Fantasy Hockey 201: Taking It A Bit Easy

Forgive us, ladies and gentlemen, but due to feeling a bit under the weather, we are understandably taking it easy this week.  So our season-end fantasy hockey recap will come in a week or two.  What we are going to do today is simply thank our readers and listeners.  They deserve to have the floor because without them there is no us.

Our question to the readers is what was the one good thing that helped your fantasy team the most.  For example it does not have to necessarily be something that was tangible to the success of your fantasy hockey team.  Was there a move that was made or perhaps a trade or a decision that one did not go forward with.  Sometimes in leagues it is what you do not do as opposed to what you do.

Take an average season and all the moves that are just pondered.  I am pretty sure they are more than the amount than actually are made.  One of the funniest quirky moves that I saw made was Martin Brodeur actually being kept on the IR in leagues until New Jersey started winning.  Oddly enough Brodeur put up a GAA of 1.70 and a save percentage of .925 since Jan 14th.  The numbers were there but the first half numbers that were near a 3.00 GAA and a save percentage of .890 were downright horrifying for any fantasy owner.

Anyone who had Brodeur coined for 40-45 wins did not know their back side from their elbow.  We had him pegged for 35-37 wins at best and who knew all the injuries were going to hit along with the team completely going into the tank.  Simply we were dead wrong and we apologize.  There were several projections that were just so far off.

This was a season full of star players taking a drop off the ledge so to speak.  Ryan Miller was barely in the top 25 in GAA and save percentage just for example.  Yet on Thursday Night, he turned it up a notch with a 33 save effort in a 1-0 shutout over the Philadelphia Flyers.  What does this tell you?  The cream rises to the top just sometimes it takes till the playoffs start.  Even Brian Gionta scored twice last night and Mike Fisher had two goals and an assist in Wednesday Night’s 4-1 win over Anaheim.

That is why the playoffs can often be a different animal.  Remember last year was the year of the middle of the road goaltender.  Antti Niemi won a Stanley Cup for Chicago with a 2.61 GAA just as Exhibit A. Already this year and it is early but the elite netminders and scoring in general is for the most part down. Numbers do not lie as six games have hit the under in Vegas Betting and potentially a seventh at press time if the LA-San Jose game is scoreless in the third period.

What will happen in the next week?  There is kind of a feeling that scoring will go up somewhat but there are just too many match-ups where teams clearly are playing not to give up goals as opposed to being aggressive.  Physical play ramps up but the forecheck often appears misguided.  What say you, hockey fans?  Where will the biggest fantasy impact be felt in Round 1 of the playoffs?  Just think, the action is really only just starting to crank up!


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