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XF Aug 13
INDIANAPOLIS -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson believes Amare Stoudemire can help his team win Saturday night in Indianapolis, so hes not keeping him on the bench for Game 3. Nestor Araujo Mexico Jersey . Instead, Woodson is gambling he can bring back a potentially big scorer without messing up the team chemistry. After missing two months following surgery on his right knee, Stoudemire is expected to play 10 to 15 minutes, nothing more. In late March, Indiana coach Frank Vogel made it clear he wanted injured swingman Danny Granger to get back in sync in the regular season instead of trying to plug him into the lineup during the playoffs. Granger wound up playing just five games this season. On Saturday night, in a series tied at 1, the Knicks hope Stoudemire can make an impact. Andres Guardado Mexico Jersey . -- Timbers coach Caleb Porter didnt stray from his business-like approach to the season even after Portland downed the two-time defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to gain crucial playoff position. Javier Hernandez Jersey . Manuel was offered a position the day he was fired. He accepted earlier this week and the team made the announcement Friday. . Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050 Thursday, the Leafs GM also touched on the questions surrounding the teams leadership and the struggles of his big-name free-agent signing. “Its not from lack of effort from the coaching staff. Lets take some time this week to look at our per-minute masters. The theory is that if we can identify players who are driving pucks at the net more frequently, but still playing minimal ice time, there is room to grow this season. Each players chances for that have to be considered on a case-by-case basis, but we can at least identify some potential future fantasy assets for this season.What well be looking at here is a players shots on goal plus their missed shots, divided by total time on ice this season. We want guys who are trying to make things happen with shots at their opponents crease, so a missed shot is as good as a shot for our purposes.Heres the top-10 list for what we will dub SOG+MsS/TOI for this season:Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals: 0.343Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs: 0.315Brent Burns, D, San Jose Sharks: 0.314Patric Hornqvist, RW, Pittsburgh Penguins: 0.305Tyler Seguin, C, Dallas Stars: 0.304Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, St. Louis Blues: 0.299David Pastrnak, RW, Boston Bruins: 0.293Craig Smith, RW, Nashville Predators: 0.285Chris Kreider, LW, New York Rangers: 0.278Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins: 0.275There is nothing shocking at the top of the list, and its somewhat of a relief to know the best players are still the ones leading the way here. Were a bit surprised by Auston Matthews ranking second, but it shows hes still doing the right things on the ice during his seven-game goalless drought. This kind of skid was inevitable to even out his shooting percentage, but he should start connecting again soon due to his sheer number of chances.But we arent here to look at players like Matthews because his ice time and role are unlikely to increase. Its the players like No. 8-ranked Craig Smith that have our attention.Playing fewer than 14 minutes per game and on the Predators third line, Smith remains a shooting machine. This is not new information to fantasy players, as Smith always tends to go into rapid-fire mode whenever he hits the ice. But this season, it could have some relevance. The Predators are having difficulty finding two scoring lines that work well together, with no player on the team potting more than eight points through 12 games already this season. The team is ranked 18th for goals per game this season, and has only one player with at least five goals -- which, by the way, is Smith.If this team-wide dry spell continues, a player like Smith could start quickly creeping up his minutes with a promotion to a scoring line. In his one NHL season where he averaged more than 16 minutes per game, Smith scored 52 points. All some players need are the extra minutes before they start to produce at a fantasy-relevant pace.Who else looks like they have potential based on their per-minute attacks on the crease?Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Edmonton Oilers: At 0.266 attempted shots per minute, the Oilers rookie ranks 17th in the NHL for firing pucks in limited action. The Oilers have too many candidates for increased ice time, so Puljujarvi is going to get eased into this offense. That said, if you suddenly get word hes going to be playing on a scoring line that will add big minutes to the 11:39 per game hes playing now, dont hesitate to snatch him up.Nikita Soshnikov, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs: My colleague Victoria Matiash has been all over Soshnikovs promotion to the big club, and hes proving her speculations correct in limited minutes. While he shouldnt get a rank on a list like the one above due to not playing enough overall minutes to qualify, its still notable that Soshnikov has 0.260 attempted shots per minute through four games, ranking 21st in the league (right behind a guy named Sidney Crosby). Soshnikov is averaging fewer than 10 minutes per game through his four contests, but a promotion would surely mean a ton of scoring chances. Especially if that promotion were to land him with Matthews (second in attempted shots per minute in the NHL) and William Nylander (29th).Max Pacioretty, RW, Montreal Canadiens: Most notable for Paciorettys numbers is that his average ice time per game is down a full minute from last season and two full minutes from two seasons ago, when he set a career high for points. The reduced usage helps explain the drop in scoring from Pacioretty this season, as hes on pace for fewer than 30 goals for the first time since his rookie season (lockouts aside). One thing is clear based on his attempted shots per minute: Hes still trying to score. With 0.269 attempted shots per minute, Pacioretty is tied for 15th in the NHL with Taylor Hall. Pacioretty has been on a bit of a yo-yo through the depth chart this season. Starting out on the top line, he was demoted to the third line and has recently been brought back onto one of the Habs scoring lines (which is arguably the top line again). The good news? He played 20:10 last weekend against the Philadelphia Flyers, 18:45 on the Tuesday against the Boston Bruins and 18:26 on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. The ice-time boost is all he should need to start picking up the pace.Fantasy Forecaster: Nov. 14-20Make sure to jettison your peripheral Bruins heading into next week. While we made sure to pick up some extras heading into this current week because the team has had five games, the Bruins only play twice next week (and one of those contests is against Devan Dubnyk, who has been a brick wall this season).The New York Islanders are the other team with only two games next week, so feel free to bench anyone here not named John Tavares.Only six teams have a four-game schedule on tap, so that leaves the vast majority off teams only playing three. Rafael Marquez Jersey. Download the forecaster chart PDF hereFor those new to the Forecaster chart, here are some explanations: O (offense) and D (defense) matchup ratings are based upon a scale from 1 (poor matchup) to 10 (excellent matchup) and are calculated using a formula that evaluates the teams season-to-date statistics, their performance in home/road games depending on where the game is to be played, as well as their opponents numbers in those categories. The Ratings column lists the cumulative rating from 1-10 of that weeks offensive (O) and defensive (D) matchups.Team notesWinnipeg Jets: The vastly under-owned Nikolaj Ehlers needs to be on rosters heading into next week. Hes playing on a line with NHL scoring leader Mark Scheifele and NHL goals leader Patrik Laine at the moment, which, suffice it to say, is a great place to be. The Jets have four games next week, including two that are against the porous defenses of the Carolina Hurricanes and Flyers. Ehlers is owned in only 53 percent of ESPN leagues, and has eight points in his past four games.Washington Capitals: With the absence of Evgeny Kuznetsov breaking out of his season-long funk, the Capitals have resorted back to a top line consisting of Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie. It means that, heading into a four-game week, Oshie is in a prime position to build off his three goals in the past three games.Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks rate extremely well on the Forecaster at home, and have three such games next week. Rickard Rakell was finally spotted where he belongs on Thursday, skating with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Dont hesitate to add him to your roster now if hes available. Another option to bolster your lineup for next week would be Jakob Silfverberg, who is coming off a four-point effort on Thursday night and is second on the Ducks for shots on goal.Goalie notesMike Smith might be an option for the Arizona Coyotes next week, so in deeper leagues with 14 or more teams, he needs to be scooped up. Smith is going to dominate starts when healthy, and has a chance to post useful fantasy stats if hes on his game. His injury so early in the season has prevented us from getting a sense of whether this will be an up year for Smiths game. If he is back, hell get a soft re-entry with either the Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks on deck in a back-to-back set.Speaking of the Flames and Canucks being on the weaker side of opposing offenses, Scott Darling is likely to catch one of them late next week in a back-to-back set for the Chicago Blackhawks.If there was a ballot for which Colorado Avalanche netminder to consider in the short term, wed spoil it (or maybe write in Patrick Roy). Calvin Pickard had a chance to create some separation on Semyon Varlamov on Wednesday, but he flubbed his chance against the lowly Coyotes. The Avs play the Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild next week. Stay away.Cam Talbots numbers have been fading since the calendar flipped to November. If his early-season run of success was for real, next week is a huge test. The Oilers are on the road to face the Ducks, Kings and Stars. If Talbot can turn things around against those teams, hes a legitimate No. 1 fantasy goaltender. If he struggles like he has for the past four games, we might have to bump him back to being an occasional No. 2.We should get a direct comparison for Talbot in Cory Schneider next week, as the New Jersey Devils have the exact same three teams on the docket for a road trip.If the Ducks continue to run a near rotation for their goaltenders, Jonathan Bernier needs to be on your radar for daily usage. Hes earning increased looks in the crease, with better numbers than John Gibson at the moment.Player notesStill no update on Zach Parises possible return from a foot injury, but in the meantime the Minnesota Wild have finally settled on Nino Niederreiter to serve with some permanency as his replacement on the top line. All three of Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal scored on Thursday. Both Coyle and Niederreiter are more available in ESPN leagues that they should be.An extended absence by Justin Faulk is going to thrust Noah Hanifin into the limelight as the Hurricanes lead defenseman on the power play. The second-year player has the skills and now finally gets a clear opportunity. Watch how he responds closely, especially in keeper leagues. Two of the three opponents for the Canes next week kill penalties at 80 percent or worse.Nick Schmaltz might warrant a pickup for next week if we dont see Artem Anisimov in action this weekend. The Blackhawks used Schmaltz on a line with Marian Hossa and Artemi Panarin after Anisimov was hurt on Wednesday.The Stars have split up Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin for the time being. Benns line with Lauri Korpikoski and Radek Faksa was responsible for the first two goals against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.Evander Kane played over 22 minutes in his return from broken ribs on Wednesday. Ryan OReillys current day-to-day status means the Buffalo Sabres are still down to only three dynamic scorers up front with Kane, Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart as the only healthy bodies at the moment. If OReilly bounces back quickly, one of these three will be bounced to a fantasy-irrelevant second line. The team wont be able to have two threatening scoring lines until Jack Eichel returns from his ankle injury. However, that day is drawing nigh, as hes started skating again. ' ' '