I’m really beginning to hate concussions. They are fantasy poison because the players eventual return is always a huge mystery. And believe you me, it’s not going to get any better. We’re in the early years of the concussion era in hockey. The science of the brain (and brain injuries) has caught up and they are easy to diagnose now. Plus players, coaches, trainers and medical staff are way more aware of the symptoms than they’ve ever been. Bottom line, there will be alot more games missed due to concussions in the future. Sidney Crosby is obviously the catalyst for this post, seeing as how his return is indefinite thanks to recurring concussion symptoms. Claude Giroux just went down also, although this is his 1st time so maybe he’s back in 2 weeks like certain other players. Or maybe he comes back a year from now? That’s the problem with these brain battering injuries and why they are the greatest plague ever unleashed on fantasy hockey.
Richard Bachman – G (Dal): I talked about the potential First Lady-Man of Michelle Bachman a couple days ago when he beat the Kings. Well yesterday he got his 1st career Shutout against the Rangers and since taking over for Raycroft in the 3rd Period on December 8, Bachman has stopped 72 of 73 Shots. As long as he’s the starter in Dallas you (us) Goalie starved teams need to try and make room for this Dick.
Tuuka Rask – G (Bos): Last night’s Shutout is no surprise and there’s no point in getting analytical here, we all know Tuuka is a baad ass. But we also know he’s on the same team as Tim Thomas, meaning 1 start (or less) per week is what you should expect… I know I know, I’m sticking needles in my Tim Thomas voodoo doll too…
Jason Pominville – RW (Buf): I’ve been waiting patiently for this guy to start slumping, but it just hasn’t happened yet. It’s time to start considering the possibility that this could be his career year, meaning better numbers than his 2007-2008 season: 27G/53A/+16/232SOG.. As Al Bundy would say, “Hooter’s Hooter’s, Yum Yum Yum…”
Milan Michalek – LW/RW (Ott): Goal #19 puts Michalek ALONE atop the NHL leaderboard, but it’ll be short lived. He left the game with a UBI which could knock him out for a while. If this guy wins the Rocket Richard trophy (that’s Ree-shard, not Richard) I will run naked through the streets of Ottawa…
Tim Connolly – C (Tor): 2 Goals gives TC 6 on the year and he’s clearly a strong candidate for Waiver Wire All Star. That’s if he can stay healthy enough to play 70+ games.. Ah who am I kidding of course he’ll get hurt.. Just be prepared to drop him ASAP when he does.
James Reimer – G (Tor): Make no mistake about it, the Toronto brain trust wants James Reimer to be THE MAN in net going forward. Gustavsson is a backup and Burke knows it. The only problem is I don’t think Reimer is ready this year. Sure he’ll have games like yesterday (a W on just 1 Goal allowed) but those will be sprinkled in between a stretch of 11 Goals in 3 games (which he did in the 3 games prior to yesterday).
Lubomir Visnovsky – D (Ana): There is a good chance Visnovsky returns tonight against the Coyotes so I thought I’d give ya’ll a heads up if you own him and he’s still on your IR.. And if you don’t own him go check your waiver wire and see if he was dropped. Just 82% Yahoo ownership tells me you could get lucky. It’s not every day last year’s top scoring Defensman is sitting there for free..
Danny Cleary – RW (Det): “I can see Cleary now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way…” Naaaahhhh that song’s lame, I apologize. Anyway Cleary is currently on a hot streak, which means at some point in the near future he’ll be colder than this guy…
James Van Riemsdyk – LW (Phi): Gets back on the board with 2 Assists after a 4 game goose-egg. With the loss of Giroux (for who the hell knows how long) JVR could see a boost in production.
Steve Mason – G (CBJ): Despite the menstrual cramps in the 3rd Period Mason looked amazing against a great Vancouver offense. You know what else would be amazing though? If you didn’t regret picking this guy up. So, uh, don’t..
James Wisniewski – D (CBJ): Is having a good year.
P.A. Parenteau – RW (NYI): Is hot right now and was hot at the beginning of the season, but bad Parent-eau went 15 games in the middle of the season where he had just 6 Points. He’ll have another one of those stretches before April rolls around.
Niklas Backstrom – G (Min): Has looked good since returning from injury and as long as he can stay on his skates, he will start the majority of Minny’s games. I could see a huge 2nd half for this finny-fin.
Dan Boyle – D (SJ): 2 Goals last night and is really…. oh wait it was his 2nd Goal of the season? Yeah I had low expectations for Boyle heading into this year and so far it’s justified. If you’re still treating him like a #1 Defenseman you need to upgrade your D.