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Fantasy Hockey News for Tuesday

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A fantasized look at Monday night's NHL action

Marianne Helm

Anton Khudobin (actually pronounced hoo-doh-bin, who knew?) is leading all NHL goalies, all time, in career save percentage (.934).* That's right, Khu's in first. Why am I asking you? I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. Khu's in first. Khu? That's what I said, Khu. (Sorry, little Abbott and Costello humour for you there. I'm 73.) Anyway, although Khuders has only played 30 games, that was enough for a buddy of mine to pick him up in our keeper league and declare himself back in contention. Unfortunately, Khudobin's teammates haven't been helping him out lately, as the Carolina Hurricanes haven't scored a goal in two games. Needless to say, all 'Canes are riding pointless droughts of at least two games.

The Calgary Flames exploded for all of two goals. Hey, after being held to one or fewer goals in seven of their last eight games, two goals is something to be excited about. Sean Monahan had one; Mikael Backlund had the other. Backlund's ice time is way up over the last eight games or so and he's finally playing on the first powerplay unit.

Karri Ramo only had to stop 21 pucks to earn his first career shutout. Both Calgary netminders have pretty terrible numbers and have split starts evenly, but Ramo has two wins in four January starts, compared to Reto Berra's two losses in two starts. Looks like he's pulling ahead.

* * *

In a rowdy, stingy, playoff-type game, the Los Angeles Kings edged the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Dustin Brown scored the lone goal, from Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. If you are in a league that counts PIMs, Tom Sestito led the way with 27 (fighting major, instigator, game misconduct, instigator misconduct); Zack Kassian had 22; Kevin Bieksa had nine, along with three shots and five hits; Ryan Kesler had five for beating up future USA teammate Brown; Matt Greene had 17; Willie Mitchell had 10; and Brown had five.

The Kings do not score a lot of goals, which hurts a lot of fantasy owners. I think a good formula to determine how many points an LA player would have if he were playing for neighbouring Anaheim is:

p(duck) = 1.4p(king)

which, after cross-multiplying and carrying the two, gives... Peking duck, which is also Dustin Penner's favourite pre-game snack. Honestly, I think the talent level is about the same (Ducks probably have a bit more offence on the third and fourth lines), it's just a totally different philosophy.

Zac Dalpe continued to be unable to finish his chances on the Canucks' top line. The only people more frustrated than Sedin owners about Dalpe being on the top line are probably the Sedins themselves.

Defencemen Bieksa and Yannick Weber ate up most of the Canucks powerplay time. This is a team with Jason Garrison and Alexander Edler (just returned from injury) as offensive weapons. Why, John Tortorella, do you have Bieksa and Weber out on the powerplay, while Edler and Garrison are on the bench?

* * *

The Winnipeg Jets gave Paul Maurice a win in his coaching debut. Dustin Byfuglien looked great as a forward, earning two assists and putting six shots on net. If you have him as a defenceman in your pool going forward, jackpot! (Provided, of course, Maurice likes what he sees - it wasn't his decision to move Byfuglien to forward and he could certainly undo it once he has time to get settled).

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored and now has a two-game mini-streak, which wouldn't be notable except to owners hoping it's a good sign, because he's coming off a three-week slump with just one assist in ten games.

Shane Doan nabbed an assist. This season has been a pleasant surprise for owners of the 37 year-old veteran. 27 points in 32 games is a 69-point pace, numbers Doan hasn't put up since 2008-09. In my keeper league he was drafted behind guys like Erik Gudbranson and Martin Erat.

Olli Jokinen had a goal, two PIMs, four shots and four hits. Blake WheelerDevin Setoguchi and Michael Frolik also lit the lamp.

* * *

Mark Letestu has four goals in his past five games after going 40 games without one (!). He scored the game winner on the powerplay. I wouldn't be rushing out to add the Elk Point, Alberta native just yet, as the minutes and shots aren't there.

The Columbus Blue Jackets really spread out their powerplay time, with nine forwards and four defencemen seeing at least two minutes, and only James Wisniewski (1 assist) seeing more than six.

Ryan Johansen continued his ascent to stardom with a goal. Nathan Horton also scored and Jack Johnson had two apples.

Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn each found the back of the net. Martin St. Louis had an assist and is, in my mind at least, a St.

Matt Carle earned one assist to extend his point streak to seven games (nine points). Carle can go on hot streaks from time to time, which I can only assume is why everyone in my league calls him Hot Carle.

*All goalies with at least 15 games. Sorry, Cody Rudkowsky.