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The Pastor looks at some bleak situations that a fantasy hockey owner can capitalize on...
There is a Hebrew phrase for what is happening in a few places around the NHL these days. It's fun to say so I'll teach it to you: "tohu wa bohu" (phonetically 'toe who waah bow who"). It comes from an early Jewish creation story and describes a situation where there are all the ingredients for order, beauty, and success but so far no one has managed to pull it all together in a way that has it reach it's potential. It can be used to describe almost anything - your family, your job, or the Oilers roster.
In the ancient story the raw ingredients of "tohu wa bohu" reach their potential by being breathed on by the divine. The breath of God brings chaos to it's full potential. The idea might seem new but you probably actually heard it in an interview on ESPN last week. Think, "the new ownership group in Phoenix is going to breath some new life into a shaky franchise" or "The return of RNH is going to breath new life into the Edmonton powerplay" and you get the idea. Speaking of interviews, I can't resist commenting on Joe Thornton's comments after asked what he'd do if he scored four goals. As a pastor whose mind is never in the gutter, I immediately assumed he was referring to tenderly caring for domestic fowl and, while I thought it was a weird way to celebrate, I wondered what the fuss was about. Eventually I figured it out and blushed in shame like I haven’t since Charles Wang and Ron Tugnutt were dominating the headlines.
Back to "tohu wa bohu" and how it can help your fantasy team.
Chaos may give real GM's and coaches heart attacks, but for the fantasy manager chaos is opportunity. Here are a few places where I someone has yet to breath any life into the "tohu wa bohu" and therefore there is some opportunity to capitalize on.
1. New York Rangers
Transaction trends on Yahoo show plenty of activity around Henrik Lundqvist. No way of knowing what those Yahoo trades are, but CBSSportsline lets you look at the trades and those indicate you can probably land Lundqvist in a trade this week at a bargain price. Would anyone have considered a straight up Parise for Lundqvist trade a week or two ago? In the Dobber Pro League I'm in, Henrik went 6th overall and Parise didn't go till the 4th round alongside fourth round goalies Nabakov, Thomas, and Schneider. The Rangers should right the ship but there are a lot of panicking managers out there who used an early round pick on King Henrik who might bite.
Or, if you are part of the growing number of people who think the defensive system of the Rangers was largely responsible for the success of Lundqvist, take advantage of the chaos in a different way. When they do get their offense going under Vigneault guys like Richards, Nash, and Brassard are going to benefit.
I realize there are conflicting messages here. And that is the thing with chaos, you don't know what is going to emerge from it. However, you should at least try to take advantage. Someone is going to take a gamble and have it pay off - might as well be you.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
There is some “tohu wa bohu” brewing in the crease. When your "back up" goalie is 2-0 and your "starter" is 0-2 there is going to be some chaos that might help your fantasy team. Now, I'd be surprised if Khudobin gets the starting gig, although he is going to get the online buzz for the next while and that will help you get Ward on the cheap. If I needed goaltending help, I'd make a low ball offer to someone for Ward and then pick up the widely available Khudobin on waivers. Goalies go fast and a lot of people missed out on draft night and ended up with a pretty lousy net situation. In a lot of deeper leagues a mid level tandem like Ward and Khudobin is an awesome second goalie (pairing). While we are talking about Carolina; check on the availability of Gerbe in your pool. Lots of shots on goal and plenty of ice and 3% own him in Yahoo!
3. Philadelphia Flyers
Craig Berube is huffing and puffing but his breath has yet to translate into any real success for the Flyers. What is emerging though is that he has plans for Sean Courturier that Lavvy didn't have. A solid bump in ice time (about 3 minutes more under Berube) and more than a sniff of power play time mean this defensive specialist, with untapped offensive upside (see the DobberHockey Fantasy Guide), might be worth a look in deeper pools as a potential waiver wire pick. I'm curious to see what this weekend's games bring (writing this on Friday, Oct, 11), but if you wait until it becomes clear he is on the upswing it might be too late.
Also worth considering is Matt Read - probably not available on the wire but should be a buy low candidate for the time being. With the struggles early on for Philly's top line he might get back his old pre-injury gig on the first line and then his stock really jumps (update: Hartnell DOWN! for a few games..puts Read on first line audition). If he can "breath a little life into" Voracek and Giroux he might stay there.
That's it. I’m off to enjoy Canadian Thanksgiving at my in law’s and try to introduce a little “tohu wa bohu” into my digestive system.
Grace and peace,
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