Pittsburgh Penguins Update

As I sat in my seats for my first Pens game of the season in person last Saturday night a few fantasy hockey thoughts hit me. The first was our preseason predication that an injury to Sergi Gonchar would be a devastating fantasy blow. Wow! We were right about that one.

The Pens have no flow in their 5 on 5 game. Even the times when Alex Goligoski was on the ice behind the first line, the game was choppy. Some of that can be contributed to Toronto’s style but a lot of that is no Ryan Whitney or Gonchar. It will impact the numbers of star players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Forwards
Jordan Staal- The consensus thinking was that he was snake bitten last year and his third line center duties held his numbers down. I am beginning to think his rookie year goal scoring numbers were a fluke. I love what he brings to the team, but he may not have the touch of 30-goal scorer. if you got a better choice in your fantasy league grab him now. If you got him on the left wing now, how about grabbing Sergei Kostitsyn instead?

Pascal Dupuis- The question here is do you grab him before he has a blip in his numbers. He has the speed and good hockey sense to play with Crosby and Malkin. Can he finish enough to make him a good wavier wire pickup? He won’t get many PPP and he doesn’t take many penalties, but as long as he remains on the first line I would consider picking him up the minute they change his specialty unit time.

Tyler Kennedy- The guy is getting second unit PP time and will play on the wing with the second line most nights. His speed will create opportunities. An injury to top winger or center and his value will go up.

Miroslav Satan- If you drafted him aren’t you glad you sold your soul to the devil. Now may be the time to sell him. He is hot and putting up nice numbers. If you have a need at another position, he might be early season trade bait.

Defensemen
Kris Letang- Love his future, but he is in over his head on the first pairing. Let him get his PP time, but Coach Therrien may need to put a leash on him especially in the third period of a still tight hockey game. His value is high now but will it be after Whitney returns.

Alex Goligoski- See Letang above. He needs to watch tapes of how other small defensemen play (i.e. Brian Rafalski), if not he might get killed some night.

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury- Did you undervalue him in the draft? I sure got the feeling I did Saturday night as I watch him make all the saves he had to make to get the win. If he stays healthy, look for over 40 wins.

Toronto Maple Leafs

I thought going into the season the New York Islanders had the weakest team from a fantasy perspective. I think I was wrong. The Leafs have a long season ahead of them.