Fantasy Hockey Advice and Recap


With two weeks in the books for the 2011-2012 fantasy hockey season, it’s time to reflect on some of our instant impressions.

Waiver-Wire: 1. Tyler Seguin (59 per­cent owned in Yahoo! Fantasy leagues) C, Bruins: Last year’s Stanley Cup Finals sensa­tion entered his sophomore year with high expectations. So far, the Bruins second-line pivot has racked up three goals and six assists and is a plus-seven through eight games.

2. Steve Ott (38 percent) C, Stars: Skat­ing on a line with Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson, the former first-round draft pick has been a fantasy stud. He’s got six points and is a plus-four so far this season, but his key stats are his 35 hits and 25 penalty minutes – good for first and eighth in the league, respectively.

3. Vinny Prospal (48 percent) C, LW, Blue Jackets: I have no idea how the five-time 20-goal scorer is still available in more than half of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues. Prospal is coming off of a bad season with the Rangers and is getting up there in age (36), but he’s on a line with Rick Nash and Jeff Carter – two perennial all-stars and 60- 70 plus point producers. The veteran sniper should be in for nice plus-minus numbers and at least 40 or 50 points this season if he stays healthy.

4. Sami Salo (55 percent) D, Canucks: Another guy who really should be owned in all leagues, Salo has been a monster this season. He was stuck into Mikael Samuels­son’s spot at the point on the first power-play unit after Samuelsson went down with an injury and blew up with two power-play goals and two power-play as­sists to go along with six points overall. The best news? Samuelsson was traded on Saturday to Florida and Salo will continue to work his magic alongside the Sedin twins in Vancouver.

5. Kyle Quincey (23 percent) D, Ava­lanche: Quincey had promise last year, but went down to a shoulder injury early on. Now the Ontario native is back and impressing through eight games with four points, 10 PIMs and 25 shots – third in the league among defenders. He also runs the point on the second-ranked power-play in the NHL, and while it’s hard to see Colorado’s efficiency staying at the top, the production is always a good sign, especially for blue-liners.

6. Ian White (44 percent) D, Red Wings: White has started the season paired with the great Nicklas Lidstrom and is already reap­ing the benefits. His plus-five rating is sixth in the league and he’s got two goals and one assist with his new club. The 27-year-old is a classic puck-moving defenseman who will see more and more ice-time and should put up big numbers alongside Lidstrom.

Studs: 1. James Neal, LW, Penguins: Pittsburgh’s prize in last year’s deal that sent Alex Goligoski to Dallas has been sensation­al this year. In his third NHL season, the 24-year-old power forward has stepped up tremendously in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin’s absence and is second in the NHL’s goal scoring race with eight.

2. Phil Kessel, RW, Maple Leafs: The only man who Neal is trailing atop the goal scoring leaderboard is the often-dis­appointing Kessel. He’s been anything but disappointing this season and, in addition to pacing the league with nine goals through just eight games, leads the league with 15 points.

3. Jonathan Quick, G, Kings: His numbers so far are just staggering. .972 save percentage, 0.81 goals against aver­age, three shutouts and five wins through six games. The Kings look like the team to beat right now out West, so even if that GAA creeps up – and let’s be honest, 0.81 is impossible to sustain – he’ll keep get­ting win after win and a shutout every now and again.

Duds: 1. P.K. Subban, D, Canadiens: Expectations were through the roof for the 22-year-old blue liner after a 14-goal, 38-point rookie season, but he has been just awful so far this season. He went in the seventh round in the average fan­tasy draft this season and is not perform­ing up to those standards after recording just two assists and a minus-six through seven games.

2. Eric Staal, C, Hurricanes: Staal went in the third round of the average fantasy hockey draft and looked to be doing own­ers proud after a three-point performance in Carolina’s second game. Things went down­hill from there, though, and Staal has re­corded just one point in the team’s six games since. He is also at the very bottom of the league with an abysmal plus-minus rating of minus-10 through eight games.

3. Henrik Zetterberg, C, LW, Red Wings: The 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Frank J. Selke Trophy nominee, Stanley Cup winner and all-star has been almost non-existent this year for the Wings with just a goal and an assist through six games. What’s troublesome is that De­troit has still been succeeding, which may point to a decline in how much coach Mike Babcock will continue to lean on the 31-year-old Swede.

Contact Ben Glassman at [email protected].