Archive for the ‘penalties’ Category

CLS Fantasy Guide, Part 3: Category Kings

September 9, 2009

I get the feeling one of Burrows’ or Backes’ seasons was too good to be true.
Many leagues have specific, largely predictable categories that tend to be dominated by the same general group of players. In fact, some players are only useful IF those categories are included. The following list is meant to give you a quick guide to guys who can help you win certain categories.

Power Forwards (Great PIM with very good points) Note: Guys like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are elite power forwards. This is for the slightly less obvious set. [Slightly]
Brenden Morrow: almost too good for this list, but don’t forget him.
David Backes
Alex Burrows
Scott Hartnell
Milan Lucic: Just don’t get too sucked in by the Looch buzz. He’s good but not Cam Neely just yet.
Steve Ott
Sean Avery
Chris Kunitz (a little lower on the PIM scale but Crosby potentially could give a really nice points boost)
Bill Guerin
Todd Bertuzzi: Not a fan of the guy, but he does tend to put up nice PIM and the occasional assist. Worth a look until they start charting defensive acumen.
Tuomo Ruutu

PIM only

Daniel Carcillo: Kind of a dope, but now is the PIM leader two years in a row.
Shane O’Brien
David Clarkson
Chris Neil
Jared Boll
Beasts in the faceoff circle (based on total wins, percentages, likeliness of continued success)
Rod Brind’Amour
Shawn Horcoff
Mikko Koivu
Manny Malholtra: would get even more if he took more faceoffs
Henrik Zetterberg: the thing that makes Henrik Z especially interesting is that you can get FW from a winger spot with him
Antoine Vermette
Joe Thornton

Hank Zetterberg gets points, SOG, FW, a good plus/minus AND typically is a LW/C. Awesome!

Guys who could be highly ranked next year with just a slight improvement in FO%

Jonathan Toews
Sidney Crosby
Jeff Carter
Mike Richards
Eric Staal
Jason Spezza
Highly probable SOG leaders
Alex Ovechkin (528 last season, 150 more than Eric Staal!!!): If SOG are a category in your league, Ovie’s a no-brainer for No. 1 … but that’s another topic entirely.
Eric Staal (372 in 08-09; 310 in 07-08)
Zach Parise (364 in 08-09): experienced nearly 100 more SOG in the last year, could shoot even more next year.
Henrik Zetterberg: a perennial SOG source
[consult last year’s top lists for some of the more obvious choices]

Unexpected SOG

Jason Blake: borderline useless with SOG
Dion Phaneuf: more than 250 SOG for the past two seasons
Patrick O’Sullivan: perhaps his meaty SOG totals might actually turn into points next year.
Mike Green: his offensive output is unmatched and he missed 14 GP.
Olli Jokinen: high SOG totals and he will play a full contract year with Jarome Iginla. Not bad.
Brian Rolston: Nearly 300 SOG in 2007-08. Could be poised for an improvement, even if it is only really in the SOG category.

Playoff Pet Peeves

May 15, 2009

1. “He must be injured or out of shape.”

Am I the only hockey fan who’s tired of Lazy Announcer Crutch #4,056: assuming that a player is struggling because of a mysterious injury or unable to bounce back from the fatigue of a longer season? The most recent example is Mike Green. That’s not to say he wasn’t playing hurt, but it’s just so tired to assume that is what is happening.

Could it be that a young player simply isn’t used to playing in the playoffs? Maybe they are on a slump because all that open regular season ice has been strangled away by better defense, familiarity and higher stakes (more shot blocking, stricter matchups, better competition since you don’t get any more easy games against Tampa-like teams).

While the usual “list of previously undisclosed injuries” is always an interesting read, let’s give the opposition’s shut down forwards, top D and coaches a little credit, OK?

2. Diving (and complaining about diving)

It’s hard to say what’s worse: players acting like they were run over by a Buick from a light tap of a stick or the people who constantly bitch about flopping. I’m all for people making Crosby diving jokes, as long as they’re funny. But after watching Alex Ovechkin flop with equal vigor, let’s leave that out of next year’s round of “Ovechkin= totally better” columns, mmmkay?

2b. Excessive penalty bitching

Man, that Caps-Pens series really tried my patience after a while. To some (not all by any means) Washington fans, the refs beat the Capitals, not the Penguins. Even though the Penguins played better team D, blocked more shots, took more shots, enjoyed superior puck possession and actually showed up to Game 7.

Earl Sleek’s (relative) stoicism toward penalties as a Ducks fan showed me a lot. Whiny, losing teams let penalties derail their focus; winning teams persevere.

Want a compelling case of corrupt officiating? Watch the NBA.

3. Marc Andre Fleury handling the puck

We anoint thee “Bizarro Hextall” as you are both jolly while Hextall was grumpy and a train wreck playing the puck while Hextall was an artiste.

You still have the mouth of Gary Busey, though.

4. No more Anaheim Calling, Hockey Blog Adventure or Storming the Crease

Thanks again, everyone. Your contributions made a crazy thought turn into a reason to check CLS a few times a day. The door’s always open.

5. A nearly inevitable Red Wings repeat