The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 10/24/11 at 11:00 AM ET
The season is only two and a half weeks old, yet in the words of Gary Bettman, we have a trade to announce. Like they have so many times before, the Canucks and Panthers hooked up for a four-player deal that sends David Booth, Steve Reinprecht, and a third-round pick to Vancouver, with Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm heading to Florida.
Does this deal mean anything to fantasy leaguers? Of course it does, not only for the parties involved but also the players around them.
I’ve included three of these players in my Pick Six for Monday and Tuesday, which also has an eye on the upcoming week. For a more comprehensive preview of the week ahead, check out my good friend Garrett Rees’ Looking Ahead article over at fantasyhockey.com. For more waiver wire options, check out long-time writer Evan Reynar’s article Fire on Ice.
Monday October 24
Max Pacioretty, LW, MON – start
It’s nice to see Max back to full speed after his brutal introduction to a stanchion from Zdeno Chara last season. With five points (2g-3a) in seven games this season, Pacioretty is tied for the struggling Habs’ scoring lead. The Habs play four times next week, including on a Monday where only three games are on the schedule. Do what I did and click the Add button.
Mikael Samuelsson, RW, FLA – bench
Samuelsson will probably be a top-6 forward in Florida, and he could see first-unit power-play time on the point in Florida, just as he did in Vancouver. However, fantasy owners eager to add him should know that he has missed his past two games because of stiffness related to his offseason hernia surgery. In addition, the presence of a ton of forwards in Florida (as I wrote about during the summer) will probably limit his icetime in even-strength and defensive situations – his most significant liability. Based on those factors, I’d be surprised if Samuelsson reaches 20 goals and 50 points again this season.
Marco Sturm, LW, FLA – drop
The Marco Sturm era in Vancouver came to a screeching halt after just six games. Sturm appears to have lost a step, with the two knee surgeries reducing the speed so important in his consistent 20-goal seasons. Sturm had failed to score a point with a (-5) in his brief stay with the Canucks while falling out of the team’s plans as a healthy scratch in two of the last three games. Perhaps the nowhere-fast Panthers will be more patient with him than the Canucks were, but your fantasy roster isn’t the place for you to find out if he will ever return to form.
Tuesday October 25
David Booth, LW, VAN – add/start
Booth’s value will be upgraded more than any other player for the two teams involved. He easily slots in beside Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins to form a “Team America” second line for the Canadian-based team. Booth was a (-31) last season and already a (-6) this season, but that number should improve dramatically playing for the Canucks. The Booth trade should be considered another sign that Mason Raymond won’t return from his back injury anytime soon. As well, the trade will probably bump prospect Cody Hodgson to the third line. Provided that his concussion issues are no longer a concern, Booth has the upside of 30 goals and 60 points with the Canucks.
Kari Lehtonen, G, DAL – start
Aside from Jonathan Quick, has there been a better goalie than Lehtonen since the start of the season? Lehtonen has run the table with a 6-0-0 record with a 1.48 GAA and .957 SV% so far, paying immediate dividends for fantasy owners who drafted him as a second or third goalie. Lehtonen will eventually cool off as his team will, but don’t expect that to happen on Tuesday against Phoenix. Lehtonen made 40 saves in a 2-1 win over Phoenix earlier this month, and his GAA was sub-2.00 last season against the Coyotes.
Mathieu Garon, G, TB – add/start
Garon is clearly the better goalie in Tampa Bay right now. Age may finally be catching up to Dwayne Roloson (4 GP, 5.11 GAA – yes, you read that right). Meanwhile, Garon earned a 21-save shutout against Buffalo on Saturday, with a return date on the calendar for Tuesday. Having handed Garon his second consecutive start on Saturday, Lightning coach Guy Boucher shouldn’t be afraid to go with the hot hand on Tuesday. Garon’s track record proves that he won’t hold down the starting job all season, but Roloson owners and other teams in need of goaltending may want to look into adding Garon.
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Tags: david+booth, fantasy+hockey, florida+panthers, ian+gooding, kari+lehtonen, marco+sturm, mathieu+garon, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, mikael+samuelsson, pick+six, steve+reinprecht, the+goods, vancouver+canucks
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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.