Hark! Another dossier of fantasy hockey intelligence for all of you armchair GMs. Lots of big players injured, AO is back with a vengeance, and what the High Noon team is thankful for when it comes to hockey.
The injuries this keep piling up and we’re not even finished with the second month of the season yet. It seems like every day, another important fantasy player goes down for the count, forcing us to fight over the likes of Zenon Konopka and Paul Bissonnette, which isn’t good for anyone. Since last Monday Ryan Smyth, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Jay McKee, Alex “The Other Alex” Semin, Drew Stafford, Michael Leighton, Scott Walker, Niklas Kronwall, Nikolai Khabibulin, Mike Comrie, Cory Stillman and Martin Havlat have all been sidelined with injuries—and that’s not even everyone. Crazy.
Thankfully, some of these injuries are only short term, but Gionta is out with a broken foot and Gomez is out with the always informative “Lower body injury” and for those keeping score at home, these two are line-mates for the Canadiens. Gotta love it when two thirds of your top-line is injured. The Gomez injury left the High Noon Team scrambling to pick up a new center. Sigh.
Oh and Mike Comrie has mono, aka “the kissin’ disease.” Hmm.
A Gr8 Return
Yes, Alex Ovechkin has returned, getting two goals in his first three games back.
This could spell the end of the usefulness of Tomas Fleischmann, who certainly benefited from AO’s absence. If you are one of the lucky few to own Ovechkin, make sure he’s back in your line up.
Keep an eye on Fleischmann if you did happen to pick him up during the past couple weeks. If his production drops off considerably, it might be time to cut your ties. But remember that Semin is out with an injury, so it is possible that Fleischmann could see some ice time on the top line.
The return of Ovechkin means more points for plenty of other players on the Capitals.
This Thursday marks Thanksgiving for hockey fans living in the U.S. of A. so I thought I’d list a few things about hockey that I’m thankful for, in no particular order.
- The Ovechkin and Crosby rivalry
- Slap shots
- OT in the playoffs
- Goalie masks
Fantasy News Around the NHL
Joe Thornton (C, San Jose) has 8 points in the past three games, and has 25 assists in 25 games. Playing with Dany Heatley (LW, San Jose) will help with that (4 goals in the last three games), who has 2 hat tricks so far season. Claude Giroux (RW, Philadelphia) has 7 points in the last four games, including a 3 point game vs. the Sharks on the 20th. Martin St. Louis (RW, Tampa Bay) has points in all but three games this season and not to be outdone, Marian Gaborik (RW, NYR) has points in all but two games.
Anton Stralman (D, Columbus) has 3 multi-point games in November. Brad Richards (C, Dallas) has 6 assists in his past two games, including 4 against the Devils. Fedor Tyutin (D, Columbus) has 6 points in the past three games, including 4 powerplay assists. Maxim Afinogenov (RW, Atlanta) has 13 points in November and has matched his point total from last season (20) in 18 fewer games. Tuomo Ruutu (LW, Carolina) has 5 points and is +3 in the past two games.
Carey Price (G, Montreal) has 2 wins, a 1.90 GAA and a .940 SV% in the past week. Chris Mason (G, St. Louis) has 3 wins and a 1.50 GAA in the past week. Tuukka “Not as Many U’s as Tuomo Ruutu” Rask is 3-1 in November. Antti Niemi (G, Chicago) blanked the Canucks Sunday night.
Sergei Gonchar (D, Pittsburgh) is back in the lineup but is pointless in his first two games and is –3. Ouch. In conspiracy theory news, Brad May (LW, Detroit) was robbed of a goal against the Stars.
The goal would have been May’s first of the season and would have tied his entire output in 58 games last season.
Brendan Shanahan (LW, New Jersey) retired. Sure, he wasn’t the force he used to be while with Detroit, but Shanahan will be missed. In his prime, Shanahan was a great fantasy player because he could rack up the penalty minutes as well as the goals, earning 17 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in his career (a goal, an assist and a fight).
Shanahan was a fun player to watch and a had a great sense of humor. He will be missed.
Fragile goaltender Pascal Leclaire (Ottawa) is out with a lower body injury. He should form a club with Rick DiPietro (knee surgery) and Kari Lehtonen (back surgery). But, you may want to grab DiPietro and stash him on your roster if you have an injured reserve spot, as he is rumored to start playing again in late November.
James Neal (LW, Dallas) was suspended for two games by the NHL for his hit on Derek Dorsett (RW, Columbus).
Georges Laraque (RW, Montreal) takes out Niklas Kronwall (D, Detroit) with a knee to knee hit, which is going to be reviewed by the NHL.
High Noon Showdown
Let’s see how some of last week’s suggested players performed:
Looks like Mr. Afinogenov wins this week’s Showdown, with 3 points in three games (he was also +4 in that span). Neal might have had a couple more points if hadn’t been suspended (see above) and it looks like the supporting players on the Red Wings have cooled off a bit. Come back next week to see how some of the players mentioned this week performed. Who knows, maybe Brad May will be inspired after being cheated out of his goal and will go on a scoring rampage.
And a Happy Thanksgiving, see you next week.