The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 02/02/13 at 02:49 AM ET
So where are all the fans that said they’d boycott the NHL when it came back? Attendance doesn’t seem to be suffering in the NHL’s better markets, and fans have soaked in their favorite sport more than ever. Fantasy hockey is no different, especially in a shortened season in which teams can’t afford to go into lengthy slumps.
As per usual, here are some names that have grabbed my attention in recent days.
Alex Galchenyuk, C, MON
Want to grab a super rookie that is available in most leagues? Try Galchenyuk, the third overall pick in last summer’s draft, who is confirmed to be sticking with the Habs for the rest of the season. Galchenyuk has picked up the offensive load (5 points in 6 games) from the injured Max Pacioretty and the slumping David Desharnais and Erik Cole. What if Galchenyuk is somehow not available? Add his teammate Brendan Gallagher to your watch list. Gallagher, who scored a ton of goals in the WHL, has four goals in five games and will also be staying in Montreal.
Dougie Hamilton, D, BOS
I’ve added Hamilton in a couple leagues, since the 19-year-old hasn’t looked out of place on the Boston blueline (4 points in 7 games). Hamilton looked like the second coming of Bobby Orr in the OHL last season (72 points and +37 in 50 games), while scoring at a point-per-game at the World Juniors. Being paired up with Zdeno Chara and seeing power-play time can’t hurt, either. Toronto fans don’t need to be reminded that he was the other draft pick in the Phil Kessel deal.
Matt Frattin, RW, TOR
Speaking of the Leafs, Frattin is the most obvious beneficiary of the Joffrey Lupul injury, scoring at a surprising pace after his callup from the AHL (four goals and two assists in four games). But don’t “beleaf” (sorry, couldn’t resist) that he will continue at that pace, especially his meager icetime numbers. However, he is yet another lightning in a bottle pickup who you can add right away and dump at the first sign of a slump.
Lubomir Visnovsky, D, NYI
This might be the “what, are you crazy” pickup on my list, but you may want to add him from waivers while no one is paying attention. After trying to find as many ways possible not to play on Long Island, Visnovsky is expected to finally report to the Islanders on Wednesday. Need more reasons? The Isles are near the top of the league in goals scored this season (27), and Visnovsky is only two seasons removed from a 68-point output.
Roberto Luongo, G, VAN
The Luongo story is possibly the strangest – yet nicest – stories of the season (I know I’m biased because I’m a Canucks fan). Assumed to be either riding the pine in Vancouver or starting elsewhere this season, Lu has reeled off three consecutive starts – the last two victories – with a fourth consecutive start likely on the horizon Monday against Edmonton. His run as the Canucks’ starting goalie throws a monkey wrench into the hands of Cory Schneider owners, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how this situation plays out. But for now, Luongo is back as fantasy elite (1.44 GAA, .944 SV%) and should not be stuck on any fantasy team’s bench.
Craig Anderson, G, OTT
Anderson deservedly earned the NHL’s First Star for January, posting some amazing numbers (5-1-1, 0.99 GAA, .968 SV%). We’re used to Anderson starting a lot of games, facing a ton of shots, and showing a goals-against average that fluctuates all over the map. Anderson may be on his way to a career season based on his strong start, but his strong numbers mean that it can only go downhill from here. Roll with him now, but don’t be afraid to sell high either.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter.