Tuesday, October 30, 2007

impertinent thoughts - quick version

Michael Nylander's picture on his Yahoo page gives me the impression that he'd make a great monk. that's just what i think when i see him.

Nigel Dawes is lining up with Jaromir and Shanny and will be for a long time by what i can tell. he should be added in every format imaginable, ok maybe not in shallow 8 team leagues or something.

Devin Setoguchi lined up with Joe Thornton and Milan Michalek last night. if that continues then he'll be a very nice add too, probably shorter term than Dawes though.

Mike Ribeiro leads the Dallas Stars in points/game. did you see that coming? he gets significant PP time for the Stars and their defensive play is making him a lot more defensively responsible than he was as a Hab.

Niklas Hagman is going to where he belongs, the realms of mediocrity. his game was "hot out of the oven" now it's just plain stale.

Dan Boyle is back on the ice for the Lightning. he only played 12 minutes or so last night but that's going to go up to 20 minutes very soon. Paul Ranger will see a decrease in ice time accordingly.

if any lady is reading this blog i'd love to hear her opinions about who are the ugliest guys in the NHL. it was an idea i tried to get Victoria Matiash to write about for TMR.com last season but it was never got to. i still think it'd be a great read.

how does Marcel Hossa (not the good Hossa) get 19 minutes of ice time on any night? i just don't get that. the Rangers do realize they have the less talented brother right?

the Rangers need to trade for an offensive defenseman and they still have Al Montoya in their minor leagues wasting away. i've got to think that Montoya could land any available offensive D on the market and it's not like they're going to have room for Montoya anyway, Lundqvist will be their goalie for the next decade.

stupid Capitals. how dare you embarrass my Maple Leafs like that. and on home ice too. oh wait, maybe that's the reason, the Leafs need to be on the road before then can seem to win.

Monday, October 29, 2007


well folks, let me introduce you to Paul Miller. Paul actually has been emailing me several times over the last couple seasons about hockey stuff. dude knows his puck very well but still, he's playing in a kickass keeper league that anyone would have have trouble staying on top of. and he's doing well too. i thought about taking a run at Paul's team last year, very late in the year, but it didn't work out and frankly the league scares me. there's so much stuff to watch here. it's a 10 team league with 25 man rosters and Paul's got another 20 (!) guys on his bench and in the minor leagues. holy freaking cow! now i already said it's a keeper league and that there are salaries and keeper rules to worry about but quite frankly, i'm going to let Paul worry about them and just try to help him win THIS year. if i remember correctly he won this league a couple years ago and has been rebuilding toward making another run. right now he sits in 4th. let's see if we can help him there.
It's a 10 team roto league, simple categories but the depth makes the whole experience extra challenging. The categories are: G, A, P,+/-, PIM, Goalie Wins + 2x shutouts. that's interesting, no? like i said, they start 25 guys; 15F, 7D, 3G but there aren't any ratios to worry about with G's. so when evaluating a goaltender, if you win, you're in. having F options instead of breaking down by position gets everyone away from having to search for viable options at weaker positions like LW, so that's interesting too. you can set your lineup weekly only. the league is hosted at tqstats which looks like a solid game engine to run on. it also appears to be a pay option.
without further ado (not adieu as some may think), here's MillerTime.

F Ilya Kovalchuk - A-: when he's on there's little better combination of speed and sniper-ism in the game (that is too a word).
F Daniel Alfredsson - A: i think he's the consummate leader and can't believe he was ragged on for so long in OTW. steady production that won't get you in trouble.
F Daniel Briere - A: firestarter. you need a boost for your team? he'll kick your team in the butt or pick it up on his small frame and carry it around.
F Evgeni Malkin - A+: plenty of skill that gets overshadowed by Sid the kid. some were projecting him to finish 2nd in the scoring race this year and that could just happen.
F Zach Parise - B+: looks like everyone else in Jersey is asleep but Parise is gonna be something special. nice to have him in a keeper league like this.
F Brian Rolston - B+: with Gaborik and Demitra hurt (short term) then once again the offense will flow through Rolston. people overlook him but there's a reason he was made captain, he fills it up and shows the way.
F Brendan Morrow - B-: i'd like to believe again. if he gets into a couple scraps or pulls off a Gordie Howe hattrick (a G, an A, and a fight) it might go a long way to making me a believer once more.
F Brian Gionta - B-: he has a history of scoring, i'm just not sure that he's got the touch anymore.
F Brendan Shanahan - B+: dude only has 2 goals but last i checked he leads the league in SOG/game. he'll score, oh boy will he score.
F Keith Tkachuk - B: a favourite whipping boy in the past just cuz i think he's a bit of a jerk but i'll say this much, there aren't many better power forward options in the game and he's been among the best PF options for a decade now.
F Michal Handzus - C+: remember the long mullet hair on Handie? ah the 1980's. what, that was last year that he had that? really? well ... he cut it and maybe that affects his skills like it did Samson. i'm not so sure that he's the best starting option for your team. i continue to have injury concerns and he's never been a really offensive guy in the first place. he's a great checker but you don't want to rely on him to score much for you.
F Chris Kunitz - B-: he's shooting the puck. he's in the top 50 guys in SOG right now. more and more of those shots will start to go in.
F Glen Murray - B-: traditionally a goal scorer. i have concerns about whether he still "has it" though.
F Tomas Holmstrom - A-: i love this guy, yes in that way, ok maybe not but i love how he just plants himself in front and spends 3 hrs taking out the garbage. he'll get close to 40 goals this year. yes i know he's never done better than 30 before but i said it anyway.
F Jeff Hamilton - B: getting loads of opportunity on an all forward PP in Carolina and he's making good use of the opportunity too. he's a strong start right now.
D Dion Phaneuf - A-: there are few D i like more than PIMy D (i call him PIMy D). he shoots, he scores, he throws forwards against the wall like they're spaghetti and he's testing to see if they're done.
D Matt Carle - B-: smart play in a keeper. you'll have this guy a long time and he won't disappoint you.
D Sami Salo - B-: the man's a shooter and if healthy then his grade goes WAYYY up.
D Alexei Zhitnik - C-: i think his time has passed but i understand why some still believe. i see his PP time continue to go to Tobias Enstrom.
D Michal Roszival - B-: he's the best option the Rangers have right now i guess.
D Brett Clark - B: underrated option. i like him for 40 pts which ain't bad for the bottom of your roster.
D Brent Burns - B+: kid can play. logging over 20 mins ice time per night and contributing across the board.
G Kari Lehtinen- he's young, he's got skills, he's got brittle leg muscles apparently. he has a groin issue right now and needs to sit on your bench.
G Ryan Miller- people are still down on him but i rank him top 8ish for G's in the entire league. stick with him, he'll be fine.
G Manny Legace- underrated contributions while backstopping an improving team. his GAA last year was 2.5 while he shut the door in front of a brutally defensive squad last year. the Blues D is improving and Manny will keep shutting the door.
Steve Sullivan, Nicklas Backstrom, Sergei Kostitsyn, Derek Brassard, Todd White, Johan Franzen, Ville Peltonen, Ryan Malone, Mark Bell, Kyle Calder, T.J. Hensick, Robbie Schremp, Patrik Berglund, Claude Giroux, Drew Miller, Igor Makarov, Jakob Voracek, Mike Van Ryn, Magnus Johansson, Marc Denis.

with such a large bench i just figured i'd highlight the guys that i figure have extra value down the road since i assume that you did all your homework by drafting all these guys with a reason.
Nicklas Backstrom (he has the "c" in his first name so that's how i know he's the C in Washington and not the goalie) is going to be a special player. we've already had a couple email conversations about him so you know that i believed at the start of this year that i figured he'd by RoY by season's end. it's not looking like that'll be the case to start things off but i still think he'll be a special player for a lengthy career. Steve Sullivan has value to your team this year after he's back from his back troubles, or he may be a nice trading chip sometime soon. the future is bright for Kostitsyn, Brassard, Hensick (very bright actually), Schremp (i like him too), Berglund, Giroux, Miller, and Voracek. you'll probably have to wait a little longer for Makorov and everybody else is a short term roster fill-in or a trading chip to help yourself out now and and down the road.
ok, i love your starting F's and most of your D's, your G's need some work though as you probably realize. it looks as though the needs of your team right now center around Goalie wins + shutouts where you presently have 2.5 pts and +/- where you have 4 pts.

Waiver Wire Options

Alex Auld G - PHX - the only G on the wire with any value at all, and you need some help at G. hopefully it'll only be short term.
Nigel Dawes F - NYR - he's been moved up to first line duty and should skate with Jaromir Jagr a lot more in the near future. he's as close to a must add in every format right now as there is.
Vernon Fiddler F - NAS - love the name, especially in Nashville. decent option for a bottom of the roster or bench guy.
Jiri Tlusty F - TOR - kid's got skills and must be considered an add in any keeper like yours.
Niklas Hagman F - DAL - hot start. i don't think it's going to continue though.
Jared Boll F - CBS - old school PIMs. won't get many pts in other areas but he'll get loads of PIMs every night.
Mike Peca F - CBS - first line duty. if Rick Nash keeps scoring then he'll need some help.
Martin Hanzal F - PHX - keeper option but this would be a bench guy at best for your team this year.
Bret Hedican D - CAR - i suggest him because of +/- and some PIMs. he won't give a terrible lot of pts but 30 pts might be an attainable goal for him.
Derek Morris D - PHX - some point potential but also a PIMy add. he might never return to the offensive potential he showed in Colorado back in the day.
Karel Rachunek D - NJ - with a D that doesn't have a real PP point man amongst them then Rachunek could still contribute the occasional PPP.

add Alex Auld for Marc Denis - you need a G3 option pretty desperately right now and Auld ... well, he's a starter. this is a band-aid solution at best and you'll want to trade for a better G3.

add Nigel Dawes for Ville Peltonen - i actually debated with myself who should be your drop since i don't want to suggest any of your kids and several of your NHL options garner stats very similarly. i just think there's more upside for Mark Bell, Johan Franzen, Ryan Malone and Kyle Calder. Dawes will be a better option than any of them though if he gets to continue to play with Jagr.

you'll need to keep an eye on the bottom of your D roster. Zhitnik, Van Ryn and Roszival all have the potential to disappear statistically. the Rangers have been rumoured to be shopping for an offensive D (Ed Jovanovski and Derek Morris have been mentioned many times) and if they make a move like that then Roszival's time on the point will be cut drastically. the PP time for Zhitnik has already been cut and i don't like his prospects for stats going forward. i was seriously considering a suggestion where you add Morris for Zhitnik and i could easily see a time where that add would be suggested for you. Van Ryn is your best option of the 3 you should be watching.

Trading Options

trade one of your young stud forwards to B-Turf for one of his stud goalies- earlier this month B-Turf put Luongo on the block and he still has him there. if he'll take 2 young studs to get Luongo then do it and don't blink. if he wants 3 then still consider it. B-Turf also has Josh Harding and Martin Gerber on his roster that you can make a run at. getting Harding would help you in the short term and it certainly wouldn't hurt to have him at the bottom of your bench since he's going to be the Wild's stud goalie within a season i expect. historically the Wild ride their goalies until they get to a big payday then they trade them off and go with the next stud option. Robbie Schremp for Josh Harding may be enough to get it done, maybe not. another option is to offer Glen Murray and a throw-in to him for Martin Gerber. there are question marks with both guys but you do need another G and B-Turf needs offense pretty badly. there are some possibilities here with B-Turf, hopefully something can get done since he fits best as a possible trade partner for you in your league.

trade Glen Murray to Hockeydoc for JP Dumont - i find it interesting sometimes the sorts of moves that people make with their teams. Nashville is in the midst of a 4 game week, your league allows you to set your lineup weekly and yet doc decided to bench Dumont prior to this week. now he did just make a trade and perhaps wanted to find out what his new players are capable of but when i notice things like that i think that he may be down on Dumont at the moment. if he is then you should strike. if he's down on him than this might work, if he's not down on him then this might just be a conversation piece for the two of you.

trade Alexei Zhitnik to IFK Helsinki for Jason LaBarbera - you need a goalie and the price for Labarbapapa is about right. i realize he was the NHL's 1st star last week but if that comes up in your trade negotiations then just point out how the man stunk it up for so long prior to last week. i personally don't think that the Kings' defense is going to continue to be swiss cheese like it was for a good chunk of October. their play will pick and i fully expect them to contend for a playoff spot in the West this season. you can afford this move, the price isn't too steep and you definitely need a goalie.

trade Michal Handzus, Brian Gionta and Magnus Johansson to Silver Seven for Brad Boyes, Joffrey Lupul and Tobias Enstrom - i'd understand your reluctance to offer up Gionta here but let me try and make a case for this deal. Lupul has been moved up to the top line on a squad that is going to score more than Gionta's squad anyway, this offer makes your team a lot younger and Tobias Enstrom is among the league leaders for PP time on ice for defensemen. Enstrom is well liked by his GM and is in fact taking much of the PP ice time away from Alexei Zhitnik. by offering Gionta you give Seven something to want in this deal, after all Gionta did pot 48 goals in '05-06. if this is accepted then that is so freaking HUGE for you.


it's hard to evaluate a league like yours because there is SO much going on. the only thing that would make it easier would be if you decided to add a couple expansion teams.
you've laid some excellent groundwork up front for yourself but you're pretty bare-assed on the back end (pun intended). since Lehtonen went down you've had to rely on Marc Denis as your G3 and your G situation went from bad to dismal in one fell stroke. Ryan Miller is definitely going to help you out, Lehtonen will be a nice option at G2 when he's back and i still like Manny Legace as a very nice sleeper pick to contribute some more than adequate stats. the way you're forced to run it now though, with Denis in there as a G3? that's bad. very bad. Denis isn't going to contribute, he barely starts and he doesn't give you good stats when he does start. i'd even trust Phoenix's goaltending ahead of Denis, and that's the first suggestion for you.
once that band-aid is in place you need to comb around for some better options in goal. if that means trading for Jason LaBarbera then so be it, that isn't a bad option; if that means trading some young studs to land Bobby Lou in Vancouver then absolutely do that. Luongo is on the block so at least find out what the price tag would be. the same guy with Luongo also has Harding and Gerber and either of those guys would be fine stop-gaps until Lehtonen is ready to go again. you should know that both Harding and Gerber will be backups once the main guy is ready to go again but they also both have a decent shot at a better starting slot through trade. in a keeper league Harding is going to be a very good goalie down the road and may be able to help you a lot now too.
the other trade suggestions are attempts to tweak your lineup a little and stir up some discussion with your leaguemates. you're shooting for some +/- help without hurting your total offense much.
pray that Steve Sullivan can come back healthy soon. he'll be a nice trading chip for you and if not then he'll help your offense in the least.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday morning armchair

well, we're going to have another suspension in Philly. Randy Jones forced Patrice Bergeron to do his "bug on the windshield" impression. Bergeron broke his nose and Jones was "remorseful" without saying he did anything wrong. i watched "Behind the Mask" with Kelly Hrudey in the 1st intrmssn of the 2nd game (i believe) and Hrudey says that stuff like that will continue while coaches at all levels teach people to turn their backs to other players as a way to protect the puck. he's right and Jones is going to sit for a bit because of it. i'm betting it won't be much though, 5 games perhaps? Marco Sturm might get 30 goals, Mike Richards too. Richards pocketed his 2nd shortie of the season. if you count SHP in your league then absolutely look at Richards for some help in a very rare cat to find. Joffrey Lupul got one too, i told you he'd been moved up and he'll get lots in the near future. Simon Gagne missed his 2nd straight game with dizziness.

the Blue Jackets sure look to be clogging things up this year. they only gave up 17 shots on the night to a powerful San Jose offense. Joe Thornton got a goal and i can't seem to find anything else interesting to see here. i'm thinking that Pascal Leclaire isn't the "sell high" option that i thought he was when he started hot off the top of the season.

Marc Andre Fleury was ineffective last night against Montreal and Dany Sabourin took the Pens into a shootout only to eventually lose to Andrei Markov. Markov got himself a PP marker and the shootout winner (which doesn't really count) for the win. a lot of people expected that the Habs signed Roman Hamrlik this offseason to offset the loss of the now injured Sheldon Souray but in reality Markov bided his time and he's now the Habs best D. i have him on at least one team and am very pleased that i do. this just in ... Evgeni Malkin and his 3 assists is really good. Petr Sykora went 1 and 1, which is really good too and he should be able to suck at the teet of greater talent all season long.

it seems that all my Leafs needed was to get away from some home cooking. maybe a road trip will develop some defensive chemistry, maybe they all have to start meeting at a Toronto hotel before every home game so they can bus to the game together and give themselves the idea that they're actually on the road, maybe they just need to clear the front of their own net better and cover the off wing. at any rate, they beat the vaunted Ranger offense. Kaberle (the lynchpin) had 2 assists, Kubina and Kilger (nothing to see here, move along) went 1 and 1. the Leafs lead the league in offense and they also lead the league in worst defense. if they keep playing well on the road maybe they'll start insisting they stay on the road. prior to yesterday Brendan Shanahan was leading the world in SOG/game but he's only got 1 goal to show for it. strike while he's cold, those shots are going to go in.

i heard some talk about how Jersey was going to beat Ottawa last night and my reaction before the game was, "fat chance". there is such a huge difference between how these two teams are playing right now. things won't be so lean for NJ this season but i don't care if the season opener or not, you're not going to beat Ottawa with the way you've been playing so far. i don't like that Martin Gerber continues to play so well, he's getting in the way of my playing Ray Emery. it also looks like Mike Fisher potted 2 yesterday and as a C3 option in deep leagues he's an excellent add.

Mike Sillinger got a goal, played 19 minutes and was -6. it wasn't even cold outside yesterday and he's -6. ewwwwww. Carolina took the boots to the Isles yesterday. Rod the bod with a hattie plus an assist, Erik Cole with 3 assists and Ray Whitney with 2 and 2. Chris Campoli did get 2 assists for the Isles (and was -3) and is still a nice option as a D4, particularly now that Bryan Berard is shelved and someone has to man the point on the PP more often.

i had pegged Nathan Paetsch as a sleeper this season. ok, i wasn't the only one pegging him as a sleeper but i still added him to one of my teams. anyway, Paetsch has disappointed so far this season but went 1 and 1 yesterday. if you're looking for a bottom end D who just might explode for some offense a little bit then Paetsch continues to be a possible option. i think Campoli is a better option right now but if CC isn't available then look for Paetsch. Vinny Lecavalier went 1 and 1 and didn't get into a fight, my isn't novelty nice? i'll continue to take the unexpected PIMs though if he wants to throw'em out there. Marty St. Louis has quietly put 11 pts together, still only 2 goals but he's still contributing. Tomas Vanek and his $10M salary scored his 3rd goal on the season. he'll explode eventually.

Vernon Fiddler scored his first 2 on the season and could get up toward 20 if given a chance at some ice time. he's got a great name playing for a Nashville team eh? Martin Erat got over 21 minutes of ice time last night and bears watching in case that time turns into goals coming up. he might be a guy you could trade for that wouldn't cost you too much. Radulov got 2 assists last night and i'm still pegging him as a decent RW3 option. Olli Jokinen and Cory Murphy each had 2 pts last night, go figure. the offense in Florida will filter through one or both of them this season.

Brad Boyes has 8 goals already this season. i actually drafted him as a C3. pretty pleased about that. Mike Green will continue to contribute to the Caps offense this season as long as Brian Pothier and/or Tom Poti can't seem to prove that they can consistently contribute. the Caps can't seem to find a reliable D to play over 20 minutes/game.

in my PPTOI piece last week i noted that Tobias Enstrom is among the league leaders for PPTOI for D this season. he played over 23 minutes yesterday and got an assist. if you're ignoring him still you won't be able to much longer. Ilya Kovalchuk with 3 pts (told you he'd explode, this will continue), Slava Kozlov with 2 goals (should also continue), and Jason Williams had 2 pts (quietly has 10 on the season). Patrick Kane is also pretty good and the diminutive stuff doesn't seem to get in his way, perhaps his coach has given him a couple pointers in that area.

some power forwards to note in Phoenix last night; Carcillo got a goal and 6 PIMs, Doan with a goal and 2 assists, and Brendan Morrow with 3 assists. Mike Ribeiro also had a goal and 2 assists but he doesn't qualify as a power forward. Martin Hanzal had over 20 minutes of ice time yesterday and is definitely worth a look in deep leagues and keepers.

finally, there's a new commercial on Sportsnet that talks about how many out here in the West can't seem to stand the "Toronto Sports Network"'s hockey coverage since they don't seem to focus on Western teams at all. i personally love the focus on Toronto cuz that's where all the teams in the other sports i watch are based and i just happen to be a Leafs fan. anyway, last night the Kings were hosting the Oilers on the back end of HNIC's double-header and i actually found myself cheering for the Kings. i don't know what it is about the Oilers and Flames but i just can't cheer for them. i really can't stand them much at all and i personally get all bothered by Sportsnet's focus on the Flames and Oilers out here. anyway, Jason Labarbera has been showing that he's going to be the guy for the Kings over the last week. ignore all my other prognostications about JS Aubin. my bad. Raffi Torres is playing really well over the recent past. i'm in one informal league with Victoria Matiash of ESPN's fantasy hockey and she named her team "I love Lubomir". now she's a wonderful girl and can really put away the beer and i just want to say that i agree about Visnovsky. i don't think we feel the same about him since i'm not sure she's talking about hockey but still the guy is the Kings best option from the back and he really doesn't get the print he deserves.

my football season is almost over, i only have one more on-field game to officiate. i enjoyed the whole experience and want to encourage you to consider officiating as an option where you are.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

goals of the week

Jonathan Toews, good Winnipeg lad.

Rick Nash is gonna be a superstar. 50 goals every year for a decade isn't out of the question.

Friday, October 26, 2007

blogging through the boxscore

i'm trying to think of ongoing titles for certain days of the week so that i don't have to try and be creative EVERY day. so far Wednesday is my review day and Sunday i have the Sunday morning armchair, i'm thinking Tuesday will be my stat review day. if you have suggestions then ... suggest them.

see the bloodbath that was Koci last night? Zdeno Chara schooled him good. it seems that Koci broke his nose in the previous game so you gotta respect the fact that he stuck that broken nose right back in harm's way again. Chara is a mean dude. that gets missed sometimes because he contributes offensively more than most D but his PIM levels are always rather nice for a fantasy team. the big drawback for Chara is +/- ever since he left Ottawa and went to Boston. with the Bruins improved play of late though i'm hoping that +/- isn't an issue for Zdeno this season and beyond.
did i tell you the story of Zdeno Chara when he first came to North America? his english was non-existent but he was befriended by a veteran in Long Island, Ray Ferraro. Ferraro used to refer to him as "big dummy" and Zdeno is 6'9" tall without a clue what Ferraro was calling him. eventually Chara figure it out and went to find Ferraro saying "I KNOW BIG DUMMY!", that'd be enough to make a guy the size of Ferraro crap his pants on the spot. no word as to whether that actually happened or not, the crapping part that is, i have it on good authority that the other stuff happened.
anyway, i like Chara and i have a bit more respect for Koci too. now if only both guys would score a little more.

Rick Nash scored a pretty one last night. side of the net, stick back between his legs and then top corner. if i can find a copy of it i'll embed it here, if i can't then you just plain missed a nice one. Pascal Leclaire got his 4th shutout and like i said in posts past, he's really benefitting from a defensive style being put in place by Ken Hitchcock. Jared Boll is becoming a really nice PIMy option for fantasy. old school.
speaking of nice ones, the goal that Ales Hemsky scored in the shootout last night to win the game was NOT a nice one. he lost the handle and it slid between Backstrom's pads. oh well, they all count like that. Horcoff had a 4 pt night and comes up with those but the guy to watch in Oil country of late has been Raffi Torres. dude's getting ice time, bangs around the boards and carries the extra value because he's eligible at LW. if you need some help at LW3 then this may be the way to go.

i've liked Phil Kessel a lot to start this season and he's going to have a career high in pts and surprise many as a secondary scoring threat in Boston.

Jari Tlusty debuted for the Leafs and pocketed 2 in his first night on NHL ice. actually i think he Foligno'd one of them but that counts too. i picked him up as an LW3 flyer-type since i'm behind the curve at LW. it could go either way for me, it could be HUGE or disastrous. i still can't believe that Antropov is putting together a season like this but ride it while you can. Alex Steen is a viable option for secondary scoring in TO but it would be better if he got eligibility on the wing for fantasy purposes. Sid and Gene (that would be Malkin) each with 2 pts and Pitt only gets 2 on the night. i guess that says something that we already know, the offense flows through those 2 guys in Pitt.

man do i ever want Vinny Lecavalier to explode offensively. it's looking like Brad Richards and Vinny Prospal are getting all the gravy. don't worry though, it'll happen. i just want it to be yesterday or sooner. i still say that TB should trade for a goalie and they'd be a world beater. picture Huet in a lightning bolt. that's just spitballing though, i've heard no rumours.

Dan Ellis with a shutout for the Preds last night. Ellis' pic on Yahoo makes him look like a hobbit. attaboy Bilbo. nothing to see here with this guy imo. some guys are still down on Radulov but his ice time is increasing and stats along with it. it still seems like the offense is running through JP Dumont, Legwand and Arnott though. the Tootoo twain went 1 and 1 and is good option if you're in the market for a pest, unfortunately he doesn't get enough ice time to really be useful except in really deep leagues.

McDonald and Kunitz were the 2nd and 3rd stars in a game where the Ducks were shutout by the Yotes. i don't see why. how do the champs get shutout by the worst team in the league? that's supposed to be a gimme boys. think the coach is gonna bag skate 'em? why not? wake 'em up.

Labarbera held off the Stars and won 2-1. i was pulling for Aubin to win that job but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. i actually dumped Labarbera in one league today though in the hopes that Jimmy Howard starts more than pundits are really saying he's going to. if Jimmy starts more than i'd much rather roster the Wings starter than the Kings starter. it's a gamble. hope it pays off.
Mike Cammalleri had less ice time than Frolov, Kopitar AND Brown last night. what's up with that? i still love Camm for elite numbers and i think he'll be carried there by the magic that is Anze Kopitar. if you can get either and stomach some minor aches over +/- then you'll be pleased.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

what you looking at?

watch the baseball game last night? i didn't. i wanted to but decided to go out to the movies with a buddy instead. we went to see Transformers. i know, i know it's been out for months and should go to video any day now but there's a cheapie movie theatre that i go to here in the Peg. if you're looking for a movie review, you're not getting one, other than i didn't really like the movie much. there's no way that the hot chick even has anything to do with the high school dweeb though. that's a different blog though. i came back from the movie to see that the Evil Empire Red Sox were wayyyyy up and had put down a spanking on a couple kid Rockies last night. i stopped watching soon after i started. turned it on to Letterman instead. gotta love the Top Ten before you crash for the night eh?

anyway, a little hockey for you. i've been searching around at some blogs i've found and i'm seeing a lot of homer-itis. what's the point of blogging about your favourite team only? what use is that to anyone? i'll try to provide some competent advice about fantasy hockey for you and i'll try to broadbase it as much as i can. you don't want to read about my favourite team all the time and i don't really want to just write about them. it's more interesting to me to try and help people figure out how to an NHL fan and use that kick their buddie's asses in their fantasy league.

Chris Clark. he hadn't been heard from until last night, want to know why? he was just put on Alex Ovechkin's line again. that move is going to create more room for AO as Clarkie clogs up the front of the net or bangs around in the corners. Clark got himself 2 last night and they both count even though the 2nd one Foligno'd off of his skate. i say that because Mike Foligno used to score the garbagest of goals (that is so a word, i just made it up). i remember a playoff game where Foligno was trying to regain his balance in front of the net, leaned over and the puck caromed off his ass into the opponent's net. classic moment. Clark is a Foligno type, except with more skill and plenty of PIMs opportunity.
there was a rare Vinny Lecavalier fight with Shaone Morrissonn (dude's got way too many letters in his name). Vinny scored himself 19 PIMs. now that he's got that out of the way he can take those knuckles and snap himself the 50 goals i'm expecting out of him. i actually saw some rankings with Vinny in the 2nd round this season. i personally snapped him up at the bottom of the 1st round in a keeper league and i thought i had myself a steal. and i did.

why are people worried about the Sabres? yes they only have a couple wins on the season but Ryan Miller is a great goalie, they still have most of their young snipers and they have adequate replacements to pass them the puck. they got beat up by the Canes last night but the Hurricanes aren't the same team they were last year. Cam Ward may take a run at the Vezina trophy the way he's playing and wins are going to be plentiful. Jason Pominville with 2 goals (easily projecting 30 on the season) and Eric Staal with 3 pts (this might be the year he's a scoring leader and is well over 100 pts).

Vancouver/Detroit was on tv last night while i squirmed in my theatre seat and tried to figure which guy was an autobot and who was a decepticon. apparently Dom Hasek was taken out of the game at some time and Chris Osgood faced zero shots while he was on the ice. i couldn't find a reason why that was, but it was. Sami Salo debuted for the Nucks. Sami is extremely underrated, has a more than decent blast from the point and sees the ice very well. Salo shouldn't be on your waiver wire but if he is then snap him up. in the very least activate him, i'm expecting goals in the teens for him again, if he's healthy. Tomas Holmstrom is already what Chris Clark wants to be and what Mike Foligno never even dreamt of being.

did i blog that i read somewhere that Mike Knuble has been taken off Gagne/Briere's line and replaced by Joffrey Lupul? it's true best i can tell. if you want to make a play for Lupul then nows a good time since his value is about to go up again. to start the season both Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were on many waiver wires. they aren't anymore and they won't be seen there for a LOOOOOOOOOONG time. they got skills and provide a more than adequate secondary scoring for the Flyers, who i can't stand but have to admit that they're going a long way this year. Simon Gagne was staring at cartoon birdies after getting rocked by Jay Bouwmeester last night. he'll be fine, i hope. i have no news so it may just be wishful thinking. speaking of Bouwmeester, i LOVE the Cats D. they have themselves a stableful of stud D for the next decade. oh and Olli Jokinen is fab too don't you think? he looks weird though. still dude can score and shoots a ton so he can be on my team anytime.

Calgary handed Minny it's first "real" loss. they loss previously in a shootout but this one was a real loss. the Wild had a 3-0 lead after 1 and the Flames scored 5 unanswered by the end of the night, only 1 on the PP. Iginla with 3 pts, Tanguay with 3 (about time), Phaneuf absolutely destroyed Veilleux in a fight and underrated Aucoin chipped in a couple assists while leading his team in ice time. Kipper bounced back from getting pulled in San Jose the other night and held off the Wild for 2 periods. that's what star goalies do. some are pretty down on Kip but don't you be!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PP TOI/game

i did some simple stat sorting to look at PP TOI (power play time on ice). as you might imagine if you did so you'd fine that there are a whack of forwards listed there that you wouldn't find on your league's waiver wire but the gems found in doing a search like that is when you're sorting for a D who mans the point more than most. i mean PPP is PPP and one really shouldn't look the other way if a resource sits on the waiver wire. then again maybe you're D is stacked and you have no use for this post. let me just highlight some names and numbers for you.

Tom Poti - 6:17/game - and the Caps offense hasn't really taken off yet. Alexander Semin is due back tonight and you just know the PP options down low will take a giant leap. who gets the puck down low? how about the guy lugging the puck up the ice. i've seen Poti turfed on some teams already. mistake.

Filip Kuba - 5:30/game - how this guy gets ignored every year i don't know. he shoots the puck and he's got himself a pretty good offensive squad to feature on the attack. he shouldn't be on a wire but if he is then you've already wasted too much time reading this.

Tobias Enstrom - 5:21/game - who? no seriously, who? well someone has to carry the puck and get it to Hossa/Kovalchuk. Enstrom is ranked 13th in D for PPTOI. definitely a sleeper and you just know that the Thrash's offense is going to explode soon. then again this sleeper pick may just blow up all over you too but that's why we play the game. you want the glory then you have to make the tough calls.

Paul Martin - 5:19/game - i've seen the former Prime Minister on waiver wires too. Sean Allen touted that Karel Rachunek was going to head up the Devils' PP but that's not how it looks to me, 10 games in.

Marek Zidlicky - 5:19/game - Z took a step back last season (Dan Hamhuis took several steps back) and the time to add Z may be past since Shea Weber should be returning soon but for a short term add, this is still a decent move.

Kris Russell - 5:02/game - another who? he's in C-bus and somebody has to fill the void that Bryan Berard left on their PP. we know Adam Foote can't do it anymore. just hand it to Mr. Nash there Kris.

Andrei Zyuzin - 4:56/game - i've watched Zyuzin since he was drafted way back when. he's always been more of a defensive presence than anything else. it seems as though the Hawks need him to be a bit more than a defensive presence though so he may just get some extra time to help out offensively.

Craig Rivet - 4:54/game - i saw him get one in Calgary last night and you just know with all the offensive options in the Sharks he'll get himself his own share of stats this season. he won't be on a waiver wire but you may want to trade for him as a possible D4 or so.

Jaroslav Spacek - 4:51/game - i've never really been a fan but it does seem like he's getting some opportunity. he hasn't shown enough to me to make me want to add him to my team but i understand why guys do.

interesting eh? the rest of the list is chock full of names that you'd expect to be there and there's no hope that you'd find them on a waiver wire anyway. maybe Rob Blake is on there but i figured he was too obvious to list as a sleeper type of option. Francois Beauchemin tops the entire list by the way but i didn't list him as a sleeper either because he isn't and i expect his TOI to come down as Mathieu Schneider and eventually Scott Niedermayer get on the ice.

it's not looking like i'll be getting to a team review this week since i've been strapped for time. i do want more submissions for team reviews though so feel free to fire them in.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bo, then Deion now Clark, the next 2 sport athlete

little time today but this is worth the 6 minutes you'll spend. i actually was laughing out loud in my cubicle while watching it, i'm sure that my co-workers figured i'm more of an idiot than they did previously.

Quick Hits

Darcy Tucker is out indefinitely. normally he's a very good option for PPG and PIMs. some are giving the Thrashers starting job to Hedberg automatically but i say that Ondrej Pavelic has a decent shot at the starting job while Lehtonen is shelved. no need to add Pavelic just yet but i'd be watching closely. Milan Hejduk is still hurt and Pavol Demitra is DTD for a bit. Bryan Berard is shelved with a groinage and when healthy is a nice source of PPP, if you can handle the poor +/- he'll undoubtedly give. Kevin Bieksa got his 1st of the year yesterday, the first of many. i read one blog where he called Bieksa the worst player in the NHL drawing a regular paycheck PUH-LEASE. Curtis Sanford got a start yesterday on the road in C-bus and got past a Columbus squad that has been limiting it's shots allowed due to a system put together by coach Ken Hitchcock. Hitch is one of the best hockey minds in the game and Philly made a HUGE mistake letting him go last year. Rick Nash has 5 goals and is gonna keep exploding.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday morning armchair

Scott Walker left the game with a torso injury of some kind a couple days ago, apparently it didn't look pretty at all. the Canes lost in Philly last night and Walker didn't play. i picked Walker as a very viable RW3 in deeper leagues and in fact had been recommending him to a poster on the Rotopass board earlier this week. i haven't been able to get any more info other than "it didn't look good" since it happened. bear in mind that Walker can be turfed to the wire fairly easily if you can't wait for the Canes to IR him. in H2H leagues you should've already done so.
in the "Sid vs. Alex" battle last night Sid got an assist on the winning PP goal, MA Fleury was the star of the game and both Sid and Alex were continued to ask how many times they spoke since the last time they played each other, like they were huge buddies or something.
Manny Fernandez outdueled Henrik Lundqvist in a scoreless shootout win last night. how does Phil Kessel get to be the 2nd star when his team doesn't score and he only had 1 SOG? whatever. Manny may just be taking the lead in the goalie battle in Boston after that game. i've never much liked Tim Thomas as an option anyway. the Bruins are 5-2 by the way, good on them i guess but i don't want any team in the Northeast doing well except my Leafs so i think i'll just be giving the Bruins the evil eye until they realize that they're really not this good anyway.
Ray Emery is back baby! he's going to take the job folks so unload Martin Gerber in your league unless you have him for the express purpose of handcuffing him to Emery. the Sens have a solid week off and they're retreating to a resort for a few days of chemistry building. it's also going to do a LOT of good for Emery's strength building in that wrist. if you thought the Sens were scary before what about after they deal Gerber for some MORE scoring? also note that personal fave Chris Neil had himself a dominating night garnering the 1st star selection and serving up an assist.
the Islanders offense is all smoke and mirrors. i'm not buying into Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin, Ruslan Fedotenko or Miroslav Satan. if you're hoping for this to continue and staking your fantasy team's fortune on one or more of them then i think you're in store for a big crash and burn. that doesn't mean that i'm not interested in all Isles though; i like their D, roster some of them, and i love Rick DiPietro in all leagues.
Montreal beat Buffalo last night. ptui and ptui on both teams. i don't see how Montreal pulls this off either. they're too small and they don't have a single reliable superstar on their roster. they do have a bunch of very good guys and a handful of guys who've shown real brilliance but still, i don't see it maintaining over the course of a season.
Patrick Kane is going to be very good. i caught some of the debacle in Toronto last night but i was a bit distracted by the baseball game too and i was still trying to recoop from trying to keep my traction in a mud bowl football game i was officiating in yesterday afternoon but still, the Leafs shouldn't have given that game up like they did. Don Cherry said something after the game that i actually agreed with (and that hardly ever happens). he said that Mats Sundin shouldn't be killing penalties. he's right. Mats already is out there in EVERY other situation imaginable and the Leafs should put some other guys out there to kill penalties, like Stajan and Steen perhaps, Wellwood when he's healthy.
defensive mishaps continue for Atlanta, maybe not as many as Toronto but still they continue. Atlanta got spanked by Tampa Bay last night. Lecavalier got 2 pts, Prospal 3 pts and St. Louis 3 pts. Waddell needs to find a coach quick, he doesn't belong back there and the sooner that somebody rights their ship then they'll be fine. it's going to mean a real trainwreck for the Thrashers this season though.
Marty Turco had himself a nice night getting the win against the defending champs. JS Giguere got the hook. i don't like the look of that Giguere situation. i think Anaheim needs to bring back at least one of Selanne or Niedermayer soon before the gap gets too large in the Pacific Division. maybe all they need is a healthy Mathieu Schneider for now though. well anyway, the Ducks are going to be fine, make the playoffs and they'll be heard from late into the year. in that game last night people often forget about a guy like Mike Ribeiro who helps his team more than people realize. he can be a really nice add as a C3 since he gets significant PP time and his defensive play is helped a lot by playing on a defensively responsible team.
the goalie rotation continues in Minnesota and Josh Harding is going to have significant value in fantasy before the season is out. i had been thinking he'd get 25 starts or so but it could be that the splits go as high as 50/50 for the Wild. nobody talks about the Wild much but they're the closest team to me geographically and quite honestly, if Marian Gaborik is healthy then they are going to go a very long way. i peg Gabby for 50 goals and a league leader in scoring this season, and i got him in a keeper league too. SWEET.
Detroit beat up on Phoenix last night. YAWN. Nik Lidstrom put up 27 minutes of ice time. go figure. Henrik Zetterberg had 7 shots and went 1 and 1. Detroit might very well be a world beater ... again ... and again. they very nearly got past Anaheim last year in the playoffs and probably would've if Zetterberg had been 100%, which he wasn't. i'm not a Wing fan but you have to love the talent they stack up every night of the week. oh and Jimmy Howard is waiting in the wings (pun intended) to solidify their goaltending for the next decade too (keepers take note).
Mike Keenan goes into every game making sure that his team gets the first goal at home. his D pinches, they press harder and they do their best to put the boots to whoever they're playing right off the bat. the Flames played the Oil last night in the ongoing battle of Alberta and Dustin Penner takes a hooking minor 9 seconds into the game. thank you very much says Kristian Huselius less than a minute later scoring his 6th goal of the season on the PP. Huselius is a guy i don't get. he did absolutely nothing as a Panther and then turns into a 30 goal scorer in Calgary. maybe being under Keenan again will slow him down, and yet i don't think so. i don't think you'd be able to land this guy cheaply for your own team but if you have a spare winger to offer up for him or some excess elsewhere on your roster then it never hurts to have an extra 30 goals at LW where you'll have trouble finding it otherwise.
Jeremy Roenick (still an idiot) scored his 3rd last night. i can't believe he's still getting PP time but i have an inkling that even I would be able to score on the power play if Joe Thornton is on the ice with me. i'd still be ignoring Roenick for your fantasy team. seriously, look elsewhere. it seems that Mike Grier garnered 20 minutes of ice time last night, i just wish that big Joe wouldn't have to be required to have chemistry with 10 different forwards on that roster. Evgeni (call me Gene) Nabokov shut the door all night against the Preds and is ... well he's pretty good i guess eh?

got back from church this morning and it was amazing. life is hard my friends but let me just say that seekers, find. i'm going to enjoy my Sunday afternoon with my wife.

Friday, October 19, 2007

boxscore blogging and links i like

i've been doing a little looking around at some hockey blogs out there but i don't want to just link to any schmoe with half an opinion. i've added to my links on the side and will add more as i find places that interest me. i figure if i link to a blog or a site then it has to deal with fantasy hockey or at least have something that interests me.
i've met all the hockey guys (and girl) over at ESPN fantasy sports, had beer with them and talked puck. they have all the respect i can muster. i've linked over to them because they continue to write and it's looking like ESPN does want to be involved in hockey again. have you checked out ESPN the mag? there is more hockey in it of late. they are still putting out tripe about how the NHL needs a strong winning team in New York in order to survive but let me tell you folks, the NHL is just fine in all these other markets. in fact i couldn't care less if the NHL succeeds in NY, bring the back to places like Winnipeg. i've said it before, why would the NHL need to search for 30,000 fans in Houston or Kansas City when they'd easily hook 300,000 fans in Winnipeg? ah well, the rant will continue no doubt.

y'know what guys? go put an offer to the guy in your league who has Marian Hossa or Ilya Kovalchuk. yes, Atlanta is a mess but Waddell needs to win in order to justify his dismissal of Hartley and the only way he's going to do that is by riding his horses. i'm saying now that Hossa and Kovalchuk are about to blow up. their ice time will be going up and their stats along with it. now the team defense is still going to be awful, their franchise goaltender still looks to have a serious case of "just-been-hooked by the manager"-itis and there doesn't seem to be a secure option for secondary scoring but still, Hossa and Kovy are going to go off.

it seems that MA Bergeron was a healthy scratch last night and what happens? Bryan Berard and Chris Campoli secure 3 and 4 pts respectfully for themselves. Berard had 7 SOG too. Berard has been a PP specialist for several years now and i still have serious concerns about his play at even strength since he really can't see much at all out of one eye but nevertheless if he can keep the +/- respectable then the PPP that he'll add to a roster are HUGE. if Bergeron is going to come back and take some PP ice time away i think it's going to be at Campoli's expense and in fact i just ditched Campoli in one of my leagues yesterday, just before he gave me 4 assists. i hope i don't regret claiming Mark Streit over Campoli, i doubt i will.

Boston beat up on TB last night. have you noticed that the Bruins are playing respectably? and Tim Thomas is showing something. i'm still not a believer in Thomas and like Fernandez more than him long term but if you can take advantage of the hot hand in Thomas then do that.

Carey Price didn't look bad at all. 2 starts on the season, he's faced Pitt and now Ottawa and he didn't look out of place. with all this talk about the Kings goaltending being a problem then why not make a run at Huet instead of letting the Habs ply Halak to them? i have Price on one of my teams with the hope that he gets the gig eventually this year. that'd be sweet, even if he plays for the Habitants (ptui).

Peter Mueller got his first of many in his career last night. kid's got skill but his +/- is going to kill all fantasy value he'll have this season. i have Dwayne Roloson as a G3 in one league and i decided to play him last night (i seldom would start him) because he was facing the Yotes. got me a win too. that always helps.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

not much to say

go ahead and fire off an email if you want your team reviewed here in the blog. i have a queue started up already but there's always room for more options and it is a long season after all.

Anze ain't no pansy. he's got some skill and he's going to be a very good option. +/- is going to be a problem for a while unless the Kings learn to play D better but still, you won't be walking all over Anze.
there were only a couple games last night and i was in a church meeting all eve so i only got to see some hilites after the fact. how is that Devils goal not waived off? the Devils were crashing the net huge and the puck laid there to be pocketed but it didn't look like Fleury had any chance to make a play with all the legs and arms in the way. i think i'm just bitter because i started Fleury in my work league and i really need wins in that one. Emery is my other starting goalie so i'm not doing very well in the goalie stats.
JS Giguere got a win last night, good to see. you'll see plenty of those. i personally ranked Giguere as the #4 fantasy goalie option this year and have been hurt by the fact that he hasn't been able to play up until now. i shall be redeemed, proven right, vindicated, whatever the word is that i'm searching for here.

i'm working as a Back Umpire at a high school football playoff game tonight. guys, if you have some time on your hands become an official. you really will love it and you'll be helping out your community. as the Back Ump i have to focus on all the deep stuff and the golden rule is don't let anybody past you. when these guys are 17 and you're twice that age (plus a little more) then that means that you have to make sure to give yourself a cushion. we'll see how it goes.
i've been searching the local tv coverage online this season to see if i can find a shot of me calling a touchdown or perhaps getting laid out by a lead block coming around the end. nothing so far but if i find it i'm going to throw in a link or maybe even embed it into this blog.
i also ump baseball too and have even had the honour of working two Western Canadian AA Championships (for teens, not actual AA Championships which would be cool).
gots to be going. if you hear about an official getting laid out by a couple wideouts in a deep crossing pattern then who knows, it might be me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Six DeVries of Separation

love that team name, and this is the 2nd year in a row that Joseph Ampon has caught my attention with a witty team name. last year it was "He ain't heavy, he's my Brodeur". Joseph Ampon plays in a 12 team roto league at CBS Sportsline. as a general rule i like the engine at CBS Sportsline, in fact NFL.com runs their football leagues with that engine and although their FA search options are very cumbersome overall the look and feel of it is very good. i have no personal experience with their fantasy hockey engine but it looks very similar to their football setup. anyway, Six DeVries, nice. maybe i'll see if i can play a game of six degrees to get from me to Elisha Cuthbert, shouldn't be too hard.
let's see, i grew up in the same town as Larry Robinson and got an autograph when he was a player winning all those cups for les Canadiens. Robinson later became coach of the New Jersey Devils where he coached Scott Stevens. Stevens was signed as a FA by the Devils and it cost them 5 first round draft picks sent to the St. Louis Blues. Stevens was on the Blues with Brett Hull in 1991 during the height of Hull's goalscoring greatness. Hull played with Wayne Gretzky for 18 games at the end of 1996 as the Great One was winding down his career. Gretzky passed along the captaincy of the Kings to Rob Blake when he left to join the Blues and later the Rangers. Blake played on the Kings with Sean Avery in 2006 and Avery dated Elisha Cuthbert for a good part of 2006 (at least). i'm not sure if they're still dating but still, that's 6 degrees of separation between me and Elisha Cuthbert. that was actually a lot harder to figure out than i thought it was going to be.
Joseph is presently in 2nd place in his league that allows weekly changes. the settings on his league are: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPG, SHG, SOG, W, GAA, SV%. it's a goal happy league so if you're choosing between two potential guys for your team, take the sniper of the two. the lineup starts 2C, 4W, 4D, 2G which doesn't make for a lot of depth in a 12 team league so expect superstar C's are on everyone's team and defense corps will be full of big scoring types.

Let's take a look at Six DeVries of Separation.

C - Sidney Crosby - A+ - best player on the planet.
C - Scott Gomez - A- - Alaskans must be a friendly people if we consider the amount of assists that Gomez gets every year.
W - Patrik Elias - B - some don't believe anymore. i'm not sure i do either. he's rosterable but my best advice would be to see what you can get for him.
W - Alexander Frolov - B+ - he shoots a lot but his +/- potential worries me.
W - Milan Hejduk - B+ - dude scores. in this league setup he's a very good guy to have.
W - Jason Pominville - B- - still has lots of opportunity and may get up toward 40 goals this season.
D - Marc Andre Bergeron - B- - he shoots the puck and goals in the teens seems reasonable to me.
D - Roman Hamrlik - C - i thought this was a good move by the Habs but they seem to be going a different direction with their PP point options.
D - Jaroslav Spacek - C- - never been a fan. i suppose he's decent for +/- and is defensively responsible.
D - Niklas Lidstrom - A - arguably the best D in the world, if you don't count Bobby Orr or maybe my personal pick, Borje Salming.
G - Nikolai Khabibulin - B- - solid G2 option. i don't have high hopes for the Hawks getting a ton of wins this year though but the ratios should be fine.
G - Evgeni Nabokov - B+ - others ranked him higher than me but he's a decent G1.
BN - Nathan Horton - B - unsung. 30 goals. probably won't break your lineup at C unless you have an injury.
BN - Mark Recchi - B - i suppose i have to concede that he's been a decent player for a lot of years but i still worry about his defensive play and i don't see him as that much of an upgrade on Roberts on his own team.
BN - Sami Salo - C+ - plenty of potential for this grade to skyrocket. he's been hurt to start the year but he'll get 15 goals this season which is always nice for a D.
BN - Pascal Leclaire - C+ - i don't like the odds that his stellar start continues.

in looking at your standings (bearing in mind that we're only a couple weeks in) you're flagging in PIMs and A, while you're middle of the road in +/-, W, and SOG. given your lineup i'm not at all worried for your totals in assists or wins, they'll come but you do need to work on PIMs, +/- and you need a little more SOG.

Waiver Wire options

Mark Streit - becoming the obvious PP option for the Habs.
Brent Burns - not getting enough print but getting lots of ice time and opportunity with a really good offense.
Nathan Paetsch - one of my D sleeper picks this year. he'll contribute. i promise.
Karl Rachunek - heading up the Devils PP. not enough contributions yet but that'll get better.
Brendan Witt - one of my fave PIMy D options.
Antoine Vermette - will surprise this year. 30 goals. yes, you heard me.
Scott Walker - traditional PIM option that is getting used in all situations over the last couple seasons.
Drew Stafford - good, young scorer.
Daniel Carcillo - young scorer. pesty type. plenty of PIMs
Mikael Samuelsson - DTD presently but getting good 2nd line duty so far this season.
Petr Sykora - if he gets to play among the top 6 forwards he'll probably finish top 3 in team scoring.
Petr Forsberg - hasn't signed yet so just sit and watch him sitting on the wire for now.
JS Aubin - i'm pegging him for the lion's share of starts for the Kings.
Manny Fernandez - i think he's a better goalie than Tim Thomas.

drop Jaroslav Spacek to add Mark Streit - the Habs signed Roman Hamrlik to be a puck mover for them on the PP and it's looking like they're not going to use him that way. Streit is taking up much of Hammer's PP ice time. in fact, as soon as Sami Salo is ready to play he should be starting for you.
drop Roman Hamrlik for Brendan Witt - i didn't want to make this suggestion but we're barely a couple weeks in and you're already lagging behind in PIMs. Witt will get a ton of those. i'd also be looking at Daniel Carcillo for a wing spot if you can find room to fit him into your lineup.
watch JS Aubin very closely. you have Pascal Leclaire as your G3 right now and he's been playing WAY over his head, right along with his team in Columbus. i expect that more wins will be found in Los Angeles over the course of the season and am willing to bet that Aubin gets a decent shake at holding down the main job for the Kings.
watch Petr Forsberg, and Daniel Carcillo closely too. if Forsberg signs anywhere he's an immediate add as your C3 ahead of your bench D or G; if you find you're still lagging behind in PIMs then Carcillo is a nice add there too.

Trading Options

you presently have offered a trade up to Blame Canada where you would give up Nathan Horton and Mark Recchi to get Jonathan Cheechoo. you're a Sharks fan so i see where you're going here and if you can get that deal then you begin to solve some of your own problems with your roster. there aren't many better SOGgy players than Cheechoo and there's probably a lameass Sharks joke to make here too having to do with SOGgy, water, and Sharks so i'll just put it out there and you can insert your own joke as desired.
Blame Canada is in an interesting predicament at W right now though. Todd Bertuzzi just went down with a concussion and he's also rostering Teemu Selanne presently so he doesn't actually have enough W's to put into his lineup. consider offering up two of your W's to try and land Jaromir Jagr off of him if your Cheechoo offer isn't flying. maybe Elias/Recchi for Jagr gets it done.

offer Nathan Horton and Mark Recchi (or Frolov or Pominville) to Frozen Fury for Jason Blake and Mike Cammalleri. any combination of one of your wingers to land this package of players would be AWESOME. be prepared for this deal to be declined though, i know i wouldn't want to give up Cammalleri at the best of times. if you have to downgrade Cammalleri then target Paul Stastny off him instead.

offer Nathan Horton to Pens for Brian Rolston. stats are fairly similar between these 2 guys last season but you have to bear in mind that Rolston didn't have Marian Gaborik to help with his offense for half of last season. i expect Rolston's stats to go up exponentially with Gaborik sniping along on the PP.

offer Nathan Horton and Roman Hamrlik to Thir13een for Marc Savard. Savard is his C3 but he'd be of a good amount of use to you. he gets PIMs and he scores a lot. 13 is also looking a bit wonky for D. this might work.


your team looks to be in good shape. the assists that you're missing will come, fear not, you have Scott Gomez (and that's all that guy does) and you have the best hockey player in the world on your team. you'll be fine there. your settings make you want to get goalscorers since you have the extra categories for PPG and SHG, not points rather goals. target goalscorers.
your W's and D need a little bit of work and that's where you should try to make some moves. you can find a couple good options on your wire for some help there.
you're going to have to figure something out for some PIMs. it's too bad i wasn't quicker with this since Chris Neil was on your waiver wire until yesterday. Daniel Carcillo and Brendan Witt are both on the wire though and are/will be fine sources of PIMs that hopefully won't hurt your +/- much at all.
it looks as though you'll need to try and make some trading moves so go ahead and throw ideas out there. comment on the blog or email me if you have questions. good luck.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

sorry about that Chief

you get that title right? a little bit of agent 86 for ya? i titled it that because Jonathan Bernier has been sent back to the Q to straighten things out. the kid's only 19 so it's not like he's in a hurry to be the franchise goalie that i think he'll be, eventually. i'm more PO'd that one of my calls has fallen flat on itself like this. JS Aubin is a speculative add and it's thought he'll push Jason Labarbera for starts in LA. i think Labarba-papa has more skill but Aubin has more experience and could very well take the gig.

you watch baseball last night? my Jake Westbrook fears were certainly unfounded. he had that sinker WORKIN' last night and held off a more than significant Boston offense for a QS. Manny looks like he means business and Papi is always scary. did you see Papi get hit by a batted ball 'tween 2nd and 3rd? unforgiveable. horrid baserunning mistake at arguably the worst time. the game was still scoreless i believe or perhaps they were down 2 by that time but still you're not advancing on that ball anyway Papi. you gave away an out and possibly a run or maybe a rally. i'm sure that every Tribe fan says "thank you very much. now we're your daddy." ok maybe not and let's not go back to the "daddy" crap of the Boston/NY rivalry. good game though.
and how 'bout them Rockies? never been to a WS and getting their first crack at it now. oh and i'm sure that we'll hear from the D-Backs down the road too. i love CBY in CF, Byrnes played so far above his head all year it was unbelievable and Webb will by a CY contender ad infinitum. i was surprised they had the skills to get this far. how did they win like 90 games this season? guile. anyway, back to the Rocks. Francis is gonna be a stud pitcher, i just hope that the big pressure of the big game is a barrier he can get by, quick. no matter what AL team they face in the WS they're going to MASH. now it's not like the Rocks don't know how to rake either. Matt Holliday is an OF who doesn't get enough love for all that he does for his team. he's an MVP candidate but i'm sure he'll happily take a World Championship ahead of the accolades that get thrown around to individuals.
go Tribe (and i say that as a Jays fan, can't stand the Bosox).

why do people underestimate the Sabres offense? Derek Roy and Tim Connolly are adequate replacements for Drury and Briere. i've said it before that they won't score as much but they'll just have to rely on the rest of their top 6 forwards to pick up the slack. we still haven't heard much from Jason Pominville, just wait til he explodes. Tomas Vanek and Max Afinogenov are wannabe stars, and will be stars. Ales Kotalik had a 60 pt season two years ago, just wait for him to wake up too. things are just fine in Buffalo, although Darcy Regier (or however you spell his name) still cries wolf too much whenever something doesn't go his way.
there's no way that the Leafs should've given up the lead like they did, several times. they just take too many penalties and the winning goal went in as Bryan McCabe tried to clear it from in front of his own net but buried it like he was (insert witty simile here). yes i know that i'm actually supposed to think of a witty simile but i drew a blank like i was Paris Hilton on Letterman trying to understand why he was making fun of her.

JS Giguere was supposed to get the start for Anaheim last night and of course he didn't. i think it must be C-Dub's curse bearing down on me instead. dub is known for putting a guy in the lineup and then him getting himself a stinker for the day. despite that dub is one of the smartest fantasy players i know. incidentally, dub is working for ESPN as one of their "Answer Guys". good gig and he's well suited for it. Chris Kunitz, who i traded for yesterday, got himself a goal and an assist. he'll be in my lineup starting tomorrow.

big Joe Thornton got a goal and an assist last night too and was teamed up with Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo. if that continues then Pavelski's value raises several ticks. now if only he were eligible on the wing since both he and Joe aren't able to both play C at the same time. both Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund got more ice time than the twins did last night and if the non-twin line can contribute more offensively then the nucks offense should be just fine this season. it also looks like Ryan Kesler is getting more opportunity too. i've never really liked the guy but if he's getting a shot at ice time then he has value, if only he wasn't listed as a C too. if both Pavelski and Kesler get wing eligibility then their value goes up, as C's though, not so much.

i'm going to start working on another team review. don't know if it'll be available for my Wednesday deadline since i've barely started looking but i'd like to run reviews out there on Wednesdays. i'm thinking that i'll miss the deadline this week since it normally takes several hours to clunk my way through it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

made a trade yesterday

i couldn't stand that my team wasn't shaping up how i wanted them too and i was languishing at the bottom of the standings so i ignored my own advice to wait until guys had a chance to contribute and i threw some offers out there. the league is my work league, full of people who know their hockey but are less familiar with the game engine and how to win. that didn't prevent two of them (out of 16) beating me last year though.
anyway, here's my team. i didn't much like my LW options, i figure my goaltending will be fine once Emery is back and i was lagging in SOG. we start 3 at each forward slot, 6D, 2G.

C Crosby, Drury, Sundin, J. Staal
LW Sturm, Carcillo, Si. Gagne
RW Neil, Stafford, C. Clark, Radulov
D Liles, Zubov, Kaberle, Paetsch, Campoli, Rachunek
G Fleury, Emery, Price, Halak
IR Weber

before the season began i traded away Steve Avery to land myself Simon Gagne. that really helped my LW situation a lot and i figured i had plenty of PIMs to spare with personal fave Chris Neil and FA pickup Carcillo rostered. i'm still not happy with rostering Marco Sturm though and i had PIMs out the wazoo, so i offered Carcillo/Zubov to Vincent in my pool for Kunitz/Timonen. he accepted without countering.
the way i see it Zubov for Timonen is a wash. i expect Philly to be among the most improved on the season and overall offense for the two triggers is going to be about the same. the part i like best about the deal is Kunitz for Carcillo. i was projecting 20-30 pts out of Carcillo along with 200 PIMs but i'm expecting that Kunitz will equal that pt output in goals alone and i can always offset with an extra PIMy D if i slip in PIMs overall.
i love the deal for me. thank you for the contribution Vincent.
i also considered putting my fantasy money where my mouth is by offering up Price and a winger to try and land Bernier and a more SOGgy winger but i got scared off by the idea. i presently have another offer on the table to someone else in that league but i'm not going to mention it because some people in that league also read this blog on occasion.
as Emery starts to play now i expect i'll start jumping up the standings as i get away from essentially starting one goaltender all the time.

i don't have much to say about the hockey games yesterday, i actually watched my Saints playing on Sunday Night Football. Reggie Bush is looking more and more like a perimeter guy who if he's teamed up with a solid smash-mouth back (not unlike Deuce McAllister) then he can be a more than adequate diversion so that both backs contribute a ton.
oh and i made sure to catch the dominating Rockies beating up on the D-backs in the rain in Denver too. who'da thunk that we may actually see the Rocks in the Serious eh? i'm pulling for a Rockies/Tribe Serious, simply because i can't stand the Red Sox. i have some concerns about Jake Westbrook starting for the Tribe tonight though. SERIOUS concerns, and i don't mean that in a good way.

i got a couple emails today asking who is the best option as a replacement for Sean Avery and for Paul Mara. there weren't a lot of great choices on the list but i suggested he look for Jeff Hamilton in his points league if he needed a replacement C and if not then the guy i liked best on the list was Daniel Carcillo. i'm telling you guys he'll contribute more than many realize. as for the D replacement i picked Chris Campoli for him. Campoli is really underrated and could surprise.

Josh Harding got a shutout yesterday and man does that kid not get ANY print whatsoever. now Niklas Backstrom already has 2 shutties on this young season but you just know that when Nikl-back wants to get paid that the Wild will just hand the reins to the next young kid and see what they can get for their goalie, just like they've done with their last 2 starting goalies (Fernandez and Roloson). smart hockey on a budget and it lets them keep stars like Gaborik, Demitra, and Rolston around longer. JS Giguere started for the Ducks in that game and played well enough to win except his boys couldn't find the back of the net. there was an interesting development tween Derek (the Boogie man) Boogaard and George (porn moustache) Parros where Parros wanted to drop the mitts and Boogie skated away only to line up with Brad May and drop'em with him. Boogie later squared off with Parros and dropped the mitts again. they say that Boogaard is the scariest fighter in hockey, i know that i wouldn't contradict him if i met him on the street (what? no i don't need that parking spot Mr Boogie man, i'm only an hour late now. i'll just drive around the block and waste another quarter tank of gas).

in my first team review on this blog i suggested to the reader that he try to trade for Mike Cammalleri. i actually didn't hear back as to whether he was able to get him back or not. i hope he did. Camm is tied with Dany Heatley for the goal-scoring lead in the NHL, and that despite the fact that the Kings can't seem to buy a win anymore. if you believe in the Kings (and i still do) then the time couldn't be better to make a move on Jonathan Bernier. don't offer very much though. whatever would Bernier do if the Kings traded for Christobal Huet or something?
y'know who you don't have a shot at getting anymore? Tomas Holmstrom. he'll get 40 and like i've said before 2/3rds will be of the garbage variety. oh and Henrik Zetterberg is an MVP that doesn't get considered and Pavol Datsyuk is a magician (now you see the puck, now you don't). Kris Draper has 4 goals and is a great 2 way option for any NHL team. he's much less valuable in fantasy though.

i keep reading on other sites/blogs that Ed Jovanovski or Derek Morris will be moved to NYR or Philly. either would be valuable on either team and the Yotes could sure use anyone with skill back. i still wonder if they can get Al Montoya out of the Rangers system, that'd be a sweet move.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday morning armchair

i wsa over at a buddy's last night to watch some baseball but we also surfed over to watch hockey too. funny to me that we could watch 2 hockey games in the time that it took those guys to play one baseball game last night in Boston. i LOVE baseball, really, i'm not being sarcastic there. i think i watch hockey cuz it's in the blood but baseball always seems to give me pause. now having said that i can't stand the Boston Red Sox, probably because for them to succeed they have to beat my Blue Jays. that and the fact that they're just plain evil.

Leafs give up 50 shots on home ice and lose a stinker. Sid the kid got his first 2 goals of the season finally. Nik Antropov looked strong.

Daniel Carcillo pocketed 2 goals last night and i had failed to put him in the lineup. PIMs and pts guys, expect it out of him. i'm thinking he'll be the 3rd best options for it behind Chris Neil and Sean Avery this season.

Vaclav Prospal with 2 goals. if you don't have him already, you aren't getting him.

Brian Campbell with 4 assists. the man is very much underrated in fantasy but he'll lead his team in ice time, QB the PP, he'll kill penalties and be a safe option at even strength. too many people ignore Buffalo for fantasy offense since they lost Drury and Briere this offseason but they still have plenty of fantasy goodness there.

Ray Emery had his 2nd start in Binghamton and he got the win. he'll be coming up asap and i'm betting he'll be starting. it'll probably be 50/50 for a while and the Sens may take this opportune time to see what they could get for Gerber. if you were hoping for something good for your speculative add of Brian Elliott earlier this week, you've wasted the move.

Travis Zajac had a 3 pt night and that will continue if he gets to continue to hang out with Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta. Zajac is a good Winnipeg kid too. he's a good add as a C4 in deeper leagues.

i'm liking how the Carolina Hurricanes are looking. they can be a VERY dangerous team to play against and with the work ethic of Rod Brind'amour i wouldn't want to mess with him. there's a reason why they call him "Rod the Bod", he's ripped. he's like 40 (ok i looked it up, he's 37) but you still wouldn't want to mess with him.

Alexander Radulov got over 18 minutes of ice time last night. here's hoping he's finally in game shape and can contribute like i, among others, have been hoping he would. he got a goal last night too.

i wouldn't want to be Mike Modano today. he took a hooking penalty with 27 seconds left in a tied game with Chicago and Jason Williams buried his 1st with 17 seconds left to let the Hawks go on their way on their road trip. the Hawks peppered Dallas with 40 shots while only giving up 18 shots in their own end. since Dallas could only muster 18 shots at home they must think they're Toronto. Toronto didn't seem like they wanted to shoot last night either.

if you thought that Pascal Leclaire's stats were going to continue for a long time then you need to reevaluate your hockey scouting skills. C-bus is a pretty bad team and they got schooled by Colorado last night. this just in, Joe Sakic is pretty good (hat-trick).

in the late HNIC game last night we finally saw something out of Markus Naslund. he got 2 assists and the twins tallied 2 (Daniel) and 3 (Henrik) pts as they beat up on the Oilers pretty good. Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner are both still getting plenty of ice time and that's going to continue it seems.

the Bruins stole a game in San Jose last night. Marco Sturm got 2 assists which helps my deep league team where i have to roster him at LW. Patrice Bergeron went 1 and 1 too. Aaron Ward (ignore) scored with 12 seconds left in the 3rd period for the thievery.

Friday, October 12, 2007

life is good

how do the Isles stone the high-powered Rangers only to get smoked by the diesel-powered Leafs? and the Leafs had just come off a drubbing themselves at the hands of the Canes. Mats Sundin becomes the Leafs leader in points scored and goals scored in the same game. nice. remember that he had some pretty stellar seasons in Quebec as Joe Sakic's right hand man before coming over to the big smoke so it's not like he's a homegrown Leaf either. he came over in the deal for Wendel Clark who was probably my fave Leaf forever. i was glad to see Wendel return to the Leafs eventually too.
i've noticed Matt Stajan and Alex (don't call me Tomas) Steen a lot recently. they both appear to be stepping up to provide some much needed secondary offense for the Leafs. i attended a preseason game tween the Leafs and Yotes here in Winnipeg and i must've called Alex by his father's name 4 times. i think that's forgiveable in this town though since Tomas Steen is pretty close to an icon in the Peg, behind only Bobby Hull, Teemu Selanne, and of course Dale Hawerchuk in terms of loved-ness-ness.

i noticed that Pete Becker included Jeff Hamilton among his Becker's dozen in his column this week. Hamilton is part of the Canes 5 forward PP, is getting excellent ice time and tabbing up some points for himself. excellent call Pete. i added Hamilton on one of my teams today. it was also interesting to note that he likes Francois Beauchemin and he makes a great point that somebody has to eat up the ice time with Scott Niedermayer resting and Mathieu Schneider on the shelf. Beau is a very good short term add but he won't be D2 for the Ducks (smirk) once Schneid is back. on a related note, this isn't the first time that Niedermayer has done something like this before, remember the Olympics in '04? the Canadian squad needed themselves a puck moving D and Scottie decided to rest his knee in prep for the playoffs. it was disappointing to me that he didn't throw in but that's also a reason that i don't believe Scottie's gonna hang'em up. when the games are important again, he'll come back to lead the charge. i still suspect it'll be after Christmas but who knows it might be April.

did anyone believe me about Tim Connolly and Derek Roy? the kids have skills. if you have room as a C3-4 and either is available you're wasting time reading this further, go get'em.

the ESPN hockey prep picked the Panthers to win the Southeast this season, mostly because of the addition of Tomas Vokoun. now i love Vokoun and he shut out the Devils last night but does ESPNmag really think they'll finish ahead of the Canes or the Lightning? i don't.

watch Martin Hanzal in PHX. he's young and if he keeps getting opportunity he'll show enough to make him viable, maybe not this year but the time will come. Peter Mueller too. Daniel Carcillo got into another fight last night. dude's got a whole open bag of Fritos on his shoulder. i rostered him on 2 teams this year and since LW doesn't seem that deep if he can get me 20 pts on the season and get the 200 PIMs i'm expecting that's a beautiful thing.

so i officiated at 2 football games last night (back to back) and was so stinking tired and sore that i fell asleep on the couch, missed the entire baseball game and didn't even realize there was a late hockey game on tv for me to visit. live and learn. i actually have 2 more games tonight (again, back to back) and i have to take care of the dishes that i neglected yesterday before i can visit the land of Nod again. i just thought that i'd throw in that silly little tidbit.
overall, life is good. even better if my Leafs keep winning.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

cartoon birdies and spinning stars

it could be that the Carey Price era is beginning. Montreal is a tough hockey town and if Cristobal Huet struggles then i wonder how good Price's french is. i still maintain that Price is an excellent G3 option right now and the potential is there for him to become your best goalie on the season. i saw him play live in the AHL playoffs last year and it made me sick to see that the Habs (ptui) were on the verge of having another franchise goaltender in their mix.
you may wonder what my team is, i make no bones about it. i have 2 favourite hockey teams; Toronto and anyone playing Montreal. let me add a PBBBBBBLT for good measure too.
Jonathan Toews (good Winnipeg boy that he is) scored on his first shot in an NHL game. people talk about how smallish Toews and Patrick Kane are, and they are, but i seem to recall that Denis Savard wasn't exactly big and cut himself a pretty good career in Chicago before moving on to Montreal. Savard used to make everyone look stupid as he did his little waterbug thing on the ice. Toews might be better compared to a guy like Steve Yzerman in my opinion and how could he fail to succeed if he's in that mold? i think that Patrick Kane is going to be a goalscorer and may not be as shifty as Toews is so the danger of an NHL trainwreck as he gets into the sights of someone like Jesse Boulerice.

speaking of Boulerice, did you see the highlights of the Philly/Van game last night? nice segue ian. thank you dear reader. so a year ago the Flyers signed the Canucks' Ryan Kesler to an offer sheet that the Canucks matched. last night in the first game that the two teams have played since Kesler takes a defenseman into the end boards and comes out chasing the puck only to get lambasted into watching cartoon birdies and stars by a cross-checking Boulerice. neither guy has any fantasy value right now but nevertheless Boulerice will spend some suspension time over handing Kesler his chicklets like that. i wonder if someone like the Canucks who could use a nice young forward would be interested in making an offer to a restricted FA like Mike Richards or Jeff Carter when they get there? you've got to know that they're biding their time for the right opportunity to make the Flyers overpay for their mistakes just like Vancouver is overpaying for Kesler. Kesler is no Mike Richards or a Jeff Carter either so if in the end the Flyers decide not to match then that's a huge bonus for a team like the Canucks. Richards had a 4 pt night against Vancouver and Bobby-Lou got yanked like he was playing for Mike Keenan again. Curtis Sanford fared no better in net by the way.
Naslund is -6 after 3 games, that's not the bounceback you were hoping for Markus. Bieksa is -6 too. and it's not even cold out yet. Ryan Shannon has hit the lottery for now and gets to line up as the 3rd twin, he can only hope to stay there. i remember saying to a friend that i don't like Joffrey Lupul this season but i'm changing my mind. he doesn't have to be the big name on the Flyers nor score copious amounts of goals like he needed to as an Oiler and i guess i'd be willing to take a flyer on a Flyer like him.

Miikka Kiprusoff looked silly on one giveaway goal last night, don't worry about him though they were in Detroit, Calgary is awful off of home ice and Detroit is a pretty good team. it's difficult to express sarcasm in print so let me just say that Detroit may just be the best team in the league and that's a little better than "pretty good". Holmstrom got himself another garbage goal last night, i'm telling you go trade for the man and just pocket the 30 goals and 70 pts.

i'd like to give the goalie of the day award to several guys including Price and Pascal Leclaire (who shutout the Yotes) but how about Rick DiPietro holding back the high powered Rangers? DiP doesn't get enough pimping for how good he actually is. there aren't many good things to point to on the Island and yet who's that leading the Atlantic Division? the NYI boys.

Milan Michalek scored 2 last night. he gets forgotten when people look at Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo but he finds twine. he got himself 26 last year and added another 40 assists and i certainly wouldn't be surprised to see him with 40 within this season or the next.

JS Giguere didn't start. i was expecting him to start and he didn't. i joined this one league where you represent a certain team in the NHL (i'm the Ducks) and you can only roster guys from that team on your roster so that we see who has the best rotisserie NHL squad. i really need Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne for that team. anyway, Giguere was in the lineup for that game and then he doesn't start. Bryzgalov gets the win and i don't get credit for it on my fantasy team. that blows. Sammy Pahlsson was activated yesterday and if you recall from the playoffs he's a big lad who can help a team at crunch time. he's probably only C4 worthy in terms of fantasy hockey though and the league would have to be REALLY deep.

Mike Ribeiro can contribute to a fantasy team. he gets PP time and if guys like Brendan Morrow don't step up and contribute then somebody has to score for them.

Eric Johnson got hurt last night. the Blues list him as DTD with a fractured right foot. he only had D5-6 consideration with me anyway but still injuries can decimate. Brad Boyes will be heard from and looks to be clicking with Paul Kariya.

i was thinking that the Sens should trade Martin Gerber to Tampa Bay for Marc Denis and a draft pick but then i saw this kid Brian Elliott hold off Atlanta all night and i thought, they don't need Denis, trade Gerber for a 1st round pick. i'm not saying that's a viable rumour or anything, i'm just spitballing. Ilya Kovalchuk did manage to fire a laser into the top corner to beat him the only time on the night and if Elliott can hold down a backup spot then why not maximize things as soon as Ray Emery is ready to go.

Brent Burns got another goal last night and was on the ice almost a full 25 minutes. he definitely bears watching.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

smash-mouth and finesse hockey

the Sens strongarmed their way to a win last night. gotta love PIMs contributions by Neil and Wade Redden is looking like he wants to carry this team down the road himself. the big 3 bear no introduction as fantasy gods in hockey, if you have one or more on your fantasy team then don't move them, period, exclamation mark times 3. Martin Gerber is looking very good and i'm starting to have concerns about how many starts Ray Emery is going to get when he's ready, Gerber's looking that good.

Olie the goalie backstopped the Caps to a decisive win yesterday too. their offense was a bit suspect but a goalie has to win some games for his team just by himself sometimes. some pundits are down on Kolzig since his team hasn't been able to succeed much in the years he's been there but the Caps are going to succeed this year. they're 3-0 so far and Alexander Semin still hasn't played a game yet. i've blogged it before and will do so again but Tom Poti is a very nice addition to that blueline and Nicklas Backstrom has himself a very nice mentor in Michael Nylander. the captain Chris Clark will be heard from also. traditionally he's been a PIM guy but that has tapered off in recent seasons while his goalscoring prowess has increased. ideally i'd love to see him maintain the goal level but throw around some more head noogies too.

i watched a chunk of the Oilers/Red Wings game last night and couldn't help thinking that Joni Pitkanen could be a nice assist complement to Sheldon Souray's trigger. what the Oil need most in my opinion is a big tree to plant up front in front of whatever goalie du jour. i don't think that Dustin Penner has the hands for that job just yet but will probably be that guy in a couple seasons. ideally i think that job is best held by a center but given all the Oilers attempts to tweak their roster this summer the i think the Penner investment will pay off, down the road. it's still too much money to pay up front though.
y'know who doesn't get enough print and is doing an excellent if unsung job? Tomas Holmstrom. the man is a 30 goal guy who complements the superstars in Hockeytown really well. it's not like Pavol Datsyuk can hang out in front of the net and you don't want Henrik Zetterberg and his wonky back camping out there so go ahead and send Holmstrom there. he'll do what others can't or won't do. of the 30 goals i'm expecting out of him this year i expect that 20 of them will be garbage goals, rebounds with the goalie down and a D-man having lost position to him. that takes skill.
Chris Chelios is old and slow but he still finds ways to contribute. he won't help a fantasy team much anymore except in really deep leagues but in terms of hockey contributions he's still got value to a team.
i expect a decent year out of Michael Samuelsson and i think that Brian Rafalski is a brilliant complement to Nik Lidstrom, a lot better than Mathieu Schneider ever was. it'll be a lot cheaper to acquire Rafalski and he'll pay out in spades to your fantasy team.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pull the Trigger

Let me introduce you to Kevin Wu. Kevin asked that i take a good look at his league for him. they play a whack of positions but unfortunately, it's a "diet Soderburgh" league. you'd have to listen to ESPN podcasts to recognize that term and well, if you're not listening to the podcasts then you're not taking advantage of all the resources available to you for your fantasy teams. i particularly enjoyed the baseball podcasts but i've also listened to a few football ones too. i'm hopeful that guys like Sean Allen and Pete Becker put together a hockey podcast too, that'd be cool. anyway, a diet Soderburgh league is named after the producer of the podcast who plays in smaller leagues than the normal 12 team league. Kevin, that's also what you have here.

Kevin plays in a 6 team league. they try to compensate for having so few teams by doubling the roster size so that helps a bit though. his league settings are G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG, W, GAA, SV, and SV%. pretty standard. i don't see the point of having both SV and SV% since they couldn't be more correlated but still, to each his own. they play 4 guys at each of the three forward positions, 6 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders each with a 4 man bench. (wow, start 3 goaltenders, that could be fun).

well, let's take a look at Pull the Trigger.

C - Olli Jokinen FLA - A- - a superstar that nobody talks about. i wouldn't be surprised to see him break the 100 pt barrier this season, certainly 90 is possible.

C - Mats Sundin TOR - B+ - the potential is still there to up his grade into the A level but he hasn't quite been the superstar he's needed to be over the last couple seasons. it's not that he's not great, he's just slipped a little from what he used to be.

C - Henrik Sedin VAN - B+ - i'd love to grade him higher and many would anyway. if you're looking for assists you won't find a better option anywhere really. serving the dish - there's little glory in it but man is it ever needed.

C - Brad Richards TB - B - the worst option amongst the Lightning's big 3 but still take the 80 pts and run with it. in a year when it all comes together he's a bonus nearly across the board with 90 pts and usually decent +/-. i expect similar numbers this year. for a C4 though that's amazing.

LW - Alexander Ovechkin WAS - A+ - off to a slow start but do you really think that's going to keep up? come on. this man should be solidified into your lineup everyday, especially after Alexander Sedin is back and can help out on the PP.

LW - Brendan Shanahan NYR - B+ - dude's still a pt/game player and that won't change this year either. in fact with a better offense in NY then just expect that Shanny's stats will go up a bit this year. yes he's getting older but what can i say, he's younger than me and i'm still a respected and contributing member of society. it isn't like he's Chris Chelios or Derian Hatcher or something.

LW - Paul Kariya STL - B - i wish he'd get back to the days when he'd shoot the puck. he had seasons where he was amongst the league leaders in SOG and consequently would pocket more goals. playing on the Blues there's a chance that he'll do that since there are fewer scoring options around him than there have been in years past. if Kariya shoots then his value increases significantly.

LW - Brendan Morrow DAL - B- - i think that's a generous grade to be quite frank. i drank the kool-aid last year and i'm more than a bit shy about buying in this year. he was hurt a LOT last season and is quite possibly the worst investment that i made for the money i spent on him last season. he hasn't convinced me that he wants to return to his PIMy ways of 2 seasons ago and i'm not convinced that he'll contribute enough goals to make him worth the investment this year either. however, LW looks scarcer than the other F slots this season so go ahead and take a bit of a chance on him at the right time of a draft. here's hoping your investment this year is better than my investment last year.

RW - Maxim Afinogenov BUF - B+ - another pt/game player and good option. with the departures of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere out of Buffalo that means that some talented wingers have to get used to some new young talented centers. there isn't nearly enough buzz about how good Derek Roy and Tim Connolly are going to be but if they're healthy then Afinogenov and Tomas Vanek can help carry the load so that entire lines succeed. i like Afinogenov's creativity. i wish he'd shoot more but you can't have everything.

RW - Brian Gionta NJ - B - there's plenty of potential to up this guy's grade too but some past injury concerns and the general sense that Jersey plays defence first hockey are some red flags for me. if Travis Zajac can assert himself more in the lineup then i think he has a shot at being the Devils best pivot option and Patrik Elias can concern himself with the wing. Gionta is a trigger man and all he needs is a disher who can hit the tape.

RW - Shane Doan PHO - B- - i live in Winnipeg and Shane is still loved in these parts from the days of the Jets. i think he's still got a shot at 30 goal potential but that team is so young and inexperienced that i think it may not be worth trying to stomach the poor +/- he's going to give you. now a couple years back Doan put up a ton of PIMs but i don't think that's going to repeat itself either.

RW - Alexander Radulov NAS - C - the potential is there but unfortunately he's still stuck in the doghouse after not showing the brilliance that many are expecting out of him. i think that 40-50 pts out of him this year is a nice year but i'm not sure that you need to be rostering him if all you're expecting is 40 pts out of him. just be aware that the potential is there for 85 pts, maybe soon.

D - Brian Rafalski DET - B+ - he took the place of Mathieu Schneider on this team and quite frankly he'll do better than Schneider did in that role. Rafalski does everything right and is an excellent compliment to a superstar defensive partner. he's no flash on the ice but he's steady and he'll quietly help Nik Lidstrom continue to be a monster in Detroit.

D - Kimmo Timonen PHI - B+ - i loved him in Nashville and now that he's in Philly and he has Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne to pass to on the PP then i absolutely adore him as a Flyer. seriously. what kind of name is Timmo though?

D - Shea Weber NAS - B- - i had to downgrade him because he got hurt early and won't be contributing to your squad soon. the future of the Preds D is safe on his stick however. when healthy he'll lead the Preds D in ice time, power play time, and overall stats.

D - Andrei Markov MON - B - now that Sheldon Souray has moved on to frozen pastures it'll be a lot harder for Markov to hide his skill. the Habs (ptui) have a potent PP and Markov gets to take a chunk of the credit there. as a D4 this is an amazing option.

D - Joni Pitkanen EDM - B- - as Rafalski is to Lidstrom so Pitkanen is to Souray, except Souray needs a lot more help to rise to Lidstroms levels. this is a good move and i don't think the Oilers +/- nor their offense is going to be as bad as many are saying it will be. Souray will get 20 goals if he's healthy and Pitkanen will probably assist on them all.

D - Tom Poti WAS - B - signing Poti was a shrewd move on the part of the Caps. they needed a decent PP QB and they got one at a very good price. Poti will obviously benefit from playing significant time with some of the best offensive options in the game.

G - Miikka Kiprusoff CAL - A - few goaltenders can dominate a game, every game, any game by themselves but Kip is one of those guys. i ranked him 3rd amongst goaltenders and i have him as high as 6 on my draft list depending on my mood. goaltending is key in any league and you've started with a cornerstone. that's always wise.

G - Marty Turco DAL - A- - i also ranked Turco high, probably higher than many did but my reasoning is that Dallas always plays a tough defensive game and Turco fits it beautifully. the fact that you have him and Kip starting for you is so amazing that you're team is well on it's way to success right there.

G - Dominik Hasek DET - A- - man your goaltending is strong. this is your 3rd starter and some would argue that he's your best starter. he does have some injury issues that could really hurt your team but still this is a trading chip that could put you over the top.

BN - Jordan Staal PIT - B - the fact that he's been playing with Sid really improves his value and when he gets LW eligibility then you'll really be sitting pretty. i think that 30 goals isn't out of the picture, maybe 70 pts too.

BN - Patrik Elias NJ - B- - there's no doubt that he has skill but that bout with hepatitis really hurt his value and he really hasn't broken away from that since. great bench option to have and if he breaks out like he has the skill to do then you'll really be sitting pretty.

BN - Sean Avery NYR - B+ - PIMs and pts, no forward contributes better when balanced evenly. he has a dislocated shoulder and won't be of use to you for a month but when he's back then get him in the lineup.

BN - Kari Lehtonen ATL - B- - i was really high on him last year and would've been this year too if his coach hadn't crushed his ego by pulling him during bad playoff losses last year. there's no doubting that Atlanta has the offense to really succeed so if Lehtonen plays lots then he should be good enough to secure about 35 wins. and that's very good for a G4.

Waiver Wire Options

you have 5 IR slots that you can fill so i suggest that you add IR options to your bench before you add the player you "really" want. i only make one waiver suggestion right now (see below) but before you add that guy you're going to want to add Kyle Wellwood, Mike Ribeiro, and Sami Salo to your IR, perhaps soon to be join by Sean Avery and Shea Weber.

Peter Sykora C/RW - Sid's winger. if he goes to the net with his stick on the ice he's got a good shot at getting a goal as Sid finds him.

Anze Kopitar C -doesn't get a lot of print but he's on the verge of stardom. looking like an assist guy.

Jason Arnott C - Pred's captain. he'll score plenty of goals.

Cory Stillman LW - i've never been a huge fan but he can give 80 pts and you can't ignore that.

Nathan Horton C/RW - good hard-nosed play, probably 30 goals.

Vaclav Prospal C - a down season followed by an up season. that's the pattern. this is an up season.

Chris Neil RW - love this guy for PIMs options.

Karel Rachunek D - supposed to be QBing the Devil's PP. it should happen eventually.

Michal Roszival D - probably the Rangers best option on the PP point, until Marc Staal grows up that is.

Matthias Ohlund D - shooter. i've always liked him.

Filip Kuba D - another underrated shooter. looking into # of shots and he comes higher up the list than one expects.

Cory Murphy D - all sorts of buzz about him QBing the Cats PP. he got his first NHL goal this past wknd.

Dwayne Roloson G - do you believe the Oil will be any good? Rolly is their best player imo. if they're winning he'll be the reason.

Peter Budaj G - he has the main job on a team that should win a LOT. he's probably the best G option on your wire.

Jonathan Bernier G - i guess i'm going out on a limb for this kid but still, i believe. the Kings will surprise and so will Bernier.

- waive Alexander Radulov to add Peter Sykora

Radulov is in his coach's doghouse already and the season has barely started. he was slotted into 4th line duty instead of the top line duty that many were expecting. Sykora however gets to play on the same line as Sidney Crosby and i wouldn't be surprised to see Sykora hit the 40 goal mark this season.

i have some concerns with the bottom end of your forward's roster, notably Radulov and Morrow but also some concern for most of your RW. i hoping that my concern will be unjustified however. your D are underrated but solid and i don't see how your G could get any better. of course any team can be hurt a lot by injury but it should be noted in this league that there are 5 IR slots available to you. i suspect that Sean Avery will use one of them soon since it looked like he blew out a shoulder this past weekend (you should add Chris Neil when you IR Avery) and there's no doubt that Dominik Hasek will miss some time this season too, he always does. i also have some injury concerns for Shanahan, Gionta, Doan, and Kariya given their age and/or injury history. it should also be noted that Shea Weber left a game earlier this past weekend and will be out for 3-6 wks with a dislocated kneecap (i'd add Karel Rachunek or Cory Murphy when your IR Weber).

Trading Options

you've already received one trade offer, you need to counter offer. Si (his name is Simon) has offered you Tomas Vanek, Miroslav Satan, and Rick DiPietro for Brian Gionta, Sean Avery, and Miikka Kiprusoff. i don't like that deal much for you. Si does need to go after some better goaltending though and that's a strength of yours, he also has some sniper wingers very much worth targeting. i suggest you counter by offering Dominik Hasek and Shane Doan for Marian Gaborik and Rick DiPietro. if that fails then you could consider offering up Brian Gionta instead of Doan for the same guys. in your counter you're both taking on some risk, you in Gaborik's health and Si in Dominator's health, but you also both get what you're looking for.

offer Dominik Hasek and Shane Doan to SlipperySlope for Martin Biron and Simon Gagne. this may make you look like a Flyer fan but still if you can get this it's a very good move for you. if you have to settle for Olaf Kolzig instead of Biron then that's still fine because the gem of the deal is in getting Gagne.

offer Patrik Elias and Joni Pitkanen to Team Canada for Ryan Getzlaf and Wade Redden. if i received this offer from you i'd decline it but if you look at the numbers there is something there. i personally believe that Getzlaf is ready to break out and i have some serious concerns about Edmonton's abilities to score enough to win this season. if this doesn't fly then don't sweat it, it is supposed to generate discussion. if there's a way for you to land Getzlaf in a deal that doesn't cost you Jokinen or Sundin out of your C's then pursue it. beware trading a superstar winger too.


i have some concerns about the potential health of some on your team. that's why i'm suggesting some particular moves. it's difficult to evaluate a league like yours because of the fact that everyone is stocked with superstars. having extensive IR slots then it's best to utilize them. if it doesn't work out later then you can just drop him to the wire again but in the short term why not use up your IR options.
the waiver move needs to be done immediately, get Sykora before someone else realizes his extra value, certainly more than Radulov has. Sykora will easily outscore Rad-man, particularly because Sid will feed him at even strength for a good chunk of the year.
your goalies are very strong. your league starts 18 goalies everyday and quite frankly, i like your 3 starters in the top 8 or so goalies overall. if you don't trade some of that depth away you'll have excellent goaltending for the season. i'm going to suggest that you DO trade some of that depth away though, to get some more offensive punch if you can. there are a few teams with weaker goaltending and you should target them first. if you can land a superstar winger in a package involving Dominik Hasek then you address some of your major health issues on your squad while dealing from strength. i really hope a trade works for you. you have an offer on the table at the moment which involves trading away your best goalie (Kiprusoff). you should avoid trading Kip away unless you're getting a superstar back (like Crosby or something. yes that's what i said).
good luck Kevin. if you see something you like then go ahead and Pull the Trigger.