Sunday, November 11, 2007

Last week in the NHL, Who's Hot

The recent returns of Mathieu Schneider, Sean Avery and Dominik Hasek have made many a fantasy owner happy in the last two weeks. The double return of Dan Boyle from the IR and back onto the IR probably less so.

One good thing about early season injuries to top players is that you can often get them for nothing off of the waiver wire early in the season. I managed to add Mathieu Schneider, Dan Boyle and Shea Weber to my defence core in one league. Sure, my defence isn't so hot right now with 2 of those guys on the IR, but by the end of the season it will probably be the best in the league. Oh, and did I mention that I drafted Chris Pronger and Wade Redden before picking the other three off of waivers?

Top Players last week:
Center: Vinny Lecavalier leads all centers with 2 goals, 6 assists, +6 and 16 SOG. It would be nice if he took a few penalties and got some power play points too... but how much can you ask for?

Vincent Lecavalier: 2 goals, 6 assists, +6
Steve Reinprecht: 4 goals, 3 assists, +3
Cory Stillman: 4 goals, 3 assists, +0
Peter Mueller: 3 goals, 3 assists, +3
Sidney Crosby: 2 goal, 3 assists, +0

Wingers: Sean Avery's return from the IR has been an unqualified success. He has produced 2 goals, 3 assists, a +1, 16 PIMs and 12 SOG. Not bad for a guy you are counting on for your teams PIM total!

Vaclac Prospal: 2 goals, 6 assists, +6
Jere Lehtinen: 1 goal, 5 assists, +5
Martin St. Louis: 3 goals, 2 assists, +5
Sean Avery: 2 goals, 3 assists, +1
Ray Whitney: 1 goal, 4 assists, +1

Defensemen: Daniel Girardi... really? Don't get too excited, sure he put up 4 assists and a couple PIMs this week to follow up a goal last week but Girardi only managed 6 assists in 40 NHL games last year.

Sergei Zubov: 0 goals, 6 assists, +2
Daniel Girardi: 0 goal, 4 assists, +0
Sergei Gonchar: 2 goal, 2 assists, -1
Ed Jovanovski: 1 goal, 3 assists, -1
Mathieu Schneider: 1 goal, 3 assists, +0

Goaltenders: Martin Gerber is giving the best team in the league the kind of headache they would like to have. His brilliant start to the season hasn't been bothered one bit by the return of Ray Emery. 3 starts, 3 wins, a 0.97 GAA and a .963 save percentage, the only thing the guy didn't do was get us a couple shutouts. In one of my leagues some idiotic owner dropped Gerber in favour of keeping Cristobal Huet and Peter Budaj... Idiot. (Editors note: you're the idiot who made that move)

Martin Gerber: 3 wins, 0.97 GAA, 0.963 SPct
Johan Holmqvist: 3 wins, 1 loss, 2.01 GAA, 0.933 SPct
Rick DiPietro: 2 wins, 1.50 GAA, 0.941 SPct
Patrick Lalime: 2 wins, 1.89 GAA, 0.921 SPct
Roberto Luongo: 2 wins, 1.49 GAA, 0.952 SPct

Players to watch: Sid the kid has woken up and is producing across the board and don't look now but Daniel Briere and Scott Gomez are showing signs of life... now where did Chris Drury end up again?

In case you missed it Sean Avery and Darcy Tucker are both back from the IR, both of these super pests are highly valuable in leagues which reward PIMs. Hell, when they are hot they are useful in any league and Avery is hot right now.

Don't look now but Phoenix is proving to be more difficult than many teams expected this year. Shane Doan and Ed Jovanovski are both contributing and could be worth a look on your team, especially if SOG and PIMs are a consideration in your league.

Roberto Luongo has been playing up to expectations lately and Ondrej Pavelec has taken over from veteran Johan Hedberg in Atlanta and won 2 of 3 with a respectable 2.32 GAA.

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