FH 201: Those Dastardly Turkeys

Really when you think of “March Madness” one immediately assumes the NCAA Tournament and rightfully so.

However, this is the time of year for a fantasy hockey GM that causes more gray hairs and hair to be yanked out than any other. Playoffs have either started or are about to start in leagues OR it is crunch time in your Roto league.

Either way, the time is now to either step up or step back.

In a month, the NHL regular season will be over for the 2010-11 season and with that the fantasy hockey season. Yes there are playoffs but that is not our focus, well not yet anyway. Also, we are adding a special addendum to this week’s column because of “special circumstances.”

We apologize in advance for the frankness of this part. Turkeys are definitely all over the place this week and voting was extremely tight.

It is now time for this week’s edition of These Three Turkeys.

THESE THREE TURKEYS  (March 10th)

1. Tomas Kaberle (Boston Bruins)

The newly acquired Bruins defenseman has actually done little, if anything, compared to what he was projected to in Boston. Now we understand there are adjustment periods but maybe Kaberle will start playing well in three years for Boston. One point in his last eight games (prior to Tonight) is not what you would call even average for an NHL player, never mind Kaberle. He does have six shots on goal in his last three games but may have taken a week off between even firing shots at a goalie live. Though he is a plus-3 in the time span, Kaberle was brought in to at least get assists on the power play.

So far it is like everything Boston has seen over the past couple days. Awful and negative. Kaberle will have to pick it up and quick. There are so many fantasy owners who were riding his anticipated assists toward glory. If he does not put up, he may become a resident amongst the turkeys.

2. Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings)

Fair or unfair, Howard has just not been very good since October. He has showed signs of improvement and did stop 24 shots in his latest loss, a 2-1 setback to the Los Angeles Kings. However, he has looked too inconsistent and sloppy at times in the last five contests. In all, he has given up 15 goals in that span. The save percentage is heading down and the goals against average is still heading upward slowly.

Yes Howard is facing over 30 shots a night but nowhere near 35. Almost half of the 15 tallies given up have been on Howard himself which is not a good ratio for a netminder.

Will Howard be any good for your fantasy playoff run? That answer is simply inconsistent.

3. Paul Martin (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Nothing much has gone right for Martin this year. He was supposed to take that next step when he signed with Pittsburgh in the off season.

Well that did not go well at all, did it?

Martin has one point in his last nine games and has slid down into fantasy obscurity the likes that are worse than his days in New Jersey ever were. The once proud puck moving defenseman almost looks tentative out there at times. There was so much potential this season for him to crack 45-50 points but that never materialized. It is more than just no Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Martin’s game has regressed some.

Clearly hitting the net does tend to help and Martin has done that more of late. Back when he was in New Jersey, he fell into the same problem. Times never change sometimes.

Next week we will preview what “fantasy playoff turkeys” are by digging out some unseemly numbers that may surprise. Good luck in your fantasy leagues and see you next week.

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