DAILY PRIME - FEBRUARY 2, 2013: UPDATES & IN THE SLOT
UPDATES!: THE WIZARD IS OUT- LW Ray Whitney will miss 4-6 weeks for Dallas with a broken foot... MAX WILL BE BACK SOON... Montreal forward Max Pacioretty, who was expected to be out 3-4 weeks after having an appendectomy, participated in a full practice today, and it looks like he will be back much sooner than expected. LIGHTNING STRIKES... Tampa Bay forward Vincent Lecavalier was hit with a slap shot on his ankle at the end of the Lightning/Rangers game, and he limped off painfully after the game. We will update his status when we can, but it did not look good.
***IN THE SLOT*** FANTASY RECAP OF THE NHL NIGHT IN ACTION
PHILADELPHIA 2 @ WASHINGTON 3
Nicklas Backstrom continued his strong play of late, leading Washington to victory with a goal and an assist. Even without Alex Ovechkin on his line, the gifted Swede now has four points in the last three games and is beginning to reward his fantasy owners. Defenseman Mike Green picked up an assist and now has four points in eight games. While not close to the fantasy juggernaut that he was a few years back, Green is showing signs of a huge scoring resurgence and will continue to post better numbers. If you can trade for him, the time is now.. For the Flyers, LW Daniel Briere collected an assist playing on the top line with Claude Giroux and provided that he stay's healthy, could be close to a point-per-game producer the rest of the way. Huge risk or reward option, but if he is stashed on your bench, you need to consider starting him.. LW Wayne Simmonds left the game due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit by D John Erskine. The bottom line for Ilya Bryzgalov owners are that the losses of Scott Hartnell and now maybe Simmonds have greatly compromised their physical style of play that have opened up the ice for their scorers to produce. With the offense sputtering at the moment, this clearly represents a downgrade for the Flyer fantasy goalie situation in the interim.
OTTAWA 0 @ CAROLINA 1
Eric Staal scored the only goal of the game to help goalie Dan Ellis secure his first shutout of the season for Carolina. As for Staal, he has stormed out of the gate with five goals and seven points in the first six games. Start him with confidence, as his traditional slow starts do not apply to this lockout-shortened season. The guy is money! As for Ellis, he has stopped 73 of 74 shots over the last two games and is clearly pushing the struggling Cam Ward for more playing time. Look for Ellis to start against Philadelphia today.. D Justin Faulk led the Hurricanes in power-play ice-time with 5:29 minutes. Keep him on your radar. If he is available in your pools, consider stashing him away.
WINNIPEG 3 @ TAMPA BAY 8
Rookie Cory Conacher continues to pave the way for rookie scorers, as he scored two goals and an assist in Tampa Bay's rout of Winnipeg. He now has five goals and 12 points in seven games. Can he outscore the much more heralded first-year duo in Edmonton- Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov? It sure looks like it. He has formed a potent 2nd line scoring combo with Vincent Lecavalier, who also picked up a goal and two assists. Let's not forget Steven Stamkos, who extended his points to seven games with one goal and two assists. For those owners who drafted Stamkos number one or two overall in their drafts.. you guys are looking real smart so far. However, when the Penguins get their offense going, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should rise to the top... Dustin Byfuglien sat out another game for Winnipeg with a back injury. In his place on the top power-play unit, Paul Postma scored a goal and two assists. A great deep sleeper pick if Byfuglien is to miss a bunch of games. Monitor this stuation.
ST. LOUIS 3 @ DETROIT 5
Henrik Zetterberg does his best Tomas Vanek impersonation from the night before by carrying the Red Wings to the win over St. Louis with a hat trick and two assists. The 32-year old Swede is off to one of his best starts in his career, collecting 12 points in 7 games. Before you consider selling high on him, it seems that Zetterberg is taking his new captaincy very seriously and has the ability to put up great numbers in a shortened season. I would hold onto Zetterberg over both Tomas Vanek and Patrick Marleau. Yep, I said it...Known for his clutch goal-scoring, Johan Franzen has six helpers in seven games and has benefitted from the additional time on the top power play unit. He has stepped in for the now retired Tomas Holmstrom. His fantasy value is on the rise..St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored a power play goal and now leads all NHL blueliners with nine points. Do not be surprised if the talented youngster sneaks into the fantasy top-ten by the end of the season. Start him with confidence.
PHOENIX 3 @ DALLAS 4
Despite the loss for the Coyotes, Phoenix defenseman Oliver-Ekman Larsson continues his ascent up the fantasy charts with two more assists, giving him 7 points in 8 games. Just like the previously mentioned Shattenkirk, Larsson could be a top-ten fantasy blueliner this season, so if he is on your team, consider him on the verge of becoming an elite fantasy option. Yes, he's that good.. Goalie Mike Smith returned for Phoenix, but looked rusty in giving up 3 goals in just 24 shots. He is 0-2-1 on the season with a 4.00 GAA and a .847 SP. No worries.. he will round into form shortly.
CHICAGO 1 @ VANCOUVER 2
Another strong performance in goal for Roberto Luongo for the Canucks. Who knows if he gets traded or not now. Still $10 million plus tied up in one position is a lot of money. Luongo had 27 saves, and he stoned the Blackhawks in the shootout to get Vancouver the win. Corey Crawford also played well in goal for Chicago, but he gave up the game winner to Jordan Schroeder in the shootout. Star forward Patrick Kane, who has been pretty hot so far this year, got the only goal for the Blackhawks.
MINNESOTA 1 @ ANAHEIM 3
Duck's forward Bobby Ryan, who was on our "Who's Hot, Who's Not" list this past week, has suddenly gotten hot, and he had 3 points last night with a power play goal and 2 assists. Teemu Selanne continues to be amazing as he had 3 assists, and they were all pretty. Kyle Palmieri had 2 goals for Anaheim, but you won't see that too often. The Duck's Swedish rookie goaltender Viktor Fasth had another strong game with 26 saves. He is now 2-0 in the NHL.