It’s official, Sidney Crosby is back. The headlines are infinite: NHL.com – Sid-sational Debut! TSN.Com – Mid-Season Form! Yahoo – Welcome Back, Kid! (Not much effort there Yahoo). NBC Sports – Super Mario? No, Super Sidney! FOX Sports – Crosby Thrills (btw, check out their site. Every headline is 2 words or less it’s like the editor has OCD or something)…. And finally the best for last, ESPN: What’s Hockey? Haha just kidding I’m sure they mentioned it in the credits after Sportscenter was over… Bottom line Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL and it isn’t close. He can single handedly lift an entire fantasy team (which is exactly what I need him to do in the 1 league where I own him). Now before all us Sid owners blow our preverbial wad just remember: The risk of another concussion is very real and would probably end his season if it happened. My advice: Cross your fingers and bury your head in the sand. No one’s gonna be willing to offer fair value (which IMO would be something like 2 Top 20 players and a solid throw in). Okay enough about Crosby, I have a feeling I’ll be mentioning him once or twice again this year..
Scott Hartnell – LW (Phi): 2G/1A/2PPP/4SOG on Saturday.. Thank You Peter Laviolette for putting Hartnell with Claude Giroux. Those 2 have great chemistry and as long as they stay together curly will easily top his career high in points (60 in 2008-2009).
James Van Riemsdyk – LW (Phi): I have to admit JVR is surprising me. Not that he isn’t extremely talented and in a good situation in Philly, I just never thought someone with a last name that obscene could ever be successful in hockey.
Bryan Little – C/RW (Wpg): I’ll give him a little endorsement: 2 Goals gives him 4 points in his last 3 games. He’s capable of stretches like this which puts him on the bubble to Waiver Wire All Star status.
Kimmo Timonen – D (Phi): 1 Point last 5 games after 9 in his previous 8. Thats what baseball ‘perts call regressing to the mean (yes it happens in hockey too)…
Tomas Holmstrom – LW/RW (Det): This former Waiver Wire All Star is just fodder now. But that still doesn’t mean he can’t be useful from time to time (2Assists Saturday). If you’ve ever watched the Red Wings you know his role: Park in front of the net and screen the Goalie. Which means almost all of his points are pure chance.
Henrik Zetterberg – C/LW (Det): Buy buy buy! If picking stocks were this easy I’d be making more money than a U.S. Congressman.
Justin Williams – RW (LA): After a red hot start Williams has cooled somewhat with just 1G/7A/-4 in the Kings last 15 games. He’s still shooting though and as long as he stays healthy (which is always a question with J-Dub) he makes a solid RW2 in 12+ team leagues.
Radim Vrbata – RW (Phx): Snapped out of a small funk (1G/0A last 4 games) with 2 Goals against Buffalo and another one last night. Radim is producing like a RW2 when in reality he’s Waiver Wire All Star material. He’s not worth trading on his own (unless Radim’s Mom is in your league) but if you can use him as a throw in to get a bigger trade finalized do it.
Jordan Leopold – D (Buf): Tied his career high in points in 1 game. That’s normally a good thing but in Leopold’s case it means he had only 2.
Joffrey Lupul – LW/RW (Tor): 4 Points Saturday and another Sunday for Jeffrey with an O. I’m really getting annoyed by this guy as well as most of his teammates. I keep telling ya’ll to sell and they keep producing. In response I now say that the 2011-2012 Toronto Maple Leafs are the greatest team in the history of hockey.
Tomas Vokoun – G (Wsh): Got the Win last night (but gave up 3 Goals) and was shellacked by the Leaf’s Saturday. ToVo is leveling off. Like I said in my skewering of ESPN’s preseason rankings, I like Vokoun, but he’s not a Top 3 Goalie let alone the #17 player overall.
Carey Price – G (Mtl): Yeah and here is who ESPN had ranked 22 spots behind Vokoun. Back-to-back Shutouts vaults Price into the upper echelon (statistically) of Goalies, which is right where he’ll be all year.
Derek Stepan – C (NYR): Another scoreless drought and yet another one of my sleepers is doing nothing but sleeping this year. He has 0 Points in 10 of the Rangers 17 games…
Patrick Marleau – C/LW (SJ): Okay I’m done predicting the demise of Patty Marleau. The hat trick Sunday (and overall performance this year) proves he’s still got plenty in the tank.
Corey Schneider – G (Van): Another great start in lieu of Luongo… Come on Vancouver do it! Grow a pair and trade Luongo so this guy can play full time!
Alexei Ponikarovsky – LW (Car): 2 Goals and an Assist is his biggest game ever.. Well maybe not never ever, but definately won’t ever happen again.
Jeff Carter – C (CBJ): 3 Goals in the last 2 games and if you’re the gambling type and your team stinks he’s a good buy low candidate. Just don’t blame me if he goes right back to underachieving like I think he will.
Tim Thomas – G (Bos): Yeah this guy is pretty good. But much like Sidney Crosby he has no business growing a mustache. That looks like some kind of animal nesting below his nose.
Florida Panthers – All these castoffs and never-were’s are still producing. Fleischmann, Versteeg, Garrison, Weiss and company will slow down at some point (I think) but in the meantime enjoy the unexpected production.
That’s it for tonight I’ve been under the weather for a couple days now (as I head for the medicine cabinet and a dose of Nyquil). I’d always heard that infants and children get sick alot and now I realize how true that is.. What I wasn’t aware of is that when your kid gets sick, so do you. Talk to ya’ll tomorrow on the eve of Thanksgiving (Or for those of you North of the Border just another Wednesday).