Alas, we’ve come to our final Monday in November and stampede into December like Sean Avery into a clothing store (he was an intern for Vogue, y’know) . Buckle up, my fellow cubicle GMs, and get ready for this week’s fantasy news.
Here Comes Hossa
For those that gambled on draft day and selected the then-injured Marian Hossa (RW), your time has come. The feisty Czechoslovakian winger scored 2 goals in his first game with his new team, the Chicago Blackhawks.
It ain’t all good news though—as of Sunday afternoon, Hossa has been pointless in his next two games with the ‘Hawks. A silver lining–he did pepper the net with 6 shots in a 2-1 OT loss to the Kings on Saturday (although I’m sure jilted Red Wings fans hope the slump lasts until…oh, April.).
But when you can look forward to having a teammate who’s as good a singer as Kris Versteeg, you can’t blame Hossa for jumping ship.
This never would have happened if the Wings had held on to Darren McCarty, a gentleman who rocks the mic like a vandal.
What does Hossa’s addition to the line-up mean for the Blackhawks? More scoring, that’s for sure. He’s a proven sniper who is good for 30 to 40 goals a season, perhaps more if he clicks with line mates Patrick “The Menace” Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Hossa will certainly increase the worth of those around him, as someone will have to be setting up all of those goals. He’s also a good source for short-handed and game winning goals—he had a career best 7 shorties in ’05-’06 with Atlanta and his 8 game winners with Detroit last year was his second highest total after the 10 he had with Ottawa in the pre-lock-out NHL.
And you better get used to seeing Hossa in a ‘Hawk’s jersey, as he signed a bizonkers 12-year contract over the summer, so if you are in a keep league he might make for a great long time addition.
If you had #81 stashed away on your injured reserve or bench, go ahead and activate him right away.
Second year center Steven Stamkos is finally starting to show why he was drafted #1 overall. The 19 year-old from Ontario has 17 goals and 29 points in just 24 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning–y’know, that team Barry Melrose coached for like five minutes.
Last season, Stamkos had 23 goals in 79 games, for a 0.29 goals-per-game average. This season, he’s putting them in at 0.71 per game, and is on pace for a 58 goal season. Will he reach that total? Maybe. Especially if he can keep getting goals like this:
Stamkos might have been a draft day steal for some (he was on the High Noon team’s cheat sheet), but good luck trying to get him unless you are in a very small league. He has 8 multi-point games so far this season.
Line mates Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone are second and third on the team with scoring (28 and 23 points, respectively) so Stamkos is certainly sharing the wealth. If Malone is still floating around your league’s bargain bin, grab him. He’s got 15 goals (in 24 games) on the season, putting him in a tie for fifth in the league overall. That’s pretty good for someone who had 26 goals in 70 games last season.
Fantasy News Around the NHL
The pride of North Carolina, Jared Boll (RW, Columbus) had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick vs. the Rangers last Monday: goal, assist, 10 PIM and +3. And with an additional goal Saturday against Calgary, Boll looks ready to crack his career high of 5 goals. Someone get the USA Olympic Team on the horn. Boll’s a good pick-up if you need the PIMs, but just be aware that he doesn’t play that many minutes a game and has a history of being healthy scratch.
Dwayne Roloson (G, NYI) made 58 saves to beat the Leafs in OT last Monday night. Yowza.
The Leafs lost despite putting 61 shots on goal. You can’t say they didn’t try. Remember, Roloson carried the scrappy Oilers all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals back in 2006, so a night like this isn’t out of the question.
And speaking of Jared Boll and Dwayne Roloson:
Sidney Crosby (C, Pittsburgh) had a hat trick against the Rangers Saturday night. And of course, it happened to be Hat Night for the Pens. Set phasers to CHAPEAU.
The fun didn’t stop there, Evgeni Malkin (C) had 2 points, as did Sergei Gonchar (D) and Alex Goligoski (D)—who just came back from being injured. Pittsburgh’s defensive line is deadly once again. The Pens won 8-3.
David “Don’t Call Me Davey” Jones of the Avalanche (RW) was quietly racking up the goals. He had 10 in 23 games, after only netting 8 through 40 games last season. But—the fickle finger of fate pointed at Mister Jones and gave him a torn ACL. Jones will be out four to six months. Oh, Davey. See ya in the Spring.
The hits keeps coming: Milan Lucic (LW, Boston) and Mike Fisher (C, Ottawa) are injured. Fisher will certainly be missed, as he has 21 points in 22 games.
Georges Laraque (RW, Montreal) was given a 5 game suspension for his knee to knee hit on Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall (D), who gets a 4 to 8 week vacation in the press box. Because Detroit didn’t already have enough injuries.
High Noon Showdown
Let’s see how some of the players mentioned last week have preformed:
Afinogenov came very close to winning a second week in a row, but Brad Richards beats him out with a whopping 5 assists and 6 points over the past week. It should be noted that Giroux also wins a few faceoffs here and there (he’s a winger), so if you need extra help in that category, he may be worth grabbing.
Come back next week to see how Marian Hossa and some of the other players mentioned today fared.
Enjoy your last day of November and get ready for the Snow Miser.