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Canucks Fantasy Forecast - 4.05.2010

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

Michael Grabner has impeccable timing.

He proved that three times against the Anaheim Ducks when he singlehandedly jumpstarted and led Vancouver’s offensive attack collecting his first career hat trick.

The timing of his breakout game was also something to admire as it came with injured Canucks returning to the line-up.

What Vancouver’s line-up is going into playoffs remains to be seen, but for the upcoming week you can expect Grabner to get his fair share of chances with extended playing time. Now that he’s bumped the slump, he’s playing with more confidence and wanting to prove he belongs for the post-season, he won’t be afraid to give it all he’s got.

Grabner was a dark horse pick in Canucks Fantasy Hockey last week, this time around he’s a comfortable bet. Go get him.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

The record books show that the Canucks went 3-1-0 over the past seven days, yet it doesn’t feel like the team was that successful.

A 4-1 whopping of Phoenix began the week, that was followed up by an ugly outing in Los Angeles in an 8-3 loss a night before Vancouver came back to beat Anaheim 5-4 in a shootout. Sunday night pitted the Canucks against the Wild and the finish was just that with Vancouver edging Minnesota 4-3 in overtime.

Against Phoenix Alex Burrows (50), Henrik Sedin (44) and Roberto Luongo (35) were the big three and the three game stars; Kyle Wellwood (26), Pavol Demitra (25) and Alex Edler (22) made the best of a bad outing vs. LA; Michael Grabner (52), Ryan Kesler (33) and Christian Ehrhoff (31) outperformed the rest against Anaheim and Sami Salo (35) and Kesler (28) were the top dogs in the Minnesota finale.

WE HAVE A WINNER

This was a rare week for Canucks Fantasy Hockey in that of the four games played, only Ryan Kesler appeared on the top three Canucks performers more than once.

Parody was the name of the game, there was no hope of playing your same lottery numbers and coming away a winner.

phillyproof, playing fantasy hockey for the first time when the Canucks hosted the Coyotes, came away a winner thanks to the aforementioned trio of Burrows, H. Sedin and Luongo.

Wilkster took out n00bxqb by one point in the LA game thanks to a Wellwood, Demitra, Edler combo; despite the Canucks losing 8-3, Wilkster only had one of 11 players with a minus output.

Irony played a role in henrik makesthesave finishing with 215 points because Henrik didn’t make the final roster. Hank made way for Grabner and his hat trick, which vaulted henrik makesthesave to a two-point win over Patty.

gorddog was more like a guard dog as they held off top spot for the Minnesota game by beating three others thanks to a single point. Salo and Kesler, both game stars, led the charge.

Click here to check out the leaderboard, it's a jumble of 8,349 fantasy fanatics.

THE WEEK AHEAD

The Canucks have clinched a playoff spot and the Northwest Division crown. There's not much left to accomplish in the final three games except some fine tuning.

Vancouver opens the week hosting Colorado, a quick trip to San Jose is on the agenda for Thursday prior to having Calgary come to town for the series finale Saturday.

FRESH PICKS

Alain Vigneault didn’t come out and say that he’ll be resting players, but it’s a safe bet that character role guys will see increased ice time in the final three games of the regular season.

My advice this week is to spread your $20 million around to as many players are you can fit onto your roster. Get Grabner in there, some Demitra, a pinch of Hansen and Johnson, Wellwood is a good pick and maybe even some O’Brien and Rome.

That being said, don’t bail on Henrik. He’s still entrenched in a battle for the Art Ross Trophy with Alex Ovechkin. His teammates want it for him bad so I believe they’ll be setting him up as much as possible.

It’s unclear which of the games Andrew Raycroft will start, but I’d go with whoever is between the pipes versus Calgary. Something tells me the Flames will be out of the playoffs by Saturday and this game will get ugly, in our favour.

INJURY UPDATE

Steve Bernier (groin), Willie Mitchell (concussion) and Alex Bolduc (shoulder) are on the injured reserve list. Bernier could return for Tuesday's game against Colorado.

DISCLAIMER

While I claim to be the Canucks Fantasy Hockey swami, the man with all the answers and a crystal ball as clear as they come, this is very self-described. Most of my picks are backed by stats, while others come from the gut. Use with caution!

 
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