Extended Talk Part 3: Gut reactions

Finally, here’s a list of guys I really like and don’t like. This might be the most subjective of all these guides so take it with a grain of salt.

Or follow it like some hockey bible. Fuck if I care.

  • Man crushes

Joe Sakic – I expect a nice rebound year for him and he tends to come really cheap. A general rule for me for veterans is: if they’ve done it once they can do it again…unless they’re just old and decrepit. I honestly believe this guy has one more 60-70 point season in him and he could have a nice little swan song year. But I’ve always been a sucker for Sakic.

Teemu Selanne – He’s another guy I like and can get for a throwaway pick. In savvy drafts you might want to look at him around round 8-10. He’s not that old and his numbers look shitty since last year was his “Cacoon” season.

Being that he’s on a good team and in a talent shallow position like RW, he can really make a big impact on your team.

Scott Niedermayer – Yet another Duck whose 2007-08 seasons are a fake retirement mirage. Really, he’s just below the elite level of Phaneuf-Lidstrom but you should be able to get him in those murky 6-8 rounds. Selanne and Niedermayer are flat-out steals.

Although I guess it depends on where Yahoo! ranks them.

  • At that price, you’d be a fool not to get it!

Patrick Marleau – This guy’s stock is dropping faster than Fannie Mae. I’ve been getting him in the 11th round or so and I’m banking on a serious 70 point season. Marleau is too young to suck because of old age.

But he is sort of mysteriously dopey, so don’t pick him up too early.

Rob Blake – even if he simply replicates last year’s sorta shitty stats, he’s a great third defenseman who is experiencing a Marleau-ian drop. I feel better about that late pick every day.

Todd Bertuzzi – again, he’s a douche. But he’s better than most of the guys that drop to the last round (in PIM leagues).

Mats Sundin – if “danger” is your middle name.

Brendan Shanahan – if “danger, but slightly dumber” is your middle name.*

Dan Boyle – He’s not quite a Enron stock, but he tends to linger while the big name defenseman get picked. I think he’s honestly Sergei Gonchar in a really ugly jersey. You’ve been warned

Martin Gerber – Everyone is writing off the Ottawa Senators. They might be right, but the Sens still have Spezza, Heatley, Alf and a few solid forwards. Who’s to say they can’t rebound against a possible one-year wonder in Montreal and the sadly dying Sabres? It might be worth a criminally late pick to find out.

Gerber might be my favorite sleeper goalie pick, but don’t put all your eggs in that baby food jar.

* – I guess you’d have to have one of those crazy Mexican names for that to work, eh? EH?

…Tough crowd

  • Inexplicable hatred/considerable devalue list

Rick Nash – He burned me a few years ago. Bad teams make me worried.

Ilya Kovalchuk – Seems like a plausible candidate for “pouty mode.”

Jose Theodore – I have no idea where to rank the guy. But I want no part of his former Hart trophy winning act.

Marian Gaborik – Injuries, skin disease and bland team. His coach does have a winning combover, however.

Niklas Lidstrom – He’s awesome but gets drafted REALLY early. And he’s starting to get into that “seriously, he’s gotta slow down eventually” zone pretty soon.

Dion Phaneuf – He’s either the best or second best defenseman in fantasy hockey, but he’s getting drafted in the top 2 rounds. I just don’t know if that’s the best way to win a league.

(But with Lidstrom and Phaneuf it’s like being an HDtv – even if you overpay you’ll go home happy)

  • If you know the Southeast Division well, you might find the best sleeper goalie

When I first thought of which goalies I wanted, Cam Ward seemed like an interesting sleeper. He’s on a decent team, with an improved defense. And he’s in the most laughable division in hockey.

But Ward…kinda sucks. And Jose Theodore is hard to place. Who knows how good the Lightning will be – will they resemble a Mark Cuban joint or a Dan Snyder debacle? I actually think Kari Lehtonen has some talent, but the defense in front of him is pretty terrible.

So, if a team can dominate the Southeast, then that goalie could see 30-40 wins. But I’d say don’t bother unless you have to.

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