The Fantasy Guide can be picked up online (pdf) for $9.99 – it comes with an updated spreadsheet. Updates are all free, download as often as you’d like. Last update was Oct. 1 – Draft list, too.


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Nikolai Kulemin has been lost for at least two weeks with a chipped bone in his ankle, after blocking a shot in practice. Why he was blocking a shot in practice, I dont know. This is significant because Kulemin was taking David Clarkson's spot on the second line during his suspension. Spencer Abbott has been called up and reportedly will take his place on the second grouping. Abbott has some offensive ability, but zero NHL experience. 

 

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Buffalo and Ottawa played to a goaltender’s duel last night and both Craig Anderson and Ryan Miller were excellent. Anderson stopped all 31 shots he faced and picked up right where he left off in 2013. He’s still going to be in tough to keep up with the torrid pace he set last year, but a good start nonetheless.

 

Erik Karlsson had the goal in the 1-0 win for Ottawa and he played nearly 26 minutes, including nearly four minutes of power play time. The next closest Senator played barely over two minutes with the man advantage.

 

Ottawa’s line of Cory Conacher – Kyle Turris – Clarke MacArthur looked very sharp. Turris and MacArthur assisted on Karlsson’s game winner.

 

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Other than Ryan Miller, it was a difficult task to find a Sabre that had a strong night. Steve Ott gets honourable mention for throwing six hits and going over 60% on face-offs.

 

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Michael Grabner was the best player on the ice by a mile for the Islanders in their 4-3 shootout win over the Devils. He was all over the place and used his incredible speed to generate several quality scoring chances. Grabner had two goals and a helper to go along with four shots, in just over 14 minutes. Not only that, but he only saw a measly nine seconds with the man advantage.

 

Grabner looked to have some decent chemistry going with Josh Bailey and it was a good thing because John Tavares and Matt Moulson were held off the score sheet.

 

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Damien Brunner had a nice outing in a losing cause for the Devils, scoring twice and adding four shots. I’m surprised it took so long for him to get a contract this summer.

 

Jaromir Jagr was invisible for New Jersey going minus-2 and he played just 14 minutes, the fifth lowest total for a Devils forward on the night.

 

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It would be wise to add Justin Abdelkader while you still can. He’s currently owned in just 26% of Yahoo leagues and Abdelkader is currently occupying a spot on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. He had a goal, four shots, and seven hits in a victory over Carolina last night, and you can expect more of the same as long as he’s on that line. Abdelkader posted 120 hits and 96 shots last year in 48 games. He’s a great add in leagues that count hits.

 

Speaking of Zetterberg, he posted a whopping 10 shots against the Canes, which accounted for nearly a third of the team’s total on Friday.

 

Stephen Weiss and Niklas Kronwall both had strong nights going plus-3.

 

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Justin Faulk is another guy you should snag quickly if you need help on the blueline. With Joni Pitkanen done for the year, he is going to get increased opportunities to produce. Faulk had two assists, two hits, and four blocks against the Red Wings in a losing cause. Still only owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues.

 

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but something tells me Calgary will be a fun team to watch this season. They should score a lot of goals in 2013-14, but give up just as many. After blowing a lead to Washington Thursday, they held on for a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jackets Friday.

 

Sean Monahan tallied his first NHL goal and he’s got a strong shot to stay with the team all year.

 

David Jones is looking good to start the year with points in each of the first two games, and is getting plenty of time with the man advantage as well. He had four shots on goal against the Blue Jackets.

 

Dennis Wideman looks to be getting more opportunities than Mark Giordano in the early part of the season. Wideman played nearly 30 minutes on Friday, which was six more than Giordano, and got nearly twice as much power play time.

 

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Jack Johnson had a good showing for the Blue Jackets with a goal and a helper. He also added three hits, three shots, and four PIM.

 

James Wisniewski picked up an assist, but was an awful minus-3.

 

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Evander Kane had a massive night for the Jets in their win over the Kings, scoring a goal and adding two assists. The great thing about Kane though is he gives you so much more in other areas. He added nine PIM, seven shots, five hits, and a block in just 14 minutes. Kane seems to be clicking with Devin Setoguchi as the new Jet had two goals and an assist on the night.

 

It’s worth noting that Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien each got over six minutes of power play time. Byfuglien still needs work on his defensive game, as the big blueliner turned the puck over five times on the night.

 

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Los Angeles didn’t have a particularly good night all around. Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin were a combined minus-5 and Jonathan Quick was yanked after giving up four goals on 27 shots, including a couple of soft ones.

 

The lone bright spot was Matt Greene who scored and added four PIM, four hits, and four blocks. Don’t expect the offense regularly from Greene, but he is a good depth defenseman to add if you need help in the rough and tumble categories.

 

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Colorado moved to 2-0 with a win over Nashville and Nathan MacKinnon picked up his third assist of the season.

 

P.A. Parenteau recorded two goals and four shots. Parenteau has been a scorer at every level and his success with the Islanders wasn’t just a product of being placed with Tavares and Moulson.

 

Paul Stastny may be enjoying Patrick Roy as Colorado’s new coach more than anyone right now. He saw of five minutes of power play time against the Preds and that almost doubled what he was averaging last year. There is no guarantee that will continue, but it’s at least a good sign for Stastny owners.

 

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Patric Hornqvist had five shots for Nashville against the Avs and led the team in power play minutes. Offense looks like it will be hard to come by again for the Preds this season.

 

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So this was pretty cool.

 

 

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James Neal is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. Has there been a team with more injury woes to their star players in recent memory? Dan Bylsma is calling it week-to-week and notes that there is no timetable for his return. This could benefit Pascal Dupuis greatly once again as there will be no one to challenge him for minutes with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

 

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Alex Burrows was reportedly seen limping after Vancouver’s loss to San Jose Thursday night. Burrows blocked a shot killing a 5-on-3 and if he has to miss extended time, look for Jannik Hansen to get some minutes with the Sedins until Kassian returns from his suspension. Kassian himself could find himself on the top group for a while when he returns if the Burrows injury is indeed significant.   

 

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Morgan Rielly is expected to check in on Saturday for the Toronto Maple Leafs after being scratched for the first two games. Mark Fraser was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and Rielly was paired with Jake Gardiner at Leafs practice on Friday.

 

Paul Ranger skated with Cody Franson and if those pairings hold up, that might be a nice change of pace for Ranger who struggled defensively in the first two games. He got beat a few times against Montreal and conceded a penalty shot against the Flyers on Thursday. My guess is Ranger would have been the one scratched in favour of Rielly had Fraser not gone down with an injury.

 

The bigger question should be who goes in goal tonight against the Ottawa Senators. Both James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier had strong showings in their opening starts, and difficult decisions like this is exactly what Dave Nonis was hoping for when he brought Bernier in over the summer. Not so great for fantasy owners when goalies are splitting starts, but it’s a great problem for a team to have when both guys are playing at a high level.

 

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Washington Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen will miss ‘months’ according to head coach Adam Oates, after injuring his knee in a victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday. That’s a tough break for Hillen and owners who drafted him based on his finish to last season. In the final 10 games of 2013, Hillen recorded eight points and 18 shots.

 

Steve Oleksy, who was scratched for the first two games, may take Hillen’s spot, or keep an eye on Alexander Urbom as well. The Capitals claimed him on waivers from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, but the young Swede is more of a defensive presence than an offensive threat from the blueline.

 

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Great read here from Katie Baker of Grantland on Seth Jones.

 

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Teemu Selanne will be sitting out one of the 12 back-to-back scenarios the Ducks have this season, which means the maximum number of games he will play is 70. Something interesting to consider as a fantasy owner because on the one hand you have to take into account Selanne is guaranteed to miss some time, but on the other he is doing so to maximize those games he is playing in.

 

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Good news for the Rangers as Ryan Callahan is expected back in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Kings.

 

 

Michael Amato is an Associate Editor for DobberHockey and a News Editor for theScore. You can follow him on Twitter at @amato_mike


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Comments (6)add comment

canucker16 said:

canucker16
... Love the ramblings, and love the site.
However - I highly doubt that Calgary will be amongst the top 25 scoring teams this year. The goals will dry up, so don't count on this continued production.
October 05, 2013
Votes: -1

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
... To be fair, it's quite possible that Dupuis winds up with some top unit power play time with this Neal injury, which would certainly be a boost.
October 05, 2013
Votes: +0

nuckscup said:

nuckscup
... GREAT ramblings today. Exactly what I love in a ramblings. Lots of quick hits on stats along with general vibes you are getting and of course updates on injuries. A real meat and potatoes ramblings. Thanks for the great work and I would vote that you keep this style going.

Have a great day.
October 05, 2013
Votes: +1

Michael Amato said:

Michael Amato
... Well aware that Dupuis plays with Crosby. Was trying to imply that with Neal out there is no one to challenge his spot on the top line. Sorry should have worded it differently.
October 05, 2013
Votes: -1

rockstar4life said:

rockstar4life
... Ya brosive, doesn't Dupuis play with Sidney and Kunitz already? Come on MAN, gve your head a shake here.
October 05, 2013
Votes: -4

ntb60 said:

ntb60
... Not sure how Neal's injury benefits Dupuis as his spot is secure with Kunitz and Crosby. Have to think Beau Bennett is the main benefactor, no?
October 05, 2013
Votes: +3
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