It never fails. Five or 10 games into the season, poolies get excited – positively or negatively – about a couple of players because of what the early numbers show. This year is no different. Here are some of the crazier numbers we can expect a market correction for over the next 75 games.
10. Marc-Andre Bergeron, Tampa Bay – Eight points in six games
Bergeron is a very creative blueliner who has shown he can put up offensive numbers, especially in spurts. But his shoddy defensive game always catches up to him - count on it. The healthy scratches will come. His career high is 46 points in 2006-07, which included 21 points in 23 games for the Islanders, so he’s done this before. This isn’t to say he won’t match his career high, but it’s unrealistic to believe he’ll be a top 10 scorer among defensemen.
9. P-A Parenteau, N.Y. Islanders – Seven points in four games
Parenteau is clicking with John Tavares and Matt Moulson, showing he belongs in the top six. But when Nino Niederreiter returns from his groin injury the team will give him a chance to win the job back. Parenteau will be in tough to match his 53 points from a year ago, even though he only needs another 46.
8. Corey Perry, Anaheim – Two points in five games
The defending Rocket Richard winner is obviously not going to finish the season with 32 points. Let me put it this way – last season he started off with one point in four games. ‘Nuff said.
7. Phil Kessel, Toronto – Nine points in four games
The league’s leading scorer is also one of its streakiest players. Kessel will have a couple of three- or four-game runs in which he gets eight points. He’ll also have a few three- or four-game runs in which he posts the big goose egg - that’s just the player he is. He’s trending up so he will build on last season’s 64 points, but hoping for anything beyond 75 is craziness. Look for 66 to 72 points.
6. Luke Adam, Buffalo – Six points in four games
I would be surprised if we had a 55-point rookie this year not named Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. And even RNH may miss the mark once the hype dies down and the adrenaline wears off. That puts Adam on target for 42 to 54 points.
5. David Legwand, Nashville – Eight points in five games
Legwand has done this before. In fact, he had nine points in six games last March. But whenever he gets going, he gets hurt; he has missed 86 games over the past six seasons. He does have one 63-point season, so you can hold onto that sliver of hope. But I wouldn’t count on more than 45.
4. St. Louis goaltending
In four starts, Jaroslav Halak has been horrible (1-3-0, .848 SP), while Brian Elliott was brilliant in his one start. Time to panic? Nope. The Golden Boy always gets the chance to work through his slump. To become a team’s Golden Boy, you either need to be drafted high by them, or signed to big bucks. Halak falls into the latter category. The 26-year-old would need to go 3-12-2 before I start worrying about him losing starts.
3. Eric Staal, Carolina – three points, minus-8 in five games
Now is the time to acquire the eldest Staal. He is a proven and consistent 75-point player and his plus/minus has never been worse than minus-10. Since his plus-minus is already close to that level, it won’t get any worse, right?
2. Jarome Iginla, Calgary – one point, minus-3 in four games
Iginla is notorious for his sluggish starts and sizzling finishes. Let him flounder for another eight or 10 weeks and head into December on a 60-point pace, then nab him from his disheartened fantasy owner and ride the wave as he surfs past the 75-point mark.
1. Vancouver goaltending
For the same reasons cited above, Roberto Luongo is the Golden Boy here, even though Cory Schneider was drafted 26th overall. Giant contracts trump late first-rounders on the Golden Boy chain. That being said, Schneider should see a career-high 30-plus games this season. But I wouldn’t worry about Luongo.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section. Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.