Ice Chips: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Edition
The beauty of the fantasy season is that every week presents pleasant surprises as well as bitter disappointments. That’s why you can never play fantasy hockey with your heart; because the players will break your heart and their performances will ruin your team.
The fantasy world was pretty much rocked by the news Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, the very definition of endurance and consistency, went down with an elbow injury that could keep him out of the net for three-to-four months. Brodeur’s backup, Kevin Weekes, is expected to pick up Brodeur’s considerable workload. What kind of numbers Weekes will put up is another story. He has plenty of NHL experience, and even helped bounce the Devils out of the playoffs when he played for Carolina, but he’s played less than 60 games in the past four seasons. Brodeur played more than that last year.
By the way, make sure you check in on fellow Devil Zach Parise. The left winger already has nine goals and five assists in just 12 games.
While the Colorado Avalanche isn’t doing very well, Milan Hejduk sure is. He already has eight goals and five assists. Do you know who’s not doing well for the Avs? Joe Sakic, who has just two goals so far this season (although to be fair, he has put up 10 assists). I’m not sure I’d dump him from my roster, but I’d certainly start thinking about it. Like maybe telling myself he had said some really untoward things about my mom.
Mike touched on this last week, but it really needs to be repeated: there is no hotter line in the NHL than Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne. The three forwards, who must awkwardly share the league’s “First Star” award for the week (does anyone know if the award is perforated?), have put up a combined 19 goals and 30 assists so far this season. It’s a damn good thing this line is clicking because free-agent signing Brendan Morrison seems to be a bit of a dud, with just one assist on the season. What’s that? Oh, Steven Stamkos just called and said that one assist is plenty productive. Anaheim enforcer George Parros actually has better numbers than Morrison, though (two goals and one assist).
Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski is off to a very slow start. He was pointless through the Coyotes’ first nine games, getting his first point of the season Tuesday night. Phoenix is developing a tight, down-low game and for a guy with a canon of a shot like Jovanovski, you have to believe that’ll eventually translate into points, so don’t panic quite yet.
If you’re in real trouble with your team and can’t seem to find any points anywhere, think about Mark Parrish, who just signed with Dallas. He’s not a point machine, but the way Dallas coach Dave Tippett is juggling his lines to get the team out of its awful malaise, Parrish could spend some time on one of the top lines. He’s a longshot, but sometimes that’s the only shot you have.
Another potential source of offensive help may be found in Beantown, where rookie Blake Wheeler is finally showing us why the ‘Yotes took him fifth overall way back in 2004. With his first NHL hat trick Thursday night, Wheeler doubled his season total in goals and has now potted four goals with two assists over his last three games. He’s definitely a worthy wire pickup, especially in deeper leagues.
The Week Ahead
- Saturday, the Panthers take on Phoenix, giving Coyote Olli Jokinen the chance to show his former team what they’re missing. It also gives Panther players the chance to send Jokinen S.O.S. messages in their water bottles.
- Tuesday, Pittsburgh takes on Detroit, which sounds familiar to me. If the Penguins are smart, before the opening faceoff, they’ll call out that this game is for the Cup and Detroit will have no choice but to accept the challenge.
- Wednesday, the Rangers play the Brodeur-less Devils. The Rangers have been in the Devils’ heads for quite a while now so I can’t imagine how lost New Jersey will feel without Brodeur. Although, Weekes is a former Ranger, so maybe he’s immune to their charms.