Ramblings: Thoughts on Athanasiou, Bertuzzi, Granlund, Strome, the top “clutch” goalies and more (Mar 30)
Now available for pre-sale – the 13th annual Interactive Playoff Draft List. Pre-order it here. It will be Friday April 5. If you bought the Ultimate Fantasy Pack in the summer, this will be included in that purchase. It is not included in the Keeper Fantasy Pack.
Covering for Ian today, as he had a fantasy baseball draft Friday night (fantasy hockey purists are just shaking your heads and scoffing, aren’t you…)
Andreas Athanasiou scored his 30th goal. The assists haven’t really been there for this year because he is often placed on a line with the likes of Tommy Stonehands and Jimmy Lunchpail (his linemates last night were Luke Glendening and Taro Hirose). But in a couple of years when he hits his prime, the Red Wings should have the talent around him upgraded by that point. Next year I see another small step forward, perhaps hitting 60 (if anyone does on this team besides Larkin, it should be him), before his big jump in his sixth campaign.
With the shared shutout Friday, Jonathan Bernier has posted Quality Starts in four of his last six outings. But he left the game with an upper-body injury, requiring Jimmy Howard to come in for the third period and finish the game. Bernier has two years left on his contract with Detroit and has been in the 35- to 39-games range for four consecutive years now.
The early results for Detroit’s undrafted NCAA foray this year are in. So far 22-year-old Ryan Kuffner is pointless and minus-2 in six games. He had 96 points in his last 67 games with Princeton, as Max Veronneau’s (now with Ottawa) sidekick. Taro Hirose, also in his sixth game, saw his five-game assist streak come to an end. Hirose didn’t have a Veronneau to play with at Michigan State and to me has the higher upside. He’s been averaging about 15 minutes per game to Kuffner’s 10, so you know Coach Jeff Blashill sees it the same way.
Tyler Bertuzzi posted back-to-back three-point games, so in Dobbernomics I obviously climbed on the wrong horse with that decision. I wanted a good player