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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Entries with the tag: pick six

Pick Six Wrapup

If you play in fantasy hockey head-to-head leagues, you probably already know that a top-notch win-loss record doesn’t always promise the number one finish in the league.

All it takes is for one poor fantasy playoff week – an injury or two, or substandard play from otherwise solid performers – to end the season without the first-place trophy you were actively seeking all season. So with luck being an increased factor in the fantasy hockey playoffs, why bother checking your team at all during the regular season?

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  Tags: daniel+sedin, derek+dorsett, detroit+red+wings, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, ian+gooding, josh+gorges, matt+martin, pick+six, roberto+luongo, the+goods, vancouver+canucks

Pick Six: Thursday March 29/Friday March 30

Here is something to give you an edge if you are in a dogfight of a head-to-head matchup this week and you want to maximize your games played.

Teams playing three out of the remaining four games this week: Boston, Florida, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh.

In other words, if you’re looking at any waiver-wire pickups for the rest of the week, you should take a hard look at players from those teams.

But as per usual, here is my Pick Six for both Thursday and Friday.

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  Tags: allen+york, ben+bishop, christian+ehrhoff, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jason+zucker, marcus+foligno, pick+six, ryan+jones, the+goods

Pick Six: Tuesday March 27

Two weeks is all that is left in the fantasy season. So if you’re reading this, you’re still competing in your fantasy league to some degree. Perhaps you are competing in your league finals, or perhaps you are in the head-to-head matchup in which the loser finishes dead last. No, I’m not in that position, but as of yesterday I know for sure that I won’t win every league that I’m competing in. But I do have first place locked up in one roto league and am still competing for first in two other head-to-head leagues.

In the spirit of trying to pull out every last stop, this Pick Six strictly lists notable players that I’ve added or dropped over the past few days. At this stage I’m paying some attention to matchups and recent performance, but a solid argument can be made for just about any player if the add is only for only a game or two.

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  Tags: david+perron, devan+dubnyk, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, kimmo+timonen, mikael+samuelsson, pick+six, taylor+hall, the+goods, travis+hamonic

Pick Six: Saturday March 24/Sunday March 25

Since your fantasy team might be in playoff survival mode, checking the schedule and starting goalie information becomes excruciatingly more vital. Here is a rundown of what you need to know for the weekend:

Teams with two games: Boston, Minnesota, Nashville, NY Islanders, Phoenix, Pittsburgh

Teams with no games: None

All other teams play either Saturday or Sunday.

Starting goalies confirmed for Saturday, according to Left Wing Lock: Kari Lehtonen, DAL; Dwayne Roloson, TB; Peter Budaj, MON; Ty Conklin, DET; Roberto Luongo, VAN.

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  Tags: duncan+keith, dwayne+roloson, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, martin+erat, pascal+dupuis, pick+six, radim+vrbata, the+goods, ty+conklin

Pick Six: Thursday March 22

A quick Pick Six tonight, although I should have something to prepare you for a Thursday in which 16 teams are in action.

Brian Rolston, LW, BOS – add/start
Rolston is on a roll with the Bruins, as he is currently on a three-game point streak with a +5 over that span. He performed his greatest damage on Monday, scoring four points in the 8-0 whitewash over Toronto. It is also worth mentioning that Rolston has eight points in 12 games as a Bruin. Perhaps the 39-year-old isn’t quite ready to hang ‘em up.

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  Tags: alexander+radulov, brian+rolston, cory+schneider, daniel+sedin, dany+heatley, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jaden+schwartz, pick+six, the+goods

Pick Six: Tuesday March 20

Monday night’s NHL action featured a Rangers-Devils opening-faceoff bloodbath, a fading Leafs team getting their lunch handed to them to the tune of 8-0 by the Bruins, and a similar result in the Sabres-Lightning game. (And I had to tune into the Wild-Canucks snoozefest.)

What could be in store on Tuesday? Probably nothing nearly as exciting. But the fantasy playoffs are finally upon us in most head-to-head formats, so there’s no need to create any more drama than there already is. Here are six players who could attract some attention on Tuesday, hopefully for the right reasons.

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  Tags: alexander+radulov, ben+bishop, curtis+glencross, dustin+brown, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, matt+cooke, pick+six, semyon+varlamov, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday March 17/Sunday March 18

Here’s what you need to know as you plan your fantasy team for the weekend. Of course, all of us who have played any kind of fantasy sports know that planning and skill only go so far – you also need the luck o’ the Irish. (Thankfully, my ancestry is one-quarter Irish.)

Saturday: 22 teams in action

Sunday: 12 teams in action

Teams with two weekend games: Carolina, Columbus, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

Teams with no weekend games: Dallas

All other teams play one game.

Saturday starters, according to Left Wing Lock: Ilya Bryzgalov, PHI; Brian Boucher, CAR; Dwayne Roloson, TB; Cory Schneider, VAN; Jimmy Howard, DET.

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  Tags: brian+boucher, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jamie+mcginn, johan+franzen, jordan+caron, kris+versteeg, martin+havlat, pick+six, the+goods

Pick Six: Thursday March 15/Friday March 16

Star players returning from injury should provide an added boost to playoff-bound fantasy teams. We all know of one particular notable player who will be returning on Thursday, but there are more names that you need to be aware of, especially if you’ve been stashing players on IR. To accommodate those players, picks for both Thursday and Friday are included. With the Wednesday news of one more player making an earlier-than-expected return, I’ll be breaking the rules a little by making this article a Pick Six plus one.

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  Tags: andrei+markov, erik+cole, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, ilya+bryzgalov, kari+lehtonen, kris+letang, matt+duchene, pick+six, sidney+crosby, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday March 10/Sunday March 11

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.

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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

Pick Six: Thursday March 8

At this time of year, teams are not all facing the same situation. Some teams are fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot, some teams have packed it in and are playing for jobs next season, while some teams would prefer that the playoffs start today. These differing situations can play a key role in the production of players on your fantasy team. As well, these situations are clearly noted in the Pick Six for Thursday – a day featuring 24 of the NHL’s 30 teams in action.

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  Tags: ben+bishop, daniel+sedin, david+krejci, dustin+tokarski, evander+kane, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, ian+gooding, pick+six, ryane+clowe, the+goods

Pick Six: Tuesday March 6

Tuesday features 12 games on the schedule, so it is a relatively busy day with some important decisions for fantasy owners. Many key decisions start in net, so you may be happy to know that four of the six choice in this version of the Pick Six happen to be goalies.  Let’s start with one well-known goalie who has once again found NHL employment after an almost year-long hiatus.

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  Tags: fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, joey+macdonald, marty+turco, mathieu+garon, mike+green, pick+six, ray+emery, ryan+malone, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday March 3

Because the trade deadline has now passed, the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t add or drop any more players. So it would make perfect sense that GM Brian Burke would fire coach and longtime friend Ron Wilson and replace him with equally prickly coach Randy Carlyle. There’s never a dull moment in Leafland, where things go really haywire when the team has won only once in the past 11 games.

So what will Carlyle be like for fantasy teams? I just hope you don’t own any Leaf goalies if you use any of the starting goalie sites like Goalie Post and Left Wing Lock. Carlyle is the anti-Christ when it comes to providing goaltender information, often telling Ducks beat reporters that his starting goalie would be the guy in the crease at the start of the game. In other words, good luck and be sure to brush up on your coin-tossing skills when it comes to predicting Leaf starting goalie information.

Before we kick off the Pick Six with the Leafs’ starting goalie for Saturday, here’s a pocket-sized rundown of the schedule this weekend:

Nine games are scheduled Saturday; seven games are scheduled Sunday.

Teams with two games: Boston, Colorado, Florida, NY Islanders

Teams with no games: Edmonton, Winnipeg

All other teams play one game.

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Pick Six: Thursday March 1

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…

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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

Pick Six: Tuesday February 28

It seems as if the much-hyped trade deadline day is becoming less and less exciting every year. The days of the blockbuster trades in which teams are either clear buyers or clear sellers are a thing of the past, thanks to the salary cap and its resulting parity. Fantasy teams will experience little to no effect from the day that was; nonetheless, I’ll break down the day that was (or wasn’t) from a fantasy perspective as far as the most significant names are concerned.

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  Tags: andrei+kostitsyn, ben+bishop, cody+hodgson, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, marc-andre+gragnani, paul+gaustad, pick+six, rick+nash, robin+lehner, the+goods, tom+gilbert, zack+kassian

Pick Six: Saturday February 25

Another two days, another two deals with fantasy hockey implications. Saturday’s Pick Six highlights the two recent trades, although Saturday features 22 of the league’s 30 teams in action. Chicago, Florida, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Tampa Bay all play two games this weekend, while all other teams play one game.

Here are the confirmed starting goalies for Saturday, according to Left Wing Lock: Dwayne Roloson, TB; Jaroslav Halak, STL; Alex Auld, OTT; James Reimer, TOR; Jimmy Howard, DET.

Don’t forget to check back on Monday night, when I will highlight at least six key players who will be moved at Monday’s trade deadline and how the change in addresses will affect fantasy values of those involved.

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  Tags: alex+auld, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jack+johnson, jeff+carter, kurtis+foster, marek+zidlicky, pick+six, slava+voynov, the+goods

Pick Six: Thursday February 23

Continuing with the special trade deadline coverage, the Pick Six features three players with present or past fantasy relevance that were traded this week. I have also squeezed in three players that could be recognizable on a Thursday that features nine games on the schedule, which includes a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference. Will the Wings’ home winning streak continue against a Canucks squad that is breathing down its neck for first overall in the NHL?

Kyle Quincey, D, DET – add
Could the Wings do to Quincey’s value what they did to Ian White’s? Quincey was in the middle of a slump with only three points in his last 19 games at the time of his trade back to Detroit, although he got off to a strong start and has demonstrated offensive prowess in the past. White already has Nicklas Lidstrom as his partner, which would explain his success this season. However, Quincey’s offensive upside and the fact that he now plays for a fantasy-friendly team could make him rosterable for the rest of the season.

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  Tags: antoine+vermette, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, justin+peters, kyle+quincey, pick+six, richard+bachman, steve+downie, the+goods, valtteri+filppula

Pick Six: Tuesday February 21

We’re less than a week away from Trade Deadline Day, which is already a national holiday in Canada and may soon one day be a holiday in the States too (cross your fingers).

So far there haven’t been any trades that have stolen any of the thunder away from next Monday, although the day will probably be remembered more for the quantity of deals made rather than the quality. Either way, I will attempt to target my coverage in the Pick Six over the next week toward players who have been traded or are on the trade block, although not all of my picks today will fall into that category. If anything, the Pick Six is defense-rich, and who couldn’t use help on defense?

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  Tags: alexei+ponikarovsky, christian+ehrhoff, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jeff+petry, mike+smith, pavel+kubina, pick+six, the+goods, victor+hedman

Pick Six: Saturday February 18/Sunday February 19

Let’s get started with what you need to know fantasy-wise for the weekend:

Teams playing both Saturday and Sunday: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Vancouver

Teams playing neither Saturday nor Sunday: Ottawa

Goalie starts Saturday, according to Left Wing Lock: Corey Crawford, CHI; Brian Elliott, STL; Cam Ward, CAR; James Reimer, TOR; Roberto Luongo, VAN; Mathieu Garon, TB; Kari Lehtonen, DAL

The emphasis of the weekend Pick Six seems to be on slumping players, which is the situation facing four of the six players listed today.

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  Tags: david+booth, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, john-michael+liles, mike+richards, milan+hejduk, pick+six, rick+nash, ryan+smyth, the+goods

Pick Six: Tuesday February 14

If you have to take a pass on watching hockey on Tuesday because of dinner reservations with the significant other, then I’m here to fill you in on what you’re about to miss. Valentine’s Day features nine NHL games, with two in particular that stand out: the top two teams in the Eastern Conference face off, and a perennial Western Conference powerhouse attempts to make history in front of its home fans. Two players that I have chosen for the Pick Six have been plucked from these matchups.

Here are the confirmed starting goalies for Tuesday, according to Left Wing Lock: Martin Brodeur, NJ; Jaroslav Halak, STL; Kari Lehtonen, DAL; Joey MacDonald, DET; Craig Anderson, OTT; Ray Emery, CHI.

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  Tags: andy+mcdonald, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, joey+macdonald, john+tavares, olli+jokinen, pick+six, ray+emery, ryan+callahan, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday February 11

A total of 12 games are on the Saturday schedule, so it’s not the busiest Saturday night on record. However, all of your players on Canadian teams will be action, since it is Hockey Day in Canada. The Jets, who were an American team last season, are the only Canadian team not to be facing a team north of the border, as they face off against Pittsburgh. No doubt the CBC executives were thinking Sidney Crosby when they scheduled that game!

To help you plan for the weekend:

Teams with two games: Columbus, Florida, Los Angeles, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay

Teams with no games: Carolina

All other teams play one game this weekend on either Saturday or Sunday.

The following goalies have been confirmed for Saturday (Goalie Post): Martin Brodeur, NJ; Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT; Nikolai Khabibulin, EDM; Craig Anderson, OTT; James Reimer, TOR; Semyon Varlamov, COL; Brian Elliott, STL; Steve Mason, CBJ.

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  Tags: carey+price, dany+heatley, david+krejci, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, kevin+shattenkirk, pick+six, ray+whitney, sam+gagner, the+goods

Pick Six: Thursday February 9

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.

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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

Pick Six: Tuesday February 7

Can fantasy hockey players learn something from the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory? Absolutely!

The football Giants were not exactly overwhelming during the regular season, becoming the first 9-7 team to ever win a Super Bowl. The Giants were also the last NFL team to clinch a playoff spot, needing a win in their final game against Dallas to get in. None of that mattered to the Giants, who knocked off opponents who clearly appeared to be better on paper.

In fantasy hockey head-to-head leagues, it doesn’t matter whether you are the first team or the last team to clinch a playoff spot. Some league reward the top two teams with first-round byes so that they face less competition, but after that there is no home field advantage for the team with the better record. Once you get into the fantasy playoffs, then all bets are off. You can never guarantee victory, but you can continually be looking for ways to bolster your team through trades and waiver-wire adds. I prefer the waiver-wire adds myself, since I control the entire transaction and don’t have to negotiate with another owner who could be looking to gain the upper hand in any deal.

Focusing on the here and now, Tuesday features 11 NHL games, which is a typical schedule for what is usually one of the league’s busier nights (Thursday and Saturday are the two other busy nights). We’ll start off with two names that should be gimmes for fantasy teams, but some recent numbers should reinforce why they should be in starting lineups.

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  Tags: clarke+macarthur, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, ilya+kovalchuk, mike+fisher, pick+six, ray+emery, ryan+kesler, scott+gomez, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday February 4

If a player can accomplish the highest single-game point total since 1988, then he should at least be worthy of mention in this little blog.

On Thursday, Sam Gagner shocked the hockey world with an eight, count ‘em, 8-point game against the Blackhawks. Suddenly Sam finds his name alongside two other names that probably ring a bell – Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey – in the Oilers’ record book. If he happened to be in your lineup, go buy yourself a lottery ticket. If he happened to be on your bench or you “almost” picked him up from the waiver wire, hopefully you had a box of tissues nearby.

Yet Gagner has slowly trickled down the Oilers’ depth chart in recent seasons, as the Oil has drafted clone-type forwards in Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Gagner had even been pushed down to the third line, often playing less than 15 minutes per game. Slowly he had turned into the forgotten man in the rebuilding effort - but not anymore.

I’ll return to Gagner in a moment as one of my Pick Six players for Saturday, but first here’s what you need to know for this weekend as you plan your lineup.

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  Tags: chris+stewart, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jiri+hudler, johan+hedberg, mikhail+grabovski, pick+six, sam+gagner, the+goods, ty+conklin

Pick Six: Tuesday January 31

After a five-day layoff, it’s back to fantasy hockey mode on Tuesday. All teams are back in action, with the exception of Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. With the other side of the All-Star break signaling the stretch run, roster decisions become that more important for fantasy teams who have an eye toward a league championship.

Here is your Pick Six for Tuesday, the last day in January:

Brendan Morrison, C, CHI – add/start
Even with Jonathan Toews set to return to the Blackhawks’ lineup for Tuesday’s showdown with Vancouver (ESPN), new acquisition Mo could see top-6 minutes against his former team. He recorded only 11 points in 28 games this season for Calgary, but trades more often than not increase a player’s short-term value. Morrison is expected to center the Hawks’ second line alongside returning All-Star Marian Hossa. If you have the roster space in a deep league, he’s worth a flier.

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  Tags: brendan+morrison, cory+schenider, david+desharnais, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jonathan+toews, lubomir+visnovsky, paul+martin, pick+six, roberto+luongo, ryan+whitney, the+goods

Pick Six: Tuesday January 24

A total of 26 teams are in action on Tuesday – all teams except Carolina, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Montreal. Detroit and Montreal are the only two teams playing on Wednesday, which is the last day before the All-Star break. Plan accordingly.

ESPN and Yahoo leagues are all operating under extended weeks, so there should be no worry about a three-day week in most formats. However, one CBS league I play in (and a money league at that) is operating on a three-day week, for some strange reason (hello Commissioner Jack?) Check your league settings to be sure.

Oh yeah, wasn’t there something about an Alex Ovechkin suspension that got lost in the Thomas-gate scandal? Don’t forget to bench Ovie for tomorrow’s game, although his three-game suspension won’t affect his status for the All-Star Game (would the NHL really do that?)

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  Tags: fantasy+hockey, francois+beauchemin, ian+gooding, j.s.+giguere, kyle+okposo, martin+erat, nathan+horton, pick+six, the+goods, tim+thomas, wayne+simmonds

Pick Six: Saturday January 21

Saturday shapes up to be one of the busiest nights of the week, with only Pittsburgh and Washington not in action that day. Those two teams return to action on Sunday, facing each other in NBC’s game of the week. Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, and Philadelphia also play on Sunday, meaning that those four teams are the only four that play both Saturday and Sunday.

As per usual, here are six players to take notice of in the world of fantasy hockey…

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  Tags: andrew+shaw, brandon+yip, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, joffrey+lupul, jonas+hiller, peter+mueller, pick+six, the+goods, viktor+stalberg

Pick Six: Thursday January 19

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.

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  Tags: fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jaroslav+halak, jason+pominville, kevin+shattenkirk, pick+six, ryan+miller, taylor+hall, the+goods, todd+bertuzzi

Pick Six: Tuesday January 17

Before I list the six picks for Tuesday, a day in which we see 11 games on the schedule, I’d like to congratulate a great friend in fantasy hockey on the five-year anniversary of his site.

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  Tags: david+booth, derick+brassard, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jay+harrison, matt+niskanen, pick+six, richard+bachman, ryan+kesler, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday January 14

Thursday’s Mike Cammalleri/Rene Bourque trade is an interesting deal on many different levels, including from a numbers perspective. Calgary seemed to be the consensus winner of the deal, since the Flames will receive the player who is viewed as more talented. Or is he?

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  Tags: craig+anderson, dave+bolland, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jason+arnott, mike+cammalleri, pick+six, rene+bourque, the+goods, thomas+greiss

Pick Six: Thursday January 12

There are 11 games on the schedule for Thursday, including a matchup that will perhaps make the Boston Bruins forget all about those evil Vancouver Canucks.

If you’re like me, then you’re probably growing weary of the hair-pulling and name calling that is still going on between Boston and Vancouver players, coaches, general managers, and media. I mean, this game took place last Saturday. It’s just Game 42 on the schedule. Let it go, okay? How has your fantasy team been doing in the meantime?

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  Tags: blake+wheeler, david+krejci, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, kyle+turris, milan+lucic, p.k.+subban, pick+six, saku+koivu, the+goods

Pick Six: Tuesday January 10

No team has been snakebitten more than the Pittsburgh Penguins when it comes to injuries this season.

As if the Sidney Crosby concussion watch wasn’t enough. Kris Letang has been dealing with his own concussion for several weeks. Then on Saturday, both Jordan Staal and James Neal suffered injuries that will keep them out of the lineup for several weeks. So when does it all end? Of course, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury will need to carry the Pens on their shoulders, although it would be another testament to the fine coaching of Dan Bylsma if they continued to play .500 hockey with all these injuries.

There’s at least one player who will log a ton of minutes with these injuries, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more. This player is on the Pick Six for Tuesday, a day in which all but four teams (Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Washington) are in action.

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  Tags: bobby+ryan, chris+kunitz, curtis+glencross, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jaroslav+halak, mark+streit, pick+six, ryan+getzlaf, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday January 7

Saturday will be an important day with many choices for fantasy owners, as the day features games involving all but four teams (Anaheim, Chicago, Florida, NY Rangers). Included on the schedule is the one and only Stanley Cup Final rematch of the season.

The game of the month happens to be on at 10 a.m. Vancouver time, so I am going to do something I have never done before:  go to my friend’s place to watch a hockey game that will be finished before we eat lunch. The reason for the early start time could be that the schedule is created prior to the Stanley Cup Final, or the reason could be that a game this important should not conflict with NFL Wild Card Weekend. Either way, the NHL is missing out on a glorious opportunity to promote a game featuring last year’s Stanley Cup finalists, who are two teams at or near the top of their respective conferences this season, and are two teams that have developed a strong dislike for each other.

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  Tags: brad+marchand, cory+schneider, daniel+alfredsson, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jonas+gustavsson, pick+six, roberto+luongo, ryan+o'reilly, steve+downie, the+goods

Pick Six: Thursday January 5

What were you doing when you found out that the score was 5-1 Russia at the World Junior semifinal on Tuesday? 6-1? I have to admit: I gave my son a bath, read him a story, and put him to bed.

When it seems like it’s over in Canada/Russia World Junior games, it ain’t over. Canada learned that lesson holding a 3-0 lead heading into the third period of the 2011 gold medal game, and we all remember the Mark Visentin collapse. As well, hockey fans from both sides of the border can remember the 2010 gold medal game, when both the Canadian and American starting goalies were pulled. No matter which goalie is in net during World Junior games, no lead is safe. Therefore, when it comes to medal round games, I’m picking all shooters and no goalies in my pool.

So sharing the spotlight with Russia and Sweden (and Canada/Finland for bronze) on Thursday will be 18 NHL teams. Which players deserve our attention?

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  Tags: carl+hagelin, cory+potter, evander+kane, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, ilya+bryzgalov, jamie+benn, pick+six, the+goods, tuukka+rask

Fantasy Hockey Mailbag

So how does the health of Sidney Crosby affect his fantasy value this season? What about for future seasons? I answer a question from a reader who was recently offered Sid the Kid in a keeper league trade, which I believe that he would be better off not making if he wants to win his league this season.

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  Tags: fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, pick+six, ryan+kesler, sidney+crosby, the+goods, tuukka+rask

Pick Six: Monday December 26

In Canada, we have our own version of Black Friday, called Boxing Day. (Apologies to my Canadian readers, who are already aware of this phenomenon.)

On Boxing Day, shoppers will line up before stores open, and then trample in to find the hottest discounts on electronics, furniture, appliances, clothing, sporting goods, and whatever else they desired for Christmas but didn’t receive.

So what does Boxing Day have to do with fantasy hockey? Just as you might search for items selling at less than full market value, you should always also be doing the same for your fantasy hockey team. Since your fantasy team has been standing still for the two-day Christmas break, this is also a good time to take stock of where you are and if there are superior assets on the waiver wire.

With the spirit of Boxing Day in mind, here are some bargain names that will be owned in approximately 50 percent or fewer Yahoo leagues – names that have likely been ignored despite good to great production. Speaking of Boxing Day, don’t forget about the World Juniors, which as always start on December 26! Go Canada!

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  Tags: derek+stepan, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, j.s.+giguere, michael+ryder, pick+six, ray+whitney, steve+ott, t.j.+oshie, the+goods

Pick Six: Thursday December 22/Friday December 23

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day promise us presents, great food, time with family - but no NHL hockey (NFL football, anyone?) For fantasy owners, that means that the current week shuts down early and that results from Thursday (16 teams in action) and Friday (22 teams in action) become that more important.

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  Tags: fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jared+cowan, mason+raymond, matt+cullen, matt+niskanen, michael+grabner, olli+jokinen, pick+six, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday December 17

Hopefully you didn’t spend a high fantasy draft pick on Chris Pronger this season.

Over the last 14 months, Pronger has missed time with injuries to his knee, foot, hand, and eye, in addition to the concussion that will end his season and may end his career.

When will this concussion problem end? So far we have Pronger, Claude Giroux, Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Milan Michalek, Jeff Skinner, Joni Pitkanen, Mike Richards, and Marc Staal – among others – sidelined with concussions.  Who will it be on Saturday? I don’t mean to joke about the situation, but this is getting laughable.

More extreme measures perhaps need to be taken, such as a European-sized rink or the return of the two-line pass. You’re probably groaning, but I’d take a more boring game over one without many of its brightest stars. Players have gotten bigger and faster over the years, meaning that they are capable of doing more damage – something that the experts who have played the game need to recognize.

Anyway, this is a fantasy column, so my job is to focus on the fantasy implications here. So we’ll start the Pick Six for Saturday with two defensemen who you’ll be seeing a lot of in Pronger’s absence.

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  Tags: chris+pronger, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jordin+tootoo, justin+williams, kimmo+timonen, matt+carle, michal+neuvirth, pick+six, radim+vrbata, taylor+hall, the+goods

Pick Six: Thursday December 15

I have plenty of choices for the headline for this edition of the Pick Six.

The concussion epidemic? Already covered it, although you can add Milan Michalek, Jeff Skinner, and Joni Pitkanen to the growing list.

The first episode of 24/7? Haven’t watched it yet, although I’ve saved it on the PVR and plan to watch it ASAP.

The classy comment from Dave Bolland? Sure, I have an opinion. But I’ll probably sound like a Canucks homer if I share it here.

No, I’m going to save my headline for a good friend of mine, Steven Ives.

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  Tags: antti+miettinen, erik+cole, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, nikita+nikitin, pick+six, steve+mason, teddy+purcell, the+goods, wayne+simmonds

Pick Six: Tuesday December 13

What’s the new dirty word in hockey? The c-word.

Given Sidney Crosby’s current state of affairs, the concussion is officially the injury that no one wants a part of. If a player was hit in the head and he leaves the game, everyone mentions the c-word. Perhaps the team won’t call it that, but if it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

A two-game break for precautionary reasons? I’m not buying it. After experiencing the feel-good story of the year, we’re back to where we were before. I don’t mean to sound negative, but the NHL needs its prime drawing card healthy. I just hope that the NHL’s current leading scorer, Claude Giroux, isn’t sidelined very long. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t watch a hockey game anymore and worry that one of my favorite players is going to get knocked in the head somehow.

It pains me to say that you need to bench Crosby and Giroux on Tuesday, so who should you start on a Tuesday in which 24 teams are in action?

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  Tags: drew+doughty, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jaroslav+spacek, kurtis+foster, kyle+brodziak, nick+foligno, pick+six, richard+bachman, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday December 10

Usually when a team trades for a proven NHLer, its fan base shows optimism while hyping up the new acquisition. But when the team is Montreal and the player is Tomas Kaberle, the reaction is “Why?”

There are plenty of reasons to doubt Kaberle. After all, the Habs will be taking on $4.25 million for two more seasons after this season for a defenseman that they won’t need once Andrei Markov returns. The most telling comment about Kaberle had to be from Canes GM Jim Rutherford, who said, “I should have known better,” when referring to his decision to sign him. I’m sure Rutherford didn’t make that comment while he was attempting to work that deal with Montreal!

So does all the cynicism and doubt about a player who has been in four different NHL organizations in 2011 mean that he is a player that you should ignore in fantasy leagues? Let’s discuss the road ahead for Kaberle, along with a few other players who have been noteworthy recently.

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  Tags: artem+anisimov, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, milan+michalek, olli+jokinen, patrick+marleau, pick+six, scott+hartnell, the+goods, tomas+kaberle

Pick Six: Thursday December 8

I stared at the TSN alert on my phone as I normally do when I read bad news.

“Pittsburgh Penguins says Sidney Crosby will sit out the next two games as a precaution.”

I don’t happen to own Crosby in any leagues. Crosby doesn’t even play for my favorite team; in fact, I had to swallow another bite of bad news later in the day with the announcement that David Booth, a player from my favorite team, would miss the next 4-6 weeks. But just like many Crosby owners out there, I automatically feared the worst. Is the injury concussion-related? The reports aren’t clear. But what if following these two games, he misses two more?

 

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  Tags: corey+crawford, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jamie+benn, john+tavares, kevin+bieksa, mike+ribeiro, pick+six, the+goods, zack+smith

Pick Six: Tuesday December 6

So… how about this realignment thing?

I know I write the fantasy hockey column at Kukla’s Korner, but chances are at this moment you’re paying more attention to realignment and how it affects your favorite team than your fantasy team. There are so many issues at play here: guaranteed home-and-home matchups with all teams; the new playoff format; lessened travel for Western Conference teams; which of Detroit, Nashville, or Columbus should move east; the yet-to-be-determined permanent home of the Phoenix Coyotes; and teams that should be contracted (a topic hardcore long-time fans love to bring up whenever relocation is discussed).

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  Tags: cal+clutterbuck, dan+boyle, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jarome+iginla, matt+moulson, milan+hejduk, pick+six, ryan+o'reilly, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday December 3

A total of 12 games are on the schedule for Saturday, meaning that all but six teams (Detroit, Colorado, Minnesota, Anaheim, Columbus, and Vancouver – all from the Western Conference) are in action. All of those teams except for the Blue Jackets play on Sunday, while Calgary is the only team that plays both Saturday and Sunday. So it should go without saying that you should load up on Flames and avoid Blue Jackets if you need to make up ground in offense this week in head-to-head leagues. Aside from the Flames and Blue Jackets, here are my weekend recommendations.

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  Tags: brian+elliott, eric+nystrom, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, nikolai+kulemin, patrik+berglund, pick+six, roberto+luongo, the+goods+on+fantasy+hockey, tyler+bozak

Pick Six: Thursday December 1

Thursday is somewhat busy night with eight games on the schedule. Perhaps there will be a few start/sit decisions in fantasy lineups, but I’ll use the opportunity to identify some unlikely names that could possess some immediate value and some usual names that are mired in slumps. And no, Bobby Ryan hasn’t been traded yet.

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Pick Six: November 29-30

Can coaching changes impact fantasy leagues? Sure! For starters, all players on the team begin with a clean slate as they attempt to make a solid first impression with the new bench boss. As well, a new coach provides a fresh set of eyes to look at some of the problems that the old coach couldn’t handle, meaning possible improved results for struggling players.

With that in mind, it was a bad day for coaches of struggling Southeast Division teams, as Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice were both handed their walking papers on Monday. Dale Hunter and Kirk Muller will both make their NHL head coaching debuts on Tuesday, which should make the St. Louis/Washington and Florida/Carolina matchups two to watch. This version of the Pick Six includes players who could be positively impacted by Monday’s coaching changes.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, bobby+ryan, cam+ward, cory+schneider, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jonas+hiller, magnus+paajarvi, pick+six, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday November 26

Just like many NHL teams, the Pick Six is playing back-to-backs on Friday and Saturday. Following a busy Black Friday, which you hopefully spent more time watching hockey than shopping, Saturday also provides plenty of action with 11 games on the schedule, meaning still more roster choices in daily leagues. Don’t forget that there are more afternoon starts on Saturday, all of which happen to be old Patrick Division clubs (Islanders at Devils, 1 p.m. ET; Flyers at Rangers, 2 p.m. ET).

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Pick Six: Friday November 25

With the exception of Colorado, Los Angeles, Nashville, and San Jose, all NHL teams are in action on Black Friday. You’ll need to set your fantasy lineups before you head out shopping, since the first game starts at 1 p.m. ET (Detroit vs. Boston).

Speaking of shopping, I have to admit that I don’t really like it, which may seem strange for someone who is a marketing major. However, anyone who knows me will say that I would rather study something than participate in it. I guess that’s why I play a lot more fantasy hockey than the real game. But since I don’t like shopping, I’m going to make the theme of this Pick Six players that you should not be purchasing in your fantasy league anytime soon.

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  Tags: david+booth, derick+brassard, dwayne+roloson, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, kyle+turris, pick+six, scott+gomez, the+goods, ville+leino

Pick Six: Wednesday November 23

As we near American Thanksgiving, we hockey fans have a lot to be thankful for. In particular, we need to be grateful for the return of one Sidney Crosby, the NHL’s marquee player. (Hopefully you’re not an Islanders fan – all of North America just got to see how lousy your team is.) So it should be no surprise that the most intriguing of Wednesday’s 13 games will be the St. Louis/Pittsburgh matchup, a game that many hockey fans will be checking to see how many points Crosby scored.

With all but four teams (Edmonton, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto) in action on Wednesday, hockey fans will have a large spread of games to choose from.  The same cannot be said for Thursday, a day in which the NHL will not play any games in an attempt to not compete with the NFL, which has cornered the market on Thanksgiving sports action.

And remember, I’m Canadian, so no turkey for me on Thursday. It’s a normal work day for me.

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  Tags: alexander+semin, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, marc-edouard+vlasic, matt+read, pick+six, ryan+kesler, sidney+crosby, stephen+weiss, the+goods

Pick Six: November 15-16

For the next Pick Six, I’m doing what the NHL Board of Governors do in changing the rules a little (will hits on goalies outside the crease be the next item on the agenda?) I realize that fantasy owners need to make roster decisions on both busy and non-busy nights; plus, some of the players I’d like to mention happen to play on the non-busy nights. So I’ve listed the player, recommendation, and day of next game for this version of the Pick Six. Hopefully my roster recommendations help you regardless.

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  Tags: cam+ward, derek+stepan, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jannik+hansen, kurtis+foster, milan+hejduk, pick+six, semyon+varlamov, the+goods

Pick Six: Saturday November 12

We have another busy Saturday coming up, with 22 of 30 teams in action. Included in this day’s Pick Six are some intriguing names that have made news one way or another recently.

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  Tags: craig+smith, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, james+wisniewski, jhonas+enroth, kris+russell, pick+six, rick+nash, sidney+crosby, the+goods

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