In Mondays Open Ice, we took stock of the current goaltender performances by looking at who is a No. Ecco Mens Dress Shoes Sale . 1 and No. 2 fantasy goaltender based purely on statistics. This was an eye-opening reality check on just who is doing what this season.Its easy to hold on to positive and negative biases based on the plethora of preseason research we put into our fantasy hockey leagues, so the occasional reality check is a healthy exercise.Its time to do the same for the defensemen.Again, this is not like our ESPN fantasy hockey rest-of-season rankings, which take into account several variables and attempts to predict future performance. These rankings here are based solely on the ESPN Player Rater, which gauges how valuable a player is based only on the statistics theyve turned in so far. It takes out all biases and preconceived notions, and levels the playing field.We will look at the defenseman tiers based on the same 12-team league size we used for goaltenders.No. 1 fantasy defensemen1. Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks 2. Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens 3. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators 4. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets 5. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild 6. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues 7. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning 8. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins 9. Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres 10. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings 11. Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks 12. Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue JacketsDiscussion: There are minimal surprises to be found here for those who have been following along closely this season. ... Weber is a shock at second overall based on what we expected coming into this season, but its possible his scorching start is behind him. Weber is pointless in December and has a lone assist in his past nine games overall, which includes him getting zero points when the Habs put a 10-spot on the Colorado Avalanche. Expect him to slide back to a midrange No. 1 as the season progresses. ... Ristolainen is doing better than we could have hoped as the main man in Buffalo. The return of Jack Eichel to bolster the power play will only help his overall numbers. He could be a legitimate No. 1 all season. ... Fowler, despite rumors of his demise when Hampus Lindholm returned, has managed to hang on to the top role for the Ducks. Stick with him, as his usage has been steady, and coach Randy Carlyle wasnt around last season for Lindholms rise.No. 2 fantasy defensemen13. Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames 14. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks 15. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers 16. Dougie Hamilton, Calgary Flames 17. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators 18. Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens 19. P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators 20. Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins 21. Dion Phaneuf, Ottawa Senators 22. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes 23. Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks 24. Torey Krug, Boston BruinsDiscussion: This is where we start to see some serious deviation from what we think we might know. ... It may be time to stop expecting monster seasons from Josi and Subban, after all. While they are both respectable No. 2 fantasy defensemen so far, they were defiantly drafted in every league as No. 1s. Perhaps the middling win-loss record for the Predators spurs coach Peter Laviolette to consider pairing Josi and Subban together? That could certainly turn around their fortunes. ... Markov and Krug are on this list despite atrocious Octobers. It says a lot about their fantasy value that theyve climbed so far back to respectability. ... Phaneuf is contributing in almost every category, getting plenty of power-play ice time with Karlsson, and is available in 40 percent of ESPN leagues. ... Schultz should have been scooped up during the past week in your league and is about to get his recent value put into overdrive with news that Kris Letang will miss a couple of weeks with injuries. A perennial fantasy sleeper that never woke up during his years with the Edmonton Oilers, Schultz seems to have found his niche with the Penguins. Now with the potential for some power-play time coming his way, he should be owned in every league.No. 3 fantasy defensemen25. Keith Yandle, Florida Panthers 26. Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers 27. Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks 28. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues 29. Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild 30. Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings 31. Trevor Daley, Pittsburgh Penguins 32. Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues 33. Ian Cole, Pittsburgh Penguins 34. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks 35. Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers 36. Jeff Petry, Montreal CanadiensDiscussion: Some disappointments start to show up here in the third grouping. ... Yandle and Gostisbehere were both supposed to be a lot better than a No. 3 fantasy defenseman for their fantasy owners. The weak Panthers power play has been sapping Yandles potential, while too many cooks in the kitchen is holding back Gostisbehere from enough ice time to do proper damage. ... Dumba needs to be owned in more leagues. An offensive defenseman by trade, hes scoring a fair bit considering he barely cracks 20 minutes of ice time most nights. A few more counting stats as coach Bruce Boudreaus trust in him rises, and Dumba could be a contender for a No. 2 fantasy defenseman. Hes owned in only 26 percent of leagues. ... In this range, the difference between the players is becoming negligible. The value from Burns to Werenski (top and bottom No. 1s) is more than four times the difference of value on the player rater from Yandle to Petry (top and bottom No. 3s). ... Guys like Daley, Vlasic and Petry are useful, to be sure, but can be cast aside on a moments notice for the next hot hand.No. 4 fantasy defensemen37. John Carlson, Washington Capitals 38. Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs 39. Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers 40. Ryan Ellis, Nashville Predators 41. Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild 42. Alec Martinez, Los Angeles Kings 43. Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild 44. Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers 45. Nick Holden, New York Rangers 46. David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets 47. Deryk Engelland, Calgary Flames 48. Matt Niskanen, Washington CapitalsDiscussion: Looking at this grouping of No. 4 fantasy defenseman is a stark reminder why its wise to stock up on elite talent at the draft. Outside of Carlson, who should turn things around at some point, you cant feel great about rolling any of these guys out on a regular basis in your lineup. But numbers dont lie. Based on the statistics generated in the NHL so far this season, every member of this group should have been on the ice for fantasy owners in 12-team leagues. ... We could make an argument for Sekera and Ellis to be owned in more leagues -- especially Ellis, who has missed a handful of games and still rates this high.So, who is missing from the reality-check rankings? Who missed out on the top four defenseman tiers but we are still holding onto dearly in our leagues?The holy triumvirate of disappointment is John Klingberg, Justin Faulk and Tyson Barrie. Klingberg clocks in at 54th overall, and Faulk at 59th, making them No. 5 fantasy defensemen. Tyson Barrie settles in at 69th overall among defensemen on the player rater. Thats just ugly.Klingberg and Faulk need to stay on rosters. At some point, the Dallas Stars offense and power play will erupt, and Klingberg will be among the catalysts. As for Faulk, hes doing all the right things on the ice but just isnt getting the bounces. Theyll come.As for Barrie, the Avalanche are a hot mess. We would caution against dropping him because hes playing all the important minutes, but its certainly a defensible move at this point.There are three NHL teams with no defensemen among the top four tiers: the Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. ... The Canucks dont have anyone worth even speculating on until Alexander Edler returns from a broken finger next month -- and even then, its nothing to write home about. The top Canucks defender at the moment on the player rater is Troy Stecher, at 87th among defensemen. Its cool if you just audibly said, Who? ... Devils blueliner Damon Severson, 55th on the player rater, is arguably worth owning in 12-team leagues over some of the meh No. 4 fantasy defensemen. Hes at least playing on the power play for his club, as opposed to someone like Deryk Engelland, who is arguably his teams sixth defenseman. ... Calvin de Haan is the top Islander on the Player Rater, at 62nd among defensemen. This is a product of his steady, if unspectacular, play at even strength, while the rest of the defense takes turns as the go-to guy. Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic all have the potential to be solid fantasy players, if only one of them would consistently take the lead for power-play time.Fantasy Forecaster: Dec. 19-25Two days of a three-day holiday break fall during the upcoming fantasy scoring period. Nevertheless, teams will be playing a condensed schedule during the week so every NHL team plays at least two games and none play more than three.The Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets are the teams with only two games.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 notesFlorida Panthers: With the third-best team shot attempts total (Corsi) at home this season, the Panthers get to stay in Sunrise for three games leading into the break. While they only have six power-play goals during the past three weeks (11 games), the schedule does include the woeful Sabres penalty kill. Nick Bjugstad and Seth Griffith are currently serving on the top power-play unit and could be considered for one-week use in deeper leagues. Shallower pools can note that Reilly Smith has six points in his past eight games playing on a line with Vincent Trocheck and Colton Sceviour.Arizona Coyotes: Home for three games against penetrable defenses, the Coyotes could be in for their best week of the season as they ride a two-game win streak into the weekend. Coach Dave Tippett is trying all kinds of funky new line combinations of late, which could give fantasy owners a wedge to find some short-term value. Brendan Perlini is currently doing his best Max Domi impression, playing on a line with Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata. Hes not getting the power-play time typically required for fantasy awesomeness, but watch his box score on Saturday in hopes that he primes himself for next week. Shallower leagues can check out Vrbatas uptick in shots on goal since Domi was injured. He has 21 shots and three assists in five games since Domi was hurt and is getting top power-play time.Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes appear to match up quite well with their three opponents next week, scoring the highest offensive forecaster rating aside from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Derek Ryans hot streak makes him a no-brainer to stream into your lineup. Lining up with Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask on and off the power play, the 29-year-old rookie has 10 points in his past nine games -- five of which came on the power play. Speaking of the Canes power play, Jaccob Slavin is sharing the point with Faulk on the man advantage, which is notable for deep leagues looking for a blueliner.Columbus Blue Jackets: Scoring a perfect 10 on the forecaster for offense, the Blue Jackets -- and their dominant power play -- get to stay home for three games. The Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens are far from a cake-walk schedule, but this Jackets power play is borderline ridiculous at home, with 13 power-play goals in 14 games. A continued theme in recent advice here: Go get Sam Gagner. Hes still available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues and boasts nine power-play points already. Thats how many Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane have, for the record.Goalie notesMike Smith should be a plug-and-play option in all leagues next week. Four of his past six games have been fantasy gems, and the Coyotes are one of two NHL teams next week playing three games with no back-to-back sets involved.Scott Darling has at least one more week to show his stuff as Corey Crawford remains out following an appendectomy. Hes 4-2-1, with a 1.72 goals-against average since Crawford was hurt, and is available in more than half of ESPN leagues.Mr. Hot and Cold, Pekka Rinne, might be best served on your bench for the time being. His goals-against averages by calendar month this season are: 3.22 in October, 1.49 in November and 4.01 in December so far. Yikes.Player notesAlready a hot commodity with his recent point totals, things can only look up for Schultz with Letang on the mend for a couple of weeks. Get him -- and get him in your lineup.Decent even-strength play with Bobby Ryan, propped up by power-play time with Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, is the formula for Kyle Turris increasing fantasy value. If he was dropped in your league, have another look at him. He has eight points in 10 games.Connor Shearys availability in 65 percent of ESPN leagues is downright criminal. Skating with Sidney Crosby at even strength and now getting minutes on the second power-play unit, Sheary has nine points in his past eight games, with 30 shots in that span.He came for the faceoffs, hes staying for some power-play action on the Oilers top unit with Connor McDavid. Mark Letestu has three points in his past two games and has been a mainstay on the power play for the past eight games, in which he has seven points. Ecco Exceed Low . On Saturday night, the normally free throw-challenged centre did just that. Howard scored 18 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including 13 of 19 free throws in a 2 1/2-minute stretch, and the Houston Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets 122-111. Ecco Mens Dress Shoes Black . The 25-year-old Japanese star has officially been posted by his club team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. http://www.eccosandalsaustralia.com/ .Y. -- Jayna Hefford scored the winning goal Friday as Canada survived a scare with a 4-3 win over Sweden at the Four Nations womens hockey tournament.Andy Murray kicks off his Miami Open challenge on Saturday, live on Sky Sports. Our coverage begins at 3pm on Sky Sports 3 HD but Murray is not expected to play his match until midnight so make yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for the evening.The British No 1 is playing Denis Istomin who has already completed one upset this week, having eliminated talented teen Borna Coric in the first round as Murray enjoyed a bye. Andy Murray says he is happy to be back in familiar surroundings as he prepares foe the Miami Open Istomin, of Uzbekistan, is the world No 76 and Murray has won both of their previous meetings, although they were both three years ago.A rematch with Federico Delbonis, who eliminated Murray from last weeks Indian Wells, is still on the cards for the third round. On Saturday, Delbonis plays a second-round match against Grigor Dimitrov.Elsewhere, sixth seed Kei Nishikori plays qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert and fourth seed Stan Wawrinka meets Andrey Kuznetsov.One to watchIts worth keeping an eye on Rafael Nadal who seems to be slowly approaching the great form that won him 14 Grand Slams. After an impressive Indian Wells campaign was ended by Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, Nadal continues his upward curve against Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia on Saturday. Nadal earned a big win over Nishikori last week Potential upsetNick Kyrgios, the 24th seed, is pitted in a fascinating contest against Marcos Baghdatis. Ecco Mens Boots Sale. The maverick Australian should have all the tools to squeeze past Baghdatis, but if anyone knows how to throw a vulnerable youngster off his game, it is the veteran from Cyprus. Kyrgios and Baghdatis has never played before, so the 40-year-old might be licking his lips at facing a talented but inconsistent contender. Nick Kyrgios also brings entertainment to the court In case you missed itBritains Kyle Edmund put up a brave effort against Djokovic on Friday night, eventually succumbing in straight sets, but the match will be remembered for something bizarre.With the ball hurtling through the air towards Djokovic, who was due to serve, check out how he chose to catch it… Novak Djokovic treated the Miami Open crowd to a spectacular catch... 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