Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 2/3/12

 

We take a different look back at last night with our Fantasy POTN first.....

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Fantasy POTN:

It was obvious that this award was going to Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers.  All he did was have four goals and four assists for eight points in a 8-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.  However for the fantasy junkies and those who enjoy good tidbits, we suggest the following from Derek Zona from The Copper & Blue.  This is a really solid post on what Gagner did last night with an ounce of perspective and a pound of humble pie.  There were really no performances on this level and considering the most point Gagner had in a month this year was 9, this really is a case of getting 1 month's production in one game.  If you had Taylor Hall in the lineup, things were not so bad either as he had a goal and three assists as did Jordan Eberle.  Really if you had that whole trio, you cleaned up quite a nice bounty.

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A LOOK BACK:

Cam Ward, G, Carolina Hurricanes -- What got lost in the Sam Gagner lovefest was the fact that Ward had a 47 save shutout against the Boston Bruins last night.  In a weird game that had a little of everything Ward faced 22 shots in the first and 20 shots in the third period.  Considering he only put up with five shots in the second and most goalies would be thrown off, Ward was not.  Clearly the second half just seems to suit the Carolina netminder well and fantasy fans might as well ride the wave, wherever it may roam in February and March.

Niklas Backstrom, G, Minnesota Wild -- The Wild stemmed the tide after an ugly loss to Nashville with a great "stop the bleeding" performance by Backstrom to the tune of a 37 save shutout over the Colorado Avalanche.  Ward's shutout was a 3-0 score but Backstrom's was at the slimmest of margins, of the 1-0 variety.  Colorado had 17 shots on goal in the third period including ten scoring chances (at least 4 were point blank).  Backstrom had to be extremely sharp and for one night it all felt like October again for Minnesota.  Will this keep going?  Fantasy fans can only hope.

David Clarkson, RW, New Jersey Devils -- Clarkson is a player who has many detractors but as far as a fantasy viability, he has certainly played very well this year.  He now had 18 goals on the year after a two goal, one assist night.  People would like to know he takes a few faceoffs and delivered eight big hits along with three shots on net.  For some reason, Clarkson has become a mainstay on the first power play unit and that really is what should have fantasy GM's take notice.  Okay, the near 150 PIM pace he is on helps quite a bit also.

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SCHEDULE TIME:

Friday, February 3, 2012 TeamsNotes NY Islanders at Ottawa 7:30 PM | Gameday
Winnipeg at Florida 7:30 PM | Gameday
Los Angeles at St. Louis 8:00 PM | Gameday
Chicago at Calgary 9:00 PM | Gameday
Columbus at Anaheim 10:00 PM | Gameday

Yes it is only a five game schedule to set up for Saturday's usual spectacular fantasy showdown but the first game alone on the docket is worth a look.  The Senators and Islanders will tangle with two of the top scorers in the NHL in John Tavares and Jason Spezza.  Both players have over 50 points and they lead their respective teams into battle.  Craig Anderson and Evgeni Nabokov will be the starting goalies in this one as the Islanders try to desperately claw back into the playoff race which seems to be getting some more juice.

Winnipeg and Florida play a game in the continue battle for the Southeast or the division that no one wants to win.  It appears Chris Mason and Scott Clemmensen will be the starting goalies for tonight as these two teams are a little banged up and have some mending fantasy parts as well.  Someone has to win this division and some of these guys have to step up fantasy wise right?  Tobias Enstrom for Winnipeg along with maybe Zach Bogosian are fantasy viable for them while Stephen Weiss and Tomas Kopecky seem poised for good fantasy action for Florida.  The goaltending will be curious to see in an expected low scoring affair.

In another battle of the under being kind, Los Angeles and St. Louis face off as Jonathan Quick and Jaroslav Halak get it going under the Arch.  Both goalies have around a 2.00 GAA and neither team seems to score that much, particularly the 30th ranked Kings.  The goalies figure likely to pad their stats in this one as the only way the Kings can score three times it seems is to add a little extra time on the clock.

How will Chicago bounce back?  If anyone has a guess, please let us know.  Ray Emery and Miikka Kiprusoff will be doing the goaltending honors as Chicago plays Calgary tonight.  Jarome Iginla is always the main fantasy feast in Calgary while Patrick Sharp seems to be the hot hand with Chicago.  Something tells me this could be a Marian Hossa or Jonathan Toews kind of night but that is just me.  Keep an eye on this one ladies and gentlemen.  Goals could come in bunches again.

Columbus and Anaheim round out the night and all I can say about this one is they combined for 11 goals the last time the teams played in Anaheim and just do not expect that type of result again.  Maybe five or six goals combined and lesser fantasy alternatives are worth that speed.

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Good luck everyone and hopefully this makes it just in time for everyone.  Thanks again for reading and remember tomorrow is the big one fantasy wise.


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