The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 03/01/12 at 01:35 AM ET
Now that the trade deadline has finally come and gone, we can now focus on gearing our fantasy teams toward the fantasy playoffs. In one league, my fantasy playoffs start next week, so it’s important that I have my team in order so that I can compete for the money!
So what’s in store for Thursday? Nine games, that’s what. The matchup to watch will involve a surging St. Louis team rolling into Vancouver to play the Canucks, who are back from a grueling six-game road trip. Could it be a possible playoff preview?
Without further ado, the Pick Six for Thursday…
Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL – start
Landeskog is currently riding a six-game point streak, including six points and a +7 over his last three games. Impressive is his 40 points that is only one point behind Adam Henrique among NHL rookies, but even more impressive is his somewhat unexpected +22. Both keeper and non-keeper leaguers need to take this Calder Trophy candidate seriously.
Drew Stafford, RW, BUF – add
Stafford could be considered a mild bust this season, but at least he has shown signs of life recently with five points in his last five games. Having a new center in tow in Cody Hodgson could help Stafford continue this recent run, as the Sabres have been inconsistent up the middle all season – certainly a factor in Stafford’s lack of scoring (31 points in 60 games).
Danny Briere, RW, PHI - bench
To put it nicely, Briere has simply fallen off the map since returning from his concussion ten games ago – correction, he fell off the map well before that. He has not only not scored a goal since his return, but he has also not scored a goal since netting a hat trick on January 7 – a span of 17 games. Don’t be surprised if you were a Flyers fan and didn’t know, since Philadelphia’s angst seems to be directed toward Ilya Bryzgalov and whether he can be trusted in the playoffs.
Nicklas Backstrom, C, WAS – drop
Should it be that surprising that the Capitals are hanging on for dear life in the playoff race? Point-per-game scorer Backstrom has shown no signs of returning from his concussion, which has gotten so bad that he might not return this season. If you are in your own playoff fight and need more immediate scoring help, it might be time to cut your losses and more on.
Semyon Varlamov, G, COL – start
Varlamov is the goaltender du jour in the Mile High City, and he has been confirmed to start Thursday’s matchup against the hapless Blue Jackets. Varly deserves the starter’s chair, at least for the moment, with three consecutive wins and only two goals allowed during that span. Roll with him while he’s hot, but it wouldn’t hurt to handcuff J.S. Giguere to your team.
Brian Elliott, G, STL – start
Jaroslav Halak has made four consecutive starts for the Blues, but it will finally be Elliott’s turn with the second of back-to-backs on Thursday in Vancouver. The Canucks are usually a matchup to avoid, especially for what could be a tired Blues team, but Elliott’s numbers this season are still unreal (1.65 GAA, .937 SV%, 6 SO). Elliott has lost his last two starts, but had won five in a row before that.
Goalie confirmations courtesy Left Wing Lock.
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Tags: brian+elliott, danny+briere, drew+stafford, fantasy+hockey, gabriel+landeskog, ian+gooding, nicklas+backstrom, pick+six, semyon+varlamov, 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.