FH 201: The Middle Of The Road

We really were not sure what to call this week’s column. There was lots of snow in the area and even the wintry stuff became a viable candidate.

If you think about how weird of a week it has been, we saw New Jersey score six goals in one game. I know. You probably thought it was the meds kicking in. I did too.

The question becomes now just what are we going to talk about.

January is speeding by and there are just so many mid-season. Instead of revealing them all now, we are going to wait until the All Star Break. Why? It is just because we can and honestly sometimes one just has to be different in times like these where the writer’s climate is downright dangerous.

Submitted for your disapproval or approval is a series of 1-0 and 2-1 victories by the New York Rangers. No, wait, that is next month.

Here is the thing. When you are trending along the “Middle Of The Road” (a great song by The Pretenders), they key is to see the fantasy turkeys for what they really are at this juncture and they are players who should not or almost should not be on your roster anymore.

Here are three quick mid-season turkeys as a teaser and make sure they never see your roster again.

Rick DiPietro, G, New York Islanders

It is not the numbers so much here on the ice but the numbers when he is off the ice that are more disheartening. There are all those years still left on the contract. He is on a team seemingly headed towards nowhere and the reality is he should never be seen on a fantasy roster for the rest of the year.  If that sounds too blunt then so be it. Really there are better, less injured, AHL goalies out there at this time.

Now if DiPietro can stay healthy for any kind of stretch then that may change some things but that does not look likely at all.

Martin Brodeur, G , New Jersey Devils

There are few that probably thought this name would appear on such a list. However, with only six wins and a GAA over 3.oo with a save percentage below .900, this is certainly NOT the season fantasy hockey experts expected with Brodeur even in their worst nightmares.

The problem becomes what do you do going forward with the all world netminder? In the short term, he has to play past the team induced demons and until he can do that consistently, he is better off on a team’s bench. That is shocking to say the least. However, taking trending into account and the fact that New Jersey is clearly offloading their veteran dead wood and some younger players too, its clear that reloading is in earnest and fantasy GM’s should be wary.

Jason Spezza, F , Ottawa Senators

The last player on this group of three may be the worst off of all. Spezza is averaging about .6 points per game when his career average is a lot closer to 1.0.

The trade rumors are circling in, the coach is about to be fired, and he can barely stay healthy. The first two have somewhat of a role in determining the third in this case. That may be the coldest part to this entire equation.

There is little or no hope that life in Ottawa will get any better for Spezza but at this point Ottawa’s hands are so tied because of their own doing. It really just seems a question of where he winds up as opposed to staying in Kanata, Ontario. The parties involved must separate for the sake of Ottawa’s long-term health. It really has become a big nightmare in Canada’s Capital

There is no set logic in that is to transpire. See you next week as we dig deep into something no GM ever wants to think about. It involves a towel and throwing it. Goodbye for now.

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