The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 03/03/12 at 02:22 AM ET
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.
Jonas Gustavsson, G, TOR – start
Gustavsson was scheduled to start on Saturday against fellow struggling Original 6 rival Montreal (Jonas Siegel), but that was before Wilson was replaced by Carlyle behind the bench. As mentioned above, we won’t really know who the starting goalie will be until game time, unless Carlyle mentions in his press conference that he plans to be more forthcoming with goalie information than he was in Anaheim. Since reporting for the Maple Leafs is Toronto’s largest industry, perhaps he will be forced to spill the beans a little more often. Has there been a theme established for today’s article yet?
Tim Connolly, C, TOR – drop
If the Leafs could fire large contracts instead of coaches, perhaps Connolly would be on the chopping block. Perhaps that’s where he should be when it comes to your fantasy team. Struggling teams usually contain struggling players, and Connolly (four points in his last 18 games) certainly fits the bill. There is a serious dropoff in Leafs’ scoring after Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, so Connolly could be a victim of his linemates more than anything.
Tyler Ennis, LW, BUF – add/start
The Ennis-Cody Hodgson-Drew Stafford line is going to be a second line to watch for the rest of the season. Hodgson and Stafford have been mentioned in my last two articles, so it’s Ennis’ turn today. Ennis has points in each of his last four games to go with a +4, along with points in seven of his last eight games. Don’t forget that Ennis was a preseason sleeper, which is why it makes sense that he would be making up for lost time.
Justin Faulk, D, CAR – add/start
Faulk, a Canes’ rookie d-man with strong offensive upside, has six points in his last ten games. It’s always wise to look at the power-play peripherals when adding defensemen, and Faulk has that aspect covered with 11 of his 17 points on the man advantage. The Canes face a horribly inept Lightning defense, which makes Faulk worth consideration in leagues with 4+ defensemen.
Steve Mason, G, CBJ – ignore
Mason recorded his first shutout of the season on Thursday against Colorado. But does that mean that you should rush to the waiver wire in the hopes that he will add another goose egg on Saturday? Get real. The Coyotes don’t scare anyone offensively, but they are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. There is no stat in Mason’s game that would suggest that he should be in your lineup (9-22-3, 3.38 GAA, .889 SV%).
Kris Letang, D, PIT – bench
Letang is the most recent member to rejoin the concussion club, thanks to a borderline hit from Eric Nystrom on Wednesday. Letang is sidelined for Saturday’s game at a minimum, and we’d have to think that he’d be a risky play for next week as well. Too bad, because don’t you think that the Penguins would be the strongest team in the Eastern Conference if only Letang and Sidney Crosby were both back in the lineup?
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Tags: fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jonas+gustavsson, justin+faulk, kris+letang, pick+six, steve+mason, the+goods, tim+connolly, tyler+ennis
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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.