March 9, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-03-09

A friendly reminder: today is the “Spring forward” daylight savings time adjustment. Remember to adjust your clocks, and try not to think too much about how you lost a precious hour of your life overnight.

 

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By far the biggest hockey story of the night – from both a fantasy, and a playoff implications stand point – is the concussion sustained by Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen on Saturday night. Lehtonen was bowled into by Wild forward Erik “ain’t no” Haula “back” and left the game.

 

Lehtonen is one of the most consistent and underrated starting goaltenders in the show. So, yeah, this injury is untimely to the max. Not only does Lehtonen go down just as the Stars are beginning to really roll in the Western Conference, his injury also comes only a week before the fantasy postseason for fantasy owners playing in an H2H league.

 

Rush and pick up Tim Thomas if he’s still available would be my advice, though that’s about as obvious as it gets. Personally I own Lehtonen in a very deep H2H league (20 teams, 15 players) and I’m really at a loss for how I’m going to replace him.

 

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Sunday, I figure, is sort of a day for big picture reflection about your Fantasy team. Usually H2H owners have a pretty good idea of whether or not they’ve won their week by Sunday, and unless they’re in a dog fight most owners begin to look ahead somewhat (at least I do).

 

One thing to watch for this week: Washington Capitals super prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov is poised to make his NHL debut on Monday, however, he’s yet to be added to the players list in Yahoo! leagues. Kuznetsov would be a spec add, of course, and conceivably the Capitals will ease him into the lineup while deploying him in an extremely limited role – similar to what they’ve done with Tom Wilson.

 

While there’s some inherent risk, Kuznetsov could provide average top-six forward production and will be available for free on the wire at some point this week. Probably sometime on Sunday. So keep a keen eye on the NHL Roster Changes page this week, and use “page refresh” liberally.

 

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So Ryan Miller is playing some pretty dominant hockey at the moment, huh? Since “the trade” Miller has won four in a row, while posting a 1.50 GAA and a .933 sv%. Miller has been dialed in all year and playing behind a talented team deploying Ken Hitchcock’s low-event system, it’s not inconceivable that Miller might be the most valuable fantasy player over the balance of this season.

 

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Not only did Miller stop 26 shots (of 27 faced) on his way to another convincing victory for the Blues, but he also put a halt to Nathan MacKinnon’s jaw-dropping, record breaking 13 game point streak.

 

I was looking into MacKinnon’s underlying numbers a bit today and figured I’d write a bit more about a player who is plainly going to win the Calder trophy, and is lighting it up while playing a significant role for a pretty good team. MacKinnon won’t turn 19 until September, but he’ll tie a bow around a remarkable 60 point rookie season (barring injury) by mid-April.