Monday, October 17, 2011

NHL Week 1 Review

The 2010/11 is now 11 days old and so I've compiled a list of 11 observations from this young season. There are some interesting stories emerging, but the sample size is still too small to draw any definite conclusions.

1) John Tavares has arrived. He was drafted 69th overall in my 20 team fantasy league and that was way too low (he went after Heatley and before Skinner).

2) Thus far media spending 80% of their time discussing discipline and micro-analyzing which hits are legal; 20% of their time talking about actual hockey games.

3) Boston, Tampa, San Jose, and Vancouver, last year's final four teams are all sitting outside a playoff spot with a combined 6 wins in 18 games. By contrast, Toronto, NY Islanders, Dallas and Colorado (who all missed the playoffs last season) have 14 wins in 17 games.

4) Phil Kessel is putting up 2.6 PTS per game through the first 3 games putting him on pace for 213 PTS this season. If he scores 85 or more PTS, Toronto is a playoff team.

5) Slow starts for Alex Ovechkin, Corey Perry, Joe Thornton, and Jarome Iginla; combining for 4 PTS in 15 GP. Not good.

6) Dallas might be fine without Brad Richards. Off to a 4-1 start, it would appear that the Stars have not skipped a beat since losing their top player. Kari Lehtonen is looking great on my fantasy team.

7) David Legwand shares the lead in NHL scoring with 8 PTS in 4 GP, and he was drafted 279th overall in my fantasy league.

8) Craig Anderson sucks. He has shown flashes of genius in the last 3 years, but so far this season he's been atrocious.

9) Vancouver fans are not going to forgive Luongo's meltdown in the Cup finals, which is very apparent if you listen to local talk radio. This could become a toxic situation very quickly for the emotionally fragile goaltender. The team needs Kesler back, and he's set to return next game.

10) Ottawa should start playing Gonchar at forward even strength. He's a severe liability on the blue line unless there is a man advantage.

11) Joffrey Lupul might actually be effective, where his contract looked like dead money when Toronto acquired him. He works great with Kessel, which does make the Connolly signing less relevant and over-priced.

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