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The Real Spiel: Richards top act on Broadway

by Sergei J. Feldman
Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, 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.

PERES-TROIKA: The Real Spiel on the New York Rangers’ Top Line

Brad Richards
Center - NYR
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 55
SOG: 192 | +/-: 2
The New York Rangers have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season and much of the team’s success can be attributed to the team’s attention to detail in the defensive zone and the brilliant play of Hart Trophy candidate Henrik Lundqvist. Of late, however, the club’s play in their own end has been less sharp and, as a result, their lead atop the Atlantic Division is less secure. Fortunately, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Carl Hagelin have shouldered the load for the Blueshirts. The recently constructed top line on Broadway has done nothing but deliver offensively, in victory or defeat. Richards, the big fish in free agency this past offseason, is playing his best hockey of the year at the most important time, as he is riding a five-game point streak, in which he has amassed 10 points.  In those five games, two have been three-point nights and one was a two-point affair. To Richards’ right skated Gaborik, one of the premier goal-scorers in the NHL. He is in the midst of a four-game point streak and has goals in three straight, leaving him with a total of 35 on the year, good for third in the League. While the production of the two aforementioned forwards shouldn’t really come as a surprise, first-year pro Carl Hagelin has been the surprise for the Rangers. The 23-year-old has points in three of his past four games and 35 total through 52 games. Top teams sometimes slow down as the season winds down, so as to get ready for the playoffs, but the Rangers have a division to play for. As they fight for supremacy, they will rely on their top line, which has likely made the difference between playoff victory and defeat in fantasy leagues.

LOOKING SHARP: The Real Spiel on Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp
Left Wing - CHI
GOALS: 28 | ASST: 33 | PTS: 61
SOG: 243 | +/-: 23
Arguably one of the more underrated players in the game, Chicago Blackhawks’ all-around forward Patrick Sharp has been Mr. Dependable. And Mr. Productive, too. The center, left wing and right wing eligible player in Yahoo! leagues has points in four consecutive games, including three goals. Also in that span, Sharp has 15 shots thrown on the cage. For the season, the seven-year Blackhawk has 28 goals, 33 assists for 61 points. In addition, Sharp has 243 shots, 36 PIMs and is a plus-23. One of the early season favorites for fantasy MVP has played like it of late and could be one of the real studs in fantasy hockey as the season concludes.

SUPER DUPER: The Real Spiel on Pascal Dupuis

Pascal Dupuis
Right Wing - PIT
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 44
SOG: 188 | +/-: 16
Sure, Sidney Crosby’s return to the Penguins lineup is bound to steal headlines in Pittsburgh and most of the hockey world. And there are enough other fantasy stars on the team this year. But people ought to pay attention to role player Pascal Dupuis, who just reached the 20-goal mark after scoring on Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils Saturday afternoon. As impressive as the achievement is, especially  for a player not relied upon to put up that kind of offense, his consistency in the past while has helped those fantasy owners who have him in the lineup. Dupuis is in the midst of a five-game point streak (7 points). What’s more, the 32-year-old specialist has points in 14 of his last 18 games. On pace for his most productive campaign yet, Dupuis could be a valuable, unknown asset for fantasy owners.

Author: Sergei J. Feldman | Staff Writer
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