DAILY PRIME - JANUARY 26, 2013: UPDATES & IN THE SLOT
UPDATES: INJURIES- Carolina D Justin Faulk left last night's game with an upper body injury... UNSUNG GOALIE HERO- Sorry for Ryan Miller owners, but Dan Ellis stole the game for Carolina with 40 saves. Great job... MIKE GREEN ALERT- Goal and assist against New Jersey. He must have heard we dropped him in our rankings from 3 to 6.. ROOKIE SENSATION- Dougie Hamilton just rising up the fantasy defensemen charts. Top 30 soon.. WHO WILL KEEP IT UP? Joe Thornton and Tomas Vanek in the top five in scoring. Which player will be up there at the end of the season? Joey T is an assist machine. Vanek is a sniper, but crazy streaky. Give me Thornton and then some. GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES- With Scott Hartnell hurt, Jakub Voracek will get quality ice time mostly playing with Claude Giroux, and with Joffrey Lupul out, James van Riemsdyk should also get ample ice time with Phil Kessel. Check if either is available in your pool. MALONE-Y/BALONEY.. Ryan Malone scored two goals for the Lightning last night in the third period. Right now he is playing mostly on the top line for Tampa with St. Louis and Stamkos. He is worth a look just because of his linemates...HOW MUCH LUONGO? Is the demotion of D Jake Gardiner to the AHL by the Leafs a sign that G Roberto Luongo may be heading to TO soon?
***IN THE SLOT*** FANTASY RECAP OF LAST NIGHT'S ACTION
NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 @ BOSTON 4
The Islanders were unable to sustain the momentum they established from their comeback victory in Toronto, and were beaten by the Bruins. The game was pretty much even, except Boston had a 36 to 23 faceoff edge which was the big difference in the game. Speaking of big, Zdeno Chara had the game winner for the Bruins with his first goal of the season. Rookie Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton continues to impress with 2 assists and solid overall play. Pick him up if you are lucky enough to have him available in your pool. Veteran Keith Aucoin scored both goals for the Islanders, as Coach Capuano placed him on the top line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. This is not good news for Kyle Okposo holders, as he couldn't stay on the big line. Tuukka Rask was sharp in goal for Boston with 24 saves. Rick DiPietro had his first start of the year for New York, and he was not as sharp, allowing all 4 Boston goals. On the bright side, at least he didn't get hurt.
CAROLINA 3 @ BUFFALO 1
The Hurricane's are finally starting to gain force. In a close game that was dominated by superb goaltending, Carolina clinched the win on a pp empty net goal by Jeff Skinner, who is playing well so far for the Hurricanes. Carolina forward Alex Semin finally made an appearance with his first goal of the season on the pp. Semin is a free agent after this year, and if he wants the big contract he is going to have step up and earn it. Forward Thomas Vanek continued his hot streak with the Sabres with his 3rd goal of the season, also on the pp. Defenseman Jay Harrison had a goal and an assist for Carolina. Please don't expect that to happen very often again. The story of this game was goaltending. Dan Ellis was sensational in net for Carolina as he made 40 saves, and allowed only the one pp goal. He will steal some starts from Cam Ward if he keeps playing like this. Ryan Miller was, also, outstanding in goal for Buffalo as he had 39 saves and allowed only 2 goals, but it was not quite good enough
WASHINGTON 2 @ NEW JERSEY 3
The Capitals struggles continued last night in New Jersey as they lost again. At least they got a point for making the game go to overtime. Their big guns Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were held scoreless. Until those two begin to step it up, it is going to be tough for Washington. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the game winner in overtime for the Devils, and he was buzzing all over the ice last night. He finished with 6 shots on goal, as did forward Dave Clarkson who had an assist, and continues to prove that last year's 30 goal season was not a fluke. As Steve mentioned there was a Mike Green sighting last night for the Capitals, as the oft hurt defenseman had a good night with a goal and an assist. Michal Neuvirth was okay in goal for Washington with 32 saves, while 40 year old Martin Brodeur continues to amaze in goal for the Devils with 26 saves and the win. The Capitals are having a hard time adapting to Coach Adam Oates new system. This is understandable as the team had no real training camp. They will get better as they get used to the system.
OTTAWA 4 @ TAMPA BAY 6
In a wide open high scoring game in Tampa Bay, the Lightning prevailed by scoring 3 unanswered goals in the third period. Forward Ryan Malone scored 2 of those goals, including the game winner. Diminutive rookie forward Cory Conacher continued his solid play with 2 assists. At 5'8" and 175 lbs. he is being compared to Martin St. Louis. We shall see about that. Speaking of St. Louis, he had 2 assists as well, while Steve Stamkos had a goal and 2 assists. As noted recently by Steve, young Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman is beginning to show signs that he is learning how to play in the NHL, as he scored his first goal and had an assist. He is worth a look if available in your pool. Anders Lindback got the win in goal for Tampa with 32 saves, although he did allow all 4 Ottawa goals. Monster fantasy defenseman Erik Karlsson scored a goal for the Senators (his 3rd on the year), while forward Kyle Turris continued his suprising season with a goal and an assist. He now has 4 goals this year.
MINNESOTA 3 @ DETROIT 5
In Hockeytown last night Detroit continue to show signs that they are over their slow start. Forward Pavel Datsyuk had an outstanding game with a pp goal and 2 assists, and he was buzzing all over the ice. If he stays healthy look for a big year from him. Wings forward Valterri Filppula, also, was flying all over the ice and he had 3 assists. Todd Bertuzzi is apparently over his battle with the flu, as he scored 2 goals last night, but don't expect that much from him anymore. Zach Parise had 2 goals for the Wild, including one on the pp. He is living up to his big contract, and should have a big year. Wild goaltender Josh Harding had a tough night giving up all 5 Detroit goals while only having 22 saves. Wings goalender Jimmy Howard got the win with 23 saves. Expect him to have a good year.
PITTSBURGH 2 @ WINNIPEG 4
The Penguins had another hiccup on the road last night falling to the Jets. Pittsburgh got two goals early in the first period by superstar Sidney Crosby, but then ran out of steam. Forwards Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien did most of the damage for the Jets, as they each had a goal and an assist. Byfuglien's goal was on the power play. He should have a big year. Ondrej Pavelec was outstanding in goal for the Jets as he had 33 saves. Thomas Vokoun took the loss in goal for the Penguins.
VANCOUVER 5 @ ANAHEIM 0
Cory Schneider owners can breathe a sigh of relief as he has recovered nicely from his rocky first start. Last night he was perfect, stopping all 30 shots the Ducks threw at him. It looks like Roberto Luongo may be going somewhere else after all. Canuck forward Daniel Sedin scored the game winner on the power play, and also had a power play assist, while his brother Henrik had 2 assists. Vancouver rookie Zack Kassian continued his strong start with a power play goal, his third of the season. He is worth a look if he is still available in your pool. Tough night in goal for Jonas Hiller, as he allowed all 5 Vancouver goals.