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Fantastically: Take That Lundy!

Henrik Lundqvist has now played 23 games without a shutout. By this time last year, he had 4. So what’s the deal? Despite his lack of shutouts, I believe he is playing better hockey this year than last. He is making more saves, handling the puck better and waiting out players’ moves in the shootout. He is still top 10 in the league in Goals Against Average and Save Percentage, even with his 5 goals against vs Vancouver and 3 quick ones yesterday vs the Panthers. Meanwhile, Craig Anderson, backup goalie for the Panthers got his second shut out of the season… Take that Lundy.
Fantastically, Lundqvist‘s ability to keep the Rangers in the game is essential to get those goalie wins. Even though he isn’t shutting teams out, he is only letting it a limited amount of goals per game. He is a must start in every situation and don’t let his recent slide discourage you from playing him. Lundqvist faces a tough test this Thursday in Montreal, should be an interesting match up barring a melt down from either goalie.


Pick Up Lines:
The intriguing line of the week will be in Philadelphia. Danny Briere is set to return vs Tampa on Tuesday night. However, where does this leave him, with Mike Knuble, Simon Gagne and Mike Richards clicking so well. Coach Stevens lined up Briere with Joffrey Lupul and Andreas Nodl; while Jeff Carter lined up with Scottie Upshall and Scott Hartnell.
Fantastically, this is not good news for Briere owners. His injury has allowed Mike Richards to take his place on a very potent line. Best case scenario for Briere is that he plays outstanding on his new line and somehow plays his way onto the first line. As for the powerplay, I expect Briere to continue to log heavy minutes at his wing position. Despite his time away, he is riding a 4 game goal streak. By the way, what is with the change from Daniel Briere to “Danny”?

Buy Low:
The Atlanta Thrashers are playing some pretty brutal hockey right now. The uninspired play of Ilya Kovalchuk has not helped. If you are close to the top of your standings and need some scoring, buy low on Kovy. He is an established scorer, who will get his 30+ goals and 75+ points at season’s end. He is still at a pretty good pace right now, but owners cannot be pleased about his inconsistent scoring. His value might not get much lower than it is right now. Another thing to think about is his contract ending in 2010, and with the Thrash sinking, they might think about trading him sooner rather than later to build their future.
Fantastically, other than Kovalchuk, other buy low candidates include: Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St Louis, Marian Gaborik, Paul Stastny, Danny Briere, Peter Mueller, and Jonathan Toews. Heck, you might be able to pry Nicklas Lidstrom away from an owner who expected more from Mr. Norris. Be sure to act fast. We all saw what happened to Nicklas Backstrom after his slow start.

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