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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Canucks' Lack gets job done

Thursday, 02.26.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Whatever problems the Vancouver Canucks have encountered the past few seasons, they've always had a very strong backup plan when it comes to their goaltending situation.

In fact, in some cases "Plan B" was, even in smaller sample sizes, outperforming the starter.

So while the Canucks stand to lose a veteran goalie in Ryan Miller for the next 4-6 weeks, their crease will be just fine with Eddie Lack and the recently recalled Jacob Markstrom.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Perfect timing for Flyers' Timonen

Wednesday, 02.25.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

It has been a tough season for the Philadelphia Flyers.

They have experienced a multitude of ups and downs, and one of the biggest downs hit them in August when defenseman Kimmo Timonen was diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs.

Losing Timonen hurt, but it did provide an opportunity for Michael Del Zotto, who was signed the day Timonen's diagnosis became public. Del Zotto took a while to get going but he's become one of the Flyers' best defensemen. And now he could get a chance to skate with the player he was brought in to replace.
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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Utilizing enhanced stats

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 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.

NHL.com's new statistical database, powered by SAP, now includes enhanced stats that can help fantasy owners detect noteworthy trends.

These stats shed light on meaningful aspects of hockey. Similar metrics have been available on secondary sites in the past, but the NHL is now officially documenting them while adding exposure.

Enhanced skater stats likely won't emerge as fantasy categories themselves anytime soon, but usage/production trends are useful when mulling fantasy pickups, trades, and draft picks.

Here are some fantasy takeaways from NHL.com's stats update that apply to forwards:

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Fantasy All-Access: Red Wings' Helm around to help

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

We are one week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, March 2 at 3 p.m. ET. We've already seen big moves impact fantasy teams and there's more to come.

Some players rumored to be on the block should be scooped up in advance of a potential trade. Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jiri Tlusty, who scored 23 goals two seasons ago, is owned in three percent of Yahoo Leagues. He has four points in his past eight games and can fill in on a contending team's top six.
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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Don't doubt Bruins' Rask

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

For Tuukka Rask, it was a matter of when, not if.

There are many factors out of a goaltender's control that affect his play. A lot needs to happen before a team can generate a scoring chance, and for the most part none of that has to do with a goaltender, down to which of his teammates are on the ice.

It's part of what makes goaltending a bit unpredictable, but as far as repeatability goes Rask has been one of the more consistent and one of the best goalies in all of hockey recently. Rask is quite good at his job, but thanks to some missing co-workers, and a bit of un-Rask-like play, many fantasy owners were scratching their heads when it came to the Boston Bruins goalie early this season.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Injury void of Ducks' Vatanen

Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 12:14 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.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen first tantalized fantasy owners last season when he averaged .44 points over 48 games as a rookie. He improved upon that this season by averaging .60 points over 57 games.

Unfortunately, he left during the first period of the Ducks' 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday with a lower-body injury that is expected to keep him out of action for 4-6 weeks.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Don't sleep on Panthers

Tuesday, 02.17.2015 / 12:03 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.

You can't always judge a book by its cover in fantasy hockey.

No one is mistaking the 2014-15 Florida Panthers for an offensive juggernaut. Their 2.36 goals-per-game average ranks 25th out of 30 teams and they haven't had much of a presence in these top 100 fantasy forward rankings.

But that's not to say their forward group won't be fantasy relevant down the stretch. The Panthers happen to have two under-the-radar forwards who can aid your fantasy squad in the goal-scoring department.

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Fantasy All-Access: Canadiens' Desharnais worth add

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings play outside at Levi's Stadium in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA2). This budding rivalry has brought out the best in the players involved, which is music to ears of fantasy owners everywhere.

This season, Patrick Marleau paces San Jose with four points (two goals, two assists) in the three games against Los Angeles this season, in addition to 86 points (39 goals, 47 assists) in 96 career games in the rivalry. For the Kings, Anze Kopitar has four points (one goal, three assists) in the three games this season and his career 0.88 points per game (45 in 51 games) against the Sharks is the most on the current L.A. roster.

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Seguin, Voracek join 'Saul' as popular spin-offs

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

According to Wikipedia, a television spin-off is defined as, "a new series which contains either characters, a different character or theme elements from a previous series."

AMC's "Breaking Bad" was considered one of the better television shows of this generation. It won countless awards during its five seasons from 2008 to 2013. This past Sunday, AMC released a spin-off from the critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" called "Better Call Saul." Not every television spin-off is successful and clearly, the verdict is still out on "Better Call Saul" (only two episodes have aired).

But throughout television history, we've seen tons of spin-offs. Some turned out to be effective, like the hit show "Frasier," which was a spin-off from "Cheers," and "The Jeffersons," which was a spin-off from "All in the Family." And then there were also some misses, like "Joey," which was a spin-off from "Friends," and "Joanie Loves Chachi," which of course was a spin-off from "Happy Days."

I'm not here to ramble on about TV, though. I'm here to discuss the best and worst fantasy hockey spin-offs in recent years. I'm talking about players that once had a small role on one team, and then joined another team for a larger, more prominent, leading-type role, if you will.

And just like with the television industry, we've seen some hits and some misses. Here are five of the most and least successful fantasy hockey spin-offs in the past five years (feel free to add some of your favorite fantasy hockey spin-offs in the comments section below):

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Dubnyk thriving with Wild

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Devan Dubnyk isn't the hero many in Minnesota expected, but he's certainly performed the role of hero quite well.

Or maybe the Minnesota Wild saved Dubnyk. How one defines the situation is a matter of semantics, but one thing that's not up for debate is Dubnyk's resurgence in Minnesota and how much he's been able to help the Wild in such a short period of time.

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Top 60 D-men ranks | Niskanen heating up
Top 100 forward ranks | Late line changes
All-Access: Time to add Blue Jackets' Atkinson
Watch: Forecast for championship week
Top 30 goalies | Mason's home success
Daily projected starting goalies | Spin blog