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(Page 28 of 47)
Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

On the 'D'-fence: Rookie rearguards who rank

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The 2012 NHL All-Star Game is in the books and as always it was an exciting event that showcased the skills of some of the best and brightest the league has to offer. Though there were 42 vets selected to participate in the game itself, the League's selection committee also chose 12 rookies to take part in the weekend's activities.

That is what we are going to do here today.

Considering that we had a short week in the fantasy realm due in large part to those All-Star festivities, we figured that we would point out a handful of rookies that are starting to slide into bigger roles for their teams. These players may not be a benefit to all of you, but they could offer some nice depth scoring and should definitely be on the radars of those in keeper or dynasty leagues. 
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In the Cage: Two so-called backups

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, Justin Goldman, goalie specialist 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.
 
To get an edge on the competition, poolies must realize that a goaltender's stats are merely the end result of a unique situation. The position is 90 percent mental, so confidence, rhythm, focus, and opportunity are key ingredients in making what we call a "sleeper" or a "hidden gem" fantasy talent.
 
For two so-called backups, Devan Dubnyk and Sergei Bobrovsky, a few impressive performances before the All-Star break have led us to believe they're currently surrounded by very promising situations. Furthermore, both goalies could see their fantasy value rise due to the struggles of their counterparts.
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Under-the-radar fantasy players to keep an eye on

Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 2:25 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Note: With the 2012 NHL All-Star festivities beginning on Thursday, Matt Cubeta's regular Center Stage, Turn Left Here and Right of Way fantasy stories will return next week.

Last season James Reimer came out of practically nowhere to take the NHL and fantasy leagues by surprise. After making just seven starts prior to last season's All-Star Game, Reimer went on to make 28 starts for Toronto after the break. He finished with a 16-7-5 record to go along with a 2.69 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and three shutouts while powering the Maple Leafs to a second-half surge that would give them hope heading into the 2011-12 season.

Reimer is the ultimate example for a player fantasy owners hope to snag up around the midway point of the season. We're all in search of that unknown guy that gets called up and produces at a high level when his team is willing to give young players a chance -- this is the time for coaches to see what kind of talent they have in their minor league systems.

Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic was a similar story last season, emerging as a major fantasy difference-maker on the blue line. Hamonic was called up early last season (Nov. 24), but turned out to be extremely valuable in the latter part of the season, finishing with 5 goals, 18 points, a plus-11 and an amazing 78 penalty minutes in 33 contests after the All-Star break.
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On the 'D'-fence: PP points can power you to victory

Tuesday, 01.24.2012 / 12:08 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.

Power-play points may not be included in all scoring formats that you are participating in, but they have earned a spot alongside goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, and shots on goal in Yahoo! standard leagues. Some leagues even break it down further giving you credit for each power-play goal or assist your players earn. This makes it a pretty valuable stat, and it can tilt many a tightly-contested scoring period in your direction if you have the right players on your roster.

We are all familiar with the likes of Erik Karlsson, Zdeno Chara, Kris Letang and Shea Weber, as they provide the most bang for your fantasy buck across almost every scoring category. However, you may be surprised to find out that these aren't exactly the names that are going to win the power-play points category for you on a weekly basis.
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In the Cage: The veteran presence

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Evgeni Nabokov
Goalie - NYI
RECORD: 10-11-0
GAA: 2.35 | SVP: 0.919
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.

The NHL's All-Star Weekend is just over the horizon, and with each passing day, teams are gearing up for the post-season push. For goalies, that means every save is more important than the last, and one weak effort could mean the difference between making and missing the playoffs. Since timely stops are so crucial right now, it's often the presence of an experienced veteran that can key a young team's success.
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Fantasy Mailbag: Lecavalier's consistency defines 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.



RICHARD FROM VICTORIA, B.C. has a trade offer on the table where he would give up Vincent Lecavalier and get Joffrey Lupul.

Lecavalier (18 G, 20 A, plus-1, 44 PIM, 9 PPP, 141 SOG) is on a tear as of late -- despite the fact that his team is still near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The Bolts have won three straight, and their captain is largely accountable with a five-game point streak (2 G, 6 A). With seven goals and nine assists in his last 14 games, the 31-year-old is showing no signs of a dip in production as a second-line center and a power-play anchor for Tampa Bay. Since Lecavalier is performing admirably in the face of his team's struggles, a Lightning playoff push could do even more wonders for his fantasy owners.
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The Real Spiel: Elias providing steady play for Devils

Saturday, 01.21.2012 / 12:42 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.


PAT ON THE BACK: The Real Spiel on Patrik Elias


Patrik Elias
Center - NJD
GOALS: 17 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 45
SOG: 96 | +/-: -2
Milestones seasons are hard to come by, but don’t tell that to New Jersey Devils center Patrik Elias. On top of surpassing the 1,000 game mark his season, Elias’ game has returned to a point-per-game pace, an accomplishment that has eluded the veteran since 2008-09. Through 45 games, Elias has a healthy 45 points on 17 goals and 28 assists. Those are the numbers of an obviously impactful player, but in the case of the 51st overall pick of the 1994 NHL Draft, those are the numbers of a player who knows how to pick his spots, as Elias has thrown just 96 shots on the cage, good for 129th in the NHL. Recent success has propelled the 35-year-old to greater heights among fantasy players, as Elias is happily in the midst of a seven-game point streak, in which he’s collected 11 points and has been a minus player just once. While the Czech native won’t steal the show with hits, PIMs or shots, his point production certainly makes him a valuable option for fantasy owners.



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Right of Way: What's going on with Patrick Kane?

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.

Prior to this season, Patrick Kane was selected on average in the second round of fantasy drafts, with the 21st overall pick. In Yahoo! Leagues, he was rated as the 14th-best fantasy player. The super-skilled forward got off to a fast start with 6 points in his first four games and finished October with 11 points in 11 games (4 goals, 7 assists). He was playing on a line with the equally talented Jonathan Toews and featured on the top power-play unit with Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith. Everything pointed to Kane having the best season of his career -- even better than when he posted a career-high 88 points in 2009-10.

November treated Kane OK -- he had 3 goals and 13 points in 14 games. December got off to a fast start, with him carrying over a modest five-game point-scoring streak in which he notched 8 points. But since that streak ended Dec. 11, things seemed to change for Kane.

Kane immediately followed that mini-hot streak by being held pointless in three straight games. In 18 games since Dec. 11, Kane has just 2 goals and 6 points -- not exactly what his fantasy owners have come to expect. He hasn't had a multi-point performance in 19 games; he has recorded a plus rating just four times during this extended cold streak; he has just 1 power-play point in those 18 games despite seeing his usual power-play ice time (he averages 3:36 of ice time per game on the man-advantage).

So what is happening to Patrick Kane?
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Turn Left Here: Kovalchuk rises in ranks, Lupul drops

Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 2:11 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.

It's never easy trying to decide which player to start at a certain position on a night when you have a full roster playing. Who do you bench? What about your utility spot? Should you go with the hot hand or the player that's performed better over the full season? These are just a few questions fantasy owners deal with on a nightly basis -- especially on Saturday's when most NHL teams are in action.

The answers to these questions depend on several things -- what kind of league you're in (head-to-head, rotisserie, points), what stats you need to improve in, who your opponents are and many others.

In order to try and help gauge the value of your players, we're going to play a little game called, "Fantasy Face-off" -- it's basically a shortened version of our fantasy face-offs we ran in the preseason. Here's the idea: We'll list left-wing eligible players that are very comparable and then decide who we believe we'd rather start/have on any given night. Let's give it a shot:
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Center Stage: Seguin, Tavares moving up in rankings

Wednesday, 01.18.2012 / 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.

You'll notice several players getting a big bump up in this week's rankings, and that's because we've seen several injuries in the last couple of weeks.

Sidney Crosby has now been joined by other elite center-eligible fantasy players, like Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, who could be nearing a return, but for now he remains listed on IR. Productive fantasy players like Patrick Sharp and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will still be sidelined for the next three or four weeks, while Jeff Carter found himself back on IR for the second time in his short Columbus career. Some under-the-radar fantasy centers are also currently on the sidelines: Mikko Koivu, Jordan Staal, Alexander Steen and Mike Ribeiro.

What should fantasy owners do about all these injuries?

First things first: You can't panic. You're likely not the only one in your league dealing with injuries and it's almost inevitable that we all have to see one of our valuable fantasy players on the sidelines at some point during the season. You have to be sure to stay on top of your team as a manager and hunt the waiver wires for a solid pick up in the meantime. Here are a few suggestions -- these players are all available in over 80 percent of Yahoo! Leagues:
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