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Anderson continuing to cement himself in Florida

by Dave Lozo /
Craig Anderson has been sent to our planet from another galaxy, and his mission is to destroy the confidence of every shooter in the NHL and make all other goaltenders kneel before him and bask in his power.

Hot doesn't even begin to describe how good the Florida Panthers goalie has been this season. The fantasy savior continued to dazzle Thursday night in Edmonton, making 41 saves in the Panthers' 2-0 victory.

"The one thing we did really well was control the rebounds and let me see the first shot -- our defensemen did a great job," Anderson told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Anderson's play has been nothing short of brilliant. In 15 games, he's 8-2-3 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .946 save percentage. He's done all this in place of All-Star goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who will start tonight for the Panthers in Calgary.

"Whatever's best for the team," said Anderson, who is 5-1-2 in his last eight games. "If I don't play tomorrow then I'll be on the side of the bench cheering the guys on."

If Vokoun falters Friday night, Anderson probably won't be spending much more time on the bench. ...

Remember those Bud Ice commercials from the 1990s, where a penguin would terrorize a family with crank calls and the slogan was, "Beware the Penguins?" It's too bad no one made that call to the Islanders' goalies.

Joey MacDonald, one of the Three Stars of the month for November, gave up four goals in the first period against the Penguins. Things didn't go so well for his replacement, Yann Danis, who gave up five goals over the final two periods as the Penguins won 9-2. MacDonald has just one win in his last seven games and has allowed 27 goals over that time. You don't need to be a pretend fantasy forecaster to know it's time to avoid Islanders goalies. ...

Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis -- yes, Pascal Dupuis -- had hat tricks for the Penguins, with Sykora's being somewhat of a milestone. Entering the game, Sykora held the dubious distinction of being the player with the most career two-goal games (38) without ever registering a hat trick.

"I won't have to talk about it (not scoring three) anymore," said Sykora. "It is a relief. As much as I talked that it didn't bother me, it did bother me, and now I feel pretty good."

This could be the start of a hot streak for Sykora, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in 26 games. ...

There's plenty of news on the Capitals' injury front. First the bad news: Goaltender Brent Johnson aggravated a hip injury Wednesday and is a game-time decision for Friday's game, and defenseman Tom Poti missed Thursday's practice with a groin injury which potentially could keep him out of the lineup tonight.

Now the good news: Sergei Fedorov, who missed 16 of the last 17 games with an ankle injury, practiced Thursday and could play tonight or Saturday. Mike Green also could rejoin the lineup after missing 12 games with a shoulder injury. Keep tabs on all these players and make sure you have them where they need to be on your roster for this weekend's action. ...

The Kings' Drew Doughty appeared to injure his hand Thursday night when he checked the Blue Jackets' Jason Chimera during the third period. Doughty left the game and did not return. His status is unknown at this time. ...

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu was injured Thursday night. He tried to play through the lower-body pain, but had to leave the game during the second period.

Jaroslav Halak made his second straight start in goal for the Canadiens, but fear not, Carey Price owners -- he's only suffering from the flu. ...

Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk missed practice Thursday with minor injuries that shouldn't keep them out of the Red Wings' lineup tonight. However, goaltender Chris Osgood once again will ride the pine while Ty Conklin makes his third consecutive start. ...

Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is a game-time decision tonight after undergoing oral surgery.  ...

Marek Svatos, who suffered a back injury Tuesday, won't be in the Avs' lineup tonight. He's considered day-to-day. ...


New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET -- The Devils are one of the hottest teams in the League this month, but the Rangers have owned this series recently. The Rangers are 9-0-2 against their cross-river rivals in their last 11 games. Henrik Lundqvist likely will be in goal tonight for the Rangers after getting a rest in the team's previous game.
Ottawa Senators at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET, RDS -- If Brent Johnson's hip injury is serious, goaltender Jose Theodore will get the nod. Ottawa has scored a League-low 62 goals, a number in stark contrast to last season's League-leading 258.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. ET -- The Sabres are averaging 4 goals per game during their recent three-game win streak. This is the first meeting of the season between these division rivals.
Boston Bruins at Atlanta Thrashers, 7:30 p.m. ET -- The Bruins are 14-2-1 since the start of November. Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez is 5-0-0 with a 1.80 GAA all-time against the Thrashers, but he played Wednesday, meaning Boston likely will start Tim Thomas.
Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET -- The Red Wings, winners of four straight, look to keep the streak going against the Stars, who are surrendering 3.56 goals per game. Detroit, coincidentally, is averaging 3.56 goals per game.
Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET -- Former Avs coach Joel Quenneville returns to the Pepsi Center for the first time since leaving Colorado. Blackhawks winger Kris Versteeg, tied for third on the team with 22 points, will return after serving a one-game suspension.
Florida Panthers at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m., ET -- Flames captain Jarome Iginla has 8 goals and 6 assists in his last 11 games versus the Panthers, who have won six of their last seven. Tomas Vokoun, who is 5-10-0 and hasn't started since Nov. 26, gets the nod for Florida.


David Booth, LW, Florida: Is day-to-day with a left shoulder injury.
Matt Carle, D, Philadelphia: Is day-to-day with a rib injury.
Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, San Jose: Is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Derek Dorsett, RW, Columbus: Is out 3-5 weeks with a fractured finger.
Hal Gill, D, Pittsburgh: Is out 2-4 weeks with a shoulder injury.
Tim Gleason, D, Carolina: Is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Niklas Hagman, LW, Toronto: Is day-to-day with a minor concussion.
Patrick Kaleta, RW, Buffalo: Is out indefinitely with a neck injury.
Wayne Primeau, C, Calgary: Is day-to-day with a foot injury.
Mathieu Schneider, D, Atlanta: Is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Dennis Seidenberg, C, Carolina: Is day-to-day with a groin injury
Brian Sutherby, C, Anaheim: Is day-to-day with a groin injury.
Jordin Tootoo, LW, Nashville: Is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Sergei Zubov, D, Dallas: Is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.


(Unfortunately, Rocky is away on vacation this week and didn't leave anyone access to the fantasy mailbag vault. I wouldn't trust me with it, either. However, Rocky is back on Monday, so you can once again direct all your questions to the true Fantasy Forecaster.  Thanks for all the letters.)

Dear Pretend Fantasy Forecaster,

I'm in an 18-team head-to-head league that's fairly deep with rosters, and I've recently leveraged Carey Price from someone to join Luongo and Conklin on my roster. I've immediately proposed a trade with someone who has no goaltender, really -- he has Cam Ward, Brian Boucher, and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.

Seeing his weakness -- he hasn't had a start this week or last -- I offered Justin Williams, Carey Price and Steve Eminger for Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.

Given that I estimate there are about 17 arguably viable fantasy goaltenders in the league, and nine solid ones, I figure this trade is at the very least equitable. Still, it's being contested by multiple people in my league as being horribly one-sided in my favor. Apparently, "No one could objectively call it reasonable," and it's "terribly unfair."

True, I'm taking advantage, but would you say it's an unreasonable trade?

Eighteen teams. Wow. I don't know even know 17 people, never mind 17 people willing to take part in an 18-team head-to-head fantasy hockey league. Kudos on knowing such cool people.

To answer your question, it does seem one-sided at first glance. I wouldn't call it "horribly" one-sided, that's for sure, as we have learned how valuable a consistent starting goaltender is this season. If it doesn't seem unfair to the owner with which you're making the deal, then who are these other people to judge? If a goalie is all he's missing from making his team a contender and all you're missing is offense, then go for it. Your goaltending situation immediately becomes shaky with no clear-cut (healthy) No. 1, but it's your team. I say let it go through.


Have a fantasy question you want answered? Want advice on a trade proposal, or have a hot tip you want to share with the fantasy community? Write to us at and your question may be answered in the Fantasy Forecast.

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