#1 Give 'em a Look
Marek Zidlicky was missed some pre-season action and the first two games of the regular season with a groin injury and maybe that’s the reason that he’s available in so many leagues right but we’d snatch him up in a heartbeat as the Minnesota blueliner is one of the most consistent producers in the league. In his six NHL seasons he’s never had fewer than 30 points and has topped 40 points in five of those years. He’ll pick up a few knocks here and there but has still played at least 76 games in five of six seasons and has averaged 73 PIMs a season over his career as well.
Others worth a look: Steve Sullivan (Nsh – LW), Mark Letestu (Pit - C), JM Liles (Col – D) and Kari Lehtonen (Dal – G)#2 Give 'em the Boot
The Flames were 29th in the league last year in goal scoring and so what did they do in the offseason to shake things up?… re-acquire Olli Jokinen who was one of the major reasons that they struggled last year. This guy could score when he was in Florida (averaged 37 goals & 348 shots a season from 2005/06 to 2007/08) but has proven over the past two years that he’s lost his touch (averaged 22 goals & 236 shots over the past two seasons). He was brought back to center the top line but he’s lost that job already this season and was bumped to the 2nd line after only putting up one assist in his first five games.
Others worth a boot: Niclas Bergfors (Atl – RW), Jason Blake (Ana – LW), Carl Gunnarsson (Tor – D) and Dan Ellis (TB – G)#3 Injury Concerns
After remaining fairly healthy and playing 76 games last season, you had to know that the odds were stacked against Marian Gaborik repeating that feat this year. Well it only took him three games and he picked up a separated shoulder that is expected to keep him out for 2-4 weeks. Not only does this hurt Gaborik and his owners but this really hurts the whole Rangers lineup as they don’t have many weapons and will struggle to score without Gaborik around.#4 Crease Conflicts
We wouldn’t normally be too concerned about a solid cup winning #1 goalie starting slow and losing a few starts to a hot backup but we’ve never been big fans of Marc-Andre Fleury and so when he loses his first three starts and backup Brent Johnson steps in and rhymes off four wins, we think there’s a story here. Johnson’s started the last three in a row and we imagine that the Coach will stick with him as long as he’s hot. Fleury will get his chances and Johnson can’t keep this up for too long but just be aware that it may take Fleury a while to regain his #1 job.#5 Hit the Links
Over at Sportsnet, Chris Nichols does a yeoman’s effort every night putting together a nice fantasy recap of each and every NHL game with line combos, PP ice-time, scratches, trending players, etc. A must read for any hardcore poolie.
Fantasy Hockey Scouts