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I’ve always been a big fan of Ryan Miller. I’ve been following his career since he lead Michigan State  to the Frozen Four back in 2001 and won the Hobey Baker for his efforts. It was just four short years ago that Miller won the Vezina and lead the US national team to the Silver Medal at the Winter Games, remember that? They even came up with a word to describe him: unscoronable.

Well, since then he has been in a slow, steady decline and at 33 he’s staring down the twilight of his career with no Stanley Cups in tow. You know he wants one, but does he have enough left in the tank to make the difference for a contender? Well, he stopped 47 shots to finally get his second victory of the season on Tuesday in an impressive showing, but that’s what it takes for him to notch a W. The wins will remain elusive for Miller on the league’s worst team and the victory brings his record to a miserable 2-10-0. His GAA will continue to hover in the 2.80 to 3.10 range, which is mediocre at best but his .919 SV% is beautiful and on par with what you’d expect. Though the GAA might make you cringe, those numbers are impressive considering he has faced fewer than 30 shots just twice this season with 97 SA in the last two games alone.

If you own him, you need him to get traded and the Sabres need to move him just as badly so there is hope! Does it matter where he ends up? Not really, anywhere is better than Buffalo. You know where he won’t be going, though? North of the border, eh! Apparently he has a complete no-Canadian team no-trade clause. I love him even more now. When the trade deadline looms he becomes a risky buy-low candidate, but don’t sell the farm because if he stays in Buffalo for the remainder of the year his value remains a shadow of what it should be. Anyway, here’s what else I saw recently in Fantasy Hockey:

Matt Moulson 2A in a 5-4 win over the Sharks last night. The guy continues to score since getting traded to the worst team in the league and while there’s a chance it could continue, you should absolutely sell high here.

Mikko Koivu 1G/2A in his best game of the season so far. It was a great overall game for Koivu who contributed in every category he could, including 1 block, 1 hit and 2 PIM. He’s always been talented but made of glass and it’s no different this year. He’ll score until he gets hurt.

Alex Ovechkin 2G/1A in a 6-2 win over the Isles. Ovie now has 12 goals in 13 games and 18 points over that span. Honestly, I thought he would have started to decline a bit scoring goals, but he remains as godly as ever.

Craig Anderson took Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin’s knee to the side of the head when Nichushkin went hard to the net with the puck. It sounds like this looked worse than it was as Anderson continues to skate in practice but there is no timetable for his return yet.

Robin Lehner shut down the Blue Jackets in a 4-1 win stopping 32 of the 33 shots he faced filling in for the injured Anderson. Lehner can be a bit inconsistent but has good skills, good size and is absolutely worth adding if Anderson hits the IR.

Viktor Stalberg 1G/1A finally scoring his first points of the season in a 6-4 W over the Avs last night. An inauspicious start for Viktor since leaving Chitown for Nashville, but he’ll get it going soon and is a decent buy low candidate but von’t expect more than 35 points from him this year.

Jonas Hiller picked up a W stopping 24 of 26 shots and continues his strong play. When he gets hurt, which he will, the big question will be who to own? Fasth or Andersen.

Victor Fasth is nearly ready to return from his injury. He’s the guy to own behind Hiller and could pull a Harding if Hiller goes down for more than a few games. He’s good, albeit a bit old for a sophomore (31). He’s got more upside than Andersen and his game is considerably more developed than the raw Andersen.

Frederik Andersen has been magnificent in limited work (4GS) so far, but like I just said, Fasth is the guy to own.

Braden Holtby continues to play very strong hockey for the Caps with a win against the Isles. He stopped 34 of 36 shots and his peripherals look fantastic at 2.67 GAA and a hefty .923 SV%. Holtby remains one of the best young goaltenders in the league. There are doubters, they are silly folks with silly walks, don’t listen to them.

Colin Wilson 2G/2A in a monster game with 2 points (1G/1A) coming on the PP. Tasty! Sadly he did that on just 3 shots. He’s a former top 10 pick but this nearly doubled his season point total and he’s averaging barely more than a shot a game. Unless he gets more pucks on net this will be a very rare performance for Wilson.

Evander Kane says he’s ready to go, but Noel won’t let him dress yet. Sounds like they’re being careful but Kane should be activated soon. Get him back in your lineups as soon as he’s available.

Jonathan Toews 1G/+2 and had two meh games before last night. He’s as automatic as they come, no worries here.

Duncan Keith 2A/+3 last night and has assists in seven of his last eight games. Notice how I said “assists” and not “points”? Yeah, that’s because Keith is still sporting a goose egg in the goal column. He scored 14 goals in 2009, then 7, 4 and 3 for the next three years, respectively. Yikes.

Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 25 shots and nearly shut out the Jets 4-1. He’s one of my favorites for the Vezina this year. In a year where my goalies have purposely thrown games to make me lose (Damn you, Jimmy Howard!), Crawford cruises along, right and true. We heart you, Corey.

Ryan O’Reilly 1G/1A and has scored goals in consecutive games giving him 5 goals and 9 points on the year. Evidently he’s a big fan of yoga and claims it helps stave off injuries. Oh yeah? Well, downward dog your way to a 30 goal season and make me a believer, boy’o!

Matt Duchene 1G/2A as the O’Reilly/Duchene/Parenteau line continues to score in bunches. The Avs are ridiculous this year and a big chunk of their roster is well worth owning in most formats.

PA Parenteau 1G/1A and holy hell are the Avs rolling or what? Even when they (rarely) lose they score 4 goals. Parenteau scored at nearly a point-per-game pace last year and should continue to be valuable in most formats.

Carter Hutton won while allowing 4 goals on 27 shots. Like I said a few days ago, Hutton’s value will continue to dwindle until Rinne gets back and that’ll be that. He’s only worth owning if you’re really hurting at goalie.

Hampus Lindholm 1G/1A/+2 and now has 5 points in 15 games. Hamper is top level prospect with great hands, good mobility and extraorindary hockey sense. The Ducks are an offensive powerhouse but this rookie is only worth owning in deeper/keeper leagues. His high upside makes him worth keeping an eye on, at any rate.

Ryan Getzlaf 1G/1A on 6 shots with 3 hits and 1 block and is as talented as he is bald and maaaan, he’s damn pretty bald.

Mike Ribiero 1A and now has assists in consecutive games. He hasn’t done much since scoring 4 goals in 2 games back in October. He always puts up solid numbers, but he’s getting a bit long in the tooth so the decline will likely be hard and fast. If he goes on a streak you best sell high!

Martin Hanzal 1A and now has 13 points in 15 games. The former first rounder has been an offensive dud since joining the league and he’s a two-way guy with little upside at this point. Expect the scoring to slow considerably, but he’s worth owning while hot if you’re desperate for a scoring boost, but you can’t be that desperate, can you?

Shane Doan 1G/3 HITS in a 5-2 loss to the (still Mighty!) Ducks. He has 4 goals in his last 5 games, goals in consecutive games and despite the fact that he’s been in the league for 1,000 years; he’s worth owning right now.

Al Montoya took the loss to the Hawks yesterday allowing 4 goals on 28 shots. That’s more of what I expect out of Montoya, who was a top 10 pick for the Rangers back in 2004. There was some who had high hopes for Montoya out of UofM, but he never panned out and that pesky Henrik Lundqvist came to town. His numbers look good, but the sample size is small and he’ll regress. Avoid the Jets’ goaltender situation.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 of 28 shots for the W as the Rangers toppled the Pens 5-1. His Majesty has won 4 of his last 5 games and has been his usual magnificent self since returning from an injury in late October. You weren’t actually worried, were you?

Derrick Brassard 1G/+2 in the 5-1 win against the Pens which has more to do with this good game than Brassard’s talent level. He’s a 4th line guy on a team that despite their recent surge, has struggled to score and whose best offensive asset (Nash) remains in concussion limbo. He’s meh.

Jordan Szwarz had 10 PIM the other night. This isn’t really relevant, I just wanted to mention him because are you kidding with that name? Szwarz. Schwartz? The Schwartz is strong with this one. He’s worthless. I mean, fantasy wise that is… I’m sure he has some value as a person.

David Legwand 2A/+1 and has 7 points in his last 3 games and 9 points in his last 5. Pick him up! I know I said you shouldn’t expect him to keep this up and guess what? That’s still true, but he’s scoring so… pick him up.

Andrew Cogliano 1G/+1 but remains mostly worthless despite playing for an immensely talented offensive Ducks team. I remember a few years back, Oilers fans were going on and on about how great Cogliano was going to be, whatever happened to that anyway?

Brad Richards 1A/+1 and has 3 points in his last 2 games, all assists. He has 12 points in 15 games overall and is likely to post around 65 points this season. Yet another overpaid Ranger past his prime; just when I thought Glen Sather was starting to get some of that old Oilers sense back in him, he went and signed Richards to a mega deal. I think we all saw this coming.

 

 

  1. I’m hearing lots of good things about Alex Killorn. Would you cut Ribero to pick him up? How about for Valeri Nichushkin, Chris Stewart, Wayne Simmonds, Mikael Granlund, Hertl, or Jakub Voracek ? Also, how do you rank these d-men ROS; Justin Schultz, Cam Fowler, Niklas Hjalmarsson, or Roman Josi. Should I cut Ribero for one of them? I’m only carrying 4 d-men so none on my bench. Should I drop Giguere after his game tonite & pick-up Miller? Need min of 4 GS each week & have Bob & Hiller. Goalie stats; W/L/SO/GAA/SV%. Thanks JD!

  2. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    16 team dynasty league where we drafted last sunday and picked real life team names and have to at all times have at least 6 people of that real life team on our teams. I’m the Blues and I have most of their top 9 players (steen/backes/oshie/pietro/bouwmees/sobotka) as my 6. We have all the major yahoo stats except shots (do have GW goals, yuck, pure luck there).
    I have to trade Hiller or drop him by the end of sunday, by then commish will drop him off roster for me. He added some rule about not having more than 2 active goalies but I didn’t know this during draft. Commish is offering his
    getzlaf/schwartz (STL center)/gorges/e.johnson (COL) and a 6th round pick next year
    for my
    doughty/eller/hiller and a 4th round pick next year.
    my misgivings:
    1. I would then have to play 2/4 of my centers as mediocre STL centers each day they play (we have 4 of each offensive position and 6 def per day, only 1 goalie). backes counts as RW. other option would be to drop Sobotka, but he has good value in FW/hits/blocks/
    2. I would no longer have a stream spot left and when stempniak and perron come back i’d have to probably throw schwartz or sobotka away, but not both, as i have to have 6 Blues.
    3. I don’t really need PTS or PPP as much as hits/blocks/PIM
    4. doughty will be Norris candidate for what, next 13 or so years? hard to lose that. Eller is likely to be bigger deal than Schwartz too, I thought was the line when he was drafted?

    Other options would be to
    1. just drop Hiller and pick up another defenseman strong in hits/blocks like Grossman (PHI) as I do need another defenseman and those stats.
    2. drop stream spot for Grossman and trade Hiller for 1 good player that isn’t a defenseman.
    3. subtract the draft picks and Gorges from the trade and still pick up Grossman (they have very similar value), other than that stick with the trade.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: while waiting on this, somebody else who needed def depth grabbed grossmann, but he badly needed goalie upgrade also, AND he was 8th in waiver, so had i just dropped hiller he wouldn’t have gotten him. everybody else I tried to trade for, their owners came back with really big (at least 4 players each side) trades that attempted to weasel eller or doughty away from me when all i wanted was to get some value from Hiller (while upgrading somebody else’s goalies) and getting some hits/blocks or PIMS while doing so. I got grossmann and a 5th round pick for my hiller and a 10th. So even if I leave Grossmann as a stream spot, i’ll still have gained a 5th round pick.

  3. goodfold2 says:
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    12 team roto league where we can have 3 goalies and start 3 per day. i have price/lehtonen/backstrom. should i be throwing away backstrom to get any of
    lehner (likely back to backup now)/talbot/gustavsson/peters/budaj/ramo/andersen(about to go to minors,maybe?)? problem is losses are a category too, not just wins, so really bad starters like peters/ramo actually hurt your team. But min played/total starts are also categories so even the worst goalies give you something.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: could stream that spot too, as in this league you can pick guys up right until game time. so playing good backups like talbot/gustavsson and such could work really well.

  4. Jon says:
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    Can I get some trade advice? I’m trying to upgrade my D. We’ve already started negotiating and he’s asking for my Stepan and Pavelec. I have no problem trading either, although I like both.

    He’s offering Ehrhoff and Niskanen and I’m not excited about either. I’d prefer his Pietrangelo, Suter and/or Bouwmeester. I also have Hanzal, Brown, Faulk and Garrison that I could deal. I’m willing to give 3 for 2.

    Think we can meet in the middle somewhere?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Jon: it should be really hard to get pietro or suter. i’d rather simply stream backup starts than own pavelec, he’s in nabokov/dubnyk territory, be surprised if he had much trade value. i would think stepan would be worth a bit though, mix him with faulk and try to get a DEF upgrade and a center downgrade 2 for 2.

  5. Jon says:
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    Justin Schultz was dropped today in my league. He’ll be back soon, correct? Should I lose Garrison, Goligoski or Faulk for him?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      GOligoski

  6. Willy says:
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    What do you think about me offering giroux for karlsson? Is it worth it for me? Do you think giroux bounces back and this would come back to bite me? Its a h2h and we count hits and PIM… I’m currently in 1st place without much help from giroux

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      If you’re in 1st without Giroux, keep him. If it’s not broke don’t run around trying to fix it.

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