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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: Soreness in the Southeast

Cam Ward and Jose Theodore owners haven’t exactly had it easy this season, even before the news that both goalies would be sidelined for much of what’s left of the fantasy hockey season. But when one door closes, another one opens – unless someone else beat you to the waiver wire for their possible replacements. Regardless, let’s find out how these replacements could shape up in the world of fantasy.

Dan Ellis, G, CAR
Seemingly settled into a backup role these past few seasons, Ellis now has an opportunity to be a starter for awhile. It’s not as though Ellis doesn’t deserve that opportunity, given that his numbers (2.53 GAA, .923 SV) are better than Ward’s (2.84 GAA, .908 SV%) this season. Watch for recent callup Justin Peters as well, given his numbers in the A (2.29 GAA, .921 SV%). The Canes currently lead the Southeast and are a top-10 scoring team, so expect some more wins to come your way if nothing else.

Jacob Markstrom, G, FLA
If Markstrom can take the ball and run with it, the Panthers will have no need to trade for Roberto Luongo. Expected to split goaltending duties with journeyman veteran Scott Clemmensen, Markstrom has all the tools to be a solid NHL keeper. His AHL numbers aren’t quite as solid as Peters’ (2.65 GAA, .920 SV%), but Markstrom has a more impressive resume, having led Sweden to both a bronze and a silver medal during his two years at the World Junior Championship. At 6’6”, he is a shade shorter than Ben Bishop, the league’s tallest goalie.

Viktor Stalberg, LW, CHI
Just about everything is going right for Chicago right now, which makes even their secondary scorers worth an add given the team’s +29 goal differential in this shortened season. One such scorer is Stalberg, whose impressive size (6’3”, 210 lbs.) has earned him some recent power-play time. Stalberg has two goals, two assists, and a +5 over his last four games, representing a ground floor opportunity  with only 14% ownership in Yahoo leagues.

Tomas Kopecky, RW, FLA
A hat trick in one game might inflate a player’s stats, but it is worth noting that Kopecky has eight goals already, second on the Panthers to only Jonathan Huberdeau. Kopecky is also somewhat of a pest, so his penalty minute totals will also help your team. He has been held pointless in the three games since his hat trick, so you may just want to add him to your watch list in case he catches fire again.

David Desharnais, C, MON
I made the mistake of dropping Desharnais after a slow start. Karma has paid me back in a big way, as DD has scored points in seven of his past nine games, including three goals in his last two games. Desharnais is currently playing on a line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, and the three are putting up points at a crazy pace. Pacioretty will already be spoken for in your league, but Desharnais and Gallagher are worth looking for while the Habs are far surpassing expectations.

Vinny Prospal, C/LW, CBJ
Somebody has to lead the CBJs in scoring, and that somebody is Prospal, who seems to have been around forever. Okay, he’s only been in the NHL since the last millennium, but Prospal leads the Jackets in both goals (8) and points (12). Picking up any Blue Jackets player carries an immediate plus/minus risk, but good fantasy owners know that even players on bad teams can put up big numbers. Prospal isn’t going to singlehandedly win you your league, but 55 points last season is still nothing to sneeze at.

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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.