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November 27, 2010
Shots On Goal
Fantasy Week 7

by Timo Seppa

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Considering the broad brush strokes, there aren’t a lot of clear cut winners on this week’s fantasy hockey schedule—14 teams get four games and 12 teams getting three games…but there are a few losers. We’ll need to dig extra deep to come up with our Green Lights and Red Lights for Fantasy Week 7.

GREEN LIGHTS

It makes for a lengthy list, but it’s worth spelling out. The teams with four games this week are: Boston, Columbus, Calgary (though see below), Dallas, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington and the New York Rangers.

“Base rate” = VUKOTA projected rates for the 2010–11 season.
*Asterisk denotes second game of back–to–back games.

C R.J. Umberger, Columbus Blue Jackets
Base rates: 0.32 G, 0.39 A, 0.71 P
Overview: 4 games. 2 home, 2 road. 0 back–to–back.
Schedule: NSH, @NYI, DET, @DET

Underrated Blue Jackets pivot R.J. Umberger is on a point–per–game pace over last seven games. While the Red Wings show up on the schedule twice, Columbus does get the benefit of playing the hapless Islanders in a four game schedule that’s nicely spaced out so as not to include any back–to–back contests.

LW Ville Leino, Philadelphia Flyers
Base rates: 0.19 G, 0.28 A, 0.46 P
Overview: 4 games. 2 home, 2 road. 1 back–to–back.
Schedule: MTL, @MIN, CGY, @NJD*

While Ville Leino hasn’t scored a ton of goals, he’s recorded a bunch of helpers, nicely consolidating his gains from the postseason. A stat line of 3 G, 13 A, 16 P and a +8 rating is nothing to sneeze at. Catching Calgary at the end of an East Coast road trip and playing the struggling Devils makes for a decent schedule, although Carey Price and Montreal have befuddled the Flyers of recent.

RW Mark Recchi, Boston Bruins
Base rates: 0.21 G, 0.34 A, 0.55 P
Overview: 4 games. 1 home, 3 road. 0 back–to–back.
Schedule: @TBL, @FLA, CAR, @ATL

Hard to believe that 42–year–old Mark Recchi is still scoring, but he’s doing it to the tune of 2 G, 11 A, 13 P and a +3 rating. Better yet, he’s on a roll, with seven points in seven contests. A four game jaunt through the non–Capitals portion of the Southeast Division is a good way to keep those points coming.

D Marc Methot, Columbus Blue Jackets
Base rates: 0.04 G, 0.16 A, 0.20 P
Overview: 4 games. 2 home, 2 road. 0 back–to–back.
Schedule: NSH, @NYI, DET, @DET

With great success in the first quarter of the season, a host of Blue Jackets make sense for your fantasy team in the first time since…we’re not sure when. Marc Methot’s likely not on many fantasy rosters, but he’s got ten assists to show for the young season, of course blowing away his VUKOTA projection along with any other projections you might find out there. As of now, Methot looks like a good source of plus–minus—he’s at a heady +11 rating—but don’t expect any power play production from the 25–year–old blueliner, based on his usage.

D Jordan Leopold, Buffalo Sabres
Base rates: 0.06 G, 0.21 A, 0.27 P
Overview: 3 games. 2 home, 1 road. 1 back–to–back.
Schedule: PIT, TOR, @MTL*

Though shooting at a somewhat fortunate 13.5% clip—keep in mind that his career rate is 7.6%—Jordan Leopold’s improved health and increased role with the Sabres currently has him putting up a career best 0.64 points per game production. Even better, Leopold’s been good for 10 points in last 14 games and faces potentially shaky goaltending in at least the first two stops of the week.

G Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers
Base projection: 0.918 save percentage
Overview: 4 games. 3 home, 1 road. 1 back–to–back.
Schedule: PIT, BOS, NYR, @TBL*

Same old, same old with the Florida Panthers roster. A few nice players here and there, but nothing resembling a superstar, unless you count perennial Hockey Prospectus favorite Tomas Vokoun. That said, the Panthers are icing a competitive team that’s 9–9–0 with a +5 goal differential. It’s a tough schedule for the 34–year–old Czech netminder, but he’s bound to pick up a couple of wins out of the four game week.

RED LIGHTS

From a fantasy perspective, players on four teams—Anaheim, Phoenix, Vancouver and the New York Islanders—draw the short straw in Week 7, with only two games on the docket. Special consideration should also be made for Calgary (4 games) and Chicago (3 games), the only two teams with all road games.

C John Tavares, New York Islanders
Base rates: 0.36 G, 0.46 A, 0.82 P
Overview: 2 games. 2 home, 0 road. 0 back–to–back.
Schedule: CBJ, NJD

Does anyone need to be told to stay away from any Islanders on their fantasy roster right now (other than Matt Moulson)? John Tavares hit a personal low in the overtime loss to Atlanta, wiping out at center ice and ending up out of the play for Dustin Byfuglien’s game winning goal.

LW Viktor Stalberg, Chicago Blackhawks
Base rates: 0.26 G, 0.21 A, 0.46 P
Overview: 3 games. 0 home, 3 road. 1 back–to–back.
Schedule: @SJS, @ANA, @LAK*

After playing 16–18 minutes per night during a four game stretch in early November, Viktor Stalberg has only played over 16 minutes once in the last five games, while he’s actually played less than 10 minutes twice. After scoring 9 goals in 40 games last season, his 6 goals this season come on a 14.0% shooting percentage, likely higher than he can maintain in the long run. Three games in California on Thanksgiving week may leave Chicago wondering what they should be thankful for.

RW Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks
Base rates: 0.35 G, 0.39 A, 0.74 P
Overview: 2 games. 1 home, 1 road. 1 back–to–back.
Schedule: CHI, @PHX*

He just keeps on ticking…more or less. 40–year–old Teemu Selanne is tied for 14th in points at the quarter pole of the 2010–11 regular season campaign, but this is a week to shy away from the Finnish Flash for sure. Only two games, against good teams and back–to–back is bad enough, but throw in a groin strain and all of a sudden, everything becomes a big question mark.

D Christian Ehrhoff, Vancouver Canucks
Base rates: 0.14 G, 0.42 A, 0.57 P
Overview: 2 games. 2 home, 0 road. 0 back–to–back.
Schedule: COL, SJS

We can’t go so far to tell you to sit either Daniel or Henrik Sedin, but it’s an excellent week to sit most of the rest of the Vancouver Canucks. Christian Ehrhoff is having another quality season—3 G, 8 A, 11 P, +0 rating—but don’t expect too much to show from only two games and against quality Western Conference competition.

D Ed Jovanovski, Phoenix Coyotes
Base rates: 0.12 G, 0.38 A, 0.50 P
Overview: 2 games. 2 home, 0 road. 0 back–to–back.
Schedule: EDM, ANA

The good news is that Phoenix faces two struggling opponents in Edmonton and Anaheim this week. The bad news is that it’s only two games. As far as Jovanovski himself is concerned, keep two factors in mind: 1) he’s no spring chicken anymore and 2) he’s really streaky. As far as the former, expect 0.50 points per game compared to the 0.60–0.75 points per game the former number one pick might have produced a few years ago as well as a few less PIM as in the past. As far as the latter point, you need to keep Jovanovski in your lineup or you’ll miss his infrequent peaks. Case in point: his nine points—including a hat trick—were scored in a mere four games this season, while he’s gone scoreless in the other 13 games.

G Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames
Base projection: 0.911 save percentage
Overview: 4 games. 0 home, 4 road. 2 back–to–back.
Schedule: @NYR*, @NJD, @PHI, @PIT*

In most weeks, fantasy owners drool at a four game week for Miikka Kiprusoff, knowing that he starts the vast majority of Calgary’s games. That said, a four game New York and Pennsylvania road trip can’t turn out too well, especially considering multiple back–to–back games. It’s very possible that Kiprusoff’s one breather may come at Prudential Center, the only easy stop for the Flames all week.

VALUE ADD

D James Wisniewski, New York Islanders
Base rates: 0.10 G, 0.36 A, 0.46 P

Weren’t expecting to see an Islander here, were you? Though cooling off along with the rest of the team of recent, ex–Duck James Wisniewski’s has still put up a ton of power play points for New York this season, and a steady pace should continue once the Islanders finally find a way to right their ship. Teams in many fantasy leagues are giving up on this talented defenseman. Pick him up so that you can catch him on the upswing.

Timo Seppa is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Timo by clicking here or click here to see Timo's other articles.

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From Daigle To Datsyuk (11/27)
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Premium Article Shots On Goal (11/15)
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Premium Article Numbers On Ice (11/28)

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