The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 10/19/11 at 05:00 PM ET
With 11 games on tap, Thursday promises to be a busy night with lots of important roster decisions. So let’s not waste any time with the Pick Six for the day, which includes some fireballs and icicles from the first two weeks of the season.
Phil Kessel, RW, TOR – start
Unless you live as far away from the centre of the Canadian universe as possible, you’ll already know that Kessel has been on fire this season. Kessel has busted out of the gate as a new man, leading the NHL with six goals and nine points, as well as demonstrating a commitment to becoming a more complete player. If you’ve owned Kessel in the past, you’ll know that he scores in bunches, so a goal-scoring drought is inevitable. However, he’ll have a chance to stick it to his former team on Thursday - maybe, just maybe proving that Brian Burke knew what he was getting into when he parted ways with two first-round picks.
David Legwand, C, NSH – start
We’re still very early into the NHL season, but Legwand is a surprise name at the top of the NHL scoring race. Legwand has posted eight points in five games, including a two goal, two assist effort against St. Louis on October 8. Legwand didn’t record a point in his last game on Monday against Edmonton, but don’t assume that a slump is forthcoming. On Thursday, he and the Preds face a Canucks team that is having all sorts of defensive issues right now (it was ugly if you’re a Canucks fan and had to sit through the third period of Tuesday’s game against the Rangers).
David Jones, RW, COL – add/start
Jones has scored four goals in his last three games, including an overtime game-winner for the Avalanche on Monday in Toronto. You may be surprised to learn that Jones tied for the goal-scoring lead on the Avs last season with 27 goals, although his 18 assists last season and one assist this season seem relatively meager in comparison. The Avalanche have won five games in a row and return home to face Chicago on Thursday, so Jones is a possible add in mid-level to deep leagues for teams needing a right wing.
Marc-Andre Bergeron, D, TB – add/start
It seems as though MAB is either on fire or riding the pine. Right now he is the former, leading NHL defensemen with eight points (2g-6a) in six games. Even though he scored just eight points in 23 games with the Lightning last season, Bergeron has found a way to fit in with the Lightning’s high-octane offense. Add him if he’s available, but don’t be surprised if a series of scoreboard donuts could be followed by a healthy scratch or two at some point.
Scott Hartnell, LW, PHI – bench
The Flyers’ offseason upheaval seems to have pushed Hartnell down the depth chart. Demoted to the third line, Hartnell’s icetime has not exceeded 13 minutes in any game this season. His production may not look terrible at this point (two assists in five games), but his fantasy owners have to be wondering how long he will stay in this current situation. On a night as busy as Thursday, you might be best to move him to your bench and keep him there until either an injury or a line reshuffle.
Dwayne Roloson, G, TB – bench
At least it’s early, but Roloson hasn’t been any kind of help for fantasy teams. Over his last three games, Roli has allowed at least five goals, including a seven-goal meltdown at the hands of the Florida Panthers (who knew they could score?) As a result, Bolts coach Guy Boucher could turn to Mathieu Garon for Thursday’s tilt against the Islanders. Even if Roli were to start this game, you can’t possibly risk another hit to your goals-against average or save percentage. Send him to the bench until he and the Lightning get things sorted out.
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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.