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Ice Chips: Thanks For Everything!

November 23, 2007 | By Steven Ovadia | comment on this post
Marion Gaborik is underperforming this year.
Marion Gaborik provided something to give thanks to for our Southern neighbours by acknowledging to fantasy players that he has not been up to snuff this season.

How can you not celebrate American Thanksgiving without giving thanks to someone like the Minnesota Wild’s Marian Gaborik, who actually apologized to fantasy players for his performance this season, which is about a point a game? While Gaborik’s apology was tongue-in-cheek, he sure has the right attitude. Fantasy sports isn’t about teams or players. It’s about the numbers. If the numbers aren’t there, you’re going to get waived.

And finally a player understands this. Let’s give thanks for that and hope more NHLers begin to take their fantasy responsibilities more seriously.

Over in Washington, the struggling Caps fired coach Glen Hanlon, which will hopefully improve some of the annoying numbers on the team. Obviously, Alexander Ovechkin is money in the bank, with 14 goals and nine assists. But his plus/minus rating is even, which isn’t ideal. Even more frustrating is Michael Nylander, he of 19 assists, five goals, and a -8 plus/minus. What a waste of the ability to dish the puck. And obviously, as you work your way down the Cap roster, the scoring gets less and less impressive. Maybe interim coach Bruce Boudreau will introduce the team to a more run-and-gun style. Maybe he’ll get Gaborik in to get everyone pumped about their stats.

Out in Phoenix, the Coyotes grabbed superstar back-up goalie Ilya Bryzgalov off waivers as the Anaheim Ducks somehow couldn’t find anyone willing to offer anything for a talented goalie. I still don’t understand that, but the oppressive heat of Phoenix must agree with Bryzgalov. His first game for the Coyotes was a shutout and his next start saw him making 28 saves in a 4-1 win. Bryzgalov wanted the chance to be a starter and in Phoenix, he’s going to start. If he doesn’t, they’ll probably hire a temp. So far, it seems to be a great match. There’s no reason to think he’ll cool off, even playing behind an at-times porous defense.

Speaking of goalies, let’s give some props to the perennially underrated Red Wing Chris Osgood, who’s got 10 wins and one loss in 12 starts, with a 1.65 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. These are outstanding career numbers for Osgood, who’s always been more of a solid journeyman than a destination fantasy pick. Playing in front of a mobile, puck-moving Detroit defense has got to be helping a little bit, too. Watch your back, Dom Hasek.

The Week Ahead

  • Saturday, the Hurricanes will try and gang up on the Caps. The Southeast Division is a Bell Curve, with the Hurricanes kicking butt on one end, Washington struggling on the other, and everyone else jockeying for position in the middle. If the Capitals have any kind of post-season aspirations, they need to start winning against divisional rivals. But really, any kind of win will help.
  • Sunday, the Stars kick off an east coast road trip that’ll see them play the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils. Then, the teams won’t see each other for another three years. It’s a perfect metaphor for the holidays, if you see the NHL as a family.
  • Tuesday sees the Flames play the Red Wings, which is interesting in a Western Conference kind of way. But also, it’s just nice when two teams with cool red uniforms play each other.
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