Mike Ricci

 

With tomorrow being All Hallows Eve, I thought it appropriate to do some fantasy hockey trick or treating. Remember when you were a kid, coming home with a pillowcase full of candy? Then your parents would go through it all, throwing out all the unwrapped and suspicious looking candy? Well that’s what I aim to do here; separate the fantasy eye candy from players that could potentially make your fantasy team sick.


Tricks

These guys have been pleasant surprises so far this season. You might want to sell high before the clock strikes midnight:

Aaron Voros (12-5-4-9) has taken advantage of playing on a line with Dubinsky and Zherdev, but does not have the talent to continue scoring at his current pace.

Guillaume Latendresse (8-1-5-6) is off to a hot start, but with the return of Higgins, there will be less ice time to go around.

Keith Ballard (8-1-7-8) is getting a decent amount of power play ice time right now, but once McCabe returns to the line up, Ballard will play a less offensive role.

With the Kovalchuk drama set to play out later this season, it’s probably best to try to trade Todd White (9-2-6-8) while his numbers look good. Coach Anderson has decided to move White off the Kovalchuk line for the next game.

Mark Streit (8-3-4-7) is enjoying a great start with his new team. Time to trade him or any Islander that’s doing well before their plus/minus has time to look really bad.

With eleven points in only nine games, Filip Kuba’s off to an unbelievable start and is in a very good situation, logging 25 minutes a game including over six minutes on the power play. His career best is 15 goals and 37 points. He will slow down, but could still finish with 45-50 points.

I can’t see Saku Koivu maintaining this pace (8-4-6-10). His past performance indicates that he will finish closer to 60 points than 80.

With the sheer number of guys who can play center on the Caps, there’s no way Sergei Fedorov (9-3-5-8) can continue to score at this pace.

Scary Moment# 17:  Being on the ice at the same time as Milan Lucic. The big Bruin has been a nightmare for opponents of late. Last week, he scored his first career hat trick and had the highlight reel glass shattering hit on Mike Van Ryn. Van Ryn said it was like getting hit by an elephant. On Tuesday night, he knocked Roberto Luongo down with a hard slap shot.

Treats

Now is the time to take advantage of these under-performing players and buy low before they start performing as expected:

Averaging 19 minutes a game and getting significant power play time, Tomas Plekanec (8-1-2-3) is going rip it up and soon. He recorded 29 goals and 69 points last season.

If the rumours of Tomas Kaberle being traded come to fruition, it should be to a better situation. This is a guy who has averaged 60 points a year over the last three seasons. Better hurry though; he had two assists in last night’s game, giving him four points in ten games.

Derek Roy has gotten off to a relatively slow start (9-1-4-5). Roy is a notoriously streaky scorer, so get him before he goes on one of his patented hot streaks.

Nicklas Backstrom only has four assists in nine games so far this season. That’s below what was expected this season. This kid is the real deal and it’s only a matter of time before he starts racking up assists in bunches. There are just too many snipers in the Capitol.

Steven Stamkos is not having a great start to his career, so there is no better time to make an offer for him in your keeper pool. There is no truth to the rumour I’m starting, that Saw VI will be the title of the Tampa Bay Lightning 2008-09 Season in Review.
 
Jay Bouwmeester leads the league in ice time, averaging just under 30 minutes a game, including over five with the man advantage. Even with all that ice time, he’s managed one measly assist. He’s a lock for 40-45 points.

Sergei Samsonov has zero points in eight games, which is just brutal. A good sign is that he is receiving an average of almost 17 ½ minutes of ice time per game, so he will break the goose egg soon.

Chris Drury is already showing signs of shaking off his poor start with four points in the last three games. He will end up with around 60 points.

Scary Moment# 28: Realizing that of Alexander Semin’s eight goals, only one has been via the power play through nine games so far. With Ovechkin not in the lineup, Semin gets to be the lead triggerman.

What’s Halloween without a little Devil worshipping? I love the Devils organization. From Lou Lamoriello to David Conte and his scouting staff who seem to be able to consistently find the right type of players with late draft picks. Then there’s the hiring of Head Coach Brent Sutter, who to me, just seems to be a perfect match for this team.  If you measure success by Stanley Cups, only the Red Wings can boast more Stanley Cups (four) than the Devils (three) from the 1994-95 season onwards.

Scary Moment# 685: Going into the corners with the Devils hulking trio of Holik (230), Zubrus (225) and Rupp (230). That’s nearly 700 pounds of checking line.

Happy Halloween! Boo-ya!

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