The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 02/09/12 at 01:41 AM ET
I’ll kick off the Pick Six for Thursday with a list of confirmed starting goalies, courtesy of Goalie Post: Scott Clemmensen, FLA; Cory Schneider, VAN; Leland Irving, CGY; Johan Hedberg, NJ. The other goalies listed have not been confirmed, but they might be wise starts given recent play and matchups.
Evgeni Nabokov, G, NYI – start
Avoiding Islanders goalies may now officially be a thing of the past. Nabby has won six of his last seven starts, including a 1-0 shootout shutout against the Flyers on Tuesday. The punchless Canadiens could provide an even easier test on Thursday. Keep in mind that his value for the remainder of the season is very difficult to project. The Islanders may decide to trade him to a contender, who may employ him as a backup.
James Reimer, G, TOR – start
Optimus Reim has re-established himself as the Leafs’ number one goalie, thanks to three consecutive wins, two of which were shutouts. Reimer was named the NHL’s Third Star last week after making 74 saves without allowing goals in back-to-back games against Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Ottawa on Saturday. Expect him to continue to get the call as the Leafs attempt the improbable – a playoff berth.
David Perron, RW, STL – add/start
Perron has been an interesting player to watch since returning from a year-long concussion. He has probably flown under the radar in many fantasy leagues despite his 20 points (5g-15a) in 27 games. He is also a +8, which is a number that could climb, since many of his Blues teammates are solid plus players this season.
David Clarkson, RW, NJ – add/start
Normally a penalty minute wonder, Clarkson has a five-game point streak with five goals in his last five games. Clarkson, who is already up to 21 goals this season, is being used on the power play, which is where he recorded his most recent tally on Tuesday against the Rangers. The Blues are a stingy squad this season, but don’t be afraid to add Clarkson to your team for help in both goals and penalty minutes (88 this season).
Byron Bitz, VAN – watch
Bitz was a surprising star on Tuesday against Nashville, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the first period playing alongside the Sedins in an interesting line shuffle from Alain Vigneault. He probably won’t stay there and won’t likely remain as a top-6 forward, but Canucks need more toughness and may have to look from within. Bitz has missed the last season and a half following hernia surgery and was playing in only his second game with the Canucks. If you combine Bitz’s second game with his first, he has accomplished a Gordie Howe hat trick, since he fought during Saturday’s game against Colorado. For what it’s worth (a lot), Henrik Sedin could miss Thursday’s game against Minnesota after blocking a shot during Tuesday’s game (National Post).
Craig Anderson, G, OTT – bench
The rollercoaster season for Anderson continues. Mr. Anderson allowed five goals against Toronto on Saturday, and then he was pulled in the first period against St. Louis on Tuesday after allowing two goals on four shots. Thursday’s matchup against a surprisingly strong Nashville offense won’t be any easier for Andy, unless Sens coach Paul MacLean decides to start Alex Auld instead. Either way, the bench is probably the best place for the struggling Anderson on Thursday.
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Tags: byron+bitz, craig+anderson, david+clarkson, david+perron, evgeni+nabokov, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, james+reimer, pick+six, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter.