The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 03/10/12 at 05:04 AM ET
Is a Sidney Crosby return finally around the corner? Perhaps, but one player who has nearly the pedigree of Crosby has his own concussion issues, but is not receiving the attention that Sid the Kid is. I’ve included both players in my Pick Six for the weekend.
But first, here’s what you need to know heading into the weekend.
A total of 22 teams are in action on Saturday, while 16 teams are in action on Sunday.
Teams with two weekend games: Boston, Columbus, Carolina, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Toronto, Washington
Teams with no weekend games: Winnipeg
All other teams play one game either on Saturday or Sunday.
Mike Ribeiro, C, DAL – start
Aside from the Florida Panthers, the Dallas Stars have to be the most unlikely division leader at this time of year. The Stars have a recent stretch of nine games with at least one point, and Ribeiro has been perhaps the major reason why. Ribs had an eight-game point streak to end February, as well as 15 points over his last 12 games. Start him while the Stars are soaring.
Evgeni Nabokov, G, NYI – bench
After strong play for much of the season, Nabokov is back to the form that we’d normally expect from an Islanders goalie. If he has been in your lineup, perhaps you’ve noticed the recent damage of 19 goals allowed last over the last five games. But hey, look on the bright side, Islanders fans: at least he hasn’t been on IR for most of the season while raking it in on a 15-year contract.
Sidney Crosby, C, PIT – watch
In a Friday interview, Crosby wouldn’t reveal as to whether he will return on Sunday. But if I were a betting man, I would assume that he would still have no reason to rush back. As I suggested the first time he was near a return, Crosby owners in deep weekly leagues or needing to make up significant ground could roll the dice on him getting back into the lineup. But until we receive definitive word from doctors, Penguins management, or Crosby himself, assume that he will continue to be sidelined next week. But that shouldn’t stop you from paying attention anyway.
Jonathan Toews, C, CHI – bench
Given how everyone is zeroing in on the Crosby concussion watch, is anyone paying attention to the situation of fellow franchise player Toews? Captain Serious has not yet been cleared for contact, which makes his return for Sunday’s game against Los Angeles unlikely. Keep him on your bench or IR if possible, since he has those point-per-game numbers that are so valuable at this time of year.
Johan Hedberg, G, NJ – start
Hedberg is your waiver-wire goaltending add for the weekend, as he is expected to start for the Islanders on Saturday. It’s too bad he has to wait a week between starts, as he pitched a shutout in his last start on Friday, March 2, against Washington. Hedberg is 14-7-2 with a 2.42 GAA and 3 SO - fine numbers for a backup.
Matt Hackett, G, MIN – add/start
Just as the Wild’s playoff hopes are thinning out, so is the team’s number of NHL-ready goaltenders. Niklas Backstrom is expected to be sidelined a couple more weeks with a groin injury, while Josh Harding is currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Expect Hackett to start Sunday against Calgary as a result. He has been impressive in his limited time in the show this season (8 GP, 1.88 GAA, .943 SV%).
Goalie information courtesy Left Wing Lock.
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Tags: evgeni+nabokov, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, johan+hedberg, jonathan+toews, matt+hackett, mike+ribeiro, pick+six, sidney+crosby, the+goods
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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 email@example.com, or follow me on Twitter.