Behind the eight-ball in your pool already? Maybe you're looking for some strategies to help catch up? Get these helpful tips before you get salted, bwoy.
If you are in a rotisserie league and have unlimited moves, your best bet may ironically be those that are also struggling. That is, look for teams that are good on paper- or were predicted to be really good at the start of the season- but so far have yet to meet expectations. When a team is struggling, what does it do? Simple: It looks for a spark to jump start it. While its coach may try to shift lines around, a spark usually comes from a big hit and/or a good fight.
The New York Rangers are a perfect example. Big guns Jaromir Jagr, Chris Drury, and Brendan Shanahan are just not putting up the numbers they are capable of. In comes Sean Avery. While Avery is most likely already drafted in your league, a guy like Colton Orr may not be. Orr is a fighter. And contrary to popular belief, the goon is not dead in the new NHL. However, don’t just consider adding a guy like Orr all season. Think about adding him a day or two ahead of a game with a hated local rival such as the Devils or Islanders. He’s bound to get in a few fights. When you consider that each team will play their division opponents eight times, one can assume the hatred will only build as the season goes on. After the fireworks are over, drop him and pick up another player on another team that will be in a similar situation. There are points out there to be earned; you just have to put effort into finding them.
On the other hand, it can also pay to go with a team that's hot. The Ottawa Senators have been playing so well that even their stickboy has a league-leading plus/minus. While some of their less known defensemen and wingers may not put up great scoring numbers, the strong plus/ minus stat can make a difference. This is also true for the Carolina Hurricanes. They are again looking like a Stanley Cup contender, with multiple lines capable of scoring and their relentless speed and effort wearing down opponents. Matt Cullen is a totally different player than last season and is being utilized much better. The same goes for Jeff Hamilton. Kudos to Coach Laviolette for using five forwards on the powerplay; it is working. This team is leading the league in goals, assists, and shots on goal. Guys like Cory Stillman are healthy again and it shows. Anyone and everyone on Carolina may be worth a second look.
Moving on, what is going on with goaltending this season? Last season’s stud goalies (Luongo and Brodeur) are doing nothing. So much for drafting them early… Guys like Pascal Leclaire, Marty Biron, and Tim Thomas are all of a sudden fantasy studs putting up big numbers. While that is a shocker, the thing that surprises me the most is the number of shutouts that have already occurred this season. Last season Kiprusoff was third in the NHL with seven shutouts in 74 games. In 13 games this season, Leclaire already has five shutouts and Lundqvist four. Last Monday night there were 8 NHL games played. Five of them ended with a shutout. I thought this was the new NHL, and I thought scoring was supposed to go up? It seems like it’s