- Jonas Hiller has played 11 periods and has faced 165 shots! The next closest is Michael Neuvirth with 119.
- Your NHL goal scoring leader is Alex Ovechkin with 7 points. He is also tied for the lead in goals with Derek Roy and… Clarke MacArthur!! However, MacArthur has played one less game than the two. He is on pace for 109 goals.
- The goal of the week happened on opening night and belongs to Jordan Eberle. I saw it live, and I think I woke the neighbours when I saw what he got away with. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but watch it again.
- Eberle’s goal did not come without consequence; however. In Ryan Rishaug’s latest piece, the Oilers were more disappointed than impressed. Please watch this video, I am putting it under the amazing column.
- Tweet of the week: “I officially giveRyan Miller’s comments the James Wisniewski gesture.” Ha!
- As I tweeted a few days back, Wayne Gretzky’s son, Trevor is off to San Diego State University next year on a scholarship to play… not hockey… not football… but baseball! Trevor Gretzky is the quarterback for Westlake Village Oaks Christian High School, where he played with Nick Montana (son of Joe) and Trey Smith (son of Will). SDSU is where Stephen Strasberg attended university and their current Head Coach is Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn.
- The Detroit Red Wings are your Western Conference leaders; while your Toronto Maple Leafs are undefeated after 3 games and lead the East. Let’s take a look at some Facebook reaction:
Leafs are gonna win the cup!
Plan the parade! Plan the parade!
3-0, fuckin eh
I”M TALKING BOUT PLAYOFFFFS
And so there you go. This is what populated my newsfeed mere minutes after the Leafs beat the Penguins last night.
The Green Jacket Watch
(The Green Jacket is awarded at the end of the year to the player with the worst +/- in the league)
Matt Beleskey, Anaheim
Tyler Myers, Buffalo
Sheldon Brookbank, Anaheim
Patrick Kane, Chicago
If this was the Ryder Cup, Anaheim would be in the lead.
NEXT WEEK: I will feature the CY Young Race (most goals, least assists). After 1 week, it is too early to determine a bonafide leader, but look out for Clarke MacArthur and Derek Roy are tied at 4-1 (4 goals, 1 assist)
Okay, so I wasn’t as productive as I hope I would with my Fantastic Forecasts. Therefore, to reach my quota I decided just to quickly forecast a bunch of guys with limited analysis.
I apologize for the lack of analysis, but it’s the best I can do for now. Hope it helps, and good luck to everyone this season.
Claude Giroux – Ok, let’s try this again. Giroux was the subject of my very first Fantasy Forecast last season. The season review proved that I was a little off. This season, I am still optimistic about Giroux becoming a legitimate fantasy contributor. He has had two consecutive impressive playoffs and has a coach who has a plan on how to use him. He also plays on a Flyers team that has a group of top 9 forwards that are more or less interchangeable. Meaning, that they will have 3 set lines on paper, but at any given time during the game, each player can play with the another. Giroux is set to centre the 3rd line with James vanRiemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev. Giroux is a ridiculous play maker and being paired up with two goal scorers is perfect. 50MC Fantastically Forecasts 24 grapes and 40 apples for 64 potatoes for Giroux. Put it on the board.
Derek Stepan – I promised I would profile the New York Rangers’ rookie under the assumption that he would be lining up with Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov on the Rag’s first line. However, the Bergen Record reported earlier today that Erik Christensen will start the season centering the top line. I still think he could see minutes with Gaborik, but it will not be enough to make a fantastical difference on your team. The Rags already have young centers in Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, so Stepan must compete to rise up from the bottom lines. And even though Stepan has meshed well with Gaborik, John Tortorella is still concerned with his defensive responsibility and giving a young player topline minutes. It is too bad because Stepan could have had an upside of 55-60 points. 50MC Fantastically Forecasts 12 grapes and 23 apples for 35 potatoes.
Olli Jokinen – Jokinen has to prove that he still has a spot in this league. He can help himself by helping out Jarome Iginla score goals and helping Alex Tanguay make plays. After 89 and 91 points seasons from 2005-2007, he proceeded to score 71, 57 and 50 the past 3 seasons. I truly believe that Jokinen will break his downward spiral this season. It may not be by much, but his value has plummeted to the point, where he can be an absolute steal in your draft. Draft him as your 5-6 forward or back up to the back up center. He will have a chip on his shoulder this season and will have linemates who are as motivated as him to have a bounce back season. 50MC Fantastically Forecasts 29 grapes and 36 apples for 65 points.
Kyle Turris – He beat out Kyle Wellwood for the final roster spot and will be in a Coyote uniform to start the season. He played 63 games in 2008 and only scored 20 points (8 goals). I wouldn’t expect much from Turris this year because he may not even be in the group of top 6 in Phoenix. I think he plays the full season in the NHL with 15 grapes, 27 apples for 42 potatoes, with a high upside.
Michael Grabner – Not even a day after he was dropped by the Florida Panthers, he was picked up by the opportunistic New York Islanders. He is not supposed to play in the first few games for the Isles, but with Okposo down and Grabner possessing the offensive skills that he has, there is no question, he will be called upon to score goals. If Matt Moulson can score 30, Grabner is good for at least 25 grapes, 24 apples and 49 potatoes
Andy Greene – This will mark the first time I forecast a player other than a forward! Andy Greene is the only defenseman in New Jersey who has any major experience running an offense as a defenseman. However, historically, Greene is not known for much offense. Before last year, his career high was 10 points (Ouch!). Last season he emerged with 37. This season, with as much firepower as the Devils have up front, Greene does not have to be an offensive mastermind, he just needs to feed the puck to the scorers and occasionally get the puck to the net. He will be Dennis Wideman circa 2008-2009 – a lot of secondary assists. 50MC Fantastically Forecasts 13 grapes and 33 apples for 46 potatoes. He makes a great sleeper candidate and 5th defenseman.
Matt Duchene – 24 goals, 55 points last season. That’s a great stepping stone for a stud with a lot of talent. Duchene will make a bigger step this season en route to having a great career. He really got comfortable near the end of the season, which is a great sign going into his sophomore campaign. 50MC Fantastically Forecasts 29 grapes and 42 apples for 71 potatoes.
Jonathan Cheechoo – Apparently he is back in the Sharks system with the Worcester Sharks on an AHL tryout. If he makes the squad, the chances of him even getting called up are slim. But if he does, I think he will be put on a line with Joe Thornton to try and et some comfort and confidence back in his game. I will go on a limb and give him 10 games in the NHL, scoring 4 grapes and 1 (MacIntosh) apple .
The most talked about players heading into the season have been the Edmonton Oilers’ newest set of toys: Magnus Paajarvi (-Svensson), Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall. All were drafted in three separate drafts, but have come together this season to make their debuts.
There have been arguments made that perhaps Hall should spend this season in junior, so they do not use up one year of his three year entry level contract. I thought maybe this would be a good idea as well. What’s the point of using up a year when the Oilers are not going to come close to competing for the playoffs? However, there is nothing left for him to do in junior hockey and he deserves to play in the NHL this season.
I believe the Oilers have managed their farm system very well to have all three of their horses debut together. It should be interesting to see all these guys take on the NHL this upcoming season. Let’s take a look.
Jordan Eberle was drafted 22nd overall in the 2008 draft (Steven Stamkos draft). Since then, he has made a name for himself as being a clutch performer in the World Junior Championships. In 2009, he scored the game tying goal in the semi final versus Russia en route to the gold medal. In 2010, again he scored the game-tying goal versus the US to force overtime in the gold medal game. He was named to the tournament all star team, the tournament’s best forward and the tournament MVP. Last season, he was name the CHL Player of the Year (50 goals, 106 points) and scored 14 points in 11 games with the Springfield Falcons (AHL). He also had a 4-point game versus Norway in the World Championships.
I think Eberle is the most NHL-ready of the trio. He has a nose for the net and a knack for scoring goals. He isn’t the fastest guy out there, but he just has great hockey instinct. 50MC fantastically forecasts a 59 point season for Eberle with 24 goals and 35 assists.
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson was drafted 10th overall in 2009 (Tavares draft). Paajarvi does not have a resume like Eberle’s but was named to the same WJC tournament all star team in 2010. The thing I like about Magnus is that he has played with men already in his career. Last season he played with Timra in the Swedish Elite League and scored 29 points (12 goals) in 49 games. Paajarvi has a lot of hockey sense, but not as much as Eberle. He has skill, speed and flash, but not as much as Hall. I would say he compliments the two quite well. I really liked how he has played in the preseason (even thought I don’t take much stock into the preseason). But he was killing penalties and making plays with Hemsky and Gagner. 50MC fantastically forecasts a 47point season for Magnus with 21 goals and 26 assists.
T-Hizzle was drafted 1st overall in 2010 (Hall draft). Not only is he the most dynamic of the trio, but if the NHL coming into this season. He has tremendous upside; therefore is an absolute asset in fantasy leagues, especially keeper leagues. Remember how I said John Tavares was a must own in all keeper formats? I am going to say the same about Hall. He may not be a monster this year, but next year and for the rest of his career, he will be an NHL stud. He could already be among the fastest skaters in the NHL. Combine that with his ridiculous skill, there is bound to be success. 50MC fantastically forecasts a moderate 55 points for Hall with 26 goals and 29 assists. This may seem tame after everything I just said, but remember that Stamkos only had 46 in his first year and Tavares had 54 in his rookie year.
I would draft all of these guys assuming their downside is roughly 35-40 points; while their upside being 75+ for this season.
Hope this helps, good luck this season.
In Puck Daddy‘s latest blog post, he offers up the over/under on the scoring of individual players. This stems from an earlier post of the official sports book odds on the 2010-11 NHL season courtesy of Bodog.
I think Puck Daddy is the man, so I decided to try my hand at predicting whether or not these players will be over or under their point predictions by the end of the season. Come playoff time, I will review my picks and see how I did.
New Jersey Devils Over/Under Player Points
Ilya Kovalchuk: 82.5 OVER
Zach Parise: 78.5 OVER
Patrik Elias: 57.5 UNDER
New York Islanders Over/Under Player Points
John Tavares: 63.5 hmmm… OVER
Josh Bailey: 41.5 UNDER
New York Rangers Over/Under Player Points
Marian Gaborik: 85.5 UNDER
Alexander Frolov: 59.5 OVER
Vaclav Prospal: 52.5 UNDER
Brandon Dubinsky: 46.5 hmm… OVER
Philadelphia Flyers Over/Under Player Points
Jeff Carter: 71.5 OVER
Mike Richards: 67.5 OVER
Nikolai Zherdev: 57.5 UNDER
Chris Pronger: 50.5 hmm.. OVER
Pittsburgh Penguins Over/Under Player Points
Sidney Crosby: 109.5 OVER
Evgeni Malkin: 99.5 OVER
Jordan Staal: 51.5 UNDER
Chris Kunitz: 41.5 OVER
Boston Bruins Over/Under Player Points
Marc Savard: 70.5 UNDER
Nathan Horton: 67.5 OVER
Patrice Bergeron: 52.5 OVER
Zdeno Chara: 44.5 OVER
Tyler Seguin: 41.5 OVER
Buffalo Sabres Over/Under Player Points
Derek Roy: 70.5 OVER
Tim Connolly: 60.5 UNDER
Thomas Vanek: 56.5 OVER
Tyler Myers: 51.5 OVER
Montreal Canadiens Over/Under Player Points
Mike Cammalleri: 64.5 OVER
Tomas Plekanec: 61.5 OVER
Scott Gomez: 60.5 UNDER
Brian Gionta: 52.5 UNDER
Andrei Markov: 42.5 OVER
Andrei Kostitsyn: 40.5 OVER
P.K. Subban: 40.5 OVER
Lars Eller: 38.5 UNDER
Ottawa Senators Over/Under Player Points
Jason Spezza: 77.5 UNDER
Daniel Alfredsson: 67.5 OVER
Sergei Gonchar: 56.5 UNDER
Alex Kovalev: 56.5 OVER
Mike Fisher: 47.5 UNDER
Milan Michalek: 41.5 OVER
Erik Karlsson: 39.5 OVER
Toronto Maple Leafs Over/Under Player Points
Phil Kessel: 63.5 OVER
Tyler Bozak: 49.5 OVER
Mikhail Grabovski: 45.5 UNDER
Kris Versteeg: 45.5 OVER
Tomas Kaberle: 44.5 OVER
Dion Phaneuf: 43.5 UNDER
Nazem Kadri: 39.5 UNDER
Atlanta Thrashers Over/Under Player Points
Nikolai Antropov: 62.5 OVER
Rich Peverley: 45.5 UNDER
Evander Kane: 42.5 OVER
Dustin Byfuglien: 31.5 OVER
Carolina Hurricanes Over/Under Player Points
Eric Staal: 77.5 OVER
Jussi Jokinen: 53.5 UNDER
Brandon Sutter: 44.5 UNDER
Tuomo Ruutu: 44.5 UNDER
Florida Panthers Over/Under Player Points
Stephen Weiss: 60.5 OVER
Michael Frolik: 51.5 OVER
David Booth: 44.5 OVER
Bryan McCabe: 41.5 OVER
Tampa Bay Lightning Over/Under Player Points
Steven Stamkos: 92.5 UNDER
Martin St. Louis: 85.5 UNDER
Vincent Lecavalier: 71.5 OVER
Simon Gagne: 56.5 OVER
Washington Capitals Over/Under Player Points
Alexander Ovechkin: 110.5 OVER
Nicklas Backstrom: 97.5 OVER
Alexander Semin: 75.5 OVER
Mike Green: 75.5 UNDER
Chicago Blackhawks Over/Under Player Points
Patrick Kane: 90.5 UNDER
Jonathan Toews: 74.5 OVER
Marian Hossa: 70.5 OVER
Duncan Keith: 58.5 OVER
Columbus Blue Jackets Over/Under Player Points
Rick Nash 78.5 UNDER
Antoine Vermette 60.5 OVER
Kristian Huselius 59.5 OVER
R.J. Umberger 51.5 UNDER
Detroit Red Wings Over/Under Player Points
Pavel Datsyuk 83.5 UNDER
Henrik Zetterberg 74.5 OVER
Johan Franzen 52.5 OVER
Nicklas Lidstrom 44.5 OVER
Mike Modano 42.5 UNDER
Nashville Predators Over/Under Player Points
Patric Hornqvist: 53.5 UNDER
Steve Sullivan: 47.5 UNDER
Matthew Lombardi: 46.5 OVER
Shea Weber: 43.5 OVER
St. Louis Blues Over/Under Player Points
T.J. Oshie: 56.5 OVER
Brad Boyes: 54.5 UNDER
Andy McDonald: 52.5 OVER
David Perron: 51.5 OVER
Calgary Flames Over/Under Player Points
Jarome Iginla: 82.5 UNDER
Olli Jokinen: 52.5 OVER
Rene Bourque: 48.5 UNDER
Alex Tanguay: 48.5 OVER
Matt Stajan: 46.5 UNDER
Mikael Backlund: 37.5 OVER
Ian White: 28.5 OVER
Colorado Avalanche Over/Under Player Points
Paul Stastny 77.5 UNDER
Matt Duchene 61.5 OVER
Peter Mueller 46.5 OVER hmm.. tough one, with the concussions and all.
Milan Hejduk 45.5 UNDER
Edmonton Oilers Over/Under Player Points
Ales Hemsky 64.5 OVER.. I think he’ll play more than 70 games.
Dustin Penner 57.5 UNDER
Sam Gagner 52.5 OVER
Jordan Eberle 51.5 OVER
Taylor Hall 47.5 OVER
Ryan Whitney 39.5 UNDER
Andrew Cogliano 36.5 UNDER
Minnesota Wild Over/Under Player Points
Mikko Koivu: 71.5 OVER
Martin Havlat: 62.5 UNDER
Andrew Brunette: 54.5 UNDER
Guillaume Latendresse: 45.5 OVER
Vancouver Canucks Over/Under Player Points
Henrik Sedin: 99.5 UNDER
Daniel Sedin: 95.5 UNDER
Ryan Kesler: 71.5 UNDER
Mason Raymond: 55.5 UNDER
Alexandre Burrows: 49.5 UNDER
Mikael Samuelsson: 48.5 UNDER
Alexander Edler: 44.5 OVER
Anaheim Ducks Over/Under Player Points
Ryan Getzlaf: 85.5 OVER
Corey Perry: 79.5 UNDER
Bobby Ryan: 64.5 OVER
Saku Koivu: 43.5 UNDER
Dallas Stars Over/Under Player Points
Brad Richards 77.5 OVER
Loui Eriksson 66.5 OVER
Mike Ribeiro 60.5 UNDER
Brenden Morrow 46.5 OVER
Los Angeles Kings Over/Under Player Points
Anze Kopitar: 76.5 UNDER
Drew Doughty: 60.5 OVER
Dustin Brown: 58.5 UNDER
Ryan Smyth: 51.5 OVER
Phoenix Coyotes Over/Under Player Points
Wojtek Wolski: 63.5 OVER
Shane Doan: 58.5 OVER
Ray Whitney: 56.5 UNDER
Keith Yandle: 38.5 OVER.. by a good margin
San Jose Sharks Over/Under Player Points
Joe Thornton: 91.5 OVER
Dany Heatley: 89.5 UNDER
Patrick Marleau: 71.5 OVER
Joe Pavelski: 61.5 OVER
And there it is. It was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have a lot of “overs” which I think will bury my predictions under 50%, but we’ll have to wait and see.
I think it would be fun if other bloggers (WordPress, Bleacher Report, etc) made some over/under predictions and we can compare at the end of the year.
Travis Zajac scored 20 goals and 62 points in 2009. He improved with 25 goals and 67 points last season. With Ilya Kovalchuk in town for life and Zach Parise emerging as a legitimate stud; Zajac can no longer be ignored as a fantasy asset.
After the Kovalchuk trade last season, Zajac scored 9 goals and 22 points in 27 games. He was not always playing with Kovalchuk, but he was almost always paired with Parise.
This year, Zajac is set to lineup with Parise on his left and Kovalchuk on his right. Kovalchuk has played left wing for his entire career, but is willing to concede his position to Parise in an effort to create a super line in New Jersey. Zajac is a good enough playmaker and fantasy sleeper on his own. Add Parise and he is a solid contributor. Add Parise AND Kovalchuk and Zajac becomes a top 25 fantasy forward.
The Devils’ powerplay should also be somewhat improved too with a full season with Kovalchuk. On the first unit, Zajac is poised to be the benefactor of 20+ powerplay goals from Parise and Kovalchuk. This factor alone should boost his production by a few points.
He is still not the big name among fantasy circles, so he may slip down further than what he is worth. Do not let him slip too far down your draft board because he is the type of player that could solidify your backup center slot.
The Hockey News predicts Zajac is in line for 69 points this season; while McKeen’s has him for a measly 55. Taking all accounts into consideration, 50MC Fantastically Forecasts a career season for Travis Zajac with 26 grapes, and 45 apples for 71 potatoes.
Go make it happen, Trav.
Welcome back to the 2010-2011 edition of Daily Goalie Start! For those new to the system, bookmark this page as it will be the one stop shop for starting goalies each night. It will be consistently updated as the season progresses, even more so than last year, now that I have a smartphone!
The reason why I keep this on one page, rather than creating a new page for everyday of the season is because this blog is connected to Bleacherreport, and I don’t want to clog up their webspace. So those of you on B/R, bookmark this page.
Feel free to post in the comment section on any goalie news you hear!
Sunday April 10th, 2011
THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT! HOPE THIS HELPED EVERYONE IN THEIR FANTASY SEASONS!! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR… I apologize for being not as active this season. I was swamped with work, but still managed to do this to my best ability and finish in 3rd place in my fantasy league!
- DET Jimmy Howard
- CHI Corey Crawford
- BOS Tuukka Rask
- NJ Martin Brodeur
- EDM Devan Dubnyk
- COL Brian Elliott
- PIT Brent Johnson
- ATL Ondrej Pavelec
- DAL Kari Lehtonen
- MIN Jose Theodore
50MC’s Fantastic Fantasy Forecast is a series of articles based on the season outlook of carefully handpicked NHL hockey players. To view a complete listing of 2010 forecasts, click here. For last season’s “fearless” archive, click here.
Jakub Voracek is a stud. Not only did he help me win the first ever DobberHockey World Junior Championship pool in 2008; he has good speed, great skill and a gigantic set of curly blonde locks. Most importantly, he is entering his third full season in the NHL and if not poised for a breakout season, an improvement of his 50 point season is inevitable.
Last season, Voracek had a very good sophomore season scoring 16 goals and 50 points, which was an improvement of 38 points from the season prior. Although there were a few inconsistent points during the season, there was no major sophomore slump, which is impressive for any 21 year old player coming into the league. His most impressive period of the season was right after the Olympic break, where he scored 15 point in 13 games, showcasing what he is capable of.
His 50 point campaign was mainly completed playing tertiary minutes. He played most of the season with Derrick Brassard and RJ Umberger on Columbus’ second line. Although there are early training camp reports that he is clicking well on the first line with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette on the top line, he is likely to start the season on that same line with Brassard as his center. Brassard had a disappointing 36 points last season, but is still capable of distributing the puck and keeping up with Voracek’s skillset.
What is more exciting for the Blue Jackets and fantasy owners is that on the other wing on the second line should be Nikita Filatov. It sounds like the 2008 1st round pick is finally ready to make the leap to the NHL and if so, it could mean a major boost for scoring depth in Columbus. No offense to RJ Umberger, but Filatov is more of a goal scorer and a dynamic skater who would compliment Voracek better.
There is no doubt that Voracek will see time with Rick Nash during point of the season. This fact alone boosts his point total by a few, and if he sticks on his line, then the sky is the limit for him. But for now, I will project him as a second line winger with occasional time on the top line.
Another factor that is surely to boost Voracek’s and the rest of the Blue Jackets’ numbers is a coaching change. For years, fantasy fanatics were in a rage at the defensive style of Ken Hitchcock. Well, Hitchcock is out and Scott Arniel is in. Arniel’s first order of business is to open up the ice and let his skilled players go to work. This is not just music to fantasy owners’ ears, it’s like if ears can eat, they would be shoving cake in there. The Jackets have a solid set of 6 top forwards with a tremendous amount of skill, who have been somewhat hampered over the years by Hitchcock’s defense-first style. With Hitchcock as a “special advisor” to the team, there will still be some defensive mindedness, but with Arniel at the helm, offensive push will become more of a priority.
Okay, so let’s review: Great hair, unreal skill, top 6 forward on a team that includes Rick Nash that will focus more on offense. Taking all this into consideration, 50MC Fantastically Forecasts 23 goals, 36 assists for 59 points in another season of improvement for Voracek. The 60-point plateau is definitely attainable for Voracek, but do not draft him banking on it. His has an upside of 75+ points, but he is still young, learning a new system and still battling some depth issues on a talented team. The Hockey News believes Voracek will finish with 66 points this season, while Forecaster is on board with 69. I think that is a tad high, considering that he may not get topline minutes and Rick Nash led the team in scoring last season with 67 points.
Hope this helps.
Anyways, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more as the season is just around the corner. With the rest of the forecasts, click here for the archive.