Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Christmas filled with presents and delectable dinners! I had quite a decent Christmas myself, but it was missing one thing: HOCKEY!
Luckily, on December 26, nine NHL Hockey games will be played:
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Atlanta Thrashers
Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators 35
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings
So let’s get this party started!
Sidney Crosby: He was held scoreless against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and against a stronger New Jersey team, I have my doubts about starting him. If your Max & Pace is a positive number, I would say bench him, but starting him wouldn’t be a bad idea either. I’m about 40-60 on this decision here.
Jeremy Williams: He has scored an average of one point per game this season in seven games, and after tonight’s game against the New York Islanders team, you can expect that average to either hold steady or increase.
Cam Ward: A MUST start if you have him. He’s 3-1-1 since returning from a groin injury with a GAA of 1.95. Against a weaker Atlanta team, Ward has high odds of coming out on top.
Nicklas Backstrom: If I only considered the last Sabres/Capitals game, I would bench him. HOWEVER, given the recent surge of the Capitals, who came back from a 4-goal deficit against the New York Rangers, beating Buffalo shouldn’t be as hard. Expect several helpers, and maybe even a goal, from the Swedish phenom.
Nicklas Lidstrom: In his last game, he scored a goal AND an assist against St. Louis. This time, he’ll be playing a Nashville team that’s only that much better than the Blues. Play him and get some much-needed fantasy points in those tight leagues.
Mike Green: Well he didn’t play on Tuesday against the Rangers, and I really can’t say anything about his status for today’s game. However, what I CAN tell you is that on Saturday, Green played hurt against Philadelphia after he re-aggravated his shoulder injury. The Capitals have permitted the 23-year old to take time off to straighten out his injury.
Patrick Sharp: He may have 18 goals and 11 assists in 31 games, but I have my doubts against a red-hot team like Philadelphia. He may be one you want to bench for once. I’m about 50-50 on this decision here.
Ryan Whitney: Well he’s back on the ice! But should you play him? Well given that the Penguins couldn’t get the puck past Tampa Bay, they probably will have just as much difficulty scoring on New Jersey. I would avoid starting him if I were his fantasy owner.
Vesa Toskala: He’s listed as Day-to-Day after giving up seven goals on 27 shots against the Dallas Stars. His team may be facing a weak New York Islanders team, but need I remind you of THIS:
Okay well now do you know what to do with Vesa?
Kyle Okposo: Okay sure he’s back on the ice, but he hasn’t done anything since his return. The only rationale I can think of for starting him is that in Toronto’s last game, the Leafs allowed eight goals. Unless if you think that’s gonna happen to them again, bench Okposo.
Jonathan Toews: Like I said with Patrick Sharp, I’m about 50-50 here. If I had to choose on the spot, I would probably play him. He has scored three points in his last two games, and there’s a decent chance that he could score against the Flyers. I wouldn’t bet much money on him though.
Jordin Tootoo: 31 games played. 3 goals. 3 assists. Next game: Against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Need I say more?