First time blogging on this site and I figured I'd kick it off with a focus on fantasy hockey.
A few surprises:
- Where in the h-e-double hockey sticks did this come from? Sharp is on pace to put up both more goals and more assists than he has in the last two seasons combined. Looks like the kids in Chicago are having an impact on everyone in the windy city. Now just imagine if the Blackhawks didn't make a typical Blackhawks move and ship their number two scorer from last year, Vrbata, to the Coyotes for Kevin Adams. Vrbata has 28 points in 35 games in the desert and is on pace to destroy his previous bests as well. Luckily, the late owner of the Hawks had made it so that the city had completely forgotten about the Blackhawks anyways so no one noticed, until this season of course. Home games on local television? Who'da-thunk-of-it.
- It's difficult for me to label him as a shocker considering what he did in Boston prior in the 05-06 season but it's nice to see the youngster return to form. The McDonald trade will only boost his numbers, once Andy stop tearing his chest of course.
- The big centerman only played 111 games over the last two seasons, but even then many felt he wasn't living up to his potential. This season he is a bright spot on an otherwise rollercoaster season for the Leafs with 35 points in 40 games. However, his performance as of late has fallen off considerably as he's failed to record a point in his last seven games. He's still playing heavy minutes so it'll be interesting to see if he comes back to life.
- Another example of a young player living up to expectations for a struggling team. Brown has produced pretty consistently throughout the season and was a great waiver wire pickup for everyone that grabbed him early on.
- Another player that's hard to label as a surprise but considering that he's already topped his goal total from last season he deserves to be on the pleasant surprises list. The Ducks will eventually be he and Getzlaf's team, if it isn't already, and he'll be signing a monster deal with them within a month.
There are plenty of other surprises to mention (Matt Cullen, Cory Stillman's return to form, Plekanec proving last season wasn't a fluke, Pascal Leclaire leading the league in shutouts) and other flops (Patrik Elias where have you gone, Thomas Vanek with less goals than Niklas Hagman...somewhere Kevin Lowe is smiling ear-to-ear) but I figured I'd limit the length of my first step into the hockeybuzz blog community.
Should be an interesting second half of the season with Ray Emery pissed off and erratic as always, Forsberg no doubt returning to show off his bionic feet, talks of an annual winter classic all over the place for which I'll be one of the first in line to freeze my tail off, Hossa finding a new and expensive home, ESPN coming back to the NHL, Buffalo resurging, an all star game in the hockey hotbed that is hot-lanta, Daryl Katz showing resilience, the Redwings dominating the regular season to fall just short yet again
, my Penguins getting exposed for being too soft in the playoffs and Ovechkin looking for the maximum payday. I can't wait...except for that Penguins thing.