|Fantasy Hockey Do's and Don'ts|
Do: Draft great hockey players on bad teams, like the Atlanta Thrasher's Ilya Kovalchuk. Players like these will be among the NHL leaders in scoring, and that's all that counts in fantasy hockey.
Don't: Draft third-line players on good NHL teams. Avoid players like Rob Neidermayer. Even though the Anaheim Ducks (formerly known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) won the Stanley Cup and Neidermayer played very well during the playoffs, he is still a defensive forward and won't put up big fantasy numbers.
Do: Draft Alex Radulov of the Nashville Predators. The gifted right wing is out to prove he is one of the National Hockey League's dominant players, and he will be given the ice time to do so. Now that Scott Hartnell and Paul Kariya have moved on, Alexander Radulov will see an increase in the number of minutes played at even strength and on the power play. Quality minutes especially on the power play are all the former Memorial Cup star will need to be among the NHL's scoring leaders.
Don't: Let him slip past the second round of your fantasy hockey draft.
Do: Draft top NHL goalies in the first round of your fantasy hockey draft. Good netminders are tough to find, and you need them to win fantasy hockey championships. Goaltenders like Martin Brodeur, Mikka Kiprusoff, and Roberto Luongo will be among the league leaders in goals against average, save percentage, and wins in the NHL's goaltending stats. Statistics you'll need to finish in the money of your hockey pool.
Don't: Draft just one Minnesota Wild goalie. Nik Backstrom and Josh Harding will share time, just like Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez did. Jacques Lemaire has a history of juggling his goalies, and the 2007-08 NHL season will probably be no different. Not to mention you are adding fantasy insurance in case one of your goaltenders gets injured.
Do: Draft Norris Trophy winners like Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger and other top defensemen. Draft top defencemen early in your fantasy draft. Blueliners who can score are tough to find in fantasy hockey.
Don't: Take them in the first round of your fantasy draft, like I've seen some fantasy owners do.
Do: Hold your fantasy draft at the very last second before the NHL season starts. That way, most injury and contract hold outs will be straightened out.
Don't: Change the rules of your fantasy league after the draft. Fantasy owners draft based on the scoring rules outlined before players are chosen. Changing the rules will help some owners but hurt others.
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