Couture

 

Continuing the series started a few weeks ago on the breakdown of each Western Conference team. For the final week we’ll take a deeper look into the Sharks, Blues, and Canucks.

 

Here’s a summation table of the previous 12 teams that we’ve covered if you haven’t had a chance to go re-read the articles.

 

Team

Cavalry

Cavalry

Cavalry

Cavalry

Anaheim

Selanne*

Carter

Sexton

 

Calgary

Langkow

Kotalik

 

 

Chicago

Stalberg

 

 

 

Colorado

Galiardi

O’Reilly

Jones

Stoa

Columbus

Filatov

 

 

 

Dallas

Ott

Brunnstrom

 

 

Detroit

Bertuzzi

Cleary

 

 

Edmonton

Cogliano

Paajarvi-Svensson

Omark

 

Los Angeles

Handzus

Moller

Schenn

 

Minnesota

Kobasew

Sheppard

Bouchard*

 

Nashville

Ward

Wilson

O’Reilly

Hornqvist*

Phoenix

Prucha

Turris

Hanzal*

 

 

 

San Jose – Top-six pretty much set in stone, shallow competition from bottom-six

Top Six
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Dany Heatley
Ryane Clowe – Joe Pavelski – Devin Setoguchi (RFA)

 

Cavalry

Logan Couture, and Jamie McGinn

Bottom Feeders

Benn Ferriero, Scott Nichol, Torrey Mitchell, Cam MacIntyre

 

Marleau re-upped with San Jose in the off-season which is a great move for the Sharks and their fans. He completes a formidable trio that the Sharks will ice as their top-line. Thornton is now three years removed from his last 100-point season. As long as Marleau and Heatley, (as well as the talent in the top-six), remain, I just don’t think that there’s enough points to spread around for him to surpass that plateau in 2010-11. This is why I wouldn’t overvalue him heading into drafts this September. Much of the same could be said for Heatley, we all love to believe that there isn’t an artificial cap in points for a team, but it doesn’t work that way in reality. Pavelski is talented and probably could be a top-line center in 29 other NHL teams, but in SJ he’ll be shafted behind the “big three”. Last campaign, the highest fourth ranked point getter for a team was Alex Burrows, at 67 points, but that was with Daniel Sedin’s absence for 18 contests, that would probably be a starting point to work down from for Pav.

 

Setoguchi started off blazing hot with nine points in the first 11 contests, but then registered only 27 in the remaining 59. If you are a Setoguchi-owner, or plan on drafting him, make a mental note of these numbers, 0.91, 0.8, 0.47, 0.53, 0.62, 0.53, and 0.33, as his career monthly point-production breakdown. Keep him for the first couple of months, then sell-high like there’s no tomorrow. Clowe is a decent fantasy own, but definitely have a point cap in mind if you are going to draft him, (55 would be an absolute high IMO). Also try not to be tricked by his 131 PIMs, as it was artificially inflated because of three-15+ PIM games.

 

Couture and McGinn are my two cavalry picks from San Jose. Couture had a brilliant junior career in the OHL with 287 points in 232 contests as well as 53 points in 42 contests with Worchester in the AHL before being recalled to the big club last year. With the Sharks in a bit of cap trouble, they’ll need to keep Couture in San Jose full-time to help alleviate some of the cap pressure. McGinn doesn’t have as much offensive upside as Couture, but could gain fantasy value if a major injury happens to the Sharks’ top-six. Benn Ferriero could also make an impact, as he was given a brief cup of coffee on the big line last season, but his fantasy upside is limited compared to McGinn or Couture.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Michalek, Thornton, Cheechoo, Marleau, Pavelski, and Clowe.

 

End of year finish:

Thornton

89

Marleau

83

Heatley

82

Clowe

57

Pavelski

51

Setoguchi

36

 

 

St. Louis – Offense by committee.

Top Six

David Backes – Andy McDonald – Brad Boyes

David Perron – T.J. Oshie – Alex Steen

Cavalry

Patrik Berglund

Bottom Feeders

Matt D’Agostini, Jay McClement, B.J. Crombeen, Vladimir Sobotka, Brad Winchester, and Cam Janssen.

 

The Blues essentially remained status quo this off-season, with the exception of the removal of veterans Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk from their line up, which should at least make the picture a little bit clearer heading into this season. Unfortunately the question of where is the offense going to come from still looms. According to FrozenPool, the only line that spent significant time together was the trio of Backes, Kariya and Oshie (10.19 percent). Everyone else was pretty much under the 5.5 percent mark, which should send plenty of warning signs about trying to predict what’s going to happen in 2010-11.

 

When doing my research on the Blues, Backes surprised me as he took the second most face-offs on the team, and more importantly the most on the power-play. Considering he had winger eligibility in Yahoo! leagues, he would certainly be gold for those leagues which utilize FOW as a category. Boyes had a bit of a down year as he only tallied 42 points, but head into this season expecting a bit more. McDonald has a career 0.70 point-per-game average, which would equate to a 57 point season if he plays a full 82 game schedule.

 

Here’s Oshie’s career October-December/January-April breakdown, 0.49 point-per-game pre-January and 0.75 post-January. Screams out second half buy to me! Steen led the Blues with seven power-play goals last season, he’s a dynamic player on the man advantage, so if you’re after PPP make sure you keep him in mind. I like Perron’s upside, but his inconsistencies will, mean his fantasy worth never reaches peak value.

 

Berglund was once a highly touted prospect in management’s eyes, but with 26 points and the surprising play of Steen and Perron, his value to the Blues is plummeting rapidly. Sobotka was acquired from the Bruins in the off-season and could make a small impact, but he hasn’t shown me enough flare to warrant a gamble just yet. D’Agostini is meant for a third-line checking role than scoring role, so don’t expect an offensive breakout from him. One thing that’s for sure is that this offense-by-committee is definitely not a good thing for fantasy poolies.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Kariya, McDonald, Boyes, Tkachuk, Berglund, and Oshie.

 

End of year finish:

McDonald

57

Backes

48

Oshie

48

Steen

47

Perron

47

Kariya

43

 

 

 

Vancouver- Top-six pretty much set in stone almost no depth beyond top-six

 

Top Six
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Mikael Samuelsson

Mason Raymond – Ryan Kesler – Alex Burrows

Cavalry

Cody Hodgson*, Sergei Shirokov*, and Jordan Schroeder*

Bottom Feeders
Manny Malhotra, Janik Hansen, Darcy Hordichuk, Tanner Glass, Rick Rypien, Joel Perrault

The Sedins really opened plenty of eyes last season, as both took it to the next level with well over point-per-game productions. The question remains whether or not they can repeat it for a second consecutive season. I slotted Samuelsson into the highly-coveted spot alongside the twins because he showed more chemistry than Burrows did, (22 vs 14 points during the playoffs including PP situations), but that situation could change throughout the year.

 

The Canucks had one of the best top-six productions in the league last campaign, but I don’t know if they can repeat that performance. Kesler picked up 75 points along with 214 SOG in 19:37 per contest last campaign. If you read my projections article earlier in the summer, those numbers mirror more of a 60-point producer than a 75 point producer. I’d head into the season expecting a little dip, and if that doesn’t happen you would have at least covered your bases.

 

I know the playoffs are a different kettle of fish compared to the regular season, but six points in 12 contests doesn’t exactly make me that excited about Burrows. Especially since undergoing the same shoulder surgery in the summer that Vinny Lecavalier underwent a few off-seasons ago. Raymond had a big breakout season in 2009-10, as he managed an 11.5 shooting percentage, which was nearly four percent higher than the previous year. I just don’t envision him repeating a 200+ SOG and 11+ shooting percentage for a consecutive season.

 

With players like Malhotra, Hansen, Glass and Rypien, there isn’t exactly a major need for the Nucks to rush the cavalry. This is the main reason why I asterisked all of the cavalry players, as they all could be boom or bust players this campaign. Hodgson probably has the best shot but could also find himself mostly in the AHL. Same could be said for Shirokov and Schroeder. Unless a major injury shakes up the Nucks roster I don’t think the trio would make a large fantasy impact in the NHL this season.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

D. Sedin, H. Sedin, Burrows, Demitra, Kesler, and Samuelsson.

 

End of year finish:

Sedin

112

Sedin

85

Kesler

75

Burrows

67

Samuelsson

53

Raymond

53

 

 

Thanks for sticking with me the last few weeks. Hopefully you guys found the information useful and are able to utilize it for your drafts in the upcoming season. I’ve had a pleasure doing the research as well as having some hotly debated topics in the comments section, so if you have questions or comments like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them in the section below.

 


Write comment
Comments (6)add comment

Ed said:

GoHabsGo
... Great stuff. - Sorry for the late comment, I just back from vacation.

With you leaving out Hensick on St Louis, you think Hensick won't be making the team?
August 09, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... No worries, I just hope people have gained something from it and can use it to their advantage come draft time.

As for Burrows definitely a big asterisk attached next to his name heading into this season. Probably gives an extra boost to the fantasy value of Samuelsson.
August 04, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Burrows is aiming to be back at some pt during camp, but who really knows. Nothing has been said on it for at least four or five weeks.

Great work as always, Ryan. Really comprehensive review of each club.
August 03, 2010
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
Burrows shoulder Burrows reportedly isnt going to be ready at the start of the season- opening up a golden spot on the top 2 lines for someone- a hot start by Schroeder or Shirokov (the prime candidates) could make or break their season.

On paper atleast the Sharks and Nucks may have the best top 2 lines in the league- but both suffer greatly after that.
August 03, 2010
Votes: +0

mike hess said:

SharkMeat
Calvary I like this series this year very much. Marking the calvary gives me a list for the waiver wire should any of my main guys falter..good work..Mike
August 03, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Setoguchi

Sorry forgot Seto just recently resigned, so forget the RFA mislabel.
August 03, 2010
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy