Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LemaireMania's Running Wild On You

Seven games into the season, the Wild still have yet to suffer their first regulation loss. Are the Wild for real? Long story short... yes. If you want the proof, just take into consideration that they've gotten off to this start with top offensive producer Marian Gaborik having only played two games, along with injuries to important players like Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Marek Zidlicky. The Wild are loaded with talented young players, some of which are about to bust out for career seasons (Mikko Koivu) and some of which are just starting to tap into their potential (Benoit Pouliot, Colton Gillies, Josh Harding). They also have veterans who have been passed over by team after team but still have something to prove (Marc-Andre Bergeron, Owen Nolan). And of course Jacques Lemaire, still never naming a team captain, still trying to bore us to tears with the neutral zone trap. But I don't know what it is about the Wild, maybe it's their youth, maybe it's the fans, maybe I just like forest green and iron range red together... either way, I like watching them play, and I hope they keep running Wild over the competition this season.

Kyle Okposo
- Finally breaks out for a big game, scoring a goal and registering 7 SOG. I think I jinxed him when I said he'd lead the Islanders in scoring unless Sean Bergenheim had his break out season (since which Bergenheim scored 2 goals). I still like Okposo even though I dropped him in my non-keeper, more due to the fact that I have trouble justifying having any Islanders on my team than anything.

Francois Beauchemin - Has scored 3 goals already while putting 24 shots on the net. Beauchemin might be a bit boring but there are worse defensemen taking up spots on fantasy hockey rosters. If you have had injury problems at D (now that Rivet is on the IR, for example) Beauchemin is a solid pick up.

Fredrik Norrena - Off to a crap start, but with Leclaire on the IR now all Pascal owners need to pick him up. I like Leclaire a lot but the fact of the matter is with how injury prone he is, owners might be seeing a significant amount of Norrena this season.

Cristobal Huet - 15 saves on 18 shots. Woof. It looks like CristoWall needs some spackle. If you can still reinforce him with the currently more structurally sound Bulin Wall, then put on your hard hat.

Brent Burns - Scores a goal, owners celebrate. Leaves the game with a lower body injury, owners look at the free agents in their league. Don't get too worried, Brent is traveling with the team for their road series so I'm guessing he misses a game at most.

Antti Miettinen - Scored his 6th goal of the season last night and is still clicking with the AMA line (Antti, Mikko, Andrew). For some reason he's still available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues. Are you guys kidding me? Don't be Antti-Miettinen!!

Andrew Brunette - Speaking of which, Brunette is off to a point per game start (3 G, 4 A in 7 games) and he's available in a whole mess of leagues. The main knock against Andy is that he's so "accurate," or in other words only has 7 shots through those 7 games. But in deep leagues there's no reason he shouldn't be on a team.

Tim Thomas - Making a pretty good case for himself to be the #1 by shutting out the Oilers on 27 shots. Like I said when I was talking about platoons last week, I don't think Fernandez is worth owning at this point. Thomas should be able to hold his own.

Kyle Quincey - Wait, there's a promising young defenseman on the Kings NOT named Drew or Jack? That's right, Kyle is quietly playing 20+ minutes of ice time while putting up damn fine numbers so far this season (1 G, 2 A, +5, 1 PPP). Quincey doesn't have the pedigree of Doughty or Johnson (not a first round pick, hasn't been able to break into the league despite playing his first NHL game back in 2005) but he's still only 23 years old and worth a look in keepers.

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