For all you Star Wars nerds out there, may the fourth be with you. And now some fantasy hockey.
New Jersey Devils take a 2-1 series lead with an over time win from an unlikely hero, Alexi Ponikarovsky scored the winner. The real fantasy story here is that Ilya Kovalchuk returned after missing game two and looked spectacular. He dominated the play at times including setting up Ponikarovsky for the game winner. Kovalchuk posted a goal, two assists, a plus -2 and had two shots on goal in a brilliant performance seeing 22:09 minutes of ice time.
The L.A. Kings win game three at home to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Drew Doughty rewarded fantasy owners with his best game scoring a goal and adding two assists for a three point night. Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar also had two point nights. Captain Dustin Brown was held off the score sheet and had no fantasy impact, but he was a thorn in the side of the Blues all night long and drew several penalties from the Blues players.
For the Blues, Chris Stewart found his way out of the dog house and back into the line up. In just 12:46 minutes of ice time, Stewart scored two goals for the Blues. I have to believe that the Blues will explore trade options for Stewart this summer with the possibility of Vladamir Tarasenko leaving the KHL for the NHL next season. There would be plenty of suitors for Stewart but I would suspect that the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto maple Leafs, and Columbus Blue jackets could be near the top of the list. Stewart may be the consolation prize for whomever comes in second in the Rick Nash sweepstakes.
Chris Stewart is a prime candidate for a buy low fantasy option right now. Assuming he is traded he could easily rediscover his 30 goal pace in a new situation with a different coach.
Chris Messina who is the host of the OHL Ottawa 67's has his take on the Roberto Luongo situation on Canadian Hockey Online suggesting that the return in a Luongo trade would be negligible and potential trade partners could be Toronto, and Columbus.
The San Jose Sharks recently released a statement suggesting that GM Doug Wilson's future with the team is safe. This in turn begs the question, what is the next move for the Sharks? Will they look to move out veteran players such as Patrick Marleau, and Joe Thornton for younger players and draft picks? Will they take a run at acquiring Rick Nash? The Bleacher Report's Mj Kasprzak breaks it all down in this article
The World Championship begins today. Draft eligible Ryan Murray is the second youngest player to play for Canada. Paul Kariya was younger. Most mock drafts project Murray to be selected by Columbus with the second overall pick. This tournament will provide poolies an excellent opportunity to scout Murray and gauge if he is NHL ready, and what his potential upside could be.
Jordan Staal owners are likely hopeful that the trade rumors of Pittsburgh considering trading him, or even Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin as an increased opportunity for Staal should lead to an increased fantasy production. Justin Glock has an insightful article on who (if any) the Pen's should trade between Crosby, Malkin, and Staal at The Hockey Writers
There are several pending UFA's in the playoffs including Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, but Dustin Penner has had a solid playoff and has raised his value more than any other with two goals and four assists in only eight games. He has been a force. Conversely has any player decreased his value more than Alex Semin? Semin has three goals and one assist in ten games and is a minus -3. His play has been soft, indifferent and he has taken several selfish and lazy penalties. If I were a Semin owner in a keeper league I would be very concerned about the potential of Semin playing in the KHL next season.
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