Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Neutral Zone Wrap: Dealing with stretch-run stress

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

The trials and tribulations of a Fantasy owner during the stretch drive are many. Make sure the lineup has been set. Keep tabs on the wire. Watch out for any late changes. And for heaven's sake, try not to look at the game updates every minute.

Bet you thought March Madness was confined to college basketball.

As we enter the final few weeks, the tension mounts. You may have been leading for a while, but the pack seems to be closing quicker than a garbage compactor on the Death Star. Or you could have built a promising run of late, but it means nothing if first place doesn't come as the end result.

The key to success is preparation. And not having players go out with injuries. As you can't control the latter, it's the simple things that matter. If you think you may be unable to complete fantasy tasks by a certain time, then finish them in advance. But don't sweat the minor details, as there's a bigger goal in mind. With your roster as is, can you envision yourself winning now?

That same question could be asked of the following NHL organizations, yet a couple of them have been unable to offer any legitimate answers:

The problem in Vancouver has less to do with goaltending and more to do with being focused at one end of the ice. How can you blame either Roberto Luongo (one win in six starts, 18 goals allowed) or Cory Schneider (only six appearances in last two months) when their defense prefers to stay on offense? Nice numbers from Chris Higgins (eight points in eight games) and a surging David Booth (four in five) have helped. Alex Burrows (five in six) may not be the current Sedin caddy, but that may not matter. Mason Raymond (nothing in seven) temporarily has been given this honor, but nothing has clicked. Kevin Bieksa (six in six) is riding another scoring wave, while Marc-Andre Gragnani (zero in six since his Canuck debut) looks as useless as he did in Buffalo.

Just when you thought the outlook couldn't become worse in Toronto, another set of lackluster losses pushes the Buds further down the hole. New head coach Randy Carlyle has pretty much ridden Jonas Gustavsson (five straight starts only letting in 11 goals) since his arrival, leaving James Reimer (one victory since February 6th) wanting. Tough break to lose Joffrey Lupul (separated shoulder, probably gone for the regular season), which should open the door for the underperforming Tim Connolly (one in eight, minus-8). Nikolai Kulemin (fractured finger) has also waived goodbye, so why not let Clarke MacArthur (six in seven) recover his form? Try as he might, Tyler Bozak (three in 10, but 15 goals on the season is adequate) just wants to hit that next level. The pedigree and situation pointed to John-Michael Liles (two in 11) doing more, but it hasn't quite worked as planned.

Remember when many believed Boston were invincible? That was late January when they were tied for the conference lead. But this is the present and the Bs have endured some truly ugly outings. You don't know how much you miss Tuukka Rask until you fill his role with a rusty Marty Turco (six goals in just 81 minutes). Brad Marchand (two in nine, only four PIM) has fallen off the fantasy wagon. And don't expect Brian Rolston (one in nine) to supply some scoring. But the stats aren't all negative, as Jordan Caron (eight in six, plus-eight) is starting to fulfill his first-round selection. You can knock down Johnny Boychuk (three in four), but don't expect him to miss any time. Where in the world has Dennis Seidenberg (hasn't pointed in 10) gone?

If there's one club who could ride an individual to glory, then it would be Tampa Bay. But that isn't to say Steven Stamkos (and his sparkling 50 goals) counts as their lone producer - or like the Bolts have a solid shot of reaching the postseason. Look out for Ryan Malone (in case you haven't noticed his seven-game point streak, which includes three PPPs and 21 PIM). Brett Connolly (four in six) is slowly coming around, but wait another year for the real windfall. Don't be fooled by Nate Thompson and back-to-back goal outputs (focus on the minus-22 and general lack of playing time). More man-advantage minutes for Brett Clark, but not enough (one in eight) for a glowing recommendation. With Mathieu Garon (torn groin) sidelined and Dwayne Roloson (at a pathetic 3.82 goals-against average and .878 save percentage) finally acting his age, Dustin Tokarski (27-11 in the AHL) has been anointed as the current chosen one in net.

Calgary has surged at the right time (points in six of seven this month), but face a logjam for one of the final Western playoff spots. Thanks to a couple timely casualties (Michael Cammalleri leading the list), Matt Stajan (five in four) has made fans forget about his yearlong drought. Another beneficiary has been WHL scoring machine Sven Baertschi (179 points in 113 contests with Portland), who hasn't disappointed to date (two goals in three). The lights are off and Roman Horak (finally notched a point after 13 without one) isn't home. Many missed Mark Giordano for a sizable chunk (he blocked a shot and the puck won - for nearly two months), but he's clearly noticeable in March (six in seven). Things were progressing positively for T.J. Brodie in his first full campaign (only 14 in 54, but added special-team duties), but his latest problem (the infamous upper-body deal) will hurt his prospects of climbing the Flames' blueline ranks.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rene Bourque
Habs' Bourque Stays Active
Rene Bourque, LW, MON
4:11 AM
News: Rene Bourque had seven shots on goal and four hits in Tuesday night's series-clinching win over Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Rene Bourque had himself a nice run against the Lightning with 22 shots and three goals in the four-game sweep.

Brendan Gallagher
Habs' Gallagher Scores Tuesday
Brendan Gallagher, RW, MON
4:09 AM
News: Brendan Gallagher scored his third goal of the series in Tuesday night's win over Tampa Bay.
Analysis: It was a big series for Brendan Gallagher, who had three goals and two assists while posting a point in all four games.

Max Pacioretty
Pacioretty's Goal Advances Habs
Max Pacioretty, LW, MON
4:06 AM
News: Max Pacioretty's power-play goal with 42.6 seconds remaining in regulation was the winner in Tuesday night's 4-3 series-clinching win over Tampa Bay.
Analysis: It was Max Pacioretty's first of the postseason and moved the Canadiens onto the second round where the await the winner of the Boston/Detroit series.

Brenden Dillon
Stars' Dillon Iffy For Wednesday
Brenden Dillon, D, DAL
12:23 AM
News: Coach Lindy Ruff indicated that Brenden Dillon (lower body) is a "longshot" to play Wednesday against the Ducks, NHL.com's Mark Stepneski reports.
Analysis: Brenden Dillon took part in Tuesday's optional practice, which is a step in the right direction, but it appears as though a return to action Friday is a more realistic scenario for the blueliner, who last played on April 11.

Daniel Carcillo
Night Of Redemption For Rangers' Carcillo
Daniel Carcillo, LW, NYR
4/22/2014
News: Daniel Carcillo netted a third period goal in a Game 3, 4-1 defeat of Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Analysis: Although the goal only padded a late-lead, after serving as a healthy scratch in the team's first two contests with the feisty Flyers, head coach Alain Vigneault decided to fight fire with fire, sitting Jesper Fast and inserting Daniel Carcillo. More than just the playoff win, Carcillo burns his former employer Philadelphia giving him 12 points (five goals) through 37 career-playoff games.

Ben Bishop
Bolts' Bishop: Elbow Dislocated
Ben Bishop, G, TB
4/22/2014
News: Ben Bishop (elbow) revealed that his elbow injury was a dislocation, but that he might have returned by game 5 or 6, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
Analysis: That's a moot point now any way, what with the Bolts headed to the golf course after a sweep by the Habs. But we can't help but think that a Game 5 return was seriously ambitious. He'll have plenty of time to recover over the summer.

Derek Stepan
Rangers' Stepan Quietly Consistent
Derek Stepan, C, NYR
4/22/2014
News: Derek Stepan scored a first period goal in Game 3's 4-1 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Analysis: After hitting a rough patch in late-March, Derek Stepan has registered at least one point in seven of his last 10 contests. During that 10 game span, Stepan is a plus-7 with four goals and six assists

Ondrej Palat
Tampa's Palat Ends Postseason With Three In Three
Ondrej Palat, LW, TB
4/22/2014
News: Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist in Tuesday's Game 4 loss to Montreal. He finishes his playoff debut with three points, including two goals, in three games.
Analysis: This guy has been the revelation of 2013-14 -- he's just that good. And next season, he should deliver 70 points on a line with Steven Stamkos. Sweet.

Anders Lindback
Bolts' Lindback Yanked In Game Four
Anders Lindback, G, TB
4/22/2014
News: Anders Lindback was pulled 5:42 into the second period Tuesday after yielding three goals on 20 shots. The Lightning ultimately lost the game and the series in a 4-3 loss to the Canadiens.
Analysis: Granted, his defenders abandoned him on a couple of goals, but he spent far, far too much time on his knees (again). He looked rattled early and never seemed to get comfortable. He will likely seeking alternate employment this offseason -- the Bolts cannot be impressed.

Tuukka Rask
Rask, Bruins Smother Wings In Game 3
Tuukka Rask, G, BOS
4/22/2014
News: Tuukka Rask stopped all 23 Detroit shots on net in Tuesday's 3-0 Game 3 victory.
Analysis: Typical Tuukka Rask -- in three playoff games, he's allowed two goals. There aren't many goalies who inspire more confidence than the 27-year-old Finn right now.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings