Well it looks like a busy Tuesday in the NHL and if you add in the injuries, go check out our @InjuryNinja twitter feed for the latest. It has been a fun and strange time of it but yesterday there were two pretty significant routes. Ottawa took a big step forward with a 6-0 win while Washington took a huge step backward after a 5-0 loss. So who was the Fantasy POTN? Well I am thinking it is about time we find out.
Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators -- Well this was pretty obvious as Karlsson scored a little unconventionally and then later more conventional. In all, Karlsson had two goals, two assists, five shots on goal, and was a +4. The reality was no one else was close to this performance and another reason why the defenseman has to be considered a favorite to take home the Norris Trophy for best defenseman this year. Remember when it seemed Karlsson only had 3 goals? Now he has four goals in his last four games. Sometimes the law of average does really catch up. His 6.1% shooting percentage this year is the same as his career shooting percentage.
Jason Spezza, C, Ottawa Senators -- Spezza was on fire again with two goals yesterday in the 6-0 rout over the New York Islanders. His second goal was a power play blast that may have sent the water bottle into orbit. The bottom line is that when you put up multiple points in successive games like Spezza has been doing, it is an indication to ride the wave until it ends. Ottawa's schedule is pretty favorable so points should be easier to come by for the rest of the week.
Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa Senators -- Anderson made 28 saves for the shutout including 18 of them in the third period alone. It just seems that you ride the ups and downs with the Sens but right now it is clearly a big UP. They are only two points behind Boston right now. Anderson does face nearly 32 shots a game but has a respectable .912 save percentage to go with his 2.87 GAA. The four shutouts make him a moderate pickup.
Eric Staal, C, Carolina Hurricanes -- The second half resurgance continues for Staal as he piled up 2 goals and an assist in the 5-0 rout of the Washington Capitals last night at home. The six shots on goal, 14-23 on faceoffs, and +3 are just signs of his incresed presence. Part of any fantasy hockey GM probably wishes this upswing started a bit sooner but at least for most, it did not come too late. He is a strong start for the rest of the week and with Jiri Tlusty (yes that's right!), Staal finally has his Erik Cole of sorts. The roll should keep on keeping on.
SCHEDULE TIME:Tuesday, February 21, 2012 TeamsNotes NY Islanders at Buffalo 7:00 PM | Gameday New Jersey at Toronto 7:00 PM | Gameday NY Rangers at Pittsburgh 7:00 PM | Gameday San Jose at Columbus 7:00 PM | Gameday Philadelphia at Winnipeg 7:00 PM | Gameday Dallas at Montreal 7:30 PM | Gameday Anaheim at Tampa Bay 7:30 PM | Gameday Vancouver at Nashville 8:00 PM | Gameday Detroit at Chicago 8:00 PM | Gameday Edmonton at Calgary 9:00 PM | Gameday Los Angeles at Phoenix 9:00 PM | Gameday
The schedule bounces back huge tonight with 11 games. Fantasy GM's now should be back to their normal rhythms after last week's "Hockey Day Across America" abnormality. Thanks to Ian Gooding, we have the latest Pick Six here right now.
We’re less than a week away from Trade Deadline Day, which is already a national holiday in Canada and may soon one day be a holiday in the States too (cross your fingers).
So far there haven’t been any trades that have stolen any of the thunder away from next Monday, although the day will probably be remembered more for the quantity of deals made rather than the quality. Either way, I will attempt to target my coverage in the Pick Six over the next week toward players who have been traded or are on the trade block, although not all of my picks today will fall into that category. If anything, the Pick Six is defense-rich, and who couldn’t use help on defense?
Before I list the Pick Six for Tuesday, I’d like to mention my good friend Steven Ives once again and his always-humorous hockey blog over at Blog Dudes.
Pavel Kubina, D, PHI – watch
Unless you firmly believe that Hal Gill is a desired fantasy commodity, Kubina is the most fantasy-relevant player to be traded this month. I know, that’s not saying a lot. With Chris Pronger out for the season, any blueliner with an iota of offensive talent will be top-4 minutes and a whirl on the Flyers’ second-unit power play. Kubina would be nothing more than a short-term “lightning in a bottle” pickup, as his offensive numbers this season (11 points in 52 games) don’t stand out at all.
Mike Smith, G, PHX – start
Perhaps the NHL’s hottest goalie this month, Smith has shutouts in two of last three games and is riding a seven-game win streak. He could very likely add to that on Tuesday against a punchless Kings attack, which is currently last in the NHL in offense. During his February win streak, Smith has a 0.99 GAA and .968 SV%, and the Coyotes will continue to start him as long as they are within reaching distance of a playoff spot.
Christian Ehrhoff, D, BUF – start/trade for
Ehrhoff has not gotten off on the right foot in his first season of that lengthy contract with Sabres, if you consider both his point totals and his recent rib injury. But since returning from injury, Ehrhoff has seven points in 11 games, including three assists against Pittsburgh on Sunday. If the Buffalo power play ever moves in the right direction, Ehrhoff could be great buy-low candidate before your league’s trade deadline. As well, he should be in your lineup on Tuesday against an Islanders team that will be playing its second of back-to-back games after being hammered 6-0 against Ottawa on Monday.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, NJ – add/start
Fantasy irrelevant for nearly two seasons, Ponikarovsky has nine points in 12 games since joining Jersey, including eight points in nine games this month. He has mainly been stuck on Devils’ third line since being acquired from Carolina, but he logged 16 minutes of icetime on Sunday against Montreal. He was hanging by a thread on another keeper league team (not the one listed above), but he has made it worth my while to finally insert him into the starting lineup of this fairly deep team.
Victor Hedman, D, TB – add/start
Hedman has four points in six games since returning from a concussion, including three assists against the Sharks on Thursday. Defensemen usually take longer to develop than forwards, so the second overall pick in 2009 could finally be coming into his own. At 6’6”, 220 lbs., Hedman possesses tremendous upside and is still only 21 years old, so he especially deserves consideration in keeper formats.
Jeff Petry, D, EDM - watch
Sixteen points and a (-10) in 51 games doesn’t look sexy at any position, but Petry has five points in his last six games. The son of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry, the Oilers’ blueliner is logging over 20 minutes of icetime for an inexperienced Oilers defense. The Oilers have nothing to lose by playing Petry, since they are long since out of the playoff race.
Why do we do these? It is simple as these picks may give you an idea of who to take on your fantasy teams based on simple betting trends. Give a special thanks to Kevin for helping us out and here we go........
Philadelphia Flyers @ Winnipeg Jets - JETS TO WIN (+106)
(Note: I'm risking 1 unit to win 1.06 units)
The Flyers are coming off a 6-4 loss at home on Saturday afternoon against the Penguins, which was their 3rd loss in 4 games and their 6th loss in their last 8 games. The Flyers are still having goalie problems, averaging 4 goals against over their last 5 games and close to 3 on the season. Philadelphia is 18-9-2 on the road this season. Winnipeg is in the middle of a home stand, and have won three straight games coming into tonight - @Minnesota and then at home versus Boston and Colorado where they've looked impressive.
The Jets are 18-9-2 on home ice, and are chasing a playoff spot with their 29-26-6 record. These two teams have met 3 times this season, with the Jets taking all three games. Winnipeg won both meetings in Philadelphia and beat the Flyers 6-4 at home back in November. The Jets are the hotter team right now, love playing at home, are getting better goaltending, and have dominated h2h vs Philly. I don't understand why they are underdogs here and I will take the Jets.
Los Angeles Kings @ Phoenix Coyotes - COYOTES TO WIN (-120)
Los Angeles Kings @ Phoenix Coyotes - UNDER 5 GOALS (-150)
(Note: I'm risking 1.20 units to win 1 unit)
(Note: I'm risking 1.50 units to win 1 unit)
The Kings have lost 6 of their last 8 games, including their past two where they have been shutout by Calgary and Phoenix. The Kings are now 27-21-11 on the season and 12-8-7 on the road. Los Angeles is averaging just 2.03 goals per game this season, but are lucky to have Quick in net who has helped the team allow just 2.03 goals against per game as well. Over their last 5 games the Kings are averaging just 1.20 goals per game. The Coyotes are making a push here down the stretch, winning two straight games and 7 of their last 8.
A lot of the winning lately has come from Mike Smith playing solid and the team overall defensively allowing just 0.60 goals against per game over the past 5. They are scoring just 1.80 goals per game during that span. On the season Phoenix is scoring just 2.54 goals per game and allowing 2.39 against. These two teams have met 5 times this season with Los Angeles winning 3 of the 5, but Phoenix winning the latest on Thursday in LA. During those 5 games we have seen totals of (starting with the most recent) 1, 1, 7, 5, and 2. The UNDER is 34-11-12 in the Kings last 57 overall, and 7-3-1 in their last 11 divisional games. The UNDER is 7-0 in the Coyotes last 7 overall, and 4-1 in their last 5 divisional games. The Coyotes have the edge tonight at home as they are playing better hockey and the Kings who can't score should struggle again tonight versus Mike Smith. Take the UNDER and the Coyotes each for a unit.
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames - FLAMES TO WIN IN REGULATION TIME (-111)
(Note: I'm risking 1.11 units to win 1 unit)
The Oilers have dropped three straight and 4 of their last 5 games, which included three straight home games. Edmonton is now 22-30-6 on the season and just 7-20-2 on the road. They are averaging just 2.34 goals per game on the road, while giving up 3.28 against. Calgary is coming off a big win in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and have now won 3 of their last 4 and 3 straight at home (Chicago, Vancouver, Toronto). The Flames are 28-22-9 on the season and a solid 16-8- at home where they are allowing just 2.19 goals against per game.
Calgary has absolutely owned this head to head series in recent years. The Flames have won all 4 meetings this season, and 9 straight overall dating back to last season. 7 of those 9 straight wins versus the Oilers have been in regulation time, with 5 of those 7 being by 2 goals or more. Take note that the Flames are 8-1 in their last 9 games as a home favorite, and 9-3 in their last 12 home games vs a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Calgary is playing much better right now, Edmonton struggles on the road, the Flames own this h2h, and Kiprusoff is playing great. The Flames win this one, and because I don't want to lay that much chalk I am going to take them to get things done in regulation (14 of their 16 home wins have come in regulation).
There are no trade musings tonight but instead they will be on the Weekly Slapshot at 9:30pm ET on Blog Talk Radio. We give you 30 minutes of rapid fire fantasy hockey advice so you don't have to fret over your team as much. Good luck tonight in your leagues and thanks for reading.
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