It’s only been a week and I sense that some fantasy owners are starting to get antsy over the slow starts by some established players. Ok, so Sidney Crosby has started slowly, why even Marek Malik has more points than the former Art Ross and Hart trophy winner does at the moment. It is definitely time to panic; I think we’re seeing the real Crosby here. Now that he’s signed his fat long term contract, he’s turned into Sendme Cashby.
For the Crosby owners in my fantasy leagues, I’d gladly take him off your hands at a fair price.
Seriously though, while it may be a little disheartening to fantasy owners, there is no reason to panic and trade your underperforming stars quite yet. I’m fairly certain that in two weeks time, you’ll see most if not all of the big names atop the points standings.
Some people spend months preparing for their drafts, projecting points, putting the players in just the right order. Then after only two or three games, they are ready to throw out all their research and buy into the flavour of the week. Here’s a quote from L.A. King’s fan Axl Rose that I found to be quite helpful:
“...little patience, mm yeah, mm yeah
need a little patience, yeah
just a little patience, yeah
some more patience, yeah
need some patience, yeah
could use some patience, yeah
gotta have some patience, yeah
all it takes is patience,
just a little patience
is all you need.”
Look to Guns N’ Roses for hockey pool advice? Hell no, go to Dobberhockey.com for that.
Rotten news for hockey fans this past week. We all certainly wish the best for Jason Blake and hope that he can fend off this illness in the same fearless manner that he plays.
Time to fess up hardcore hockey poolies; how many of you silently thanked the fantasy hockey gods that you didn’t draft Jason Blake in your hockey pool? I realize that might sound cold and uncaring. If that offends you, I apologize. In my fantasy world, it’s no different to me than if I owned Havlat, Avery or any other injured player. I look at how the injury or illness will affect the player and my pool team. I don’t wish for bad things to happen to anyone, but if an injury or illness strikes one of my players, I need to analyze it from a hockey pool perspective regardless of whether it’s cancer or a concussion. I want Jason Blake the person to live a long, healthy and productive life. If I drafted Jason Blake the hockey player, I want him to have a long, healthy and productive season (and at least 35 goals!). The sad news earlier this week seriously jeopardizes his health and clouds his fantasy production.
Two or three games are too early for spotting trends, but some stories are beginning to take shape. Apparently it doesn’t matter who starts in goal for Ottawa. The team is just marking time until the playoffs begin. Washington’s 3-0 start with only two goals against should grab your attention. Tampa Bay starting 3-0 with Johan Holmqvist in goal is surprising. In training camp, everything pointed to Marc Denis being new and improved. Buffalo doesn’t look anything like the team they had last year. I guess that can happen when you lose your top two centers.
Some people are surprised by the 3-1 start (heading into Thursday night) that the New York Islanders have gotten off to. Not me though. If you looked closely at the player personnel moves over the summer, GM Garth Snow was bringing in the type of players that suit his most excellent coach. Sure the Isles were disappointed when they weren’t able to lure Ryan Smyth or Jason Blake back. Buying out Alexei Yashin and bringing in the types of players with whom the coach can work with, sure seems to be paying dividends. They’ve completely changed the atmosphere surrounding the team. Guys like Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin, Ruslan Fedotenko and now Bryan Berard will all be better players under Ted Nolan’s tutelage. These Isles won’t be pushovers and may even challenge for a playoff spot.
Goaltending surprises in the Eastern Conference:
Martin Gerber, Ottawa 4-0, 1.73, .949, 1 shutout
Olaf Kolzig, Washington 2-0, .50, .981, 1 shutout
Johan Holmqvist, Tampa Bay 3-0, 1.34, .945
Three Not so Pleasant:
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh 1-2, 4.16, .869
Ryan Miller, Buffalo 0-2, 4.58, .845
Tomas Vokoun, Florida 0-2, 4.55, .816
Two games. That’s all it took to start what might be a season long goaltending controversy in Boston. By the numbers, Fernandez was ugly in his first start stopping only 14 of 18 shots with a brutal .778 save percentage. The following game, Tim Thomas stopped 36 of 37 and had an outstanding .973 save percentage. Thomas started game three on Wednesday night and blocked 28 of 30 shots in a 2-1 loss to Anaheim. The Bruins are in Los Angeles on Friday night. I expect Fernandez to start that game. If he doesn’t come up large and the young, talented Kings light him up; the goaltending situation in Boston will become uncomfortable. The Bruins fans and management won’t have the same patience they had last year. 'Welcome to the Jungle' Manny.