NHL

Cullen: Fantasy Mail and a Rough Night for Big-Name Players

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Scott Cullen
11/4/2010 1:49:36 PM
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A mini-mailbag and some notes from Wednesday, including a rough night for a couple of Blackhawks stars, Iggy and Malkin.

Starting with the mail...

In a keeper pool. Wins worth 2pts shutouts worth 3pts, loss worth -1pt. Someone is offering me Steve Mason for Varlarmov. What do you think about this? Would you make this trade?
- Chris

Chris,
I'd wait and see what Varlamov can do when healthy, assuming that day will ever come.  Mason hasn't played well enough this year that there is any kind of urgency to go out and trade for him before knowing what you have in Varlamov. - SC

Hey Scott,
I currently lost Parise  (my top pick) and he has yet to be placed on IR. I am leading my league and have a ton of goal scorers, but not many guys who get a ton of assists. The guys I am targeting that are available are Jussi Jokinen, Steve Sullivan, and Kris Versteeg (who I recently dropped due to his poor start).  Would you make a move for any of those guys?  I have also been thinking of dropping Mike Knuble and possibly upgrade with another defenseman, since I carry only three.  Of the D available, I like Anton Stralman, Michal Rozsival, Jordan Leopold, and Brent Burns.  So what do you think about replacing Parise, and my thoughts on Knuble?
Thanks,
Brett Baxter
Phoenix, AZ

Brett,
Obviously there is a drop-off from Parise, but Sullivan is as close to a featured performer as there is among Nashville's forwards and Jokinen's minus-9 would scare me off him.  With one goal and four points in 12 games, Knuble is replaceable, particularly when he's not on the top line, so give Burns a try.
- SC

Hey Scott,
I have four d-men: Dan Boyle, Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle and James Wisniewski (who has been a pleasant surprise).  My dilemma is this:  Karberle hasn't done a thing yet.  Would you consider it too soon to give up on him?  Montador is still sitting on the waiver wire and he is outproducing Karberle by a mile.  Thanks for your advice.
T-bone, IL

Yes, T-bone, too soon to give up on Kaberle.  The Leafs' latest slump, combined with Kaberle's six-game scoreless streak, made Kaberle's numbers less than ideal, but he has way too much offensive potential to give up for a guy like Montador, who has been overachieving.  I like Montador as a waiver pickup, as long as he keeps producing, but wouldn't give up a power play contributor like Kaberle to bring him in. - SC

Hi Scott,
Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, and my initial pick Claude Giroux all are available on the wire right now.  Who do you feel will perform the best for the next few months? Our HTH league scores the usual categegories (g, a, +/-, pims), plus faceoff wins/losses, PPP and short handed points. Perhaps taking a higher risk with upside, I could look at Niclas Bergfors, or Jeff Skinner.
Thanks for all the great ideas,
Ian

Ian,
Giroux is going too well to ignore right now and, as an added bonus, has taken the second-most face-offs on the Flyers this season -- not bad for a guy with RW eligibility. - SC

Hey Scott,
Any word if Pascal Leclaire will be back as Sens starter? I had Pascal, dropped him for Brian Elliot and now need to know whether to switch back or keep Elliot.
Thanks,
mr

mr,
Elliott may hold the hot hand, but neither of the Senators goaltenders has done enough to stand apart as the definitive starter.  Both will get chances and the Sens will have to go with whichever one is providing results, but there is little difference between Elliott (3.22 GAA, .900 SV%) and Leclaire (3.24 GAA, .900 SV%). - SC

Hey Scott,
I believed at the beginning of the year I would be solid at goalie drafting Martin Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury and Pekka Rinne...this hasn't worked out well for me. I've been lucky enough to still be first in the pool but with weak goaltending so far this season, people are starting to get closer...is it panic time yet where I should trade one of these three goalies? I was lucky to be blessed with early season production from Paul Stastny, Mikko Koivu and especially Brad Richards. Should I put one of these players as a package deal with a goalie? Or do you see their production continuing?
Much Thanks,
Patrick
Peterborough, ON

Patrick,
There's no sense in dealing Brodeur or Fleury now since their values are so low, at least relative to what their potential might be.  Wait on them and hope that at least one starts to perform at a high level.  Eventually, moving Fleury plus one of those centres would have to bring a premier goaltender back to you but, being in the lead, you can afford to be picky to make sure you're getting the most value in your trade. - SC

And a few notes from Wednesday night's games...

RYDER
While he spent much of the summer getting mentioned as a candidate to be waived to the AHL, to clear his $4-million salary off the books, the Bruins' winger has seven points in nine games and is playing effectively on Tyler Seguin's wing.

Not to go overboard in praise of Ryder, however, he is not likely to keep scoring on 15% of his shots (career shooting percentage of 12.2%), so he may regress some, but regressing from a 64-point pace still leaves room for Ryder to be a productive player.

KOMISAREK
In the first game without captain Dion Phaneuf, the Maple Leafs gave Mike Komisarek more than 26 minutes of ice time -- the first time all season he played more than 20 minutes and just the second time this season that he played more than 15 minutes in a game.

DIPIETRO
Islanders G Rick DiPietro got shelled by Carolina, giving up seven goals on 32 shots.  He now has a 4.21 goals against average and .854 save percentage.  How long before Dwayne Roloson is just the starter by default?

BOOTH
Panthers LW David Booth was held off the scoresheet against Atlanta, but had nine shots on goal; the second time this season he's recorded nine shots in a game.

MALKIN
After missing a game with a bruised knee, Penguins C Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup and was minus-3 in Dallas.  He's minus-7 in his last four games.

LANGENBRUNNER
Yesterday, I dealt with the Devils that needed to step up in Zach Parise's absence and Langenbrunner responded with three points, while playing more than 26 minutes against the Blackhawks.

SHARP and KEITH
Blackhawks C Patrick Sharp and D Duncan Keith were minus-5 and minus-4, respectively, against the Devils.  Keith, who has been at least a plus-20 in the last three seasons, had never been minus-4 in a game (as a rookie, he was minus-5 in an April 2006 loss to Detroit).

IGINLA
Flames RW Jarome Iginla played a season-low 15:20 in a 2-1 loss to Detroit.  He played less than that just twice all of last season, with a fight in one of those games that kept him off the ice for five minutes (Iginla did have a double-minor last night as well).

JOVANOVSKI
Coyotes D Ed Jovanovski tallied a hat trick against the Predators; the first multi-goal game for Jovanovski since January, 2007.  Jovo has nine points in ten games, yet still ranks fifth among Coyotes defencemen in power play ice time per game (1:25).

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen.  For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Duncan Keith (Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
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