Monday, December 28, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey: Week 14 Forecaster

It’s Winter Classic time again, and the NHL is again center stage in the sports world for one day. This year’s edition has the highly penalized, Philadelphia Flyers battling streaking Boston Bruins, in the storied confines of Fenway. The NHL has perfected the art of the outdoor game and watching it in HD is a close second to freezing your butt off amongst the rowdy crowd.

4 Games - Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose

3 Games - Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington

2 Games - Florida, Toronto

Boston Bruins - @ Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta, vs. Philadelphia

Closing out the week against the Flyers is not the only great news of the week. Winger, Milan Lucic, is poised to return for the Classic as well. Winners in their last 3 games, Tim Thomas has 3 wins and a shutout and looks to be leading the Bruins back into respectability.

Montreal - @ Ottawa, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, vs. Buffalo

There seems to be a goalie controversy brewing the Montreal. Winners in their last 4, Jaroslav Halak, has all 4 wins and allowed a stringy 6 goals in those starts. The line of Plekanec, A Kostistyn and Cammalleri are leading the charge as well as Montreal is red-hot on the PP thanks to Andrei Markov. Injured winger, Brian Gionta, should make it back into the line-up as well, and should pay off dividends when he heats up. He is a buy low candidate. Look for Halak to continue in the net until he loses, but Montreal should have a great week.

Columbus - vs. Detroit, @ New York Islanders, vs. Nashville, vs. Colorado

The Blue Jackets are in a freefall and are losers are in the last 9 contests. With no end in sight, steer clear of any Columbus netminder until they can right their ship. Rick Nash remains a must start in all formats as he remains their only consistent offensive weapon.

Los Angeles - vs. Minnesota, @ Calgary, @ Minnesota, vs. Washington

Playing only 1 game last week gave time for the Kings to regroup and ease Ryan Smyth back into the line-up. The good news stopped there as oft-injured Jason Williams went down with a broken leg. Look for Jonathan Quick to rule the Kings crease and Dustin Brown to move up to the top line with Smyth and Kopitar.


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