Reid Boucher (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) is a pure sniper in every sense of the word and his shot is as quick as it is accurate, and it’s bloody quick. Last year Boucher potted 62 goals in 68 games for the OHL’s Sarina Sting, breaking Steven Stamkos’ club record for goals in a season with 60 back in 2011-2012. How’s that for a pedigree? Dude’s leaving broken Stamkos goal scoring records in his wake on his way to the NHL. His nose for the prime scoring opportunities is not something that can be taught and he can’t be left alone for even a second in the offensive zone or the opposing team will regret it. It’s not all roses and rainbows for Boucher, however, and one of the big knocks against him is his size, or lack thereof. He stands at just 5’10 and around 194lbs and from what I’ve seen he tends to play with his head down a bit too often, which if you ask Pat Lafontaine about sometime, he, well… he probably can’t remember, but that’s kind of the point. His defensive game needs some work as well and that is always a bit scary as it will limit his TOI even as he develops. Still, the Devils think very highly of their young sniper and you might consider doing the same. He’s worth a flier in deeper leagues, totally worth owning in keeper leagues and a wait-and-see status for standard leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw on a short night o’ fantasy hockey yesterday:
Chris Kunitz (1 G, 1 A, 7 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) is going to score 40 goals? Come on. Really? I still don’t buy it.
Eric Gelinas (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +3) is having a nice rookie season currently on pace for 42 points on a dismal offensive team. This year seems to be the season of young offensive defensemen with good upside and Gelinas is right up there on that list. He’s got a great combination of size and skill, a cannon of a shot and good instincts in the offensive zone and its showing. He’s owned in just 14% of Yahoo! Leagues and 44% of ESPN leagues, so if you need help at D, go get him.
John Moore (2 A, 3 SOG, +2) was supposed to be an offensive defenseman buuut that’s not really working out so far. With as many defensive prospects the Rangers have down in the AHL, it’s a wonder why they don’t bring one of them up and send Moore down where he belongs. Dylan McIlrath? Brady Skjei? Come on Sather!
Andy Greene (1 A, 5 SOG, +1) is another Devils defenseman on pace for a solid year as he aims for 37 points this season. He last hit that exact number back in 2010, so… don’t count on it. Was anyone really counting on it? I sure hope not.
Damien Brunner (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2) has points in two straight and three of his last four with three goals over that span. Sounds good, but that comes on the heels of just one point in his previous 17 games. In the month of October his line was 0 G, 0 A, 19 SOG, -1, 6 PIM. That’s as ugly as it gets. He’s too young and streaky to predict at this point, so don’t go cutting anyone decent for him.
Patrik Elias (2 A, 3 SOG, +2) may have something to do with Brunner’s recent mini-streak. Elias, the consummate professional, is on pace for 60 points driven largely by assists and if Brunner plays his cards right he might just spend more time next to Elias and reap the benefits.
Sidney Crosby (2 A, 4 SOG, +1) scores so often that it does no good to track what he does during the season anymore. You want to know what he’s done the last however many games? Scored lots of points, probably every game. For his career he has 714 points in just 506 games. Lawds that’s a lot o’ points.
Mats Zuccarello (1 G, 1 A, 1 SOG, +1) has done well now that he’s been given the chance and helped the Rangers, well, lose in a shootout but by no fault of his own. I think Torts didn’t really give the diminutive winger a chance, but I can’t blame him from what I saw. Still, MZA is second on the team in scoring with 23 points so far and continues to prove he’s more of an asset than a liability on Broadway. For us, he’s a weak secondary scoring option only worth considering in deeper leagues.
Martin Brodeur (2 GA, 23 SV, W) is starting to piss me off a bit with his typically good play. I figured Cory Schneider would get more starts this season, I mean Marty has to break down sometime, right? Is he even human?
Marc-Andre Fleury (3 GA, 29 SV, W) manages to win games even when he gives up three goals? Ryan Miller probably cries himself to sleep knowing that.
Olli Maatta (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) is nothing spectacular. Frankly, his play is so damn technically sound it’s boring for us because he doesn’t score much. For all you folks that love watching good fundamentals though, well, here’s your guy. Have a blast!
Derick Brassard (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) is more of a, uh, well, I’m not really sure what he is. A grinder? Fourth line fodder? Meh. I can tell you this, I’m only mentioning him because he never scores, but he did score yesterday, and there was only three games. Yep.
Jaromir Jagr (1 G, 1 SOG, even) is pretty old these days. Remember the mullet? Glorious!
Jussi Jokinen (1 A, 4 SOG, even) will have another typical Jussi Jokinen season and will always have typical Jussi Jokinen seasons. Yawn.
Travis Zajac (1 A, 1 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) was on course for a solid career until 2010-2011, it’s sort of been straight downhill since then.
Henrik Lundqvist (3 GA, 29 SV, L) can’t seem to buy a win this season. I didn’t think the King would look so much the Jester so soon. Unless he’s hiding an injury, there’s no reason to think he can’t get those terrible (for him) peripherals down from 2.71 GAA and .908 SV%, but the wins won’t be coming as often as they have in the past.
Milan Michalek (1 G, 1 SOG, -1) scored 35 goals just two years ago and should have been good for at least another 20-25 this season, but he’s on pace for just 14. What’s worse than that? How about his minus-19 rating that’s on pace to be minus-43 by season’s end. Holy horrible seasons, Batman!
Brad Richards (1 A, 1 SOG, even) really fleeced the Rangers with his deal, didn’t he? On pace for another mediocre mid-60s season, he was signed to a massive deal to put up more like 80 points, but that isn’t happening this year or ever again it seems. Does anyone give bigger contracts to the wrong people at the wrong points in their careers? Maybe the Rangers are cursed! They just made Henrik Lundqvist the highest paid goalie in the league and look how he’s doing.