Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't Be Antti-Miettinen

Pierre-Marc Bouchard already missed a game for you last night and will be out at least one more with a sore back. That means if you have Bouchard on your team, he'll be a waste of roster space for you until Saturday at soonest, when the Wild play Tampa Bay. And when you hear a player will miss "at least X games" it's always safe to assume they'll miss an additional game or two. If Bouchard misses the game Saturday, he'll be wasting a space on your roster until NEXT THURSDAY the 23rd against the Sabres.

Jason Arnott has a broken finger and will be out "at least" 3 games. This means Arnott will be wasting roster space for you until... you guessed it, NEXT THURSDAY the 23rd when the Preds play the Flames! And that's the best case scenario. Now I like Bouchard and I like Arnott. I know both are arguably coming off career seasons. But when you sit on little injuries like this all season, you're basically saying "well if I don't have enough guys playing to win this week, there's always next week." If you're in a roto league you're hurting yourself even worse. This stuff adds up. Bouchard and Arnott are guys who can have good, maybe even great seasons for you. But every week of every season there's some guy getting hot, someone you can pick up that can make up those stats that you'll eventually lose from dropping an injured Bouchard or Arnott. And I can say from experience, the GMs who usually win are the ones who not only draft well, but who take chances and pick up the hot hands while they're still hot.

Enter: Antti Miettinen, Bouchard's teammate on the Wild. His stats tonight? 2 G, 1 A, 1 PPP, +1, 3 SOG, 4 PIM. Think those stats might have helped you? And I watched his goals, they were beauties. I picked up Miettinen late last year when he got hot for the Stars (15 G, 19 A in 69 games for the season) and he was a nice shot in the arm. I was lucky enough to draft him late in my deep league this season and it's paying off nicely. And in my not as deep league, I'll be picking him up for Thursdays game, after I drop Boedker, who I picked up for tonight. Who did I drop to do a little mini-streaming this week? Pierre-Marc Bouchard (and I should point out I hate streaming, but I'm getting drastically out-manned this week thanks how many games my players have scheduled). Hell, I'd guess I'll be able to pick Bouchard back up at the end of the week because he'll probably clear waivers. So what am I trying to say? Take risks, don't grow attached to players who are dead weight on your roster, and don't count out guys you don't know that well who are hot. Don't be Antti-Miettinen.

Bryan Little - I'll write something a little serious about him now that he put together a good game (1 G, 1 A, +1, 2 SOG) on a night when the Thrashers didn't have a fluke blowout win. In fact, they lost 5-2, but Little still came out smelling like roses. He played on a line with Kovalchuk which will obviously help, but Little was a 12th overall pick in 2006 and could end up as one of the very few rays of sunshine in a dark and stormy Thrashers season.

Antero Niittymaki - Had a pretty good game despite a losing team effort against the Pens. Nitty has the talent to be a starting goalie, and is still young as far as goalies go. I think Biron has the job locked down in Philly, but I wouldn't be shocked to see Nitty end up starting somewhere else eventually. So in keepers, he's worth taking a look at.

Miikka Kiprusoff - Held on to win a hard fought battle with the Avs. The Flames didn't help him with dumb penalties and some bad defensive lapses, and his stats won't look the best for you aside from the win. Still, this was a great back and forth game and a win like this against a division rival can do a lot to turn things around for a team and a goalie.

Todd Bertuzzi - The biggest heel in the NHL is back to being relevant for something other than delivering the one-handed bulldog heard around the hockey world. If Bertuzzi continues to click with Iginla AND stays healthy, a 65+ point season would be a modest prediction. But that's a Big If for Big Bert.

George Parros - A +1 to go along with his 5 PIM. I told you to believe in the stache!

Devin Setoguchi - Another guy off to a hot start (2 G, 2 A, +4 through 4 games). Don't Deny Devin!

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - If you're looking for young defensemen, this kid is worth keeping an eye on. Really when you get right down to it, any halfway decent defenseman on the Sharks is worth keeping an eye on. In fact, I'm adding Brad Lukowich to my watch list RIGHT NOW.

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