The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 01/21/12 at 12:00 AM ET
Saturday shapes up to be one of the busiest nights of the week, with only Pittsburgh and Washington not in action that day. Those two teams return to action on Sunday, facing each other in NBC’s game of the week. Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, and Philadelphia also play on Sunday, meaning that those four teams are the only four that play both Saturday and Sunday.
As per usual, here are six players to take notice of in the world of fantasy hockey…
Peter Mueller, RW, COL – add/start
With all of the doom and gloom surrounding concussions, the return of Mueller this month is a great story. The former WHL scoring star scored two goals and added an assist against Florida on Wednesday, although he had failed to record a point in his previous six games. Those in deeper leagues could add Mueller and hope that Wednesday’s performance is a sign of things to come.
Brandon Yip, RW, NSH – watch
Claimed off waivers from Colorado on Thursday, Yip was a waiver-wire surprise two seasons ago with 11 points and 19 points in 32 games two seasons ago. The Predators seem to forever need help with scoring, so expect Barry Trotz to try Yip on one of the scoring lines at some point. Yip, who did not play for the Predators on Thursday, is someone that you could add to your watch list.
Joffrey Lupul, RW, TOR – trade
Because of the Leafs’ defensive struggles, Lupul has been pulled off the Leafs’ top line with Phil Kessel and is now playing on a line with Nazem Kadri and Tim Connolly. Yes, I know Lupul dished out three helpers against Minnesota on Thursday and that he now has 51 points already, but the recent line shuffle combined with Lupul’s career stats scream sell high. Since you probably grabbed him from the waiver wire early this season, see if you can flip him for a player that holds elite market value.
Viktor Stalberg, LW, CHI – add/start
As I’ve mentioned time and time again, fantasy hockey is all about linemates, so Stalberg has it made right now. The most recent winner to play on the Blackhawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Stalberg has five goals in his last five games. Included in that run is a hat trick against Columbus on January 10. Stalberg is only owned in about one out of every four Yahoo leagues, so he is likely there for the taking.
Andrew Shaw, C, CHI – add/start
Shaw is probably the most improbable rookie to go on a scoring run this season, since it is rare that fifth-round picks play in the NHL the year they are drafted. Still, Shaw is raising eyebrows with his play, scoring goals in four consecutive games. In fact, Shaw has inadvertently started his own Twitter trend known as #ShawFacts (at first, I thought that meant useless facts about my cable company, but it reads more like a list of Chuck Norris accomplishments). You might as well jump on the bandwagon while he is making believers out of everyone, but he will undoubtedly hit the rookie wall at some point.
Jonas Hiller, G, ANA – start
New coach Bruce Boudreau’s system has the Ducks playing dramatically better, particularly in their own end (a comment that will no doubt catch Capitals fans by surprise). Hiller has allowed just five goals in his last four games and has also recorded three consecutive wins, including a shutout win over Edmonton on Friday. It is safe to move him back into your starting lineup if you banished him to the bench earlier this season. Don’t be surprised if the workhorse starter plays on both Saturday and Sunday.
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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.