In this week’s Fantasy Hockey Six-Pack, I look at three players who are worth a flier in fantasy hockey leagues in addition to listing my top three fantasy goalies.
Three Players Who You Should Be Scooping up off the waiver wire
D Johnny Oduya, New Jersey Devils- Oduya registered three assists in Saturday night’s 6-1 New Jersey win over Atlanta and may see his fantasy index sky rocket as a result. Oduya is a slick skater with excellent offensive upside. Oduya only has four points in 10 games thus far but will get more ice-time with the recent injury suffered by fellow Devs blueliner Andy Greene. Start Oduya as a fourth defenseman in larger pools as he should hit the 30-35 point range this season.
F Alex Burrows, Vancouver Canucks- So Burrows is just an AHL call-up with decent offensive skills you say? Well with 9 points in 11 games, Burrows is now a bona-fide 2nd liner in the National Hockey League and has even looked better than some other higher-paid Canucks such as Steve Bernier. Even though Burrows is known for his grit and tenacity, he has shown that he can score goals in the dirty areas on the ice. Burrows is a sleeper in fantasy play right now. Use a flier on the Pincourt, Quebec native, it will be worth it.
F Oscar Moller, Los Angeles Kings- It is not yet certain if Moller will remain with the Los Angeles Kings for the rest of this season but his play so far (six points in seven games) will make it a tough decision for GM Dean Lombardi. Moller was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 Entry Draft and the hope was that he would slowly develop in the AHL but he was quickly signed in April, 2008 after putting up 82 points as an 18-year-old with the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL. Keep your internet browser bookmarked to the Los Angeles Times because if Moller is here to stay, he could put up some decent offensive numbers playing for the youthful Kings.
Top Three Fantasy Hockey Goaltenders (in no particular order)
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild- The Finnish super-stopper has a record of 7-1-1 right now with a .923 save percentage and one shutout. He is big, athletic and shows the poise that a defensive-minded team like the Minnesota Wild needs to be successful. Backstrom could play 65 games this year if he is healthy. The Wild have a capable back-up in Josh Harding, but he isn’t a threat to Backstrom’s reign.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers- The European domination of this list continues with King Henrik. Lundqvist is 8-2-1 this season with a ridiculously impressive .928 save percentage and 1.99 goals against average. The Swede is rock-solid in net for the Blueshirts and should be starting in all formats right now.
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils- Brodeur is the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Devils are Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is 6-2-2 with a .916 save percentage and two shutouts early in 2008’09. Brodeur should smash all goaltending records that he doesn’t already have this season, including Patrick Roy’s all-time wins record (551) and Terry Sawchuk’s shutouts record (103). Dress Brodeur in all formats (as if you didn’t already know that). Brodeur did suffer a wrist injury during Saturday night play so you may want to sit him out for the following week of NHL action (November 3-10).
For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.