The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 02/11/12 at 02:56 AM ET
A total of 12 games are on the Saturday schedule, so it’s not the busiest Saturday night on record. However, all of your players on Canadian teams will be action, since it is Hockey Day in Canada. The Jets, who were an American team last season, are the only Canadian team not to be facing a team north of the border, as they face off against Pittsburgh. No doubt the CBC executives were thinking Sidney Crosby when they scheduled that game!
To help you plan for the weekend:
Teams with two games: Columbus, Florida, Los Angeles, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Teams with no games: Carolina
All other teams play one game this weekend on either Saturday or Sunday.
The following goalies have been confirmed for Saturday (Goalie Post): Martin Brodeur, NJ; Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT; Nikolai Khabibulin, EDM; Craig Anderson, OTT; James Reimer, TOR; Semyon Varlamov, COL; Brian Elliott, STL; Steve Mason, CBJ.
Carey Price, G, MON – start
Struggling teams don’t always equate to struggling goalies. The Price has been right lately with three consecutive wins, wins in five of his last seven games, and shutouts in two of his last three games. Expect a strong start against the Leafs in an all-Canadian Original Six matchup in prime time on Saturday.
Dany Heatley, RW, MIN – start
The Wild forward is heating up with five goals and nine points in his last seven games. He and the Wild are facing a Columbus team with the now second-worst team goals-against average in the league. You know what to do here, even if the Wild are freefalling down the Western Conference standings.
Ray Whitney, LW, PHX – start
Whitney currently leads the Coyotes with 50 points (16g-34a), including a seven-game point streak and seven points (all assists) in four games this month. Expect that streak to continue on Saturday against Chicago – a team that should not be having the goaltending issues that it has. One of the truly ageless wonders in hockey, Whitney will have teams like the Bruins, Sharks, and Rangers who are looking to load up on forward depth no doubt hounding the Coyotes prior to the trade deadline (Pierre LeBrun).
Sam Gagner, C/RW, EDM – add/start
Since last week’s eight-point outburst, Sam simply hasn’t stopped. Sam-I-am is already up to an astounding eight goals, six assists, and a +6 in just four games in February. You’d be unwise to leave him on the waiver wire on Saturday against Ottawa, a team that has sunk to the third-worst team goals-against average in the NHL. By the way, his ownership has skyrocketed from 6 percent on his magical night to 43 percent today.
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, STL – bench
Captain Kirk is known for his peaks and valleys, which you would be all too familiar with if you owned him last season when he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche. The Blues continue to roll right along in spite of Shattenkirk’s most recent run of cold (no points in eight games). Bench him on Saturday, but don’t drop him entirely from your roster, since the Blues also play on Sunday.
David Krejci, C, BOS – bench
The injury news has gone from bad to worse for Nathan Horton, who is back to square one in his recovery from another concussion (TSN). Horton’s injury seems to have affected Krejci the most, as the Bruins’ center is without a point in his last four games and has only one assist in his last six. Worse yet, he has been demoted to the Bruins’ third line between the underwhelming Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron (Boston Herald). Krejci will eventually break out of his funk, but his short-term value is lower than many others at the deep center position.
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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.