15 Points to Consider

Jeff Angus




Elliotte Friedman's weekly 30 Thoughts column on the CBC website is currently the best read in hockey. Friedman is insightful, articulate, knowledgeable, fair, and most importantly, interesting. He has sources and contacts in the hockey world that most could only dream of. He has an ability which is rare in this day and age – providing a balanced and reasonable opinion on the league, the players, and all 30 of the clubs.


Each week I will post my own observations (I couldn't completely steal Friedman's idea so I'll pick a number other than 30) – with a heavy emphasis on the fantasy side of hockey, of course. Prospects, goalies, sleepers, busts, it will all be covered each week.



1. The Canucks are 7-0-1 with Jeff Tambellini in the line-up. He hasn't only brought a ton of energy, but his presence on the second line has strengthened both the third and fourth lines, respectively. He allows the Canucks to drop Mikael Samuelsson down to line three, which then moves either Jannik Hansen or Raffi Torres to the fourth line. I am surprised more teams don't play an offensively gifted AHL player (like Tambellini, although he has proven to be too good for the AHL) with two talented linemates in the top six, which leads to a trickledown effect strengthening every other line. Mathieu Perreault in Washington immediately comes to mind.


2. I wonder where Sam Gagner would be if Edmonton had let him develop for a few more years in the OHL/AHL? How about if he was drafted by Detroit? Hindsight is always 20/20, but he looks no better than he did three or four years ago. The same goes for Andrew Cogliano, but he doesn't have (nor did he ever have) the offensive talent that Gagner possesses.


3. What does the Tomas Fleischmann acquisition by Colorado mean about Peter Mueller's chances of returning this season? Scott Hannan will help the Capitals a lot on the penalty kill and in the toughness department, but he is one of the worst puck-moving defensemen in the league. The puck often dies on his stick – I am curious to see how he adapts to Washington's transitional game. Ovechkin hated playing against him, though, and that has to mean something.


4. Chris Stewart's injury is exactly why I would never want my star player fighting. Sure, it can get the team going (and help fill the PIM category), but there are too many variables that could lead to injury.


5. Alex Edler is on the cusp of becoming an elite defenseman. He hits hard, logs tough minutes, and puts up points (I'd be surprised if he doesn't finish