The Real Spiel: Hossa emerging as fantasy MVP
Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 8:31 PM / Fantasy Hockey Rankings and Advice
By Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer
Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, NHL.com Fantasy Insider Sergei Feldman will give you The Real Spiel on some of the quirks and trends that permeated your week of fantasy hockey by way of in-depth analysis.
MIDWEST HOSS-PITALITY: The Real Spiel on Marian Hossa
Right Wing - CHI
GOALS: 17 | ASST: 30 | PTS: 47
SOG: 153 | +/-: 23
One might argue that Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa has had himself an MVP-caliber season, both in real life and in fantasy hockey. One might also agree. Hossa is a bona fide stud for fantasy team owners. His assists (30), points (47), plus/minus (plus-23) and power-play goals (7) all rank in the Top 10 in the NHL. Throw in his 17 goals and 153 shots and you've got yourself a more-than-reliable option to lead your team to greatness. History of production is also on Hossa's side, as he is essentially a point-per-game player. However, he hasn't played in 80-plus games in each of the past four seasons. When healthy, Hossa's the guy to get your team to the Promised Land.
DUCKS FLY TOGETHER: The Real Spiel on Anaheim’s Big Four
“… And just when you think they're about to break apart — ducks fly together."
Gordon Bombay couldn't have said it any better. And while he wasn't talking about the Ducks that currently play in the NHL, he may as well have been. For much of the season, the Ducks have struggled, as have their dynamic players, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and, to a lesser extent Teemu Selanne. It wasn't long ago that trade talks surrounded the aforementioned names.
That was then, however. Nowadays, The Four Horsemen of California are dominating night in, night out. Selanne, The Finnish Flash, has 4 goals in five games and seven points in that same span, including three multi-point nights and 12 shots. Getzlaf, the club's captain who is coming off a four-assist night, has 6 points and 12 hits in five games. Perry, one of last year's best fantasy players, has 5 goals, 7 points and 20 shots in his past five outings. Ryan, meanwhile, has 3 goals and five points in his past five games. In short, the Ducks' offensive juggernauts are shifting the balance of power of fantasy contention.
WARM CUP OF J.T: The Real Spiel on John Tavares
Center - NYI
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 25 | PTS: 40
SOG: 146 | +/-: -5
Speaking of point-per-gamers, the New York Islanders' face of the franchise, John Tavares, has shown he could play at that rate in his third full season in the NHL. Through 41 games and on a less-than-potent squad, the 2009 No. 1 overall selection has amassed 40 points on 15 goals and 25 assists. After enduring a goalless streak which reached 13 games, Tavares has settled in nicely of late. His 5 goals in nine games have helped his confidence, to the tune of a seven-game point streak. In that span, he has 13 points, including two three-point nights and four multi-point nights. As his confidence grows, so too will his production. Take notice.
THE NEIL DEAL: The Real Spiel on Chris Neil
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 15
SOG: 76 | +/-: -7
As difficult as it might be to pinpoint the big offensive contributors for a fantasy season, at least the task is somewhat doable. It's the other categories, the hits and PIMs and shots that come with a bit more uncertainty. Enter Chris Neil. The Ottawa Senators tough guy has provided fantasy owners with stability in the difficult-to-dissect scoring categories. In addition to his seven goals and 15 points — a nice bonus for a bruiser — Neil has thrown 76 shots on net and has collected 82 PIMs and 137 hits through just 36 games. His production of late has been a microcosm of his production on the year, as the gritty forward has collected goals in two of his past three games and no fewer than three hits in each of his past six games. As your teams aim to solidify themselves as contenders with the season en route to winding down, look no further than Neil as an option.