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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

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Pick Six: Tuesday March 20

Monday night’s NHL action featured a Rangers-Devils opening-faceoff bloodbath, a fading Leafs team getting their lunch handed to them to the tune of 8-0 by the Bruins, and a similar result in the Sabres-Lightning game. (And I had to tune into the Wild-Canucks snoozefest.)

What could be in store on Tuesday? Probably nothing nearly as exciting. But the fantasy playoffs are finally upon us in most head-to-head formats, so there’s no need to create any more drama than there already is. Here are six players who could attract some attention on Tuesday, hopefully for the right reasons.

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Pick Six: Saturday March 17/Sunday March 18

Here’s what you need to know as you plan your fantasy team for the weekend. Of course, all of us who have played any kind of fantasy sports know that planning and skill only go so far – you also need the luck o’ the Irish. (Thankfully, my ancestry is one-quarter Irish.)

Saturday: 22 teams in action

Sunday: 12 teams in action

Teams with two weekend games: Carolina, Columbus, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

Teams with no weekend games: Dallas

All other teams play one game.

Saturday starters, according to Left Wing Lock: Ilya Bryzgalov, PHI; Brian Boucher, CAR; Dwayne Roloson, TB; Cory Schneider, VAN; Jimmy Howard, DET.

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Pick Six: Thursday March 15/Friday March 16

Star players returning from injury should provide an added boost to playoff-bound fantasy teams. We all know of one particular notable player who will be returning on Thursday, but there are more names that you need to be aware of, especially if you’ve been stashing players on IR. To accommodate those players, picks for both Thursday and Friday are included. With the Wednesday news of one more player making an earlier-than-expected return, I’ll be breaking the rules a little by making this article a Pick Six plus one.

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Pick Six: Saturday March 10/Sunday March 11

Is a Sidney Crosby return finally around the corner? Perhaps, but one player who has nearly the pedigree of Crosby has his own concussion issues, but is not receiving the attention that Sid the Kid is. I’ve included both players in my Pick Six for the weekend.

But first, here’s what you need to know heading into the weekend.

A total of 22 teams are in action on Saturday, while 16 teams are in action on Sunday.

Teams with two weekend games: Boston, Columbus, Carolina, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Toronto, Washington

Teams with no weekend games: Winnipeg

All other teams play one game either on Saturday or Sunday.

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Pick Six: Thursday March 8

At this time of year, teams are not all facing the same situation. Some teams are fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot, some teams have packed it in and are playing for jobs next season, while some teams would prefer that the playoffs start today. These differing situations can play a key role in the production of players on your fantasy team. As well, these situations are clearly noted in the Pick Six for Thursday – a day featuring 24 of the NHL’s 30 teams in action.

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Pick Six: Tuesday March 6

Tuesday features 12 games on the schedule, so it is a relatively busy day with some important decisions for fantasy owners. Many key decisions start in net, so you may be happy to know that four of the six choice in this version of the Pick Six happen to be goalies.  Let’s start with one well-known goalie who has once again found NHL employment after an almost year-long hiatus.

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Pick Six: Saturday March 3

Because the trade deadline has now passed, the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t add or drop any more players. So it would make perfect sense that GM Brian Burke would fire coach and longtime friend Ron Wilson and replace him with equally prickly coach Randy Carlyle. There’s never a dull moment in Leafland, where things go really haywire when the team has won only once in the past 11 games.

So what will Carlyle be like for fantasy teams? I just hope you don’t own any Leaf goalies if you use any of the starting goalie sites like Goalie Post and Left Wing Lock. Carlyle is the anti-Christ when it comes to providing goaltender information, often telling Ducks beat reporters that his starting goalie would be the guy in the crease at the start of the game. In other words, good luck and be sure to brush up on your coin-tossing skills when it comes to predicting Leaf starting goalie information.

Before we kick off the Pick Six with the Leafs’ starting goalie for Saturday, here’s a pocket-sized rundown of the schedule this weekend:

Nine games are scheduled Saturday; seven games are scheduled Sunday.

Teams with two games: Boston, Colorado, Florida, NY Islanders

Teams with no games: Edmonton, Winnipeg

All other teams play one game.

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Pick Six: Thursday March 1

Now that the trade deadline has finally come and gone, we can now focus on gearing our fantasy teams toward the fantasy playoffs. In one league, my fantasy playoffs start next week, so it’s important that I have my team in order so that I can compete for the money!

So what’s in store for Thursday? Nine games, that’s what. The matchup to watch will involve a surging St. Louis team rolling into Vancouver to play the Canucks, who are back from a grueling six-game road trip. Could it be a possible playoff preview?

Without further ado, the Pick Six for Thursday…

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Pick Six: Tuesday February 28

It seems as if the much-hyped trade deadline day is becoming less and less exciting every year. The days of the blockbuster trades in which teams are either clear buyers or clear sellers are a thing of the past, thanks to the salary cap and its resulting parity. Fantasy teams will experience little to no effect from the day that was; nonetheless, I’ll break down the day that was (or wasn’t) from a fantasy perspective as far as the most significant names are concerned.

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Pick Six: Saturday February 25

Another two days, another two deals with fantasy hockey implications. Saturday’s Pick Six highlights the two recent trades, although Saturday features 22 of the league’s 30 teams in action. Chicago, Florida, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Tampa Bay all play two games this weekend, while all other teams play one game.

Here are the confirmed starting goalies for Saturday, according to Left Wing Lock: Dwayne Roloson, TB; Jaroslav Halak, STL; Alex Auld, OTT; James Reimer, TOR; Jimmy Howard, DET.

Don’t forget to check back on Monday night, when I will highlight at least six key players who will be moved at Monday’s trade deadline and how the change in addresses will affect fantasy values of those involved.

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About The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

My name is Ian Gooding, and this is The Goods on Fantasy Hockey. Given my ability to understand numbers, write sentences, and follow hockey, it’s not a surprise to those who know me that I became a fantasy hockey writer. I started writing about fantasy hockey in 2006 for fantasyhockey.com and became the site’s content editor in 2007. Looking to expand my audience, I joined Kukla’s Korner in the summer of 2011 to create the site’s first fantasy hockey blog.

A few times each week, I’ll provide an article called “Pick Six” where I will write about six players that should either be in your fantasy team’s starting lineup or bench for the upcoming game. As well, I’ll provide the fantasy takes on important hockey developments. You can also email me your questions or comments to gooding74@shaw.ca, or follow me on Twitter.

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