Monday, January 28, 2008

Teemu goes Duck hunting

Teemu Selanne officially rejoined the Anaheim Ducks today, ending a season-long Waiting Game and inspiring some very heated debate.

On the one hand, Selanne, one of the game's most prolific goal scorers, made it clear early on that, if he were to postpone retirement and to play this year, he would only suit up for Anaheim. It was his choice to make and there was never any question.

Alternatively, critics point to his situation (as well as the Scott Niedermayer one) as unfair to the entire league. Their point does have some validity to it: Why should a player who has been resting most of the season suddenly be allowed to join whatever squad he chooses just in time for a playoff push?

My take is that Selanne merely (legally) exploited the lack of a rule preventing such actions. He feels the Ducks have a good chance to repeat as Stanley Cup champions and therefore, he wants to be a part of the triumph. Do some of his teammates feel slighted that they've carried the heavy load thus far and now the Flying Finn will enter the picture and lead them to playoff glory? Perhaps. However, hockey is first and foremost a team sport. The players know that a rejuvenated and healthy Selanne means that more wins are on the horizon.

Hoisting that silver chalice in June would go a long way towards dispelling any lingering bitterness.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fantasy Hockey: Surprises and Disappointments

The Fantasy Hockey season is around the half-way point and it's time to highlight some surprising performances, both good and bad.

Nice Surprises:

Alexi Kovalev-Montreal- This enigmatic superstar is on pace to reach 78 points this season which would be the second highest total in his career to date (he recorded 95 with Pittsburgh in 2000-01). There were likely bigger name RW's taken ahead of him on Draft Day like Jaromir Jagr and Marion Hossa, but thus far, he represents the best value at the position.

Brendan Morrow-Dallas- Morrow is on pace to record 80 points this season, a mark that would easily eclipse his previous best effort of 65. Known more in the past for his penalty minutes than anything else, he has reinvented himself as a power-play specialist and already has 20 points with the man advantage.

Ty Conklin-Pittsburgh- Slated to be nothing more than the Pen's third string/emergency goalie, Conklin has been ridiculously hot since being called up from the minors. He has yet to lose in 7 games and boasts a .939 save percentage and two shutouts.

Bitter Disappointments:

Ray Emery-Ottawa- Drafted by many to be their starting goalie, Emery has led his owners on a rollercoaster ride amidst injuries, trade rumors, causing team dysfunction and the occasional "kung-fu fighting" bout with Brian McGratton. He has only started 12 games and is carrying an anemic .891 save percentage.

Patrick Marleau-San Jose- Marleau's season thus far has been downright perplexing. He has only 18 points and his owners must be tearing their hair out as they most likely expected better numbers from him than those of a third line plugger.

Jonathan Cheechoo-San Jose- Granted, he's missed 7 games due to injury this season, but 11 points so far for a projected top 6 winger? Cheechoo's lack of production has played a big role in the Sharks' troubles this year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Brand New Year

Happy New Year to all my readers.

Fantasy Football has been laid to rest for the time being, so the new focus of this blog will be Fantasy Hockey. I'll be updating regularly about the sport starting next week.

I am also the new correspondent of the New York Jets for the following site: Please feel free to check me out on this excellent site as well.

For the record, Mrs. Pigskins and Pucks, Bridgette Raes, released her first book today: The Style Rx.

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