The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 01/19/12 at 02:33 AM ET
There will be no lengthy introduction for the Pick Six for Thursday, since I am feeling under the weather right now. A few people I know believe that my current condition was brought on by my attending the Canucks/Kings game last night – a game I enjoyed watching even though my Canucks lost in a shootout.
Speaking of sickness, this Pick Six includes two players from a team that is clearly not well right now – the Buffalo Sabres. It will be interesting to see if long-time coach Lindy Ruff makes it through the week, let alone the season.
Jaroslav Halak, G, STL – start
Even though Brian Elliott’s unexpectedly amazing play has forced a timeshare, Halak has racked up five consecutive wins, including shutouts in two of last three starts. He is starting at home against an Edmonton team that is struggling in all areas right now (Jeremy Rutherford). Make sure you’re not leaving him on your bench any longer.
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, STL – start
Shattenkirk’s point totals this month (three points in seven games) aren’t that impressive. However, he is currently a +7 this month for a Blues team that has made its way into the discussion. Overall, Shattenkirk has 23 points and a +17 for the season – a nice followup after bursting onto the scene last season with Colorado. There’s no reason that he, or any high-scoring Blues, won’t find success on Thursday against the Oilers.
Taylor Hall, LW, EDM – bench
Hall is doubtful for Thursday after taking an errant Corey Potter skate to his head during pre-game warmups (CBC). The former first overall pick has a strange record of injuries over his brief NHL career, as you may recall his broken ankle from a fight last season. The 30-stitch cut will probably need more time to heal than just overnight. Also expect him to be wearing a helmet during pre-game warmups when he returns.
Ryan Miller, G, BUF – bench
Did Miller ask for a trade or not? That seems to be one of the burning questions in the hockey world this week (TSN). Something we can probably agree on is the fact that Miller is not an elite fantasy goalie right now – possibly even into the future. His 11-13-2 record, 3.12 GAA, and .898 SV% have done more harm than good to fantasy rosters. The majority of the fiery Miller’s struggles have followed his return from the concussion that he suffered at the hands of Milan Lucic. The struggling Sabres will be playing their second of back-to-back games against Winnipeg on Thursday, so don’t expect a ton of support.
Jason Pominville, RW, BUF – start
Hey, it’s not all bad in Buffalo. With his two goals on Wednesday against Chicago, Pominville leads the Sabres with 46 points (17g-29a) in 46 games. The Sabres’ captain and Thomas Vanek are probably the only Sabres worth starting in a fantasy lineup right now, as both are above 40 points and no other Sabre has more than 25 to his name.
Todd Bertuzzi, RW, DET – start
Fantasy hockey is all about linemates, and when you have linemates named Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, you can expect to earn points. Big Bert has reappeared on the fantasy landscape recently, scoring three goals and two assists in his last three games. The Red Wings’ ascent to the top of the Western Conference has also benefitted Bertuzzi, who currently sits at a +21.
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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.