Fantasy Hockey ONE: Super Saturday (10/8)
WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 07 OCTOBER 2011
That says it all right there. Saturday is here, it is the favorite day of the week for most hockey fans and opening weekend is a no doubter. There are 13 games in all including the two games in Europe. When you watch countless replays just to catch awesome hits, saves, and goals….that is a sign. It is time to first off, take a look back at what happened on Friday in the National Hockey League.
A LOOK BACK:
1. Thomas Vanek, F, Buffalo Sabres — Simply as the population went up, Vanek looked very good against the Anaheim Ducks to the tune of 2 goals and 1 assist in a 4-1 win over Anaheim yesterday afternoon. With Jason Pominville on the side, Vanek feasted on some duck meat as Buffalo was pretty solid in all phases. Yes Vanek also had 9 shots in the game by the way. This is why he won our Fantasy Hockey POTN!
2. Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas Stars — Lehtonen had 37 saves last night in an exciting 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Lehtonen faced 38 shots and there were so many that were hockey equivalents of outright robbery. Chicago is just not an easy team to play with all of those weapons honestly. Yet Lehtonen with some help from time to time, held down one of the hottest scoring teams in Chicago. This was no contest at all. Chicago did miss some wide open looks but Lehtonen really polished out there. He will be better this year but how much better?
3. Mike Richards, F, Los Angeles Kings — Clearly this Richards loves Los Angeles. He is a 30-40 guy for this team if it all pans out and tonight it panned out clearly. The two points were huge as the Kings found a way to win 3-2 in OT over the New York Rangers. The debut was clearly what Kings fans had expected and it made them forget about the Dustin Penner injury all in one shot. He also levied a few hard checks and was very solid in his own end. This was exactly what you expected from him.
4. Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators — This award went ot him for showing up when so many would have mailed it in. The entire team was a step slow all game long and yet Rinne held the fort long enough until the scoring could commence. The 32 saves on 34 shots are nice but he stopped Nash and Carter on numerous occasions. This game left a good feeling for many fantasy owners out there and really it was all good. Rinne has surely served some notice.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
|NY Rangers||at||Anaheim||1:00 PM|
|Buffalo||at||Los Angeles||2:00 PM|
|Tampa Bay||at||Boston||7:00 PM|
|Philadelphia||at||New Jersey||7:00 PM|
|Florida||at||NY Islanders||8:00 PM|
|Nashville||at||St. Louis||8:00 PM|
|Phoenix||at||San Jose||10:30 PM|
Hockey Night On Saturday Night…..
So with two games in the afternoon and eleven at night , it is going to be a very crazy NHL night. Now for fantasy ownere, it will be too because there is still over a week left in Week 1 which is 11 days in all for the GM’s out there. Surely it will drive someone batty. There are home debuts and a ton of intrigue in all of this.
There is a part of me that wants to see how some of the old guard winds up doing. Yes the Martin Brodeurs and even Teemu Selannes of the world because there is considerable plot thickening going on with these two already. It would seem that a few backups are going to get their chance as well. Jonathan Bernier has to be thinking what he has to do all at once. The fantasy prestige has hit these guys and hard.
That is not a bad thing just with all the games going almost all at once later tonight, it may be tough at times even to try to keep up with all the helter skelter nature of a Saturday Night. If you are new to this game, you may want to try duck and cover as a viable method of evasion.
At any rate, we will give you our usual three players to keep an eye on and then we will sadly bid adieu. However, there will be a considerable amount of tweeting before, during, and after. So if you have any questions at all, now would be an excellent time to ask them.
THOSE TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
1. Martin Brodeur (New Jersey) — Brodeur is going to have the unenviable task of facing a Philadelphia sports team after two other area teams there have had such horrendous weeks. He also unfortunately has to face Jaromir Jagr, who he did not in the last preseason game in New Jersey. If Brodeur sees the puck early and often, then it could be a very long night for Philadelphia. However, if he does not he may get a quick hook. One never knows with these things but Brodeur improved gradually from every appearance during training camp which is kind of a first. It will likely be a 30 shot night and Brodeur historically plays better in that 30-35 shot range, more than most ever would dream giving him credit for. That is really food for thought.
2. Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado) — Welcome to the old Detroit-Colorado rivalry. Though it has lost a considerable amount of lustre, some of the bad blood still exists. Landeskog is expected to do a ton but he does have help especially in the form of Peter Stastny, Matt Duchene, and David Jones. It does not look like there is much in the way of veteran presence but there is a decent amount especially with old vet J.S. Giguere backing up the pipes for the Avalanche. Offense is Landeskog’s strong suit and they need that production if they expect to have any prayer of making the playoffs. It all starts tonight for the “Calder Favorite”.
3. New Looks In New Places — Some of the questions that have to be asked is how is the Koivu-Heatley-Setoguchi line going to look in Minnesota, or better yet what will happen with the goaltending situation in Washington because some believe it is too fluid for an NHL team to function well. Then there is how will the Islanders fare with all their chances and last but not least San Jose who gutted a huge chunk of their team to try and reload for a chance at the Cup. How the remaining pieces fit together will even be a challenge for the most savvy in fantasy leagues.
Well good luck everyone in their fantasy leagues as we have a little more ahead today on the blog. Stay tuned and Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting!