The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 10/17/11 at 05:00 PM ET
Tuesday is the next busy day on the NHL schedule, with ten games on tap. Since all teams have played at least three games, we can finally see the early blueprints of our season. There are some interesting names at the top of the NHL scoring race (David Legwand, anyone?), but players like the Sedins and Anze Kopitar are no strangers to the top ten in scoring. Since I am concentrating on players that are starting the season quickly, there will not be any sits for Tuesday’s Pick Six – only starts.
James Neal, LW, PIT – start
No Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? No problem for Neal, who has helped himself to five goals in six games (as of Sunday). Neal’s production was assumed to receive a major boost when he was traded to Pittsburgh, but one goal in 20 games led many poolies to assume that his value would be dependent on one of the two marquee players. With a three-game goal streak (as of Sunday), Neal is a scorer that you’ll want to keep in your lineup while he finds the back of the twine.
Luke Adam, LW, BUF – add/start
Adam is gaining some attention in fantasy leagues (20 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues), as he has posted three multipoint games already this season. Having scored over a point per game (62 points in 57 games) in the AHL last season, Adam has proven he is ready for the prime time, even if icetime with the Sabres might be a concern. If Adam’s name rings a bell, he scored eight points (4g-4a) with a +9 in six World Junior Championship games for Canada in 2009-10.
Shane Doan, LW/RW, PHX – start
Who says that the desert is dry for scoring? The Coyotes’ captain is off to a roadrunner-like start, scoring three goals and seven points in just four games. He is also currently riding a four-game point streak, thanks to the two assists he added for the old Jets on Saturday against the new Jets. I would start Doan on most busy nights anyway, but this recommendation is for all leagues while his scoring is as hot as an Arizona summer day.
Erik Karlsson, D, OTT – start
Karlsson will likely be this season’s version of Dick Tarnstrom, circa 2003-04: a 50-point scorer with a (-35) ranking. Karlsson, who is generously listed at 175 pounds, won’t remind people of Rod Langway in his prime with his defensive skills. However, he has logged 27 minutes of icetime in two of the Senators’ five games this season. Karlsson will likely add an assist or two to the six he has posted in five games when the Senators play Philadelphia on Tuesday. However, make sure that your other fantasy options will more than offset the minus ranking that Karlsson will probably post in that game.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, PHX – add/start
OEL already has three goals in five games this season, surpassing his total of one goal in 48 games in his rookie season last season. Included in his three goals is a two-goal performance against Winnipeg on Saturday. He won’t reach the 50 goals that he is currently on pace to score, but the sixth overall selection from the 2009 draft will likely see his 5 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues rise very soon.
Kari Lehtonen, G, DAL – start
If you’re a Lehtonen owner, you have to be giddy about the 4-0-0 record and 1.48 GAA and .955 SV% that Lehtonen has posted this season. You’ll probably be even more ecstatic about Lehtonen’s Tuesday matchup with the winless Columbus Blue Jackets. Unless Stars coach Glen Gulutzan decides to pull a fast one and decides to start Andrew Raycroft after this is published, make sure Lehtonen is in your lineup on Tuesday.
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Tags: erik+karlsson, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, james+neal, kari+lehtonen, luke+adam, oliver+ekman-larsson, pick+six, shane+doan, 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.