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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: March of the Penguins

If you don’t think the Pittsburgh Penguins are the league’s strongest team right now (sorry Chicago Blackhawks fans), you might not know that their win against Montreal was their 13th straight. Even after two roster additions this week, the Penguins still might not be done with the trade deadline fast approaching. Two Penguins plus one potential Penguin highlight the latest fantasy hockey Pick Six.

Brenden Morrow, LW, PIT
It shouldn’t be all that surprising that the Stars have decided to part ways with Morrow. After all, Morrow has seen his icetime drop from nearly 20 minutes a game during his 33-goal campaign two seasons ago to just under 15 minutes per game this season. Morrow’s production this season (11 points in 29 games) hasn’t made him fantasy-worthy, but that could all change in Pittsburgh. It’s possible that Dan Bylsma could use him on the second line with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin (upon his return), but he may also end up on the third line where his checking and leadership will be vital to a Pens’ team looking for a deep playoff run. (Note: Morrow was held without a point in 12:55 of icetime in his Penguins’ debut on Tuesday.) Morrow’s short-term value has improved with the move, and his name will be one that you might be looking at if you participate in playoff pools.

Joe Morrow, D, DAL
The 20-year-old Morrow may see some NHL action this season, although he might not be a name to consider right away in single-season leagues. However, the other Morrow was one of many young Penguins blueline prospects, and his skill set of power-play ability and physical play seems to be more of what the Stars need than what the Penguins need.  Some names that you may see on the Pens’ blueline over the next few seasons that you may want to keep an eye on in keeper leagues includes Derrick Pouliot, Simon Despres, Olli Maatta, and Scott Harrington.

Justin Peters, G, CAR
If you are a Cam Ward owner (like I am), it hasn’t been an easy season. First Ward owners needed to add Dan Ellis, and then Ellis owners faced their own set of problems when Ellis also went to IR. In comes third-stringer Peters, who has played well at times in his limited action. In case you’re wondering, John Muse is the next name on the list should Peters have the same luck as Ward and Ellis. Add Peters if he is available, although it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for the Canes to add a veteran rental goalie at the trade deadline.

Jarome Iginla, RW, CGY
Iginla’s name is the one being mentioned the most when it comes to NHL trade rumors these days. According to those in the know, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the teams believed to be on Iggy’s short list. On one of those teams, Iginla probably wouldn’t see the 20 minutes of icetime per game that he currently plays with the Flames, and he may slot in on a second-line role rather than a first-line role. One upside is that his plus/minus could improve from his current (-6). Before you start shuttling out trade offers, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that Iginla will be traded before the deadline, which would mean that his fantasy value would remain the way that it has always been.

Devin Setoguchi, RW, MIN
The Wild are giving the Canucks everything they can handle in a somewhat unexpected Northwest Division race, and integral in that surge is Setoguchi. Once an appealing option on Joe Thornton’s line in San Jose, Setoguchi is showing he is capable of rostering with 14 points over his last 12 games. His current center, Mikko Koivu, is a similar playmaker-type center, so it makes sense that Seto should continue to light the lamp (6 goals in his last 7 games). He’s worth checking to see if he’s still available.

Tomas Vokoun, G, PIT
I was scrambling to find one more player to add to the list when I noticed that Marc-Andre Fleury left Tuesday’s game against Montreal with a possible concussion. If that is the case, Vokoun would be the short-term starter on what could be the league’s strongest team right now. Vokoun is available in the majority of leagues, but those leaguers that already own him probably understand that owning a backup goalie on a strong team is often a better idea than owning a starting goalie on a bad team. His ratios (2.72 GAA, .910 SV%) aren’t super strong, but at least Vokoun should continue starting one of two back-to-backs if Fleury doesn’t happen to miss time.

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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.