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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

For Those of Us With Lives: Your Weekly NHL Up-To-Speed (10-27-10 to 11-3-10)

As the dust settles on another election in the U.S., we are finally free to watch hockey without being interrupted by campaign commercials.  A definite plus.  I'm waiting for the year we have a referendum on outlawing those things.

The News
Probably the biggest news is that sleazebag Graham James has officially been arrested.  If you'll remember, he's the former junior coach that molested and intimidated his players, including future NHLers like Theoren Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy.  He'd been on the run for quite awhile, but now hopefully the long arm of the law slams the barred door shut and throws away the key.

Also, Bettman and Bill Daly had a little chat with Yahoo about various things, spending way too much time on the Wild fan and Rick Rypien and whether the fan accepted a Bettman invitation to dinner and a game.  Wow, that wouldn't be awkward as shit.  When asked about the Coyotes and the fact that they struggle to get to 10,000 per game this year, Daly took the reins with:

"I will say we're light years better than where we were last year at this time in terms of how the fans have responded to the club."

Yeah, nope.  We're in the same boat, maybe worse.  Remember, Coyotes had an up-tick in attendence by December last year because they were in first place and playing incredibly well.  They are definitely not in first place this time around.  As each game passes, the opening and second-night booms are insufficient to keep the average home attendence above 10,000.
It's not like Bettman was without a fun quote of his own.  How about this gem on the impending issue of the expiration of the CBA:

"And frankly, to segue, I don't see any reason why anybody who covers our game is focused at all on collective bargaining.  I mean, we're starting to get to those questions.  There are three other leagues that go before we do.  (Laugh) We've got two years.  Please."

Could you possibly manufacture a potentially more-ironic quote?  Yes, god forbid that we worry when a.) we are less than a decade removed from a lockout, which itself was less than a decade removed from a lockout, b.) Donald Fehr's not afraid to strike, and c.) we are in a salary-cap league.  "We've got two years."  I think it would be wise to handle this seriously, and not like a college kid with a due date on his term paper.

Before I get too steamed, let's just admire the remarkable Pavel Datsyuk.  This is precisely why he's one of the best in the league:

Now that I have pleased you, the less-graceful charge of Dustin Byfuglien.  Let me be the first to say that this is probably the ugliest end-to-end I've seen in awhile:

Self-Important Thoughts Section
- Okay, I get it.  Rinks and teams think that cheerleaders will draw fans, or at least keep them there.  Edmonton fans don't want them, even though the Oilers are setting up to have them.  The fans think cheerleaders are superficial business ploys and sexist, and they are.  But a hockey team is about 75 percent dictatorship.

- Feeling good about my Patrick Sharp prediction; not so much about Nik Antropov.

- Wow, plus-minus is a weird category this year.  Take a look at Joe Thornton, Patrick Kane, and even Nicklas Backstrom.

- This is probably the best costume out there right now.

- Speaking of costumes, I think I know what I'm going to be next year: Slutty Orville Redenbacher.

Tweets of the Week
"Just left 'the joe'. Tough skate today. I looked like datsyuk out there today. Minus the awesome hands, great shot, speed, and hockey sense."

"Baby wipes should become the worlds currency."

"gota text from a friend sayin a guy with his young son showed up trick or treating with a favre jersey and dildo hanging out of his pants"
- Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0)

Fantasy Time (Yahoo standard scoring)
Top Goalies last week
Tim Thomas - 2 GP, 2 W, 0.00 GAA, 100 SV%, 2 SHO --- 87% owned
Dan Ellis - 2 GP, 2 W, 0.00 GAA, 100 SV%, 1 SHO --- 48% owned
Niklas Backstrom - 3 GP, 2 W, 1.00 GAA, 96.6 SV%, 1 SHO --- 84% owned

Top Left Wings last week
Dany Heatley - 3 GP, 3 G, 4 A, +6, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 6 SOG --- 100% owned
Alex Ovechkin - 3 GP, 3 G, 2 A, +3, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 16 SOG --- 100% owned
Patrick Sharp - 4 GP, 2 G, 3 A, -1, 0 PIM, 3 PPP, 21 SOG --- 93% owned

Top Right Wings last week
Ryan Callahan - 4 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 0, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 16 SOG --- 47% owned
Jeff Carter - 3 GP, 2 G, 3 A, +4, 2 PIM, 0 PPP, 14 SOG --- 96% owned
Dustin Byfuglien - 3 GP, 2 G, 2 A, +1, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 14 SOG --- 84% owned

Top Centers last week
Joe Thornton - 3 GP, 3 G, 5 A, +6, 0 PIM, 3 PPP, 7 SOG --- 99% owned
Nicklas Backstrom - 3 GP, 3 G, 3 A, +4, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 7 SOG --- 100% owned
Patrick Marleau - 3 GP, 2 G, 3 A, +6, 0 PIM, 0 PPP, 10 SOG --- 99% owned

Top Defensemen last week
Duncan Keith - 4 GP, 1 G, 8 A, +3, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 15 SOG --- 100% owned
Kimmo Timonen - 3 GP, 1 G, 4 A, +3, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 6 SOG --- 71% owned
Mike Green - 3 GP, 1 G, 3 A, +3, 6 PIM, 2 PPP, 6 SOG --- 100% owned

Advice: Byfuglien is typically eligible as a D as well, and I'd advocate adding him for that position if he's available in your league.  Just be ready when he locks into the doldrums again.  Timonen would also be worth adding, and might be more helpful in the long run than Byfuglien.

I told you to add Tim Thomas a couple of weeks back.  Now you'll just have to settle for Dan Ellis, who's the better goalie in Tampa and could ride the hot offense to 30 wins.  Ratios will be suspect, though.

I like Ryan Callahan if I'm desperate for RW's, because nearly every winger that takes a ton of shots has a good year at some point in their career.  Callahan has been over 200 shots the last two years, so he's bound to start finding the net.  I'd give him a shot to see if he could put together a Jason Blake-ian year  of around 25-30 goals and 55-60 points.

I voted.  I voted hard.  Peace out.

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