All Things Flaming C
by Scooter Kelly on 10/06/11 at 09:59 AM ET
Well its that time of year folks…fantasy hockey pools are drafting as we speak. While I needn’t tell you the virtues of Stamkos, Ovechkin, and Jagr, lets help you Flame fans analyze the strengths of your team of destiny. While stats and past performance may show some merit, hunches and solid late round picks will get you the big bucks come April. Or as the Flames management calls it-, “Banner raising season”
Let’s start with the goaltender, Miiiiiiiikka Kiprusoff! (1st Star voice at the Dome). Finland’s best angler/goalie of all-time, with apologies to Kari Takko, had a slight statistical swoon in the 2010-2011 season. He was victorious 37 times with 6 shutouts, but his GAA was a little high for today’s specs at 2.63. One can only surmise with his affinity for beer drinking and deep sea fishing, he’ll bounce back with a much lower GAA with 8-10 shutouts in tow. With the general prognosis having the Flames winning 43-46 games, Miikka will easily lock down 37 or so W‘s with Henrik and all his Tallness getting in a few more games than last season. Easily a top 5 goalie in any draft.
Jarome Iginla is getting a little extra rest this pre-season. While he may be the most fit 34 year old on the planet, Jarome is coming into the season opener with fresh, muscular, movie star smile-esque legs. 43 g-notes, 43 apples is a standard effort for Sir Jarome, but with a fresh set of jets under him, perhaps he will abstain from any of his annoying little slumps that has the nose bleeders calling for his trade to Pittsburgh for Malkin or Vancouver for Malhotra, they can’t remember which one they heard was good. The intelligent sports expert expects 45-50 snipes, the same in assists, and a high 1st round selection in your Fantasy pool or draft. I would also be suggesting its time to throw down some Canadian Tire money on him winning the NHL MVP award. 9th to 3rd finishing teams generate alot more attention than 30th to 30th to 30th place finishers. (Get it? Haters in Edmonton?)
Rene Bourque has only improved over the years. Bob MacKenzie (the one with brother Doug) has expectations of 30-35 goals and a plus 20 rating this season. He has enjoyed an off season of hot yoga and nursing abandoned moose calves back to health. He has been splicing them onto infertile Great Dane bitches. Check the Discovery Channel for the documentary. Rene should be a 4th to 5th round selection that qualifies at LW/RW so go out and get him.
Alex Tanguay has a new contract, and some sweet-ass hands. Saucer this, touch pass that, and 85 points and a verification of J-Feast’s great hockey cents and sense. Teaming with #12 is like teaming a tapeworm with a competitive eater…its magic! Look for the intelligent drafter to snag him up in the 4th or 5th round as well.
Freshly coifed Olli Jokinen had seen both ends of the fantasy spectrum. 39 goal-52 assists in 06-07 made him a draft day darling. His 57, 50, and 54 points over the past 3 seasons has left his drafters wonting. His off season of competitive Whack-A-Mole at Chuck E.Cheese’s has helped him regain that superlative hand eye coordination necessary to pot 30-plus top-shelf clappers. He will be a late round pick or early free agent draft acquisition, to those that haven’t read this submission. You can plant him on your team in the 8th round or so, and never regret it.
Curtis Glencross had a tidy 24 goal season, coupled with 19 apples in 2010-11. That garnered Scoreface a 4 year extension with a $2.55 yearly cap hit. His tenacity and downright ornery nature will lend him to more goal mouth scrambles ending in garbage goals. They don’t ask how, they ask how many! -Tim Kerr, Philly Flyers, after 58 goals in 86-87 from the top of the crease. Glenner will be available in the late rounds, but will help address your fantasy teams scoring woes if you chose any of the Oiler future stars, foolishly.
The smoothest blue line tip toer in the league plays with your beloved Flambe as well. Mark Giordano has emerged as the Flames numero uno offensive d-man. 8 goals, 35 assists and 67 pims last season will pale in comparison to his numbers at the end of 2011-12. 15g, 40a, 85 pims are on deck and you, my friend, will be standing there like a naked 80 year old hobo if you miss out on him. You have been forewarned, Gio stands for one thing- Golly I’m Outstanding. He’s money, as will you be, after you secure him with your 1st or 2nd d-man in your draft.
Jay Bouwmeester played 30 minutes a game, every game. Smooth, limber, and talented, Jay-Bo will creep back up on his 15 goal career highs of the days of yore. The powerplay came around in the 2nd half last season, and it will continue to flourish. With all elite teams, special teams are huge, like Jay’s contract. This season the stats will be mirrored with those expectations. A steal as a 4th fantasy defenseman, go get the librarian-looking stallion.
Noone is foolish enought to put all their eggs in one basket. So if you simply draft 5-6 of the mentioned fantasy stars discussed above, you will most likely be laughing your way to the bank. Surely these estimations are aggressive, but so is the Flames forecheck. Pucks turned over in the offensive zone lead to goals, goals to wins, wins to playoff series, series to engraved oversized Shreddies bowls. You get the picture. Best of luck to you out there, and enjoy the ride that is the Flaming C, 2011-12 edition.
Lotsa heart felt love,
P.S.- Cgy vs Pitt Oct 8, on the revered CBC, 8pm MST. Enjoy
P.S.S.- More impartial hockey whimsy at http://www.kuklaskorner.com @kuklaskorner or my favorite @Scootermario
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