Welcome once again to “An Expert’s Audit.” This audit will be posted here as well as on my fantasy hockey blog at www.fantasyhockey.hockeyanalysis.com . I also do weekly reviews of teams for people who email in to me for a look-see. These audits will continue to appear here monthly and if you’re interested in having your keeper team “worked over” then you can begin by emailing Dobber (contact link at bottom of website) about it. But send it in by the 15th, as I will be starting on my next one at that point.
Anthony Furino is an Isles fan who contacted for a little advice on his fantasy team. He’s built his team to win now and wanted a little nudge to put him over the top. He plays in a 20 team dynasty H2H where he’s solidly positioned for the playoffs and anxious to make a run. The stat categories are G, A, P, +/-, PPP, SHP, and GWG for skaters and W, GAA, SV, SV% and SHO for goalies. My advice in a league like this is to target goal scorers since that’ll count in several categories, and to target goalies who get lots of saves.
Well let’s take a look at the Manhattan Supermen.
C Steven Stamkos TB – I wasn’t expecting the sort of breakout that he has put out this season. Like all fantasy typing heads I knew he was going to be special but I just didn’t think it was happening THIS year. I’ll repent my unbelief in my own time.
C Rob Schremp NYI – he’s really found his niche on the Island and he’s really well liked on his own team. I’m happy for him but I still don’t ever see elite stats coming his way. I suppose in a best case scenario I see him with 50 point upside some day. You’re an Isles fan so that’s probably not what you want to hear.
C Tyler Kennedy PIT – the only thing this guy brings to the table is a decent SOG rate, in fact I had him on one of my teams at the beginning of the season for that very reason. But come on, he’ll never be an elite fantasy option. We discussed his value briefly and you and I have vastly different views for what he can provide to your team.
LW Bobby Ryan ANA – now this kid is going to be a superstar. I see 50 goals a season for a lot of years out of him, although probably not this season.
LW Brian Rolston NJ – Rolston’s best asset in fantasy is SOG, which you don’t track in this league. However he still has decent value as a LW since it’s hard to find projected 25 goal guys anywhere, let alone LW. Rolston has a shot to finish in the top 25 goal scorers at LW and since your league rosters 60 LW’s everyday, that’s valuable.
LW Tomas Vanek BUF – he’s an elite goal scorer who just has plain stunk it up this season. I still say he has a shot at 30 goals this season and that’s a drop down from the 40 I was expecting from him. In a league that rosters so many options at every position it’s significant to have a guy like this as your 3rd LW.
RW Daniel Alfredsson OTW – Alfy has been putting up nearly a point per game when not injured this season. He’s also your best SHP option which is so rare a category it’s seldom worth chasing at all but when you have someone contributing there then you hang on to him, particularly if he’s top 60 in scoring in the first place.
RW Jamie Langenbrunner NJ – another more than solid citizen and it’s fairly remarkable to have so many good options in a 20 team league. I always viewed him as a bit of a plumber before last season but I see no reason why he can’t pull off a string of close to 70 point seasons.
RW Bill Guerin PIT – the only down side is that he’s pretty long in the tooth but for right now he’s getting significant play with some of the best PP options in the game. I think that 60 points is a nice ceiling for him this season although 50 pts is probably more realistic.
D Sergei Gonchar PIT – he has a history of being one of the best PPP options in the entire league and that to often gets lost in the discussion of upside for Goligoski. NHL teams don’t like to lose quality options and that’s why I figure a move to the KHL isn’t happening too soon. Of course, I could be wrong.
D Scott Niedermayer ANA – I was a bit annoyed that he got named Captain for Canada because his +/- has been hurting me all season and then he gets rewarded for that? Oh well, he’ll show himself the leader that he is and I don’t expect the +/- to continue to plummet like it has over the first 2/3rds of the season.
D Mark Streit NYI – he’s only on pace for 40 some points this season and not the 60 some that was expected, but nevertheless when that Isles offense finally bursts out with all the excellent assets at their disposal, I figure that Streit might be in line for his first Norris. The two way play is already in place and if he starts to put up Niklas Lidstrom type +/- then we might be seeing some interesting things on the Island.
D Bryan McCabe FLA – I’m a Leaf fan and I wasn’t sorry to see McCabe move on. He’s on pace for approximately 40 points this season, and he’ll get over 100 PIMs which has significant value in most leagues … and I’m still fine with the fact that he’s no longer a Leaf.
Util Trent Hunter NYI – another unsung Isle. He’s a solid option although he’ll never be a star. Another 40 pt season seems reasonable for him.
G Roberto Luongo VAN – arguably the best goalie to have in this system. He wins a lot, he makes a lot of saves and he keeps the ratios low over the course of a season. He started off very slowly this season, like most seasons, but he should be locked into your starting slot for every game you can.
BN Chris Mason STL – he’s a solid option as a 2nd goalie on a young team that looks like it could jump up and bite some other teams in the ass. His used to have this full beard with a bald head and I couldn’t help but think it made him seem very Grizzly Adams to me.
BN Alexander Salak FLA – we had a discussion about this guy. I pretty much think he has zero value to your fantasy team and you should turf him for anybody that’ll help you win now. You don’t agree. Ok.
BN Sean Bergenheim NYI – every season for the last several Bergenheim has shown a burst of stats late in the season as the Isles try to discover just who they have rostered. That was when they were fighting for position at the bottom of the league but this season the Isles are fighting for a playoff spot so I don’t see them doling out ice time in an effort to find out what they have. He’s a viable NHL’er and that’s about it.
BN Manny Malhotra SJ – he’s put in a checking role in San Jose and that’s pretty much where he belongs. I think in a perfect world he could be what Joe Pavelski already is for them but since that seat is taken then I don’t see monstrous things in store for Manny. His best asset this season is strong defensive play and it can be seen in his solid +/-.
BN Corey Locke NYR – he’s been a career AHL option who has been given a cup of coffee for the Rangers while they look for more C’s who can help their abysmal offense. He’s not the answer for them, or for you.
BN Sheldon Souray EDM – he’s a china doll and his days with fantasy relevance are numbered. This very month he tried to exact some retribution on Jarome Iginla for the concussion put on him earlier this year, and he broke his hand on Iggy’s melon. This is a train wreck and I’m telling fantasy guys to run away in droves.
BN Steve Sullivan NAS – he’ll be fortunate to reach the 60 point level this season but much of that is due to his horrid start to the season. He’s just a bench winger for you though and I’d certainly be happy to have 50 pts from a bench guy in a 20 team league.
IR Dave Bolland CHI – I would’ve pegged him for at least 20 goals this season if he had stayed healthy. As it is you’re getting a nice bonus as he returns just in time to help you in the playoffs.
IR Patrik Elias NJ – he’s eligible at C which is your weak spot and he (plus Bolland) will solidify your team where you need it most. I find he’s the sort of NHLer that responds bests when he’s surrounded by talent who can keep up with his game.
IR Milan Hejduk COL – his 50 goal seasons are long behind him but 20 is still very possible for him now that the Olympic break is nearly upon us. He’ll return just after the break and will be missing the Olympic games.
Waiver Wire Options
Shawn Horcoff – in a dynasty league I’d like to add him because I expect some bigger things from him again next year but … not this year. Someone else snapped him up.
Steve Ott – PIMs are his best asset and you don’t track them in this league. I like him, but not in this format.
Brooks Orpik – well the pickings are slim.
Brett Clark – he’s normally fairly decent for assists but there are a couple names ahead of him on the depth chart in Colorado now.
Traded Tomas Vanek for Rick DiPietro – Well … I didn’t tell you to do this. You were in discussions to acquire Tomas Vokoun for Vanek and you ended up making this deal. I would think that if you had thrown in Chris Mason you could’ve gotten both Vokoun AND DiPietro but in my opinion you sold a lot short on Vanek in this deal.
Traded Sheldon Souray for Dwayne Roloson – you made this deal to cover your own butt and get a handcuff for DiP. In my opinion this move was designed to make up for selling short on Vanek so it’s like your own little kick save. At least you have both goaltenders for a team with some upside.
Traded Corey Locke for Jean Sebastien Giguere – now this move I liked. You traded a minor league center for a goalie who would eventually get moved into a starting slot in Toronto. Everyone knew the Ducks were trying to trade Giguere and you got him on your roster before the deed was done so you could be the beneficiary. You won big on this deal.
Traded Chris Mason for Alex Tanguay – you had 5 NHL goalies and a minor league tender in a deep league that only had one goalie starting slot. You were in discussions to trade for Antti Niemi which would’ve been fine normally but it wasn’t something you needed. I tried to steer you toward trying to land a forward (preferably a winger) of some kind and this is where you settled. This is a decent deal for a team that is looking to win now and we’re both relatively happy with it.
We actually didn’t see eye to eye this month. I HATED the DiPietro deal and I told you so. Let me apologize if I came off as more then the jerk I am sometimes. Having said that, I figured you rebounded from that trade decently over the course of the month. You secured more goaltending as the month wore on and you went from a tandem of Luongo/C.Mason to Luongo/Roloson/DiPietro/Giguere which should be more than enough. You were able to add Alex Tanguay to the fold and I’m of the opinion that he’ll return to the decent option that he once was. Finally, you had the bonus of having a few quality skaters sitting on your IR that eventually jumped into your lineup like you just made a trade yourself and that’s a very nice bonus indeed.