Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Puck Stops Here: More Deadline Fallout

Welcome back to another exciting edition of The Puck Stops Here. We are now over a week removed from the trade deadline and it is necessary to update the current situations after the recent trades. We now have a clearer picture of the roles everyone will fill after the deadline moves.

Sergei Federov, C, Washington: Federov has found himself on the second line with the talented Alexander Semin on his wing. Federov did not win the lottery and land on Ovechkin’s line nor did he find himself on the top power play unit but he still has some value. Semin is a very talented winger who is just as good if not better than any winger Federov was playing with in Columbus. Federov is also getting more ice time in his new digs. He may be worth an add depending on your situation and you should definitely keep your eye on him. If he lands with Ovechkin, he could produce #2 center worthy numbers.

Mike Smith, G, Tampa Bay: Smith is 1-3 since moving to Tampa Bay, but this is not his fault. He hasn’t played poorly and he is being barraged with shots. While I still don’t see his move to Tampa as an upgrade, he is worth owning. He is getting plenty of time in goal and has played pretty well. With the exception of a 5 goal game in which he got pummeled with shots, he has roughly a 2 GAA and a 92% save percentage. Those are solid numbers, and he is a very solid #3 goalie simply because of the team he plays on, not because of his talent or level of play.

Pascal Dupuis, Maxime Talbot, Marian Hossa, Pittsburgh: 2 out of the 3 players will be playing along side Sid for the foreseeable future. Hossa is a lock when he returns and Therrien will have to decide between Talbot and Dupuis. Both are quick forwards who aren’t afraid to muck it up in the corners but are decent scorers in the right situation. Therrien has said the Malone-Malkin-Sykora line is here to stay, so Dupuis or Talbot will likely be paired with Hossa and Sid. Keep a close eye on this situation, the winner could be valuable down the playoff stretch. My money is on Dupuis, but this is up in the air.

Jussi Jokinen, W, Tampa Bay: Jussi has been penciled in alongside Lecavalier and St. Louis. This represents a great opportunity for Jussi, but it is up to him to run with it. He only has one assist since going to Tampa, but it was a top unit power play assist. He is getting ice time with Tampa’s top talent and if he can cash in on the opportunity then he is definitely worth owning. Word is he will continue to play with the top units despite his early struggles, if he gets it going you will want him on your team.

Steve Bernier, Jaroslav Spacek, Buffalo: Bernier has been hit or miss in his first four games and Spacek has not stepped up his play in the absence of Brian Campbell. Bernier has been known for his inconsistency and it looks like this will continue. His promise will tantalize you but ultimately you are going to be disappointed. I can’t advocate avoiding him, but tempering you expectations is a smart decision. Spacek’s fantasy future is a little brighter, but he could be doing so much more. At the least he has been helping out with PIM, but he has only one point since the Campbell trade. If he’s available I would still grab him and if you own him don’t give up just yet.

Jason Williams, C/W, Chicago: I mentioned Williams a few articles ago and boy has he made me look good. Williams is off to a great start since returning from a hernia, and he has 3 goals and 6 assists in the 7 games since he has returned. He also has 3 power play points and 4 PIM in that same span. Those are exceptional numbers and I believe he will continue his strong play. Go get Williams now; his position versatility is also extremely useful. Let this be the boost that gets you into the fantasy playoffs and helps win you a championship.

Thanks for reading, as always please feel free to ask any questions or post any comments. Until next time, The Puck Stops Here.

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