The fantasy hockey season is boiling down to its last month, so every goal, assist, save, penalty minute, and plus-minus could be the difference between winning a league and making money, or missing the playoffs and turning your attention to fantasy baseball.
Here is a look at some recent fantasy hockey news and notes, and to help highlight the headlines I have taken a few of Charlie Sheen’s most notable quotes from the past couple weeks and changed them around to reflect what is happening on the fantasy hockey front.
I am on a drug. It’s called Jonathan Toews.
Toews’ recent point explosion has been making all of his fantasy owners high. He has scored eight goals and added seven assists over his last 10 games, which has vaulted him into the top 10 in the league scoring race. The Chicago Blackhawks’ top line of Toews and the Patricks (Kane and Sharp) has been arguably the most productive in hockey during the past month.
The 22-year-old Captain has been a solid 60-plus-point scorer with great plus-minus during his first three seasons and was headed towards those good but not Crosby-like numbers again this season. But now Toews has ramped up his game and his fantasy value at the perfect time. Do not be surprised to see him keep this pace up and finish in the top five in scoring at year’s end.
I’m tired of pretending like Daniel Sedin is not special or a bitchin’ rock star!
Blame it on where he plays hockey. Blame it on him being a twin. Blame it on him being steady instead of flashy, or quiet instead of boisterous. Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin is the leading scorer in the NHL right now, yet everyone seems more interested in talking about the New Jersey Devils’ last-minute playoff push, Sidney Crosby’s concussion, and Trevor Gillies’ suspensions.
Not me. I am not going to sit idly by and watch Sedin get ignored like Jon Cryer. This man has been the second-most valuable player in fantasy hockey this season, trailing only Boston Bruins netminder Tim Thomas, who is destined to win as many awards this year as Natalie Portman.
Sedin is ranked first in points (84), second in goals (34), fourth in assists (50), 10th in plus-minus (plus-23), and second in power-play goals (14). His zero shorthanded goals and measly 28 penalty minutes keep him from being an all-around fantasy demigod, but it is about time to start mentioning Sedin and brother Henrik in the same breath as Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin when naming the top stars in the NHL and fantasy hockey.
Taylor Hall picked a fight with a warlock.
Edmonton’s Taylor Hall is a scorer, not a fighter, and he learned that the hard way last week when he got into an ill-advised scrap with Columbus Blue Jackets enforcer Derek Dorsett. It was as much of a mismatch as any Boise State-Idaho football game the past six years.
Hall, the first pick overall in the 2010 entry draft, suffered a high ankle sprain after his first foray into fighting and will miss the remainder of the season. It's a shame because he was starting to become a fantasy figure, scoring eight points in his last eight games before getting injured.
Hall should be rated highly on fantasy draft boards heading into the 2011-12 campaign. And while he and right wing Ales Hemsky now sit out for the Oilers, look for more ice time and points for forwards Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, and Jordan Eberle from here on out.
Duh, Miikka Kiprusoff is WINNING!
Kiprusoff’s fantasy value was hovering close to the negatives at the halfway point of the season. Before the All-Star Game he was 20-18-2 with a 2.75 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. These mediocre numbers had fantasy owners whispering—or maybe shouting — that Kipper’s best days were behind him.
Kiprusoff has forced Father Time to back off during the second half of the season, though. He is 11-2-3 with a 2.08 GAA and a .926 SP since the All-Star break in what has been a terrific turnaround. The fantasy owners who traded or dumped Kipper before this hot streak probably want San Jose’s Jason Demers to punch them in the face like he did to that unsuspecting linesman last week.
Kiprusoff is now second in the league in victories with 31 and has a great chance of ending up as the wins champ because he might start for his Calgary Flames in every game the rest of the way. He has already started 19 contests in a row and will continue starting as long as the Flames are still battling for a playoff berth. He has been just as durable between the pipes as fellow workhorses Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo throughout his career, so starting every game should not be a problem for him.
On a related note, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard should kiss the ice, any octopus on it, and the skates and sticks of Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, and the rest of the Red Wings. There is no way Howard, with his 2.82 GAA and .907 SP (ranked near the bottom in both categories), should be tied with Kiprusoff with 31 wins. Yet thanks to the goal support he has been able to pull it off. Fantasy owners of Howard will not quibble about his inflated win-loss record, however.
Like Sheen always says, “Winning!”
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