Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Neutral Zone Wrap: A strange season, indeed

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Don't stare directly into the sun. Keep away from power lines. Watch both ways before you cross the street.

Those are just some of the things that make sense and keep you aware and alive.

You know what doesn't make sense? Everything that has happened up to now in the NHL. Undefeated streaks, unlikely heroes, unbelievable results. Anyone who claims they predicted Montreal leading the East at any significant point should be evaluated for further testing. And don't get me started on Anaheim. Or how Ottawa can still excel even without their top two producers.

Unpredictability works its way into the Fantasy game as well, especially early on. One day, you're on top of your league and feeling good. The next day, a couple players are out long-term and you're leaking category points from every position. The reverse can also happen, but this situation can lead to temporary confidence. That is, if you're not ready for a possible downturn. In both cases, the key is preparation. Is your lineup deep enough to contend for an entire season? Are you alert -- and willing -- to make moves if someone should go down? Do you know the way to San Jose?

If you're looking to improve, then this is the place to be. We won't promise consistency and we can't guarantee success or titles. We provide the material -- you make the moves that set your team in motion. Now that we've lost your attention, here are this week's pertinent questions:

(Stats as of Thursday, Feb. 21)

Is there any other franchise that is benefiting more from the shortened season than the Maple Leafs? Many thought Nazem Kadri (14, including four power-play goals) was never going to be an everyday player. Maybe Tyler Bozak (11, 20:35 average), truly is the number No. 1 center Toronto has been missing. A minor injury won't keep Matt Frattin (10 in 10, including seven goals) out for long. Behold Cody Franson (11 and a plus-11) and his ever-growing stat line. Beware of Mike Kostka (finally found a point after 10 scoreless games) and his diminishing returns. Mark Fraser definitely isn't a top defender but he can help you in certain categories (plus-13, 42 hits, 23 blocked shots). Now imagine Toronto with both Joffrey Lupul (broken forearm, another few weeks) and Jake Gardiner (22 in 32 in the AHL) in the lineup.

If the Flames fall down and no one watches, is there anyone around to care? Calgary may have predictably started off poorly, but a couple skaters are grabbing attention. Alex Tanguay leads the club in scoring (four goals, eight assists). Jiri Hudler (10 in 12) has shaken off the extended European layover. Curtis Glencross tops the charts in goals (six). And Roman Cervenka (six in 12) provides a nice veteran complement. But the bubble will eventually burst for Lee Stempniak (10, but just one in four). Jay Bouwmeester may continue to rack up the ice time (25 minutes a night), but T.J. Brodie (a goal Wednesday, almost two minutes of PP action) serves as the rearguard with the higher upside.

How soon is the end in Buffalo? The longest-serving head coach is gone but you can hardly blame him for the club's woes. Ryan Miller has to stand on his head (2.87 GAA, .915 save percentage while leading the league in saves and shots against) just so they can lose by a respectable score. Cody Hodgson (15, but nothing on the man-advantage) will fall and no one will be able to stop it. Wake up, Drew Stafford (eight, minus-5, should be averaging more than 2.5 shots per outing), the boys are counting on you. Steve Ott (seven, 38 PIM) should be provided an expanded role under the new regime. And will someone explain why Mikhail Grigorenko (three in 14, 11 minutes) is playing in the NHL when his talent is being wasted on the bottom two lines? If there is a more underachieving D-man pairing than Tyler Myers and Jordan Leopold so far (combined seven points and a minus-13), then they must be hiding really well.

Geez, what's wrong with Washington? So some guy named Alex Ovechkin ('only' 10, but also a minus-8) is shooting but not scoring (only five goals on 68 shots). And another Alexander - Semin, that is - would have really helped the Caps attack (197 career goals with the Caps). But offense is not where they lack. Just look at how well Joel Ward (11, plus-7) and Troy Brouwer (11, with seven PPPs) are producing. Even returnee Eric Fehr (six in 13) has made a difference in his short stint. The problem lies in net, where neither Braden Holtby (3.62 GAA, .891 save percentage in 10) nor Michal Neuvirth (3.05 GAA, .889 save percentage in seven) has been able to show any reliability.

Can people honestly be shocked the reigning champs are struggling to score goals (averaging 2.3)? This story line is not new in LA, as they stumbled offensively through most of last season (at a sizzling 2.25 clip) before sneaking in as an eight-seed. One could point at almost every Kings forward and claim he is underachieving. The exception may be Kyle Clifford (eight, leads with 47 hits), who currently is enjoying life alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. The struggles of Justin Williams  (six) were detailed last week, so let's focus on new press box tenant Simon Gagne (scratched last two) and former resident Dustin Penner (one point). If you haven't heard, Slava Voynov (six points, averaging 23 minutes this month) is accumulating lots of experience with three defensemen on the shelf.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
John Klingberg
Stars' Klingberg Sinks Canucks In OT
John Klingberg, D, DAL
12:52 PM
News: John Klingberg scored the overtime-winning goal Saturday against Vancouver.
Analysis: It was a perfect shot from the 22-year-old, who now has 11 goals and 38 points in 59 games. While his goal Saturday was his first in 22 games, the youngster has been logging heavy minutes for the Stars and has been steadily dishing out the assists. Playing on the top power-play unit with Tyler Seguin, John Klingberg has emerged as a lethal offensive defenseman who is playing a key role for a Stars team that has won five of their last six games.

Cody Eakin
Stars' Eakin Picks Up Two Assists
Cody Eakin, C, DAL
12:48 PM
News: Cody Eakin collected a pair of assist in Saturday's win over Vancouver.
Analysis: Skating on the second line, Cody Eakin has been producing steadily of late, racking up five goals and 11 points in his last 14 games. The 23-year-old has a career-high 17 goals this season and is a solid scorer for a Dallas team that has won five of their last six games.

Trevor Daley
Stars' Daley Assists Twice In Return
Trevor Daley, D, DAL
12:44 PM
News: Trevor Daley returned to the lineup Saturday, collecting two assists in 24:19 of ice time in Saturday's win over Vancouver.
Analysis: Trevor Daley had been out since March 3 with a knee injury, but returned in a big way Saturday, helping the Stars pick up their fifth win in six games. Daley now has 35 points in 62 games and appears back to full health. With 16 goals on the season, including six power-play tallies, Daley is worth adding if he's available.

Tyler Seguin
Stars' Seguin Pots 34th Goal
Tyler Seguin, C, DAL
12:38 PM
News: Tyler Seguin scored his 34th goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's win over vancouver.
Analysis: Tyler Seguin is now up to 69 points in 66 games, with early-November marking the last time he went more than two games without recording a point. With 11 power-play tallies and 258 shots on goal, the 23-year-old fantasy stud is a must-start every game.

Eddie Lack
Canucks' Lack Gives Up Four Goals In OT Loss
Eddie Lack, G, VAN
12:14 PM
News: Eddie Lack gave up four goals on 40 shots in Saturday's overtime loss to the Stars.
Analysis: A decent outing for Eddie Lack, who has now lost two straight games, surrendering seven goals in that span. The 27-year-old falls to 14-11-4 on the season, but still owns an impressive .919 save percentage and 2.48 GAA. Ryan Miller (knee) appears to be out for the remainder of the regular season, so the Canucks playoff hopes will be riding on Lack. Keep him rolling, as everything is on the line and he should be at his best.

Kari Lehtonen
Stars' Lehtonen Makes 33 Saves In Win
Kari Lehtonen, G, DAL
12:07 PM
News: Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 of 36 shots in Saturday's win over the Canucks.
Analysis: While Kari Lehtonen has won eight of his last 10 games, he's allowed at least three goals in four straight outings. While his .907 save percentage and 2.84 GAA needs work, Lehtonen's 34-15-10 record makes him a reliable fantasy option. He starts almost every game and hasn't suffered back-to-back regulation losses since late-January.

Chris Higgins
Canucks' Higgins Pots 11th Goal
Chris Higgins, LW, VAN
1:56 AM
News: Chris Higgins scored a power-play goal in Saturday's loss to Dallas.
Analysis: A rare power-play goal for Chris Higgins, who has just two tallies with the man advantage all season. While he often goes through dry spells, the 31-year-old has two goals and three points in his last three games and is playing alongside the red-hot Radim Vrbata. He's stuck at 11 goals on the season, but his recent play indicates he could be starting a hot streak to finish the regular season. If he can build off these last few performances, he could be worth scooping up in some very deep leagues.

Nick Bonino
Canucks' Bonino Nets Two Points In Loss
Nick Bonino, C, VAN
1:52 AM
News: Nick Bonino scored his 14th goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's loss to the Stars.
Analysis: Nick Bonino has been producing steadily of late, notching three goals and nine points in his last 15 games. Skating on a line with Radim Vrbata and seeing second-unit power-play time, Bonino now has 34 points in 68 games on the season. He's isn't tearing it up, but his consistent production makes him worth a nab in deeper leagues, as these final games for the Canucks are must-wins.

Chris Tanev
Canucks' Tanev Logs Two Assists
Chris Tanev, D, VAN
1:42 AM
News: Chris Tanev registered a pair of assists in Saturday's loss to Dallas.
Analysis: While it was a good offensive night for Chris Tanev, he was a mess defensively, finishing a minus-2. The 25-year-old now has a career-high 18 points in 63 games, while averaging 20:59 of ice time. He shows flashes of offensive brilliance and his plus-9 rating is solid, but with just 48 shots on goal and two power-play points, Tanev's fantasy value is mostly restricted to deeper formats.

Radim Vrbata
Canucks' Vrbata Scores 30th Goal
Radim Vrbata, RW, VAN
1:38 AM
News: Radim Vrbata hit the 30-goal mark Saturday, scoring a power-play goal and adding an assist in a loss to the Stars.
Analysis: Another strong outing for Radim Vrbata, who has been firing on all cylinders of late. He now sits 10th in the NHL goal-scoring race and has racked up four goals and nine points in his last five games. He's fired 18 shots on goal in his last three games and is up to 58 points in 72 games on the season. You know what to do.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings