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.

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