Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darryl Dobbs at the Hockey News,
Four weeks from today is the NHL’s trade deadline. In fantasy hockey, many leagues use the same date. The window for fixing your team is starting to close, so let’s get to some letters!...
Q.Hi Dobber, I’m looking at the possibility of obtaining Zetterberg in a keeper league from someone who is in the position of winning the pool this year. What is your opinion on Zetterberg’s health; he seems to miss time each year due to back problems. Is this going to worsen and limit his career? Or do you think this is just a phase? How does his fantasy value fare with all this in mind?
A. Hi Savas. Not only is Zetterberg’s back an issue, but don’t forget his wrist problem, which may be even more of an issue in the long run. He is an injury risk year in and year out, but never seems to miss more than five or 10 games.
For each of the next five seasons, I think he is good for 70 games with a better than even chance of playing 78 games or more. In keeper leagues, you can never really look beyond a five-year window because in my experience no player remains on your roster longer than that.
more questions and answers…
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
Week 14 brings with it the 40 game mark in the schedule, making it the perfect time to consult the Higgins HOCKEY FANTASY INDEX , home of the per game statistic, H.F.I., and get a read on which skaters, exactly, are keeping all those first-place jerks out there afloat with only half a season left to play….
Of the 28 skaters with an H.F.I. of 2.0 or more:
• 11 are centres. They are: Evgeni Malkin 2.9, Jeff Carter 2.6, Marc Savard 2.6, Mike Richards 2.5, Joe Thornton 2.3, Pavel Datsyuk 2.3 (he’s been operating at over 4.5 for 3 weeks now - he won’t be staying at 2.3 for long), Sid Crosby 2.2 (0.8 since Dec.21st), Henrik Zetterberg 2.2, David Kreicji 2.1, Ryan Getzlaf 2.1 and Nik Backstrom 2.0
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
One quarter of the season is now in the books. It’s time we took stock.
• The Dallas Stars are the worst team in the league. And their leading goal-scorer is still Loui Eriksson.
• Marc Savard is the new Joe Sakic.
• Jeff Carter is the new Johan Franzen.
• Sidney Crosby is taking over the scoring race while Alex Semin doesn’t want to play through pain.
From a fantasy perspective ...
• Eric Staal is the 22nd best centre in the league. Not acceptable. He fixed the +/- issues but forgot how to rack up the points.
from John Pereira at ESPN Fantasy Hockey Blog,
Evgeni Malkin picked up the natural hat trick in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a comeback win over the New York Islanders. He now has 18 points in November alone. … Bad news for Olli Jokinen owners. The big Finn injured his shoulder in the first period and is now listed as day-to-day. Coach Wayne Gretzky said after the game that he didn’t know how long Jokinen would be out of the lineup. … The Big Apple is certainly treating Markus Naslund well. He scored both goals in the Rangers win over Tampa Bay. He’s well on pace to improve on his disappointing 55 point season in Vancouver last year.
from Carly Weeks of the Globe and Mail,
In order to cast their net to a wider audience, an increasing number of fantasy sports companies have started offering simpler games that can appeal to a more mainstream audience - one that doesn’t have the statistics of every player and team in a league memorized.
The changes have helped attract a growing female fan base, who now represent up to 25 per cent of the North American fantasy sports industry, according to some estimates.
“It’s all in fun,” said Jeffrey Thomas, president of the U.S.-based Fantasy Sports Trade Association. “Some [women] will do it to say ‘Hey, I can beat you,’ and it’s fun, and it’s fun competition and it’s fun interaction.”
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Some players that are of interest to fantasy owners have yet to light the lamp a month into the season. Here’s a breakdown of the more notable goalless NHL forwards.
Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago (0-7-7, minus-1, 36 shots in 12 GP)
He still leads Blackhawks forwards in ice time and he’s getting more shots per game than he did as a rookie last season, so Toews will break through soon enough.
from Victoria Matiash at ESPN Fantasy Hockey Blog,
Backup goaltenders are funny ducks when it comes to fantasy value. Some provide a positive, if occassional, boost as a third goalie. A few ascend to starter’s status during the season and become those precious fantasy commodities we all strive to find. And others are just downright wretched. A handful, with varying degrees of value, were in action Monday night.
continued with more hockey notes…
from the CP,
Still, there are some players with bigger numbers than you might expect heading into the fourth week of the campaign and for poolies they can either represent waiver-wire gold or a wasted transaction.
Brandon Dubinsky (4 goals, 7 assists, all stats before Monday’s play), Filip Kuba (0-11), Mikko Koivu (1-9), Aaron Voros (5-4), Antti Miettinen (5-2), Ales Kotalik (4-3) and Bryan Little (4-3) all fit into that category and trying to decide if they’re legit can be tricky.
If you’re picking them up as an injury stop-gap or to milk a hot streak before moving on, there’s little risk involved. But if you’re looking at them as long-term solutions and plan to drop someone off to a slow start, than you had better be more careful.
from Jim Wilkie of ESPN Fantasy Hockey Blog,
The new coach, who shares Saskatchewan roots with Marleau and has known his dad from when the Sharks captain played junior hockey in the WHL, has taken a patient approach with Marleau while he adapts to McLellan’s new system. So far at least, McLellan’s communication style has been a better motivator than the blunt criticism of former coach Ron Wilson, who was fired after last season’s second-round loss to the Stars.
“He just looks so strong and he has a lot of confidence,” Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News about Marleau. “You can tell. When you play with confidence the sky is the limit for guys like that.”
read on and more fantasy talk…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Durability is one of – if not - the most important criteria in determining where to put a player on your draft list. Take Martin Havlat for example – and the surprise is that so many choose to do so, even if Havlat has proven to be shockingly injury prone throughout his career. Two years ago, he produced 57 points in 56 games and was the dynamic offensive force the Chicago Blackhawks felt they needed to get their organization turned around.
more ‘fantasy’ talk from Eric…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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