Sean Avery causes a stir in New York. Rick Nash is caught with his stick up in Minnesota. Bob Gainey wants to limit shot-blockers. The New Jersey Devils/Philadelphia Flyers rivalry “heats up”. And Paul Kariya has 12 points in 8 games. Yes, it was certainly a helter-skelter week in the National Hockey League. But let’s look at what always seems to makes sense and that is goals and assists and who is making waves in fantasy hockey!
In this week’s Fantasy Hockey Six-Pack, we look at three players who cannot be ignored any longer and three players who have fallen on hard times.
Three Players Who Cannot Be Ignored Any Longer
F Jarret Stoll, Los Angeles Kings- Stoll is off to a quick start in Hollywood (seven points in six games) and has looked good on the Kings revamped power-play. The quixotic Stoll took a step back last season with Edmonton (36 points) but was buried behind younger scorers higher up on the depth chart. Expect Stoll to return to somewhere in the 55-65 point range this season.
F Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins- Lucic recorded his first career hat-trick for the Black-and-Gold last night in a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers and now has four goals and three assists in eight games. The former Vancouver Giant has a nose for the net and the physical prowess to back it up. Lucic is a quintessential Boston Bruin in the same vein as Cam Neely.
F Devin Setoguchi, San Jose Sharks- Setoguchi’s stats are impressive so far this season (9 GP, 5 goals, 3 assists). The Taber, Alberta native looks a lot more comfortable playing for head coach Todd McLellan than he ever did playing for erstwhile head coach Ron Wilson. Setoguchi has great speed, a quick release and sound defensive abilities. Pick up Setoguchi in pools which allow weekly or daily transactions.
Three Players Who Have Fallen On Hard Times
F Marian Gaborik, Minnesota- Gaborik was placed on injured reserve earlier this week and absolutely nobody was surprised. Gaborik seems to get injured every year and the fact that his “lower-body injury” happened so early in the season is only fitting. Gaborik had one goal in two games before he went down and his future in Minneapolis-St.Paul remains uncertain. Bench Gaborik in all leagues and hope that his injury is not lengthy.
F Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings- The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime Saturday night but lost one of their hottest players in the process. Franzen will miss three to four weeks after suffering a knee injury as a result of a collision with defenseman Brent Sopel. Franzen was playing splendidly for the Wings (seven points in eight games). Tough break. Bench Franzen for at least the next two scoring periods.
F Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers- Early Friday morning it was reported that Briere would be sidelined 3-4 weeks with a slight tear in his reptus abdominis (what is that?). Bad news for poolies because the diminuitive center was beginning to really heat up. Bench Briere for the next three scoring periods and closely watch his progress as he recovers from surgery.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.