NHL Skinny: Duck hunting

Matt Romig
1st Chair: Martin Gerber
2nd Chair: Ray Emery
Skinny: Gerber has started four of five. Predictably, all four starts were wins (1.23 GAA, .951 save percentage). Emery allowed four goals in each of his last two starts, splitting the two decisions. If there's a knock on Gerber, it's that he can't handle the pressure with someone looking over his shoulder. This year, his stats are even better since Emery's return.
1st Chair: Marc-Andre Fleury
2nd Chair: Dany Sabourin
Skinny: GM Ray Shero spoke up in Saturday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, stating he wouldn't fire coach Michel Therrien or replace Marc-Andre Fleury as the No. 1 goalie. Vote of confidence in-hand, Fleury went out and allowed four goals in a 5-2 loss to the Flyers. It was Fleury's fifth straight start without a win. Sabourin's numbers (2.05 GAA, .919 save pct.) are better, and those trade rumors won't go away.
1st Chair: Nikolai Khabibulin
2nd Chair: Patrick Lalime
Skinny: When asked if Lalime, who recently started back-to-back games, could take over No. 1 duties, coach Denis Savard said, "It's too early to call." That's not exactly a "no." Lalime won both of those starts, by the way, and has a 1.89 goals-against in three November appearances. Big win for Khabibulin Sunday against Detroit.
1st Chair: Mikael Tellqvist
2nd Chair: Alex Auld
Skinny: Three straight wins now for Tellqvist, who has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his six starts. Auld, who has allowed four or more goals in four straight starts, deserves an assist on Jeremy Roenick's 500th goal.
1st Chair: Ondrej Pavelec
2nd Chair: Johan Hedberg, Kari Lehtonen
Skinny: Despite Saturday's setback (5-3 loss to Carolina), Pavelec already has a nickname (Ondrej the Giant) and a three-game win streak under his belt. It's premature talk, of course, but some are already asking what happens when Lehtonen comes back.
1st Chair: Chris Mason
2nd Chair: Dan Ellis
Skinny: Two wins and a .940 save percentage in three November starts for Mason, who seems to have the swagger back. Ellis has watched three straight despite a string of four straight wins, two by shutout. Mason owners can exhale, but I wouldn't cut Ellis loose just yet.
1st Chair: Cristobal Huet
2nd Chair: Carey Price
Skinny: Not sure how much longer I'll track this "battle." The Goalie Hot Seat is intended to highlight situations where goalies are at the risk of losing jobs. Here we have two goalies playing at an All-Star level. Seems like they'll settle into a 1a, 1b rotation, with Huet starting slightly more than two of every three games.
1st Chair: Johan Holmqvist
2nd Chair: Marc Denis, Karri Ramo
Skinny: Holmqvist has recovered from his four-game losing streak to win three straight. That's what you sign up for with Tampa Bay goalies. Denis seems to have fallen out of favor here, as he wasn't even thrown a bone in back-to-backs against Carolina and Florida.
1st Chair: Vesa Toskala
2nd Chair: Andrew Raycroft
Skinny: Raycroft blanked Buffalo Friday to maintain a pulse. Toskala has been pulled from two of his last five starts, so he's not out of the woods yet.

Quite a week for milestones in the NHL. Mike Modano broke Phil Housley's record for points by a U.S.-born player, Jeremy Roenick reached the 500-goal plateau in unbelievable fashion and Eric Lindros made it official, ending his playing career after 13 seasons. Ten-plus years ago, you could have built a fantasy roster around any of the three. Today only Modano remains relevant in fantasy circles, and he's barely hanging on. Rather sobering if your prone to suffering from "geez I feel old" moments. Let's take a look at some other stats that matter:

WEEKEND UPDATE: Need-to-know info from the past few days
Things to do Monday: Check the status of defenseman Scott Niedermayer in your league. Just how valuable has he been to fantasy owners over the years? Well, consider this: He's basically semi-retired, but is still owned in 44 percent of Yahoo! leagues. In case you missed it last week, Niedermayer has been skating and could target a December return. Particularly if you're in a rotisserie league with position limits, you're better off carrying Niedermayer on your bench right now than an extra center or wing if your starters are healthy.

You hear less about Teemu Selanne these days. Could be just a coincidence, but on the same week that the Niedermayer report surfaced, Selanne showed up at the Honda Center for a Sharks-Ducks game. Nothing unusual about that – Selanne did play for both teams. But Ducks broadcasters noted that it had been a long time since Teemu attended a game. That's enough to get the radar up. Selanne, for what it's worth, is available in 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Forget what I said about: No Skinny last week, so nothing to backtrack on. Thankfully, the Big Board got burned a few times and was a minus-1. Thanks to everyone who pointed out that Evgeni Nabokov was not the only goalie to start every game this season. Henrik Lundqvist pretty much announced his intention to start every game before the season, so forgetting his Ironman start was inexcusable. Good thing coach Tom Renney gave him a night off after the BB published. Also I don't know how Mats Sundin slipped off the bubble. I know a lot of you think it's a crime that he's not in the top 50, but he was slated for the bubble last week. He'll be back there (if not on the BB itself) after the next update.

One-timers: Blue Jackets center Michael Peca (groin) will not play Monday, according to the Columbus Dispatch. … The Washington Post reports that Chris Clark will be back in the Caps lineup Thursday. Still no word on left wing Alexander Semin, who is beginning to look like this year's Peter Forsberg. … Martin Erat has multi-wing eligibility and five points in his last five games, both of which are useful. … Early season flop Dustin Penner is showing signs of life with a three-game point streak. …

BARGAIN BIN: Top player available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues
Daniel Carcillo, LW, Pho – As far as grit-glory guys go, Carcillo can be considered a poor man's Sean Avery or Brendan Morrow (before he accepted captaincy and mellowed out). He doesn't quite get the ice time to be as productive offensively as an Avery or a Nathan Horton, but he does have skill, as evidenced by his four goals and two assists over the last 11 games. At a position like left wing, you won't be losing too much production if you cut or bench your No. 2 guy and insert Carcillo, who has 81 penalty minutes in 15 games after racking up 74 PIM in 18 games a year ago.

MARKET MOVERS: Charting player values

Petteri Nummelin, D, Min – Anyone who follows the Wild knows front-line health will be an issue all season. Nummelin has been pressed into forward duty (on Minnesota's No. 2 line, no less) and has three assists in his last two games. He's a solid No. 3 or 4 defense option while lining up at forward.

Sean Avery, LW, NYR – Since returning from that shoulder injury, Avery has two goals, three assists, two fights and one pre-game scuffle (with Darcy Tucker) in five games. Yeah, it's safe to say that Avery is "himself" again.

Michel Ouellet, RW, TB – The Bolts have been experimenting with Ouellet on the top line along with Vincent Lecavalier and Vinny Prospal. A streaky guy by nature, Ouellet has been energized with two goals and six points in his last five games.

Paul Ranger, D, TB – Dan Boyle (surgery) owners can fall back on Ranger without losing too much productivity. His minutes, naturally, are up, and he's got two points and is a plus-5 in his last three games.

Sandis Ozolinsh, D, SJ – Everyone's favorite risk-reward defenseman finally got his first point for the Sharks Saturday, a goal in a 4-1 win over Phoenix. Matt Carle was a healthy scratch.

Peter Mueller, C, Pho – It's a productivity jump that has coincided with an increase in minutes. Now playing in the 15-16 minute-range, Mueller has three goals, three assists and is a plus-3 in his last three games.

Alexander Radulov, RW, Nas – Too much talent here not to make a run at a 70-point season. Radulov has a goal and three assists in his last three games and seems to have recovered from the effects of poor offseason conditioning.

Nikolai Zherdev, RW, Cls – He started picking it up after replacing Fredrik Modin (back spasms) on Columbus' No. 1 line. Zherdev has three goals and an assist in his last five.

Chris Conner, RW, Dal – Dallas' leading scorer from the preseason debuted on a line with Mike Modano and has developed some decent chemistry with the U.S. scoring king. Conner had a scoring chance about 30 seconds into his first NHL shift of the season, and has since lit the lamp twice in five games.

Phil Kessel, RW, Bos – Big time upgrade here due to the unfortunate injury suffered by Patrice Bergeron. Kessel has three goals and two assists in his last eight games and should continue to be given an opportunity to showcase his skills on one of Boston's top two lines

James Wisniewski, D, Chi – It's hard to ignore a three-point night from a defenseman. Wisniewski had one of those on Halloween, and since picked up two points in three games as Chicago's new power-play darling. Fellow rearguard Dustin Byfuglien has two points in five games.

James Sheppard, C, Min – One of those if-he-only-got-more-ice-time guys, Sheppard has seen some front-line duty with Pavol Demitra in and out of the lineup of late. You have to be in a deep league or deep trouble to grab him now, but keep him on the radar.

Tom Preissing, D, LA – On what was hopefully a rock-bottom night, Preissing was a healthy scratch Saturday against Dallas. He has just three points and is a minus-3 in 13 games.

Alexei Zhitnik, D, Atl – He's losing power-play time to Tobias Enstrom. We drafted him for his power-play production, so frankly at this rate he's not even worthy of a No. 4 defenseman slot.

Yahoo! Friends and Family League
Ryan from the Fantasy Hockey Caf makes it back-to-back weeks in the top spot. Proof it never hurts to own the hottest goalie (Henrik Lundqvist), the most notorious agitator (Carcillo) and the most productive rearguard (Sergei Gonchar). Recent league-wide additions include Filip Kuba, Ryan Suter, Martin Straka and Brett Clark.