Friday, February 16, 2007

Forsberg traded to Nashville

Hmmm, so much for the Leafs, or the Red Wings.

Peter Forsberg is now a Predator.

I hope you decided to take a 'flyer' on Forsberg before this because his price will likely be too high for you now. With the injury questions that perennially surround Forsberg any trade for him in your fantasy league now would be very risky. His value certainly increases now that he is with the Preds, the second best team in the NHL.

Who's Hot:
Milan Hejduk, he has had a dissapointing season this year, I think I dropped him from my team in week 4. However, he is currently on a 5 game point streak and has 12 points in his last 8 with 3 game winners and only 1 pointless game in that time. Last night he potted a hat trick to propel the Avs to a 7-5 win over the Flames.

Jamie Langenbrunner, still hot with a 7 game point streak (12 points).

Joe Sakic, speaking of the Avs, Sakic had 5 points in the Avs win and he has a 6 games point streak and has also put up points in 7 of 8 games. He has 15 points and 1 game winner in that span.

Henrik Zetterberg, continuing his torrid pace he has points in 8 of his last 9 games. 8 goals, 12 assists and 4 games winners in that span make him the hottest player in the NHL right now. Over the last month he has put up 23 points, 3 more than Sidney Crosby.

Who's Not:
Well Maxim Afinogenov, Cristobal Huet and Alexei Kovalev aren't. Afinogenov is out for at least 6 weeks and Kovalev for three, no one is quite sure how long Huet will be out but he went for tests on his pulled hamstring yesterday. Hamstrings are a tough injury for goalies to come back from so don't expect him back any time soon (cough, Hasek, cough).

Jason Pominville has shown some flashed of brilliance this year with the Sabres but he is currently in a 4 game point drought, his longest of the season.

Alexander Ovechkin. Seriousely, the Russian forward only has 2 points in his last 6 games following a 13 games point streak and I know EXACTLY why this is happening. I just traded for him.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Trade deadline approaching, what will happen this year?

Last night was pretty quiet in the NHL, unless you were the Detroit Red Wings. The Flyers pounded the Red Wings 6-1 by posting 5 unanswered goals in the third period. Probably the most interesting part of this game is that Peter Forsberg looked healthy grabbing a goal, an assist and the game winner. That makes me wonder just where he is going at the deadline this year?

First I'll take a quick look at the trades that have already happened this year, starting with the Conroy trade, and then I'll take a look at the hottest names rumored to be moving this year.

Trades that have happened:

Flames get Craig Conroy, Kings get Jamie Lundmark
Not a huge trade but it certainly increases the value of Craig Conroy, if Conroy can regain the past chemistry with Jarome Iginla he could be in for a productive few months.

Rangers get Sean Avery and John Seymour, Kings get Jason Ward, Marc-Andre Cliche and Jan Marek
Not a big deal but the swap to the Rangers could give Avery a nice boost this year. Avery is probably owned in most leagues that reward penalty minutes but he could also increase his points total if he ends up on one of the top scoring lines in New York.

Rangers get Pascal Dupuis, Wild get Adam Hall
In Dupuis the Rangers get an offensively talented young winger who has yet to realize his potential in the NHL. This is a bit of a change for New York as they are usually getting a player like this near the end of their careers, not the start. Very little fantasy upside this year, but keep an eye on his production in larger leagues.

Hurricanes get Josef Vasicek, Thrashers get Eric Belanger, Predators get Vitali Vishnevski
None of these guys really make a fantasy impact, however the three way trade does give each team some depth and help at key positions. All three teams are stronger after this trade especially the Predators who get a large physical presence on D out of Vishnevski.

Flames get Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, Bruins get Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Ference
Brad Stuart is the only piece here with a fantasy impact this season. Stuart should see increased power play ice time with the Flames and he fits in nicely to their physical defense core. Don't expect a huge numbers increase for Stuart but he could come close to equaling his current point production (17 points) over the remainder of the season.

Stars get Ladislav Nagy, Coyotes get Mathias Tarnqvist
Nagy has tremendous offensive upside and adds a bit of a nasty edge to the Stars. Keep an eye on which line he ends up on in Dallas as we could see a jump in production. He is already on pace for a career year in points (albeit it only 60 points) but getting out of the situation in Phoenix can only help his season this year. He may be too much of a fringe player this season but keep an eye on where he lands this offseason.

Trades that could happen:

Adrian Aucoin: His contract may be a problem but Aucoin is an offensively minded defenseman who can only be helped by leaving the Blackhawks. May end up in Montreal.

Todd Bertuzzi: If healthy Bertuzzi could provide some scoring punch at the end of the season, keep an eye on this one.

Eric Brewer: Probably the most affordable Dman on the market Brewer is unrestricted at the end of the year and will most likely be moved to any number of teams looking for a top 4 defenseman. This is the trade I am watching almost as closely as the Forsberg sweepstakes.

Joe Corvo: Another puck moving defenseman on the block, Corvo will not likely improve his stats by moving to another team.

Peter Forsberg: Regardless of whether he gets traded or not the important question is Forsberg's health although a move to any other team in the NHL will likely improve his production over the final months of the season slightly.

Bill Guerin: A veteran presence with grit and a scoring touch Guerin will likely be moving at the deadline. As long as he doesn't end up in Philly that should help.

Gary Roberts: Moving to another team probably won't make much of a difference in Roberts season, other than a playoff appearance that is.

Sergei Samsonov: If the rumours are true and Samsonov heads to the Blackhawks he could end up as a dark horse sleeper pick for the close of the season. Heck, put Jonas Hoglund on a line with Martin Havlat and he'll score points.

Mats Sundin: Speaking of putting pylons on the first line with proven scorers, the rumours about Sundin being moved can only improve the production from the Leaf Captain. In my opinion this trade is unlikely, even if the Leafs fall out of playoff contention. As much as I respect Sundin I hope the Leafs trade him this year. After all, we can just resign him in the summer can't we?

Jose Theodore: Who cares, even if Theodore ended up as the starting goalie for a contender I wouldn't trust him between the pipes on my fantasy team. Ignore this guy unless he remembers how to play.

Keith Tkachuk: Tkachuk's contract will get in the way here, and it is not likely he would improve his fantasy output either way. He is valuable on your roster right where he is.

Darcy Tucker: Again it is not likely that the Leaf's will pull the trigger on this deal, even if they are out of the playoff race. If it does happen you can expect Tucker's performance to dip a little as only the Leaf's would be willing to start him on their top scoring line. On the other hand, if you already own him any production from him would be nice at this point.

Monday, February 12, 2007

In Blind Sight... play Jagr

So in keeping with the theme of this blog I took my own advice on Saturday.

Jaromir Jagr is one of the most exciting players in the NHL, but over the last few weeks his production had slipped and he was performing at a mere point per game pace. I advised that you sit him on Saturday night and mentioned that I had him planted firmly on my bench for the evening.

Somewhere around 6:30 on Saturday night I realized that I had just predicted that Jagr would have a quiet night on Saturday and that got me to thinking...

So, since every prediction I make tends to backfire I slotted him into the lineup at the last minute and I got to take advantage of his 3 assists.

In case you have forgotten, if I get around to making a firm prediction about a team or a player... ignore me and do the opposite.

Last week in the NHL, Who's Hot

Interesting week in the NHL.

Dominic Hasek finally went down with an injury that every one of his owner's has been fearing this season. The good news is that it is not the dreaded groin injury that would likely take him out for the rest of the season. He was out yesterday and is expected to be out of the lineup again tonight with a swollen wrist. Makes one wonder what he has been doing in his spare time...

Since Chris Osgood is also out with a broken finger Joey MacDonald is expected to start his second game in two nights. On Sunday night MacDonald made 16 saves to earn his first NHL win. The defensively minded Red Wings give any goaltender a chance to win, if you have the option, pick him up and start him in goal tonight as the Wings play the lowly Flyers.

Top Players last week:

Center: Pavol Demitra is really enjoying the return of Marian Gaborik. The return of
Gaborik has woken Demitra who has slowly increased his play of late and now has 41 points in 48 games.

Jordan Staal: 5 goals, 1 GWG
Joe Sakic: 2 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Evgeni Malkin: 2 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Pavol Demitra: 2 goals, 3 assists, 2 GWG
Rod Brind'Amour: 1 goal, 5 assists

Wingers: Henrik Zetterberg has definitely lived up to his promise lately. Z has sparked the Red Wings to 6 wins in their last 7 with 16 points in those 7 games. In fact the Wings one loss in that period happens to coincide with Z's one pointless game (a 1-0 loss to St. Louis, no this is NOT typo).

Henrik Zetterberg: 5 goals, 4 assists, 2 GWG
Ray Whitney: 4 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Martin Havlat: 5 goals, 3 assists
Marian Hossa: 2 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Jaromir Jagr: 2 goals, 4 assists

Defensemen: Michal Rozsival led all defensemen last week with 2 goals, 2 assists and a game winner, for the Rangers. Despite my recent unhappiness with Jagr's play of late the Rangers seem to have woken up in the stretch run and Rozsival has been a huge part of that.

Michal Rozsival: 2 goals, 2 assists, 1 GWG
Sergei Zubov: 1 goal, 3 assists, 1 GWG
Roman Hamrlik: 1 goal, 3 assists
Sergei Gonchar: 4 assists
Phillippe Boucher: 2 goals, 1 assist, 1 GWG

Goaltenders: Mike who? Mike Smith replaced Marty Turco twice last week and both times led the Stars to comeback wins over Minnesota and Colorado. Just to make his week even more remarkable he earned a shutout win against Anaheim on Saturday night.

Mike Smith: 3 wins, 1 shutout
Marc-Andre Fleury: 3 wins
Martin Brodeur: 2 wins, 1 shutout
Henrik Lundqvist: 2 wins, 1 shutout
Ryan Miller: 2 wins

Players to watch:
Although Mike Smith lead all goaltenders last week the odds of him permanently replacing Marty Turco as the starter in Dallas are extremely low, still he might warrant a pickup as your third or fourth goaltender. Dallas plays a lot of Sunday games so if you are behind in goaltender starts Smith may help you as you likely don't have two regular starters to go every Sunday. The Stars play Sunday games for the next six weeks in a row so you can take a flier on Smith getting a few starts/replacements for the rest of this month.

Evgeni Malkin is probably not available in your league, and if he is you might want to find a new league. However, Jordan Staal has been red hot lately with points in 9 of his last 11 games potting 10 goals and two assists in that span. If you are lacking in goal production he would be a great pickup right now. Malkin and Staal have been skating on the same line and they are playing well together, Malkin has garnered 5 goals and 13 assists in that same period.