|Up With Downie?||Tweet|
|Written by Russ Miller|
|Thursday, 05 February 2009 03:43|
Steve Downie - fantasy pariah or future fantasy savior? The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines pariah as one that is despised or rejected. Steve Downie has been both early in his NHL career. Despised by many hockey fans as a no talent goon; rejected by the Flyers and traded to hockey’s sunny Siberia, Tampa Bay.
One look at Downie’s AHL numbers and you have to come away impressed. Last year, as a rookie in the AHL, he had 17 points and 114 penalty minutes in 21 games. This year, Downie logged 33 points in 23 games, was a healthy plus-12 and had 118 penalty minutes. That translates to 117 points and an insane 420 penalty minutes over 82 games!
In order for Downie to garner serious ice time in the NHL and be a fantasy contributor, he needs to gain the coach’s confidence. He can do this by limiting defensive blunders and not taking undisciplined penalties that cost the team.
So is Downie the next Sean Avery? No, he has the potential to be much better and an absolute fantasy stud in pools that count penalty minutes.
Around the Eastern Conference:
Thomas Vanek responded to the mini-benching he received in the third period of Monday’s game by scoring a hat trick and added an assist in last night’s game. After recording 25 goals and only seven assists in the first three months of the season, Vanek reversed that trend in January. He scored a mere four goals, but had 12 assists for a season best 16 point month.
Jay Bouwmeester will be the most sought after player if he chooses to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The 25-year-old defenseman is leading the league in average time on the ice and is more valuable to an NHL team than his 44 point pace is to fantasy teams.
Jamie Langenbrunner has eight points in his last four games and is on pace for a career best 68 points. New Jersey is 8-2 in their last ten games, thanks in large part to Captain Clutch.
After a quick start, Cory Murphy has slowed down. Murphy had four points in his first three games as a Bolt, but has only one point in his last four games.
Speaking of Sean Avery, TSN ran an article yesterday saying the controversial forward is nearly ready to attempt a return to the NHL. I could really envision Avery back with the Rangers. He just fit in there so well and he will obviously be on HIS best behavior when, not if, he comes back. If you have room to stash him on your reserve list for next to nothing, it might just pay dividends come March and in to next season.
|Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2009 04:55|