This may have been the only goal but Colorado threw the entire kitchen sink at Cory Schneider. Schneider responded in a big way. We will get into that in a bit about goalie controversies and the such. Last night had a little of everything as we finally got down to nine teams in each conference having a "realistic" shot at a playoff berth. That just means more spoilers which also means more fantasy intensity in the final days. When you get into this time of year, it just comes down to two factors. The big one is luck actually because one can put all the pieces in place but the players have to perform. The other aspect is scheduling. If you strategize right and take advantage of the schedule, one can draw moves out of their opponent that usually backfire.
With the schedule condensing, timing is essential. Now, it is time to reveal our Fantasy POTN and it is not Ryan Callahan.
Cory Schneider, G, Vancouver Canucks -- Roberto Luongo who? The sub 2.00 GAA and .937 save percentage does not convince Alain Vigenault enough to give Schneider more starts. Maybe Vancouver needs to take a serious look at their goaltending situation in the offseason. Yes Luongo is the entrenched starter but Schneider just seems to play better in net, handles the puck better, and his movement is more dynamic. The 43 save effort against Colorado was a microcosm of all that Schneider could do especially against a team deathly desperate to get two points. Hopefully Schneider can get a few starts going into the postseason because that may just help your fantasy bottom line a little more than Luongo would right now.
QUICK LOOK BACK:
Michael Ryder, RW, Dallas Stars -- Who knew Ryder would have this kind of fantasy impact? There were not many that did but Ryder now has 35 goals on the season after a two goal, one assist effort against the Edmonton Oilers last night. After two subpar years in Bostom, Ryder is riding the wave with a 17.7% shooting percentage (career high), 62 points, and a +22. People that expected 45-50 points out of the Forward have to be pleasantly surprised this year and really has been a key depth addition for so many. Taper expectations down a bit for next year but right now, all is good.
Jonas Hiller, G, Anaheim Ducks -- Hiller will be a fantasy spoiler in more ways than one down the stretch and not because he does not play San Jose anymore. However last night he stopped 28 of 29 against the Sharks in a 3-1 win. Here is the good. The bad is this. Anaheim now has nothing to play for anymore. Would it kill Anaheim to rest Hiller at least a little bit down the stretch? It is something to keep an eye on especially for Hiller owners. Last night though, he was definitely on and just seems to have San Jose's number in so many ways.
SCHEDULE TIME:Thursday, March 29, 2012 TeamsNotes Washington at Boston 7:00 PM | Gameday
Philadelphia at Toronto 7:00 PM | Gameday
Tampa Bay at New Jersey 7:00 PM | Gameday
Pittsburgh at NY Islanders 7:00 PM | Gameday
Florida at Minnesota 8:00 PM | Gameday
St. Louis at Chicago 8:30 PM | Gameday
San Jose at Phoenix 10:00 PM | Gameday
It is a nice but lower than usual seven game schedule on a Thursday Night. We did mention the balanced schedule till Saturday however so hopefully you are prepared. And now we say hello to Ian Gooding and his Pick Six for today and even tomorrow.
Here is something to give you an edge if you are in a dogfight of a head-to-head matchup this week and you want to maximize your games played.
Teams playing three out of the remaining four games this week: Boston, Florida, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh.
In other words, if you’re looking at any waiver-wire pickups for the rest of the week, you should take a hard look at players from those teams.
But as per usual, here is my Pick Six for both Thursday and Friday.
Ryan Jones, LW, EDM – add/start
Wednesday’s game notwithstanding, Jones has points in five of his last six games and goals in three of his last four games. His role on the Oilers has become more prominent now that Taylor Hall is gone for what is left of the season. Jones should also appeal to fantasy owners since the Oilers play on lighter-schedule nights (Friday, Sunday), so he is a user-friendly option for daily leaguers.
Marcus Foligno, LW, BUF – add/start
The son of former Sabre Mike (who was the last NHLer to rock the bubble helmet, if memory serves me correctly), Marcus is off to a fine start to his NHL career (6 goals, 4 assists, +8 in 10 games). If he continues to produce at this pace, he will have his fantasy owners jumping for joy as well (like father, like son).
Allen York, G, CBJ – watch
Usually even considering Blue Jackets goalies isn’t a good idea, but it’s worth mentioning that York earned his first NHL win against the Red Wings on Wednesday. Expect York to start one of the Blue Jackets’ back-to-back games on Friday against Florida or Saturday against St. Louis. If he can throw together another solid game, he could be in for a longer audition with the goaltending-desperate Blue Jackets.
Jason Zucker, LW, MIN – watch
The first Nevada-born player to play in the NHL, Zucker is expected to make his NHL debut on Thursday against Florida. Given that the Wild are dead last in NHL scoring (1.97 goals/game), assume that the Wild won’t be shy about using Zucker in key situations right away. Zucker is only 20 years old, but he was second in the WCHA for the University of Denver with 22 goals this season.
Christian Ehrhoff, D, BUF – drop
Anytime the words “out indefinitely” and “knee injury” are used in the same sentence, the injury news can’t be positive. Although the Sabres are in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot in the East, they will be in tough without their top offensive defenseman. This type of injury would make it seem unlikely that the Hoff will return this regular season.
Ben Bishop, G, OTT – drop
Bishop will be sidelined a minimum of two weeks with a groin injury, effectively ending his fantasy season. It was a nice run while it lasted (3-2-2, 2.40 GAA, .912 SV%), but fantasy owners can effectively drop Bishop. The good news for Craig Anderson owners is that Anderson should start every game for the Sens as they attempt to secure a playoff spot.
Good luck ladies and gentlemen tonight and do not worry we will have more via Twitter lately. It is time to get those Turkeys and surprises in. Then we will work on the best of the best. Thanks for reading.
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