Getz

 

The start of the 2010-2011 NHL season is well and truly underway. There have been a few pleasant surprises, as well as few “red alert” moments involving key injuries. The main thing that you need to keep in mind is that the season is still young and there’s still seven months of quality hockey remaining. Similar to last season, I’ll provide you with weekly updates so that you have access to the latest news that’s been happening from the Western Conference front.

 

Anaheim

 

Definitely not a positive start for Ducks to the 2010-11 season as they started with a 0-3 record, while being outscored by the margin of 2-13. Dobber beat me to it (Tuesday's ramblings), but traditionally speaking, Ryan Getzlaf is a slow starter. Since the lockout, Getzlaf has averaged 0.3 points-per-game in the first four games of each season. He generally turns it around in the second week, so if there is a panicky owner in your league, jump on that opportunity right away. The top line of Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan just seems to be getting frustrated fairly easily, look for Coach Randy Carlyle to mix ‘em up soon if things don’t change for the better. Jonas Hiller hasn’t struggled per say, (.905 save percentage), but Angus might be onto something when he said that this might be a long year for the young Swiss netminder. As an owner I’m still fairly optimistic.

 

Calgary

 

After a dismal season opening 4-0 loss to their provincial rivals on opening night, the Flames rebounded with a quality 3-1 victory against the Kings on Sunday. There wasn’t really a standout Flame from the first two contests, but there are a few interesting notes. Olli Jokinen is currently averaging 5.5 SOG/game, obviously I don’t expect him to finish the season with 451 SOG, but it’s certainly a positive sign that he may be returning to vintage Jokinen ways. The fact that he’s also averaged 94 percent of his overall ice-time alongside superstar Jarome Iginla is definitely positive. Miikka Kiprusoff started off very shaky on opening night, but had a great 21-save bounce back win against the Kings. I was wrong about him last season, but if he can pull off the numbers that he had from 2009-10, Kipper could be back towards the top-five goalie that we have grown accustomed for him to be.

 

Chicago

 

The Hawks have struggled a bit in their title defense as they started 0-2 before their first victory of the season last night. They just don’t look like the clean, crisp, defensive team that we saw from last season, as they’re giving up on average 34 SOG against per contest, compared to just 25.1 last campaign. A player that you probably should keep an eye on is Tomas Kopecky. He spent 89.65 percent of his overall ice-time alongside Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Toews. Kopecky is also averaging more PP ice-time than Marian Hossa (5:00 vs. 3:24). I know it’s still fairly early into the season, but Kane has two points and a minus four rating along with eight SOG, compared to Hossa’s five points, plus four rating and 11 SOG. I personally think that Hossa’s full time inclusion in the Hawks’ line up will negatively impact Kane’s production this season. If you have a pretty good deal sitting in front of you involving Kane, you might want to keep that thought in the back of your mind. Marty Turco has a .907 save percentage for the last three campaigns, which is probably around the numbers I’d expect from him at the end of the season.

 

Colorado


The Avalanche had a very surprising season last campaign as they entered the playoffs as the eighth seat out of the Western Conference. This year they might be hard-pressed to repeat that feat as a few of other Western Conference teams have markedly improved in the off-season. On a positive note, Coach Joe Sacco’s favourite dog-house candidate has started off the campaign blazing hot with four assists in two contests. He’s out-duelling Kyle Quincey in the PP ice-time department to start the season. (2:36 vs. 1:57) Paul Stastny is tied with Ryan O’Reilly for the team lead in SOG, (eight), I don’t expect him to finish the season with 328, but a nice figure of 250 would be a nice bonus from a non-traditional shot-taker. Craig Anderson is 1-1 on the season. His 2.95 GAA is pretty dreary, but his .920 save percentage is certainly encouraging.

 

Columbus


The Blue Jacket’s third line of Sammy Pahlsson, Ethan Moreau and R.J. Umberger has contributed four of Columbus’ 14 total points this season, if you are in a deep league looking for non top-six talent, the trio could be a valuable asset. The Nikita Filatov show has begun, but the problem is he’s only averaging 14:21 overall per contest. The flip side is that out of those 14 minutes, 4:24 has been with the man advantage, (97.56 percent of which has been with Rick Nash). Anton Stralman is the clear-cut winner out of the Blue Jacket’s defensive corps as he’s ranked 16th overall amongst all d-men in the league in terms of PP ice-time. Some positive feedback on Steve Mason according to Coach Scott Arniel, "I think it's safe to say now that he's back to where he was two years ago." His .920 save percentage against one of the most potent offenses in the league is certainly a positive sign. Is the sophomore slump over?

 

Dallas

 

The biggest news out of Dallas is probably the public intoxication charges laid to Mike Ribeiro. It appears that last season’s slump is behind him as he has three points to start the season. Brad Richards is right back to where he left off, with four points and six SOG in two contests. Stephane Robidas is honestly fantasy gold in terms of the peripheral stats, (six HITs, two BS, plus three rating and four PIMs). If you can manage to get your hands on him, do it! Well Kari Lehtonen has managed to stay healthy for two contests, how many more will he last? I’ll set the Over/Under at 25 contests.

 

Detroit

 

Mike Babcock was extended for four more years, which was a smart move on the Wings part IMO. Following along the same lines as Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg could Valtteri Filppula be the next diamond in the rough found by the Wings? He’s notched two goals including the game-winner on Saturday night against the Hawks. Mike Modano is averaging just 13:11 per contest, but 3:31 of which has been with a man advantage. If you are looking for a sleeper candidate purely for PPP, you don’t have to look much further than the 21-year veteran. Jimmy Howard looked rusty in the pre-season, but put that all behind him with a season-opening shut out against the Ducks. Chris Osgood responded with a 26-save effort against a more talented Hawks squad. I still see this being closer to a 50/50 situation than an 80/20 or 70/30 split.

 

 

Edmonton


Wow! was pretty much the word that I used most often during the Oilers opening night contest against the Flames. The rookies have certainly impressed me enough to slightly change my opinion of them. I’m not as high as Dobber on the trio, but with their two opening matches, I’m at least willing to that say they’ve solidified some fantasy value for this season. Shawn Horcoff only potted 13 goals last season, but now has two in two contests. It appears that Ryan Whitney, (3:19 per game), and Kurtis Foster (3:06), have gained the early advantage over Tom Gilbert, (2:19), in the PP department. If Nikolai Khabibulin is still on the WW, definitely scoop him up. We all know how scarce the goalie position becomes mid-season, so it’s definitely nice to have a 1.00 GAA and .970 save percentage goalie in your back pocket as trade bait.

 

Los Angeles

 

The Kings’ offense has been in anaemic mode to start the season as they’ve registered just three goals in two contests. The top-line of Ryan Smyth, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown has registered a total of 19 SOG. Brown also leads the league in HITs/game with a 5.5 average. He’s definitely the strongest candidate in the SOG/HITs department in the NHL. Jack Johnson hasn’t exactly lit up the scoresheet, but he has averaged 5:01 per contest on the Kings’ PP. If he manages to maintain that type of ice-time, owners should be in for a great productive season.

 

Minnesota


The Wild have been hit pretty hard with injuries early this season as they have lost Marek Zidlicky, P.M. Bouchard, James Sheppard and Josh Harding to injuries to start 2010-11. Zidlicky is still nursing a groin injury, but should be back fairly soon. The off-season acquisition of Matt Cullen seems to have been a positive one, as he’s averaging 22:12 and a team-high 5:15 on the PP. He isn’t a prolific offensive scorer, but he has been pretty consistent with five consecutive 40+ point seasons. If you aren’t expecting much more than that, Cullen could be a great add as a depth center especially in leagues that tally FW. It appears that Brent Burns has shaken off the injury bug from last season as he’s been averaging a workhorse-like 28:25 per contest. Niklas Backstrom will be looking to rebound after a dismal year, (2.72 and .903). With Cullen and John Madden they’ll be back to playing strong defensive hockey.

 

Nashville

 

The biggest news coming out of the “Music City” is the status of Pekka Rinne. He nearly gave me a heart attack after watching him crumble to the ice in their opening match of the season. The positive news is that he appears to be fine, and just needs a few days to let it rest up. I know plenty of people who have their fantasy season hinging on his success, (including myself). If you look at the numbers, I don’t know if you’ll find a more “team approach” to offense than the Predators. The forwards ranged from 17:14 to 9:18. The surprise of the bunch J.P. Dumont at just 10:32, doghouse?? The defensive pair of Ryan Suter and Shea Weber are workhorses as they averaged 27:07 and 25:40 respectively.

 

Phoenix

 

The Coyotes started the season on a high with a huge win over the Bruins in Prague, but then experienced a deflating loss the following night after a 3-0 shutout loss. The main difference I noticed from this year compared to last season was the defensive play of the Yotes. In 2009-10 they were ranked 12th overall in terms of shots allowed to the opposition per game, so far this season they’re ranked 29th, (39.5 SA/game). It’s still fairly early in the season so I’ll expect that defensive coach Dave Tippett will certainly make adjustments along the way. It’s now two consecutive seasons that Radim Vrbata has opened the season with a two-goal effort. He has a career 2.82 SOG/game average, so if you’re in a league that highly values SOG totals, he’s your guy. Keith Yandle leads the Coyotes in SOG... Kyle Turris was a healthy scratch for the two overseas contests. Tippett completely favours two-way veterans over youngsters, so this scenario could continue to frustrate fantasy poolies all season long. Ilya Bryzgalov’s current .937 save percentage ranks 13th amongst all goaltenders, he’ll be just fine.

 

San Jose


The Sharks came out with three out of a possible four points in Sweden, which is a strong start to the season. Ryane Clowe has led the way with three assists and six SOG. He spent 49.29 percent of his overall ice-time alongside Joe Pavelski and 8.21 alongside Joe Thornton, which should garner some attention if he’s still dangling on your WW. The big four of Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Pavelski and Thornton had an ice-time breakdown of 23:55, 20:43, 21:49 and 20:11 respectively. Definitely the numbers you want to see from an owner’s perspective. PP breakdown of the blue liners, Boyle, (9:21), Jason Demers, (5:01), Douglas Murray, (3:32), and M.E. Vlasic**, (0:00). Numbers for Antti Niemi vs. Antero Niittymaki, (.938 to .880), edge to Niemi. Expect this battle all season long.

 

St. Louis

 

As discussed earlier with the “team approach” to winning, the Blues have taken it to the next level as 13 different scorers have appeared on the scoresheet. Alex Steen is leading the way with 12 SOG in the two victories. Since joining the Blues in 2008-09 from the Leafs, he’s averaged 2.43 SOG/game. He’s also averaging 11:28 in PP ice-time which close to what Nikolay Zherdev is averaging overall in Philly, (12:34), ouch! Erik Johnson owners should probably start worrying just a little bit. Carlo Colaiacovo vs EJ PP ice-time split, (43.61 percent vs. 47.87 percent). Jaroslav Halak 0.99 GAA and .950 save percentage, (Craig Anderson of 2010-11?)

 

Vancouver


Alex Burrows’ loss is Mikael Samuelsson’s gain, as he’s filling in on the highly-coveted top-line spot alongside the Sedin twins. He picked up two assists along with nine SOG in two contests to start the season. He’ll be a great own at least until Burrows returns. PP breakdown of the blue liners, Alex Edler, (2:21), Christian Ehrhoff, (2:18), Kevin Bieska, (1:59), and Dan Hamhuis, (1:53), probably not something that owners are looking for in terms of fantasy production. If you are a Roberto Luongo owner you might want to pay attention to the next few sentences. 2007-08, third game of the season, four goals allowed, pulled after 20 minutes, 2008-09, third game of the season, five goals allowed, pulled after 40 minutes, 2009-10, third game of the season, four goals allowed, pulled after 26 minutes, 2010-11, third game of the season, ???

 

Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below. See ya next week.

 


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Comments (14)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: RE: RE: Luongo

I just thought it was a bit of a coincidence that every 3rd game he was pulled... Just those little interesting tidbits that I dig up when I'm researching that caught my eye. Your scenario is completely different, he's getting pulled in all different games, in this scenario it's always been the 3rd game of the season, that's what makes it "intriguing".

Anyways the answer should be revealed later tonight.
October 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Mervillian said:

Mervillian
RE: RE: Luongo Sorry, all I'm saying is it seems quite odd to single out a certain game like that. Had Luongo been pulled in the 3rd game 1 year, the 4th game another year and in his 2nd game in a 3rd year, it would be just as meaningful.

Both Luongo and Getzlaf have been slow starters in the past few years(a piece of information that could actually be linked to something tangible). I think it would have been a fair statement to warn people that Luongo has historically started slow and that a few games doesn't necessarily buck the trend. This way people could be cautious, rather than thinking they need to bench him for this anti-magical 3rd game.
October 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Col Doghouse

Yeah it was Liles my bad for missing the name.
October 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Vlasic

Yeah I stuck two asterisks just to draw some attention to the 0:00... I thought he had more offensive upside than Murray to be honest.

But from what I read Murray is getting some added attention for the fact that he was Swedish. He was being treated as a "rockstar" in Sweden.

Anyhoo I expect that to change once they get back into playing on NA soil.
October 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Russ said:

The Comish
Ottawa/Leclaire Leclaire has been the Sens best player this season, but sadly that's not saying too much. The coach just threw him under the bus after a weak effort on an Ovechkin OT goal. I watched the goal get broken down by the broadcast crew and I see how sneaky Ovechkin is in making this shot. I would have cut Leclaire a little slack, at least in the media, but Clouston didn't and I wouldn't be surprised to see Elliott get the next start. If he plays well, the coach will very likely run with him, leaving Leclaire a target on the bench (hint: Pascal, wear your helmet even on the bench).
Ottawa might have some issues if Alfredsson is injured because Kovalev looks lost out there and Spezza is hit and miss.

JD, I'd probably stick with Hiller over picking up Leclaire, but the Ducks look horrible this year. Patience is in order I think - I still like Hiller, but that D has to step up and realize Niedermayer isn't going to come out of retirement this year.
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Luongo

As an owner I wouldn't bench him... I just thought it was an interesting tidbit that I looked up, wow pulled in every single 3rd game for the last 3 years, just thought I'd pass it onto you guys, so if he does get pulled again, at least you heard it here first.

As for the ridiculous stat statement, it's not ridiculous. Dobber and I have posted a lot of "ridiculous" stat statements as well. Do you not want us to tell you that Getzlaf in the first 4 games of each season has a 0.3 point-per-game numbers? These are the little things that we dig up to help calm people down when things don't go their way... I'd rather give people more "ridiculous" info and let them do what they want with it, than to keep it all to myself.

As for the 3rd start, like I said I think it depends on whether or not you believe in superstition... The Ducks are a much better team than they show. If you want to look at more "ridiculous" numbers, the Ducks started their season with 3 road games in which they averaged 2.24 goals last season (27th). At home they were a 3.44 goals team(3). The game will be in Anaheim... If I were a Vegas man I wouldn't hesitate to put some money on the Ducks tomorrow night. And if you really want a big gamble I'd bet that he'd get pulled too. smilies/wink.gif
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Leclaire

I honestly haven't seen him play this season yet, so I'm not a good judge on how he's doing. Maybe wait till Thursday and Russ can give you some better insight.

From a numbers standpoint, I don't think he's been lights out. I understand that a crappy team playing in front of a goalie makes a huge difference, but quality goalies pull out decent numbers outta their ass no matter how crappy their team is. A .900 sv% just doesn't cut it in my books. From a fantasy owners perspective I'm looking for at least .905, even if they're on a crappy team.
October 12, 2010
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Visnovsky

Yeah I thought my column was too long as it is... Generally speaking most people just have the time to have a quick gander and don't have the time to read a 3000 word essay. I was pushing it pretty close already, so I decided to leave a few people out. If I could cover absolutely everyone I would, but I tried to select a few that really haven't been covered all that much on the forums...

As for my take, just like everyone else you just need to stay patient. Last year he started with 2 points in the first 5, the year before he started with 3 in the first 9, and 1 in the first 4 the year before that... The Ducks in general just aren't playing their brand of hockey. It should click soon enough. They have too many talented people on their team to continue to be beat down 5-1 night after night...
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
Colorado summary You missed naming who was Sacco's doghouse inhabitant last year- just gave the point totals...Im assuming Liles? who currently leads the AVs.
Unless San Jose is using Murray infront of the net on the PP, Murray shouldnt be seeing the ice. Maybe a message is being sent to Vlasic to step it up.
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

Mervillian said:

Mervillian
... What a rediculous stat for Luongo. Here's his stats for the 2nd game of the season: 2007-2008, three goals allowed, 2008-2009, four goals allowed, 2009-2010, three goals allowed. Not that good. But wait, 2010-2011, 1 goal allowed on 42 shots.

Hmmmm, maybe I'll go with the recent trend, rather than some made up stat from year to year. I may be wrong and we'll see next game, but I will chaulk it up to simply a coincidence.

Oh, and don't forget to bench Luongo on the last game of October.....he has a GAA of over 4.6 for the last 3 year combined.
October 12, 2010
Votes: -2

Kevin Luu said:

kluu
Vlasic** I'm curious if the two ** you added next to Vlasic's name means anything? I have him as my 6th dmen in the dobber league and have been disappointed with the 0:00 PP time. I know Vlasic doesn't have great offensive upside, but cmon, they're putting Murray on the damn unit!
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

buffalosoldier66 said:

Sheepdogged
Luongo Yikes! I drafted Luongo first overall. Well done on the "third game of the season" breakdown. Does that mean I bench him against a slow-starting Anaheim team???
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

JD said:

JD88
Ottawa What do you think of their start to the year and Leclairs play? I think he has been good but in the same situation as Hiller.

I also have Rinne and Hiller so right now I am breathing heavy to start the year
October 12, 2010
Votes: +0

mike hess said:

SharkMeat
Visnovsky You don't mention him...? From the guide and hype he is to lead the west from a defensive standpoint. Is the Anaheim D is such terrible shape we have to wait for one or two to come back before Visnovsky will start to show true form? The forum's advice has been to be patience and your comments on Hiller help, but???
October 12, 2010
Votes: +1
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