start of the New Year may signal an end to the holiday season, but it represents a positive outlook for the year to come. While reflecting on the fantasy hockey year that was in 2011, many questions loom as to which players will define the landscape in 2012.

Whether superstars or unsung heroes, players from around the League will excel in different categories to help your fantasy squad make a push for a championship.

Thus, NHL.com Fantasy Insiders Pete Jensen and Deborah Francisco have painted a picture for the New Year by casting 30 bold predictions for 2012. Our experts have selected a compelling name from each of the 30 NHL teams, and predict strong second halves from each of those players.

So, with that, here's a player from each NHL team that we expect to shine in 2012...

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In the Cage: New Year's resolutions

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.

For every NHL goaltender, a new year opens the door for a new resolve. Those failing to live up to our expectations can still salvage the season by finding ways to reverse their fortunes, but it has to happen starting right now. With this in mind, we pick five of the biggest disappointments so far this season and then post their New Year's resolutions for what we hope will be successful second halves.

Jonas Hiller -- Must resolve to average at least three more timely saves per game, and must post below a 2.50 goals-against average at home. Heading into January, Hiller is just 7-9-1 with a 3.31 GAA and .893 save percentage at the Honda Center in Anaheim, which calls for much doubt surrounding his second-half projections. We think the potential is there, but the odds are anywhere from low to moderate. Maybe the return of injured forward Jason Blake will help balance the team's offensive attack.

Ryan Miller -- Must resolve to forget the drama that transpired in the first half of the season, and simply focus on stopping pucks by pushing the mental reset button. Regardless of past injuries, poolies expect Miller to be one of the top goalies to own, and he can carry that label in the second half if he clears his mind and rediscovers his true self. To us, that's the one with the aggressive positioning, quality rebound control and even-keeled, confident attitude that frustrates his foes.
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