Week 1 Week 2 Preview:(posted 10.13.08) by Gus Katsaros
Week 2 Schedules 4 games ? (7) Anaheim, Buffalo, Chicago, Nashville, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Vancouver 3 games ? (18) Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis, Toronto, Washington 2 games ? (5) Boston, Florida, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Tampa Bay Total Games ? (92)
Game Notes Three games in 4 nights (9): Anaheim, Buffalo, Dallas, Edmonton, Nashville, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Vancouver All at home (5): Atlanta, Florida, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay All Away (4): Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix, Vancouver Home-and-home: Oilers/Flames .. Predators/Blue Jackets Weekend Off (1): Los Angeles Non-Conference Games: Carolina hosts the Red Wings (who host the Rangers this week as well) and visit Los Angeles and Anaheim .. Minnesota is on the road down south through Atlanta, Florida and Tampa Bay .. The Canucks travel through Washington and Buffalo .. Philadelphia travels through Colorado and San Jose .. Gretzky brings his troupe through Ottawa and Montreal .. St. Louis is in Toronto
Steven Reinprecht, Kyle Turris and Mikkel Boedker are all very good possibilities for the near future, if Reinprecht could stay healthy. The kids were probably late draft picks that could have some roller coaster production over this season.
I'm really digging Marc Savard scoring goals early in the season, as the slick playmaker is sure to finish among leaders in that category ? barring injury ? while hauling Michael Ryder back to respectability .. David Booth has come out very quick, as has Nathan Horton .. Dustin Penner is really taking it to the front of the net, and could be a better producer in his second season as an Oiler. Coach MacTavish has also had the winger playing a penalty killing role,. showing increased responsibility .. New Rangers forward, Markus Naslund started off tentative, however has grown into the jersey; could a 30-goal season, his first since the pre-lockout period be in the works? Meanwhile teammate, Brandon Dubinsky has been nothing short of amazing out of the gate, giving the Blueshirts ? and smart poolies/GM's ? a very good source of point production from a lower roster player whose breakout culminated last season during a promotion on the line with now departed Jaromir Jagr. Those that picked him up cheap, you may have an excellent breakout candidate. Now watch out for Daniel Girardi on the blueline.
Patrik Elias has a sweet jump in his step, firing 15 shots on goal over the first two games ? 10 in the last one against Pittsburgh, scoring a goal in each .. How can you not love the dimension Mike Green adds to the Washington Capitals? Oh, he's not on your roster? Ok ? I see now. Two goals, three points and 11 shots-on-goal is music to his owners ears that should only get better .. In the absence of Daniel Alfredsson, Jesse Winchester has been given a good look after announcing Jarko Ruutu would line up with Jason Spezza and Dany Heeatley, a spot that many will audition for until the captain returns. Rearguard Alexandre Picard scored his first of the season and is a very good sleeper for this season, as was Filip Kuba, most likely still available on the waiver wire
Nice to see Nashville captain, Jason Arnott is happy to score again and not get clobbered in the celebration, now that Alexander Radulov is in the KHL. The Predators captain has two goals and two assists over the first two games .. Milan Hejduk is averaging seven shots per game, while scoring one in each as well. His goals were from in close, and despite scoring in consecutive games he's handling the puck like a hot potato at times, forcing the play away from his vicinity; sly in his intentions, can goal-scoring continue if he doesn't involve himself into the play on most occasions
That thud heard by Evgeni Nabokov owners was the sound of them figuring out that Brian Boucher earned the shutout against the Los Angeles Kings, despite LA announcers using the word 'shutout' late in the game to 'jinx' the back up goalie .. Tuomo Ruutu has started off nice with points in the first two games, playing a physical game, generating some penalties and going hard to the net .. owners of Jonathan Cheechoo will be happy to see the winger rebound into a 30-plus goal winger, with the potential to hit 40 if he maintains his early season work ethic .. Slava Kozlov has fluctuating production similar to Vaclav Prospal, and has started with a three-point effort in the first two games .. Rod Brind'Amour has blown into the season showing no ill effects of off season surgery. Still, he's steadily deteriorated scoring-wise, including a greater propensity for injury, tread carefully.
I'm getting a bad feeling over the role of Dan Boyle in San Jose, not having to do with his specific ability, but the pairing on the blueline with the man advantage. Rob Blake has shown a likely tendency to shoot and it seems like he's controlling the puck on the right side of the rink, setting up the low man, setting up at the top of the circle and blasting it. The effect has Blake's outlook improving and has looked pretty good thus far, but Boyle may not get the chances to show that he has a fairly decent shot from the point this season. Keep an eye out for the amount of shots on the power play from Boyle early in this season and make a judgment call when necessary .. Those young Kings players are struggling to find their scoring touches early this season (*ahem* - Kopitar ? newest long-term contract signee ? *ahem*), although playing a stifling San Jose squad surely didn't help out. Some patience may be required for owners from LA .. Be prepared for the inconsistent season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, including blowout performances for those that took Vesa Toskala late in the draft.
My Watch List
Fantasy GM's should have their own watch lists, depending on the league setup and transaction possibility ? sometimes other GM's simply aren't willing to part with a player, effectively removing him off the watch list for that league. This is tricky if you participate in multiple leagues ? which I do. My generic watchlist consists of the following players for the moment. This is a dynamic list that changes often. It could look different week-to-week depending on their performances.
Vaclav Prospal, LW, TBL ? watching the movement from lines Dwayne Roloson, G, Edm ? goaltending situation in case Garon struggles Drew Doughty, D, LAK ? first year rearguard could become something special Ville Koistinen, D, Nsh ? slated to QB the power play, he was a healthy scratch the next game Brooks Laich, C, Wsh ? was the end of the season a sign of a breakout? That's why he makes the list Michael Cammalleri, LW, Cal ? I've written him off in Calgary. Does he prove me wrong? Miroslav Satan, RW, Pit ? How long before he is moved off of Sid's line? Tuomo Ruutu, LW, Car ? Prime candidate to fill in Justin Williams vacant spot on RW Martin Havlat, RW, Chi ? Starting the countdown to an injury, nnnnnnnnow. Alex Auld, G Ott ? What, a goaltending issue in Ottawa?
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