What is going on here Ed? You have so many more young weapons around you, and you get your first point US Election Day? The season started a month ago man. Well maybe Jovo was just waiting to show his support for Barack. Regardless of the reason, this can't last.
Looking into some of the great buy low and sell high candidates so far this season, Ed Jovanovski is near the top of the list. After his best season ever, in which he was healthy and reached the 50-point mark for the first time in his career, Jovocop is not the fantasy player now he was so recently. Or is he?
Jovanovski was no superstar at the beginning of last season either. Much like Mueller last year, Jovanovski got off to a slow start as well. In his first six games he only had one point and in his first eleven games he only had three. How do his last two years compare at this point?
07-08: 10GP, 0G, 3A, 3P, -9, 11PIM, 1PPP, 29SOG
08-09: 10GP, 1G, 0A, 1P, -6, 6PIM, 1PPP, 27SOG
Are two points with a worst plus/minus really something to freak out about? Don't panick with Jovo. Turris is off to a slow start as compared to his talent and defensemen score less and are thus generally much more streaky anyway. He also had another period last season where he only had two points in eleven games. It happens. This is a small sample size. The important thing is he is still shooting and on pace for over 200 shots on goal again. The points will come. Hold on to him if you are competing this year and trade for him now for your championship run. He should still reach 40 points (assuming 70 games), and you probably will never get him cheaper this season.
Over his 13-season career, Jovo has averaged 39 points, 120 PIM and 170 shots per 82 games. That is impressive. Despite being a band-aid boy, he has still averaged a solid 68 games per season and is still only 32. He isn't old for a defensemen.
Only 19 D-men achieved the 40-point mark last season. Only eleven reached the 50-point mark Jovo enjoyed. Finally, only Phaneuf outshot Ed. That is too unique a player to risk selling low.
On to the others...
The Status Report:
Alexander Ovechkin, LW, WAS
Who better to start with than possible the most valuable player in fantasy hockey today. Unfortunately, he currently isn't producing like it. It is an opportunity though if you don't own him. He isn't going to come cheap. The key is, he will actually be obtainable, which is a feat alone. AO is typically unobtainable in most leagues unless a Crosby or Malkin is involved, but this is the best time to try to avoid that.
Kyle Turris, C, PHO
As Dobber mentioned in the ramblings, now is a great time to make a move for this years most talented rookie. Yes I think he has more upside than even fellow struggling rookie Steven Stamkos, but Turris has just been scratched. Use that to your advantage. He is currently on a 36-point pace which isn't even bad for a normal top rookie. Remember how Mueller debuted and how he finished. Now add ten points to that. Turris should still exceed 60 points I believe.
Nicklas Backstrom, C, WAS
So Backstrom has four points in his first 11 games. Sounds normal. Though he isn't showing progress yet, he is equaling last season when he started with five points in his first 12. No need to worry. He would still get near 70 points again which is better than the majority of the league. Regardless, he has been dealing with an ankle problem and hasn't had AO the last couple games. He should still reach 80 points this season. With a healthy Nylander, Semin and AO all playing well, he should blow up one way or another. Don't miss this big opportunity with a frustrated owner.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard, LW/RW, MIN
Four points doesn't look good for this 24-year-old forward. He hasn't scored fewer than 57 points in the last three years, and he is still on the upswing having not hit his prime yet. It seems like he has been arond forever The injury slowed him, so expect a resurgence in his numbers.
Marty Turco, G, DAL
This is a really obvious one. Turco is a notoriously slow starter. He has had a worse GAA before the break in at least the last seven years and maybe more. His pre All-Star GAA is .29 higher than his post in his career. Even more telling, his career October GAA is .45 higher than any other month in his career. That is huge at 2.79 versus his career 2.20 GAA. Don't expect a career year by any means with a weaker Dallas defense, but Zubov will be back eventually, and Turco is sure to improve regardless.
Sam Gagner, C, DAL
A last second addition, I almost forgot this super sleeper who has been a favorite of mine. With only two points in 10 games after a rookie year with 49 points at the age of 18, Gagner is the perfect buy low candidate. He has struggled with injury early but should get back on track very soon. He is just too talented. Another injury to Horcoff sure would help him as well, but you can't count on that.
Marian Gaborik, RW, MIN
He is too talented to trade when his value is down due to injury. Really, this is what you expect from him. He is right now right where his value should be. I value him as a 60-game player every year. After last season, it was a good time to trade him. Now that he is on the shelf again, he is right where he should be.
Thomas Vanek, LW, BUF
Call me a believer. I think Vanek is already a top-10, elite sniper in this league. Why couldn't he reach 50 goals and 85-plus points? He already reached 43 goals and 84 points two years ago. Plus, he only has 39 goals to go to get to the magic number. Pretty good odds on that. Unless you are getting a Crosby, Malkin, AO, Heatley, Lecavalier for a Vanek package, I'd really need an overpay to give him up. He's almost done it before so there really isn't much risk here.
Alexander Radulov, RW, NSH
I had to throw the ultimate buy-low candidate in here. He is a huge risk, but he comes for peanuts from some owners. Then why is he a hold? He is because the smart owners are holding onto Radulov in most situations because the return for his talent is just not there. If you have a farm or deep bench in your keeper, you just have to hold a spot for him at least until we know he is gone for good. Even in farm leagues, I would keep him down there for a a very long time. Some day he could return to the league and score 50 and 100. Or... the KHL could take off, and we could have combined NHL/KHL fantasy leagues. That would be pretty interesting, and those are reasons enough to keep this immense talent around as long as you can.
Mikko Koivu, C, MIN
Does any other player in Minnesota really have the ability right now to produce above a point-per-game pace? I don't think so, and I really doubt Koivu is the one to do it this year. He has 14 points in 11 games, but that should slow to around a 70-point pace. He is also a weak producer in that he doesn't get a ton of goals or shots. One bonus is that he is shooting a lot this year so far though. I think it will be his best year... but not this good.
Christian Ehrhoff, D, SJ
Many players have taken off for San Jose. The team is 1st in the Pacific, and with an 11-2 record, it is no surprise San Jose players are sell highs. From Clowe to Setoguchi to even Marleau, half the team is overachieving. Ehrhoff is tops among them. With 10 points in 13 games, his value is sky high on the blueline. With a career high of 33 points, this can't last. Expect 40-45 points, and trade him if you get value better than that.
The Resurrection: The player who may have some value after all.
Doug Weight, C, STL
He is back afterall. Starring on a starless team, Weight is making his last stand at the age of 37. He is on pace for 68 points, and he hasn't exceeded that in eight years. He won't end up there, but he could return to the 50-point level for one final time.
Fantasy Flashback: Your weekly reminder that fantasy hockey is a rollercoaster.
Alexander Semin, LW, WAS
His resurgence has been well documented but look at the difference at this point as compared to last season. It really puts the nature of this game in perspective.
07-08: 11GP, 2G, 2A, 4P, -5, 10PIM, 2PPP, 30SOG
08-09: 11GP, 8G, 9A, 17P, 7, 6PIM, 4PPP, 36SOG
Huge return to glory. One of the next great stars.