The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 01/10/12 at 02:51 AM ET
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.
Chris Kunitz, LW, PIT - start
Kunitz will see a ton of prime opportunities with the injuries, as he had on Saturday recording one assist on Evgeni Malkin’s line while logging 24 minutes of icetime. Kunitz has 14 points in 15 games during December and January, so he has been elevated to must-start status now. The downside is that he could be the next Penguin to be hit by the injury ninja, as he has missed at least 16 games in each of the last two seasons.
Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA – watch
Getzlaf is the latest subject of trade rumors, as the Ducks are reportedly interested in trading anyone not named Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. Doesn’t it seem weird that a team would trade players in their prime but keep the over-35s? Over last 30 games, Getzlaf has a defenseman-like three goals along with a last-place-team-like (-17). The plus side is that 20 assists and 45 penalty minutes are getting the job done, but Getzlaf owners should keep an eye on his situation. I sense that the Ducks could be major sellers at the trade deadline.
Bobby Ryan, RW, ANA – start/trade for
I was recently asked by one regular reader whether Ryan is worth a pickup. I told him that it’s never a bad idea to pick up a player who was drafted in the first or second round in fantasy leagues. The Ryan owner who dropped him probably found out about the loss of power play time as well as the move to second line by new coach Bruce Boudreau. Like Getzlaf, Ryan is clearly in play. Perhaps a move to another team could help, and it may happen this season.
Mark Streit, D, NYI – start
Streit’s 19 points in 39 games is decent, but his (-17) will scare the living daylights out of you. However, keep starting him despite the plus/minus, since 14 of his 19 points have been on the power play. Only Brian Campbell and Erik Karlsson have more assists with the man advantage among defensemen. Start him, but ensure that you have strong plus/minus elsewhere in your roster.
Curtis Glencross, LW, CGY – add/start
If you bothered to watch the dull Flames/Wild game on the western half of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, you may have noticed that Glencross is now on the Flames’ top line with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen. As I’ve said before, the Flames look like a team of third liners aside from Iginla, but it is Glencross who leads the Flames with 17 goals. Add him or start him, but be sure to check the line combinations.
Jaroslav Halak, G, STL – start
Has anyone noticed that the Blues are near the top of the NHL standings? Halak has delivered this season (2.29 GAA) the way he was expected to when he was acquired from Montreal, although he has been forced to share time with the suddenly insurmountable Brian Elliott (1.62 GAA). However, Halak will receive the honor of starting in Montreal on Tuesday, his first start in Montreal since leading the Canadiens on their unexpected playoff run in 2010. Expect Halak to put on a show against the struggling Habs, only fueling the discussion more that he should have been the goalie that stayed. Hey, at least we won’t have to hear about how the Habs need a French-speaking coach!
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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
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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.