The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 10/21/11 at 05:00 PM ET
It’s yet another busy Saturday, with all but two teams (Anaheim and Phoenix) in action. Be sure that you set your lineup early, as the day features two afternoon starts (Nashville at Calgary, Minnesota at Vancouver – both at 4 p.m. ET). Here goes…
Joffrey Lupul, LW, TOR – add/start
In the game of hockey, playing on the right line is everything. Lupul is proof of that right now, off to a hot start playing on Phil Kessel’s line. I wrote about Kessel in my last Pick Six, so I would be remiss in not mentioning linemate Lupul’s current stat line (6GP, 4g, 3a, +6). Although Lupul didn’t score in Thursday’s 6-2 disaster in Boston, he is worth a waiver-wire add and start on the Leafs’ usual Saturday game against Montreal.
Ville Leino, LW, BUF – start
Leino might have been one of the darling offseason signings of new owner Terry Pegula, but he doesn’t appear to have earned a spot in Lindy Ruff’s good books yet. Over his last five games, Leino has not exceeded 15 minutes of icetime, recording just a goal and an assist in six games as a Sabre. On Saturday, Leino and the Sabres face Tampa Bay, a team that has struggled defensively out of the gate. Feel free to use Leino in this spot, but be sure to monitor his progress with his new team.
Brian Campbell, D, FLA – start
Campbell has to like his new situation in Florida, posting seven assists in six games for the Panthers. Pushed down the depth chart in Chicago after he signed for major money, Campbell has had at least 25 minutes of icetime in all but one game this season. His plus/minus could be a liability this season (-4), so don’t be surprised if he makes a run at 50 points this season while accumulating a double-digit negative plus/minus in the process. Start him against the Islanders on Saturday.
Jonathan Quick, G, LA – start
Quick has been quick to the puck lately, posting shutouts in back-to-back games (27 saves vs. St. Louis on Tuesday, 28 saves vs. Phoenix on Thursday). The shutout streak alone should be reason enough for you to start Quick at home on Saturday against Dallas. In case you need another reason, Quick recorded a 1.50 GAA and .944 SV% while going undefeated in four starts against the Stars last season. There’s simply no way he should be on your bench right now.
Jaroslav Halak, G, STL – bench
I complete my research from many different sources. Sometimes that research comes from Kukla’s Korner itself. So I thought I’d mention Halak, recently labeled as the worst player during the early part of the season by The Puck Stops Here. You can read the entire article for a better description of Halak’s struggles, but the Blues head into the unfriendly confines of Philly on the second of back-to-backs on Saturday - not a spot in which you want to use a struggling goalie. Halak will likely start this game, as Brian Elliott has been confirmed to start Friday’s game (Norm Sanders).
Ondrej Pavelec, G, WPG – bench
Speaking of goalies with numbers that are crippling fantasy teams, Pavelec’s numbers (3.20 GAA, .881 SV%) aren’t drastically better than Halak’s. The Jets might be the feel-good story of the year, but the harsh reality for Winnipeg hockey fans is that this team looks like a typical expansion team (even though it isn’t). Pavelec struggled mightily during the second half last season, so he’s probably best left on your bench until he and the Jets can show something positive on the ice.
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Tags: brian+campbell, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jaroslav+halak, joffrey+lupul, jonathan+quick, ondrej+pavelec, pick+six, the+goods, ville+leino
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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.