Teemu Selanne

 

Veteran sniper Teemu Selanne has been back for 14 games now and has already had a five-point game. His impact – for better or for worse to fantasy junkies – has far-reaching effects.

 


First, let’s look at the team itself. The Anaheim Ducks are 11-3-0 with Selanne in the lineup this season. They averaged 2.45 goals per game prior to his arrival and 2.57 since his he joined them.

Primarily, his linemate on the opposite wing is Chris Kunitz. At center, his usual partner Andy McDonald now calls St.Louis his home, so there have been several pivots who have tried their hand. Of the three centermen, it was Ryan Carter who was having the most luck. The 24-year-old former college star had four goals and five points in seven games before breaking his wrist. If Selanne comes back for another season (earlier than he did this year, we hope), Carter makes an excellent 65-point dark horse.

Veteran Doug Weight was next in line, but he has had his own injury problems (shoulder) and has managed just two points in six games with Teemu on hand. Another former college star, 25-year-old Andrew Ebbett, has spelled Weight on that line playing all three of his games this season with the Finnish Flash. He has been held off the scoresheet.

So aside from Carter, the team cannot find a good fit for Selanne up the middle. By the end of Thursday’s game, in which the Ducks were shut out for the second straight time, the move was made to bring budding superstar Ryan Getzlaf to Selanne’s line. Since Getzlaf’s regular linemate Corey Perry is out for the next six weeks with a severed tendon, the decision to change the lines up was pretty much forced.

So now the top line looks like this: Getzlaf with Selanne and Kunitz. That means that Todd Bertuzzi is out in the cold, stuck with the struggling Weight and what will likely be the recently recalled Bobby Ryan. Bertuzzi has just five points in 14 games with his new teammate.

Heading into Sunday, the team will play 12 more games – seven at home and five on the road. You are going to see a lot of top-heavy scoring with the majority of points going to the big line. This will be more spread out by the end of the first round of the playoffs with the return of Carter and Perry, but as far as roto-leaguers care – it’s the 12 games that matter. Everyone on that top line will get 12 to 15 points, while it would surprise me if any of Ryan, Bertuzzi or Weight manage more than five or six.

Looking at the defensemen, Selanne’s return has had virtually no impact. Scott Niedermayer had a point for every two games played prior to his arrival and a point every two games since. Mathieu Schneider’s numbers have also been nearly identical, and Chris Pronger’s numbers have actually declined slightly – probably due to playing with a full face-shield to protect his healing jaw.

Obviously, from a team standpoint, there is no question Selanne puts them over the top. From a fantasy standpoint, unless you’re a Kunitz owner, his arrival has not been a good thing…

Meanwhile…

Vancouver’s feisty winger Alexandre Burrows has 12 points in his last 17 games and also has 75 penalty minutes and is a plus-9 in that span. He is a full-time member of the same club that Sean Avery and Daniel Carcillo are in. Next year he is a 40/200 candidate…

Joe Corvo has 11 points in 12 games for Carolina. Early call: Top 10 in points for a defenseman next season…

Philly rearguard Braydon Coburn has eight points in 11 games since returning from his pain in the ass. Er…his torn buttocks muscle…

 

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