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 What the Puck? November 29, 2007 Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 11/29/2007 :  11:08:23  Show Profile
By Fantasy Fanatics

We are well into the NHL season and many fantasy owners use Thanksgiving time to measure players. If someone has not broken out of their slump by Thanksgiving, there could be some serious issues. Even Glen Murray has broken out a bit by now. Nonetheless, with this week’s What the Puck?, I think it would be appropriate to designate some players that we can all be thankful for this season.

Centers to be Thankful For:

Vincent Lecavlier (C, Tampa Bay): Vinny has arguably been the best fantasy center this season. He sometimes gets lost in the grand scheme of things down in Tampa Bay, but he is clearly a top 5 player in the NHL right now. He has 16G and 22A, which would make him the leader of any fantasy team and right now there is simply no player more valuable. At the age of 27, Lecavlier is ready to be the top player in the NHL.

Ryan Getzlaf (C, Anaheim): Fantasy owners must be thankful that Getzlaf has in no way gone through a sophomore slump. Instead, he has 25 points, a solid +/- and is leading the Anaheim Ducks while being a must start on any fantasy team. He is on pace for 84 points and has left some lucky fantasy owners with an extra #1 caliber forward.

Wingers to be Thankful For:

Ilya Kovalchuk (LW, Atlanta): I’m not sure who should be more thankful for Ilya this year, the Thrashers or his fantasy owners. He was generally a second or third round pick but he is on pace for a shocking 66 goals! There is much more talent on the wings in fantasy hockey, but Ilya has surpassed the production of your Heatley’s, St. Louis’ and Ovechkin’s. Right now, he seems to be able to score goals at will and there are no signs of him slowing down.

Rick Nash (RW, Columbus): Something has gotten into Nash this season. After posting 41 goals in 2003, Nash’s numbers have declined. However, he is right back on track this season and is leaving his fantasy owners extremely pleased as he returns to his 2003 form. He is getting more assists than in previous years and keeping up the goal scoring. Therefore, Nash is a complete fantasy player who should reach the 90 point plateau this season.

Defenseman to be Thankful For:

Paul Ranger (D, Tampa Bay): Ranger has been great this year in picking up the slack left behind by Dan Boyle’s injury. With 5G and 11A he has all ready exceeded expectations as he was not drafted in most fantasy leagues. Although he probably won’t continue on his pace for 50 points and a plus-35, Ranger has been arguably the biggest defense steal in fantasy hockey this season.

Nicklas Lidstrom (D, Detroit): After 15 years in the NHL, Lidstrom just refuses to slow down. He has again been the best defenseman in the NHL and is leading a great Detroit team. He is actually on pace to have an even better season this last year. For all you fantasy owners that took Lidstrom over Pronger or McCabe, you clearly made the right decision.

Goalies to be Most Thankful For:

Pascal Leclaire (G, Columbus): Leclaire has been amazing this year. He is dominating fantasy stat categories and was not drafted in almost every league. Although he is not shutting everyone out anymore, he continues to play great as #1 goalie on any fantasy team. I hate myself for dropping him for Norrena. Nonetheless, he is on pace for a top 10 fantasy goalie season and that makes him easily the biggest goalie steal in fantasy hockey.

Tim Thomas (G, Boston): Thomas is the second biggest goalie steal in fantasy hockey this season. He has also been remarkable this season with a GAA under 2 while leading the new look Bruins. He makes tons of saves with an amazing save percentage. He should have many more wins but the Bruins offense is not winning games for him. Things should get interesting when Manny Fernandez returns but with promising goalie Tuuka Rask playing great as well, Fernandez could be on his way out. Thomas is the #1 goalie in Boston, and a top 10 fantasy goalie right now.

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