Friday, February 9, 2007

New predictions and tonight's starting goaltenders

Hmmm, so yesterday I explained that any game prediction that I make should be automatically regarded as the opposite of what will really happen. In that explanation I suggested that the Nashville Predators would win a relatively low scoring game against the Leafs and because I was predicting that outcome you could expect a massive Leaf's win.

Looking back it seems that a double prediction makes it more likely that my original prediction comes true. Interesting... but I'm simply too lazy to make multiple predictions on each game in the NHL so let's stick with the idea that you can expect the exact opposite of what I predict for a game.

On to hot players and who to watch.

Jamie Langenbrunner continued his hot streak with the game winner in the Devil's 2-0 win over the Islanders last night. Langenbrunner has posted 3 goals and 6 assists in his last 5 games. If he is available in your league jump on the bandwagon while you still can.

Speaking of bandwagons, Martin Biron has won three straight for the Sabres fueling speculation that a goalie controversy is brewing in Buffalo. Don't believe it, the Sabres are committed to Ryan Miller and look at Martin Biron as the best possible backup goalie in the League. If you are a Biron owner make sure you keep an eye on who Buffalo plans to start and get him in your lineup whenever possible. This late in the season Buffalo will likely start Biron a little more to give Miller some rest and keep Marty sharp for the upcoming playoffs. If you were hoping that Biron would earn a starters job this season, forget it.

Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres has flown quietly under the fantasy hockey radar most of this season (not mine though, I've had him on my roster since the third week of the season). On Wednesday night he potted two goals, one of which was the game winner (and no, of course I didn't have him in my lineup). Vanek has already surpassed his output from last season and so far this year he has 28 goals, 26 assists, he is + 28, with 3 GWG and 26 PIMs. Not bad for a sophmore season. Buffalo has recently put Vanek back on their third line with Afinogenov and Roy, expect this trio to regain the scoring touch they had earlier in the season.

There are only two games on tap in the NHL tonight, Tampa Bay vs the Rangers, expect Holmqvist to start against his old team and Lundquist to start for New York.

The second game is the Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton. The starting goaltender for Edmonton is simple, Dwayne Roloson, but the Hawks have three goalies on their roster, Brian Boucher, Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime. Lalime got his first shutout in two years in the Hawk's last game but Khabibulin is the outright star. It's anyone's guess who the starter is but at this point I would bet on Lalime. If I hear any different I will update you immediately.

Speaking of which, Boucher backed up Lalime in the Hawk's last game with Khabibulin sitting out the game in the press box. If that happens again tonight I think we can take it as a sign that Chicago is close to inking a deal to send Khabibulin packing. Regardless of where he ends up it will probably increase his fantasy value quite a bit.

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