Friday, February 2, 2007

In Blind Sight... don't listen to me

Wow, here is a little bit of advice. If I predict the outcome of a game you may want to go in exactly the opposite direction.

Three hockey game predictions yesterday, Buffalo over Boston (Correct), Carolina over Tampa Bay and Nashville over Phoenix. Well 1 out of three isn't bad. Actually it is pretty pathetic.

It is in fact even worse than that. In my mind I had also penciled in Atlanta over the Islanders and Colorado over Minnesota. Good thing I didn't write them down.

On the goalie front, Fernandez aggravated his knee injury again on Tuesday and Niklas Backstrom started in net for the Wild in their 5-3 win over Colorado. Don't be surprised if the Wild keep Fernandez out for an extended period to rest his knee. They are currently holding a 6 point lead over Colorado for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference and would likely want to ensure that Fernandez is healthy for the playoffs. Keep an eye on their hold on the last playoff spot. If they hold the lead they will keep Fernandez out. If you own Fernandez right now you might want to grab Backstrom as a backup.

There are only two games tonight, St. Louis at Detroit and Columbus at Calgary.

Many fantasy hockey GMs were expecting Rick Nash to pick up his play after his strong showing at the NHL All Star game. Unfortunately Nash has been just as invisible since the All Star break as he was before it. With just 1 point in 6 games after the break. Sit him, and if you are not in a keeper league, see if you can trade on his name to improve your team.

This Sunday I will begin the first in a weekly series of recaps of the top 3 players at each position for the week and pick out who I think will be hot in the week to come. Hopefully that will go better than my predictions on last nights winners!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Time to sit Jagr?

I know, you are asking yourself if I'm on crack this morning.

Frankly, no. I can't afford crack. I'm lucky if I get caffeine.

Jagr has had a rather pedestrian month with only 10 points in 11 games with only one multi-point game in January. Frankly I expect more than a little under 1 point per game from him. If he is in your lineup you may want to swap him out for a hotter player. But remember this is Jagr we are talking about. Be ready to swap him back in if he and the blue shirts wake up and start scoring in bunches.

What's on tap tonight?

A full slate of games are going tonight but I see two that could generate some high scoring.

Buffalo at Boston: After being blown out 7-1 by the Sabres on Jan. 30th expect the Bruins to come out swinging. Unfortunately with their goaltending issues lately expect them to fall short. I see a 6-2 win for the Sabres tonight. Marty Biron will be starting in net for the Sabres if Lindy Ruff's comment a few days ago can be trusted. Start the usual cast of characters for the Sabres and take note that the B's top line has been reshuffled to include Patrice Bergeron, Glen Murray and Marc Savard.

Carolina at Tampa Bay: Both teams are offensively minded and have been having goalie issues recently. Don't start Ward in net (in fact John Grahame may get the call) but ensure that the top scorers on each team are active in your lineup. Take note that Eric Cole is a game time decision with a lower body contusion.

As for the rest of the games, it is anyone's guess. The Vancouver Edmonton game could produce some fireworks but with Luongo and Roloson both able to steal games I wouldn't bet on it. Nashville should beat up on Phoenix so if you can determine who is starting (Vokoun?) make sure you have him active.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Bears get Buffaloed

Daniel Briere potted a hat trick last night as the Buffalo Sabres crushed the Boston Bruins 7-1. For the record that is 5 goals and 6 assists in the last 6 games for Briere.

The Bruins goaltending situation looks even shakier than expected as the starter has been pulled in the last two games. Last night Tim Thomas replaced Hannu Toivonen to start the third period and was fairly decent stopping 11 of 12 shots.

Slava Kozlov put up three assists as Atlanta defeated New Jersey 5-4 in a shootout. Kozlov scored in the shootout as well setting up Marian Hossa to get the game winner on the next shot. Jamie Langenbrunner potted three assists for the Devils in the loss.

Marc Andre Fleury dropped a shut out on the visiting Florida Panthers while Crosby, Malkin and Staal all contributed with a point apiece.

Nashville lost to Colorado last night as Peter Budaj was stellar stopping 34 of 37 shots. Vokoun gave his team every chance to win as he stopped 31 of 35 shots.

Quick question: I own both Budaj and Vokoun. Who do you think I started last night?

You are correct if you guessed Vokoun.

That's it for this morning... In Crosby We Trust.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bears, Buffaloes and other furry beasts

Good afternoon, finally came out of my stupor to look around and read some stuff today.

First off... Jagr, got no points last night... Tim Thomas threw another hanging curve in net and the Rangers smacked it out of the park.

Hannu Toivonen didn't do much better after replacing Thomas and let in 3 goals on 14 shots. Despite the poor showing by Hannu last night his play has picked up of late and you can expect him to get more starts in the future, including tonight against Buffalo.

If you own Thomas and you have room, you might want to pick up Toivonen as backup insurance. Or do what I did, drop his ass and pick up someone better. Budaj was on the waiver wire and my league and I decided that I liked his chances better than Thomas'.

The Buffalo Sabres seem to be generating some goaltender controversy as well lately. Ryan Miller has not been playing very well of late and Lindy Ruff has declared that Martin Biron will get the next two starts to give Miller some quality practice time.

Keep an eye on this situation and if you have Biron make sure you get him in the lineup tonight against the Bruins.

Shoot me please

No, my fantasy hocket team did not haver a horrible night last night.

I have the flu, I'm so sick I haven't even checked to see how Jagr and Thomas did last night? Please tell me that Boston won 10-9 and Jagr had a triple hat trick?

That's it for today as I fall back into bed.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Goaile troubles

Quick note for Monday morning.

Frederik Norrena was injured in the second period of the Blue Jackets win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. The Blue Jackets are already playing without injured starter Pacal Leclaire who has been out since December 26th. Third stinger Ty Conklin finished the game with 15 saves. Conklin may be a decent short term pickup if you are in need of goalie wins. Columbus is on a 3 game win streak and have won 4 of their last 5. If Conklin stumbles be ready to drop him quick. Norrena is listed as day to day with the dreaded lower body injury and could be back as soon as Tuesday at Vancouver.

Ryan Miller has been off lately. The Sabres have lost 8 of 13 this month and Miller has been in net for 6 out of 10 losses. In those 10 games Miller has a 3.2 GA average and has let in 5 or more goals in two games. The Sabres will probably continue to go to Miller as Biron has not been much better this month. Biron has two losses in 3 starts and a 3.67 GA average in January. If you have better options you may want to sit Miller until he regains his form.

This is bad news for owners of Biron. With Millers shaky play the likelihood of the Sabres trading Biron at the deadline is pretty low.

On a better note, the Nashville Predators continue to be hot winning 10 of 12 in January. Both Vokoun and Mason are playing well right now. This is a mixed bag if you picked up Mason while Vokoun was on the IR. I wouldn't suggest dropping Mason anytime soon. The play of Mason makes one wonder if the Preds will be moving him at the deadline for some depth up front? That is certainly a nice little rumour to drop in your league if you are trying to trade Mason for depth on your roster.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

So much for predictions

Ok, so looking back on what I wrote yesterday and I see where I went wrong, it's so much clearer now (you know, in blindsight?).

Yes, Carolina pummeled the Caps on Friday night and as such there was cause for some optimism in their play. What I forgot to take into account is this... the Canes and Caps have been swapping beatings back and forth all year long. I should have remembered this fact and seriously considered sitting some of the Canes last night and suggesting that you did the same. Hopefully you don't have 4 Carolina players on your team like I did.

Crosby had another stellar night with a highlight reel goal and three assists. Recchi matched him with the same point total. Chris Mason had another solid night between the pipes as the Preds continued there domination of the Blues this season. Ottawa took a hard fought game from the Boston Bruins where both Ray Emery and Tim Thomas put up huge efforts in goal.

There are 5 games on tap today and I am especially looking forward to the Dallas Anaheim matchup. Dallas has been hot lately and the Ducks are an explosive, high powered offensive club. Look for lots of scoring out of this one.

Hmmm, why do I have the feeling that this prediction is going to come back and bite me on the ass? I guess that is why blindsight is 20/20.