This week's article stems from a thread created by Princeton on the Dobber forums. So I thought it'd be a good idea to take a look at the Western Confernce players to see if they are a hot starter (hare) or if they tend to start out of the gates a bit slower than the norm (tortoise). You can use this article in a few ways, where, if you are an owner it might just give you peace of mind to know that your player is a traditional slow starter, but should return to normal pretty soon. Or you might use someone who's traditionally a hot starter and try to "sell high" and maximize trade value after the first month. Either way it should be beneficial for you fellow poolies.
Now, onto the good stuff!
Bobby Ryan – LW – Anaheim Ducks
Ryan's a bit of a tortoise, as he owns a 0.67 point-per game average (16 points in 24 contests), during the last two Octobers, but a 0.86 point-per-game pace for all of the other months (119 points in 139 contests). Most of the Ducks, in general, are slow starts, so if you are a Ryan owner, make sure you don't hit the panic button too early if he's off to another slow start this campaign.
Jarome Iginla – RW – Calgary Flames
Iggy has a career October average of 0.89 points-per-game, but 0.91 points-per-game ratio for all of the other months. If you look at the overall stats they might appear pretty close, but those numbers are kind of buoyed because of a 19 point October back in 2007. If you take out that year, the average is closer towards 0.83, than the 0.89 number above. Iggy will still put up decent numbers, but just don't expect them to be right off the bat.
Jonathan Toews – C – Chicago Blackhawks
Toews is in a very similar boat, as he owns a 0.63 point-per-game October numbers (20 points in 32 contests), during the last three seasons compared to 0.94 (193 points in 206 games), during the rest of the months. Granted a few of the slow Octobers might be due to long post-season runs during the previous year, but it might just be that he's a slow starter.
Henrik Zetterberg – C, LW – Detroit Red Wings
Zetterberg is a flighty hare as he maintains a 1.02 point-per-game average career October average compared to a 0.93 average during the rest of the season. His dual eligibility in Yahoo! leagues certainly will make him quite valuable in fantasy leagues, but if you don't really need that eligibility it might be to your advantage that if he does get off to a quick start to sell him for a higher quality player.
Patrick Marleau – C, LW – San Jose Sharks
Marleau is in an identical boat as Zetterberg, but with much more mind-boggling numbers. For the last three seasons, he maintains a 1.18 point-per-game October average compared to a 0.91 point-per-game average for the rest. The Sharks have a bit of a soft October schedule this season, so another hot start from Marleau wouldn't be all that surprising.
Joe Thornton – C – San Jose Sharks
Marleau and Thornton's point production seem to go hand-in-hand as they have very similar October vs the rest of the season splits. Thornton has enjoyed a 1.17 point-per-game October split during the last four seasons compared to his 1.03 rest of the month average. Last campaign was a bit of a forgettable one, so look for a strong bounce back season from a player that has averaged over 94 points-per-season since 2003.
Dan Boyle – D – San Jose Sharks
A third Shark makes the list. For the last three years, Boyle has registered 29 points in 34 October contests (0.85 points-per-game), which is a noticeable improvement over the 0.70 points-per-game (136 points in 195 contests), that he maintains during the other months. Maybe all of the Sharks are just "hot" starters, or maybe something is in the water in San Jose during October. Either way if you own a Shark, enjoy the feast!
Dany Heatley – LW, RW- Minnesota Wild
Heater's best month throughout his career has been always October. He preserves a whopping 1.23