By this point of the season, you know the score. You know which guys on your team should be there all season, and which ones are expandable. The problem is exercising the patience to stand by your man (or men) while he (or they) go through dry spells and avoid that ever so tempting free agency pick up that you know deep down in your gut won't pan out. If you happen to catch the box score update, or you happen to be watching the game, and that free agent notches an assist, or worse yet scores a goal, you must be strong! Do not give in to temptation! It's getting to the portion of the season when you have to be looking towards the big picture. Then later in the season, when the big picture comes crumbling down due to injuries, trades and goalie shake ups, then you can start getting trigger happy with the free agency moves again.
Nevertheless, it's always good to keep your ear to the ground.
Sam Gagner - Could he have finally found some linemates he's clicking with? Craig MacTavish sure hopes so. It's very early to say, but if you've stood by him this long you're probably in a keeper and your best bet is to stand pat.
Dany Sabourin - Even though the lack of a second "n" in his first name makes me believe he's secretly a girl, Sabourin could be getting a decent amount of starts depending on MAF's dreaded undisclosed injury. At the very least Dany is starting tomorrow. He's a decent goalie on a good team, and definitely worth picking up in deep leagues.
David Booth - Scored his 8th goal of the season Tuesday. It was his third on the powerplay and he's up to 58 SOG so far. Only 13 players so far have goals in the double digits to give you and idea of where that ranks Booth. Let's play Guess What Percentage Of Yahoo Leagues He's Owned In! 65%? Hell no!!! 50%? Not even close!! 35%? Hahahaha!! 20%? Hmmm gettting warmer! 13%? Ding ding ding ding ding!
Rene Bourque - Hasn't beat anyone up in front of their parents lately but he did score his 4th goal of the season. He's been in a slump but is shooting a lot and I still like him in deep leagues.
Nikolai Khabibulin - Khabi is inching closer to #1 goalie status. Huet owners be warned.
Mikkel Boedker - On the subject of guys to be patient with, Boedker's a good example. Had a powerplay assist Tuesday night and saw 20 minutes of ice time. The best is yet to come with Boedker this season.
Jonathan Toews - Isn't scoring many goals but at least he's fighting people! ...Except the league I own him in doesn't count PIM. Fuck you and your weird last name Jonathan! Nah I'm just joshin, Toews is awesome.
Manny Fernandez - Learned that Tim Thomas' job is harder than it looks, but still got the win. I like Boston's chances this season a lot if Fernandez can keep playing well and giving Thomas some nights off to stay fresh.
Marc Savard - Does this guy ever slow down?
Shane O'Brien - Racking up the PIM again. He hasn't been providing anything else while in Vancouver but in deep leagues, there are worse 4th defenseman out there. If the league counts PIM.
Pavol Demitra- He's been hot since he's been back. He's only available in about 50% of leagues, and he'll probably be hurt again within a month top, but if you can grab him he could be worth a ride for the time being.
Bobby Ryan - The second overall pick from 2005 has been called up in Anahiem and had 2 G, 1 A, +2, 5 SOG, 2 PIM in his second game. Not too shabby. I doubt he's available in any keepers but keep an eye on him in other leagues as well.
Tomas Fleischmann - No longer has that great Carrot Top head of hair, but he does have goals in three straight games. He's also a -3 in those games, which I blame squarely on the lack of luxurious locks.