The Shark Blog
16. April 2014 05:26
Just a few hours
before the puck drops on the most compelling contest in all of sports. This year, at long last, we have a fixed
bracket, making things much easier on those of us obsessed with fantasy
contests. Be sure to get in on the
action at NHL.com with your bracket selections.
Here are mine:
St. Louis Blues over Boston Bruins.
Despite entering the
playoffs on a 6-game losing streak, my faith in St. Louis has not wavered from
the start of the season when I projected them to hoist their first ever
Cup. If they can get healthy, no other
team can roll 4 lines up front and 3 pair on defense like the Blues. I was torn over the Boston/Pittsburgh
selection, but goaltending has to favor the Bruins.
MVP: Alex Steen. Steen finally emerged as an NHL star this
season, leading his squad in goals and assists, despite missing several weeks
of action. He will be clutch.
Pittsburgh / Columbus
Fleury will be fine
in this one. Which is all anyone needs
to hear. A Pittsburgh loss would rival
the '93 Islander upset.
Penguins in 5.
Boston / Detroit
Just keeping the
playoff streak alive should satisfy Wings fans.
They certainly won't like what they get in Round 1, as they will be
completely outclassed by the Bruins.
Bruins in a clean sweep
Tampa Bay / Montreal
Coin flip on this
one. Let the goaltending decide it. With Bishop uncertain and Price in top form…
Canadiens in 6.
NY Rangers / Philadelphia
toss. The Rangers just seem pieced
together wrong, while the Flyers have the 2nd best player in the league on
Flyers in 7.
Colorado / Minnesota
If you're looking
for an upset in Round 1, it has to be here.
The Wild are better built for the playoffs than Roy's surprising Avs
squad. If only the Wild had healthy
goaltending, they could have challenged St. Louis to come out of the West.
Wild in 6.
St. Louis / Chicago
Tough road for the
Hawks to repeat in the West. Toughest
fight comes first, which they will lose.
Blues in 5.
Anaheim / Dallas
on this side of the bracket. Ducks
should roll here.
Ducks in 5.
San Jose / LA
Wish I didn't have
to stay past midnight for the next two weeks, but I can't miss what should be
the best series of round 1. When the
teams are even, look to the net. It
doesn't get better than Jonathan Quick.
Kings in 6.
4. February 2014 05:41
Just a couple games
left before we break for Sochi. Here are
a handful of potential free agents to consider before shutting down until
Gustav Nyquist (DET)
While Detroit has
struggled to find their way through key injuries, Nyquist has stepped it
up. He has 8 goals in his last 8 games,
along with 4 assists during that stretch.
His ice time has steadily climbed, as he has become the go-to guy for
Antoine Vermette (PHO)
It's tough to get
too excited about Vermette. In 9 NHL
seasons, he has rarely emerged as a viable fantasy option. However, it's tough to ignore what's going on
this season in Phoenix. Vermette has
topped 20 goals already, and has contributed 8 tallies in the last 9 games.
Mikael Backlund (CGY)
The Flames have been
rolling for the past couple of weeks, thanks in large part to the offensive
contributions of Backlund. He has now
registered 2 points in each of the last 4 games for Calgary.
Tyler Johnson (TB)
threatening a return soon, we may see a diminished role for the Tampa rookie,
but he has emerged as a serious talent over the past month. Johnson has 17 points in his last 19
Tyson Barrie (COL)
It has been tough
trying to find value at the defensive position at this point in the season, but
Barrie's 5 game point streak is worth notice..
Dougie Hamilton (BOS)
struggled with various injuries in his sophomore season, but is looking good
right now. He has goals in two straight
games and is being counted on in key situations for the Bruins.
21. January 2014 06:42
We've got just a
couple weeks of fantasy action to go before falling into the Olympic
slumber. Don't miss your opportunity to
upgrade your roster and prepare your team for the final push before playoff
season creeps up.
While the wire is
typically highlighting lesser known talent, this week there are a number of
fantasy veterans who had falled off in recent years or months. Some of these veterans have turned up the
heat in recent weeks:
Ryan Clowe (NJ)
The PIMs have dried
up a bit, but he's seemed to regain his old scoring touch. 9 points over his last 7 games for the
David Legwand and Mike Fisher (NAS)
The Predators have
come back from the dead offensively in January, and the two centers have been
leading the cause. Over the past 4 games, Legwand has piled up 7 points, along
with a healthy plus-minus and PIM contribution. Fisher has been even better, with 14 points
in 13 games.
Brad Richards (NYR)
Another back from
the dead? 8 points in 7 games has the up
and down veteran back on the upswing.
Scott Hartnell (PHI)
Over the last month,
Hartnell has been producing at over a point-per-game. Teaming up with Schenn and Simmonds, the 2nd
line in Philly has been on fire.
Nazem Kadri (TOR)
Kadri and the Leafs
have awoken in the past week. He has 5
points in his last 3 games.
Brad Marchand (BOS)
Marchand was written
off by many for a horrid start to this season.
His ice time and production have steadily crept back in recent
weeks. He has been scoring goals
consistently, talling 9 in his last 13 games.
He is capable of being a top 20 fantasy option.
Andrej Meszaros (PHI)
It's been a few
years since Meszaros was a significant fantasy factor. With 9 points in the last 7 games, he has my
Darcy Kuemper (MIN)
Trying to predict
the goalie situation in Minnesota is a bit painful right now. Backstrom has fallen out of favor. Harding's health is a mystery. In steps Kuemper to win 4 of 5 starts,
including a shutout. Not a long-term
solution, but you may be able to ride him to the Olympic break.
8. January 2014 06:13
We're half way
through the NHL campaign already. With
most of the hockey world caught up in debating the snubs for Team Canada, this
is your chance to snatch up a gem or two off the waiver wire while their backs
are turned. Here are a handful for your
Max Pacioretty (MON)
Pacioretty got off
to a very slow start on the season; however, recently, the goals have been
coming in bunches. He has 7 points in
his last 4 games.
Brayden Schenn (PHI)
4 years into his NHL
career, the 5th overall draft pick is just now starting to show some offensive
flash. He scored in 4 of Philly's last 5
games, despite 3rd line minutes.
Mark Scheifele (WIN)
starting to emerge into a powerful offensive weapon for Winnepeg in his
sophomore season. He has tallied 18
points in the last 20 games.
Chris Stewart (STL)
Nobody is an
inconsistent as Stewart over the past several years. After a horrid start, Stewart went on rampage
in December, but fell cold over the past two weeks. He has
been dropped in many leagues. He scored
again last night, so he may be on the verge of another roll.
Alexander Barkov (FLA)
Barkov is making his
case for rookie of the year. Since
mid-December, he has averaged more than a point a game, but goes largely
unnoticed, toiling in the hockey misery of Miami.
Nathan MacKinnon (COL)
The one man who is
likely to ruin Barkov's claim to the Calder Trophy this season is coming on
strong as well. 6 goals in the last five
game, include back to back 2-goal efforts have him disappearing from waiver wires
Jussi Jokinen (PIT)
Malkin is back, and
thus, so is Jokinen. Three straight
multi-point performances since Malkin's return.
10. December 2013 06:29
It's been a while,
but we're back with our weekly waiver wire picks to get your lineup back on
track before it's too late. A number of
promising picks have emerged recently, as youngsters get the opportunity to
step up to fill the gaps left by injuries.
Let's start in net:
Antii Raanta (CHI)
opens the door for Raanta to pile up some wins in the short term, playing for
one of the top teams in the NHL. In the
5 games he's played this season, Raanta has 3 wins to complement a 2.16 GAA and
.922 save %.
Jonas Gustavsson (DET)
Despite the rash of
injuries to their star players, the Wings continue to assemble wins. Most of those wins lately have come with
Howard on the bench and the Monster in net.
The two seems to splitting time at the moment. This may not endure, but grab some points in
the short term.
Ryan Strome (NYI)
He hasn't played a
single game in the NHL yet, but he's already being gobbled up by savvy owners,
as the Isles prepare to add the AHL's leading scorer to their mix. New York is desperate for a jolt of life, so
they'll be looking to new blood to infuse that life. Stash him now.
Nick Bonino (ANA)
Bonino has quietly
been putting together a solid fantasy season as the Duck's 2nd/3rd line
center. He has piled up 11 points over
this last 10 games.
Steve Downie (PHI)
Since returning from
the concussion early last month, Downie has been a solid fantasy starter. He has sprinkle in his typical helping of
PIMs to complement some much needed scoring for the Flyers.
Andrej Sekera (CAR)
Sekera was drafted
in roughly 0% of fantasy leagues, but is quickly being claimed in most. He is on a scoring tear, with 4 gaols and 4
assists over his last 7 games.
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