The Busts and the Busty: An early look at fantasy hockey


OK, no one on this list is busty (insert Keith Tkachuk/Kyle Wellwood related obesity retort). But, really, it’s time for the wordsmith community to reclaim the word busty from evil yet often generous internet pornographers. Because of porn, the word busty can never reasonably be used as a direct verbal compliment for a woman.

That breaks my heart.

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten that ugly bit of mammorical conversation out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the interesting stories in fantasy hockey so far. This might be a little bit heavy on players who are on my teams, as they are the ones being followed most closely. To justify the headline, “busty” means unexpectedly good and you should already know what a bust is in sports gobbledygook parlance.

Bust: Ryan Geztlaf and the Mighty Ducks in general

This probably will not hold for the majority of the season, but it must be said. The Ducks have been a huge disappointment and no Duck is hurting fantasy hockey teams more than the balding young power forward Getzlaf.

Granted, his foibles at least were rather hotheaded PIM-heavy, so that was the silver lining in the shit clouds. But one point in 6 games is the kind of stats that made Ducks fans hate Doug Weight last season.

Busty: Keith Tkachuk

Heh. But seriously, the man once labelled “Ka-chunk” seems like he might reestablish his above average power forward status. So far he has six goals and four of them are on the powerplay.

For some reason, that stat line made me think of Trailer Park Boys. Whenever Tkachuk scores a goal there’s probably a catch-phrase challenged fantasy hockey owner dropping a “Baaaaaaaaam!”

Bust: Martin Biron

There’s always deals with the devil in fantasy hockey. Picking up Todd Bertuzzi due to his decent scoring ability and superhuman skill to take awful penalties is one example.

But sometimes you have to draw the line, as my late-to-the-draft roster is in shackles under a Chris Osgood – Martin Biron regime. Serves me right.

Busty: Quote-less Joe

It’s truly hard to put a price on that odd moment or two when fantasy hockey makes you feel sort of smart. This year’s catalyst, so far, has been Burnaby Joke Sakic. A lot of hockey people wrote Sakic off because he had a really rough year and is a little bit long in the tooth.

Surefire sign a player is old: for Sakic this wasn’t a throwback jersey

But this is where checking the context of a player’s stats is a key to having a few tricks up your sleeve in a fantasy draft. Even in a rough, injury ravaged season Sakic still managed to pick up 40 points in 48 games.

My logic in drafting him late in three of three drafts: if healthy, Sakic could reasonably hit 70 points this season. It’s always a tightrope walk with older players, but here’s a good general rule to follow in fantasy hockey:

When in doubt, go for the star player.

Bust: Henrik Zetterberg

My decision to draft Zetterberg over Joe Thornton seemed reasonable at the time. LWs are notoriously harder to come by than Centers. Zetterberg gets the FW of a center, shoots more often than a Spaghetti Western protagonist, should have a ridiculous plus-minus and looks like Jared Leto.

Find a better quadrangle than that and you might just get yourself a free donut.*

Still, this was a case of me over-thinking. Deep down, Thornton is the better player and Zetterberg is extremely injury prone. In the first few rounds it’s important to focus on reliable players.

Save the flashes of genius for when you’re at the bottom of the barrel.

Busty: Brandon Dubinksy

Doobie Dubinsky proved me wrong. When Dre scooped him up in Week 1, I snickered. Dubie’s had the last laugh as he’s piled up more points than anyone on my roster.

Maybe he jelled so well with Jaromir Jagr because he’s pretty damn good.

Bust: Daniel Carcillo

Last year’s overwhelming PIM monster currently has only four PIM and no points. Yeeech.

Still, this guy might be a solid buy-low candidate as a free agent pickup/trade throw-in. Highly recommended for those of you who drafted a team full of pansies.

Busty: Simon Gagne and Patrice Bergeron, massive head wound twins


Two other surefire sleepers this season were Gagne and Bergeron – both players are once-elite guys who had very serious injuries that ruined last season. For that reason, Bergeron especially slipped way under the radar despite being a veritable assist machine.

Gagne is the particularly promising guy because he’s a rare player with 50-goal potential. Plus, Bill Clement said Forsberg called him the purest shooter he’s ever seen in NHL ’08. That’s gotta count for something.

————————————————————————

So, there’s a look at some of the ups and downs so far this fantasy season. As always, these things can change: next month the busts can be become the busty. And you never know where the injury bug will lay her evil eggs next.

Stay tuned and try not to invest too much of your soul into fantasy hockey, mmmkay?

* – Seriously, though, I’m not going to buy you a fuckin’ donut.

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