Monday, October 13, 2008

Goons For Hire

After mentioning Aaron Voros in my last update, he notched an assist last night. Tonight Todd Fedoruk had an assist, +1 and 2 PIM. And in only 4 minutes of ice time, George "the Greatest Facial Hair In Hockey" Parros scored his first goal of the season. While everyone else drafts Daniel Carcillo too high, you can always grab some good brawlers in the last round of your draft or in free agency. Of course Parros has now reached his quota for goals scored in a season, but the idea is still solid: just look for fighters on good teams. If your PIM guys play on a decent team, they're more likely to see ice time with talented players and happen into some points. In Fedoruk's case he's currently playing on a line with top Calder Trophy contender Mikkel Boedker, who I'll touch on later. Fighters on good teams are also more likely not to hurt you at +/- than say, Raitis Ivanans. And maybe most importantly, they're more likely to be under strict orders to protect star players. Anyway, here's what I noticed in the past two days of hockey...

Sergei Kostitsyn - The unpopular Kostitsyn scores two goals against a sad, sad Toronto team. Still, Sergei could have just of good a season as his brother, and is available in a lot of leagues.

Martin Biron - His team collapses in front of him in the first period and his stats make him look like a bum as a result. Nothing to get worried about.

Patrick Kane - The "let's play the kids on different lines to help add scoring depth!" idea continues to sputter as Toews' line scores one goal, and Kane goes -3 with no points. I'm not sure how much longer Chicago wastes their time with this, but between this boneheaded idea and the weird situation with Khabibulin they're in, I've gone from being very high on the Blackhawks (as in excitement, not second hand smoke from Ben Eager) to a lot of head scratching and a lot of going "Huh?"

Kyle Okposo - The Islanders score 5 goals and all Okposo gets is an assist? Seriously? Oh well, unless Sean Bergenheim finally has his breakout season, Okposo should still lead his team in scoring when all is said and done.

Chris Mason / Manny Fernandez - If there's any doubt that Manny Legace and Tim Thomas should be bonafied #1 goalies and not 1As, nights like last night should cast those doubts aside.

David Booth - Broke 20 goals last season, already has 3 this season. Plus he shoots a ton. My rule of thumb is to stay clear of anyone on the Panthers, but in a deep league I'd make an exception for Booth.

Joni Pitkanen - Joni's always had Sandis Ozolinsh Syndrome (defenseman who thinks he's a forward) but last season he couldn't even get the point scoring side of things right. He's on a tear to start this season though and he's always had the skills to be a top notch puck moving dman. Maybe Carolina's where he finally puts it all together, and realizes he has to skate forwards AND backwards.

Shea Weber - Scored a goal in a surprising 3-1 Preds win over the Stars. Don't let his injury problems last season fool you, Weber will be right around 40 points again if he stays healthy. Plus he shoots like it's going out of style, which I love to see from defensemen. Even with the disappointing season he had 152 shots in 54 games last year!

Phil Kessel - He always seems like he's on the verge of putting together a really hot streak, and he has 2 goals already. Keep an eye on him.

Mikko Koivu - 2 A, 5 SOG, 20+ minutes of ice time in his first game. I was able to pick him up off FA in my one league when we expanded our rosters an extra spot. He really shouldn't be available in any leagues, if you can grab him, make room for him.

Kyle Turris - 1 G, 2 A, 2 PPP in his first two games. Stamkos who?

Mikkel Boedker - Scored the first goal of his career tonight. If you're in a keeper and Boedker is available, you need to stop reading this and pick him up. I like how Phoenix is bringing along their kids, playing next to veteran centers like Jokinen and Reinprecht who can open up the ice and give the youngins a chance to do their thing.

Rick Rypien - I honestly know nothing about this guy but he has 2 goals and a fight already, and he looks like a hooligan in his Yahoo! player profile pic.

Rene Bourque - I always expect him to have a breakout season, because I think I subconsciously have been under the impression he's Ray Bourque nephew or something. Instead it turns out he's the cousin of boxer Wayne Bourque, which judging from his Wikipedia picture and bio, might make Rene even more awesome. Either way, he's playing on a line with Michael Cammalleri and is off to a good start with a goal and an assist. Worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues.

Randy Jones - Will miss four months after hip surgery. Nearly decapitating Patrice Bergeron last season seemed to get in his head as he never regained the same level of play. With the injury problems now too, I wouldn't even bother waiting around to put him on the IR. Move on.

Denis Grebeshkov - 2 A, +1 and 20 minutes of ice time in his first game this season. He's a former 1st round pick playing on a much improved Oilers team with strong defensemen around him.

Brian Boucher - Picks up where he left off last season putting up shutouts while backing up Nabakov. It's a shame the Sharks and Evgeni are hell bent on having him start 98% of the games this season, otherwise Boucher would be a decent backup in leagues deep enough to warrant carrying one.

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