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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: Tuesday March 20

Monday night’s NHL action featured a Rangers-Devils opening-faceoff bloodbath, a fading Leafs team getting their lunch handed to them to the tune of 8-0 by the Bruins, and a similar result in the Sabres-Lightning game. (And I had to tune into the Wild-Canucks snoozefest.)

What could be in store on Tuesday? Probably nothing nearly as exciting. But the fantasy playoffs are finally upon us in most head-to-head formats, so there’s no need to create any more drama than there already is. Here are six players who could attract some attention on Tuesday, hopefully for the right reasons.

Semyon Varlamov, G, COL – start
Let’s start with a goalie today. Varlamov is scheduled to start Tuesday’s Northwest Division showdown with the Flames (Adrian Dater). He hasn’t played his best hockey of the season against the Flames (allowed four goals on 20 shots on November 12); however, Varly has won four in a row and six of his last seven games. As of this writing, the Avalanche are holding the eighth seed in the tight Western Conference, while the Flames are two points behind with a game in hand. Talk about a meaningful game on both a real and a fantasy level.

Ben Bishop, G, OTT – add/start
To use the exact words of one of my friends, Bishop is a monster. I know I’ve mentioned his name more than once in this article, but Bishop will start against the Devils on Tuesday (Yahoo Sports). Since joining the Sens, Bishop has a solid 2.15 GAA and .915 SV% in six games. The Devils will no doubt bring the nasty following their bitter battle with the Rangers on Monday, but they could be a tired group playing on consecutive nights.

Dustin Brown, RW, LA – start
After being the subject of trade rumors at the deadline, Brown has demonstrated to the Kings why a trade wouldn’t have been a good idea. Brown recently had a ten-game point streak snapped – a point streak that was started with a hat trick against the Blackhawks on February 25. Brown and the Kings face another team playing the second of back-to-backs – the San Jose Sharks. He has been shut out against the Sharks this season, but there’s no reason for Brown to be on your bench at this time.

Curtis Glencross, LW, CGY - add/start
Could Curtis Glencross really score 30 goals this season? Well, he’s already at 25. Glencross is on a four-game goal drought after scoring seven in a row earlier this month, the longest such streak this season. The Flames play one of those four-pointers on Tuesday against the Avs, a team that Glencross has owned this season (three goals in three games). Surprisingly, Glencross is still available in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues.

Matt Cooke, LW, PIT – add
Yes, I’m talking about that Matt Cooke – the one you don’t like. But winning in fantasy hockey isn’t all about how much you like a player. If you believe in Sidney Crosby, then maybe you can make room for Cooke. Believe it or not, his 16 goals this season is a new career high for the 33-year old. In addition, Cooker has four goals in his last three games – his last two goals assisted by Crosby himself. Want to see an even more surprising stat? Cooke has only 30 penalty minutes this season.

Alexander Radulov, RW, NSH – watch
The Alexander Radulov watch is on in all leagues. Assuming he returns to the Predators, Radulov should instantly become the most naturally talented player on his new (old) team. His presence could immediately provide the Preds with the shot in the arm that they need to truly contend for the Stanley Cup. He will probably need a game or two to get his North American legs back to speed, so don’t expect the world right away. In addition, he isn’t the best option to reach for in your keeper league, as he could very well decide to return to Mother Russia next season after finally fulfilling the final year of his NHL contract.

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  Tags: alexander+radulov, ben+bishop, curtis+glencross, dustin+brown, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, matt+cooke, pick+six, semyon+varlamov, 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 gooding74@shaw.ca, or follow me on Twitter.

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