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Fantasy Pool Look: The other 'Big Joe'

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Joe Pavelski is having a fantastic post-season. He is the reason the Sharks got out of the first round, given their top line was only half-effective, at best. But don’t for a second fool yourself into thinking he’s pulling a John Druce.

Druce had eight goals and 11 points in the 1989-90 regular season and then 14 goals and 17 points in 15 playoff games. He followed that performance with 22 goals and 58 points in 1990-91, had a goal and two points in 11 playoff contests…and never produced anything of significance in the post-season again.

His spike in production was the biggest in modern NHL history and what you are seeing from San Jose’s Pavelski is far from that.

Pavelski will be 26 in July, entering prime of his career. He’s had seasons of 28, 40, 59 and 51 points (in order). The latter number slipped only because of a foot injury that limited him to 67 games this season; his points-per-game was actually a career high of 0.76. While nine goals and 14 points in eight playoff games is a little much to maintain for anyone not named Sid, Alex or ‘Geno,’ when it comes to Pavelski, this isn’t a stretch of Druce-ian proportions.

All things being equal – and health permitting – Pavelski will be a 70-point player in 2010-11. While his health should be fine (he’s had just the one big injury in three seasons), all things will certainly not be equal. Patrick Marleau will likely be gone. Some die-hard San Jose fans will argue that with a little more than $20 million in cap space to play with and some fancy maneuvering, the Sharks can keep Marleau, but I don’t buy that. The team will need to sign seven or eight forwards, two defensemen and a starting goaltender.

Marleau is as good as gone and that opens the door wide for Pavelski. He won’t be bumped to the top line (Devin Setoguchi will), he’ll continue centering the second line. But the added power play time will contribute to Pavelski topping 75 points next season.

It took Druce nearly two-plus seasons to get to that mark…

With Pavelski tallying 75 points next season, Ryane Clowe becomes a decent dark horse by default. He meshes well with ‘Little Joe’ on the second line, which should help him overcome his frustratingly inconsistent production. He had just seven points in the 15 game Pavelski missed, which is the reason Clowe failed to reach 60 points this campaign. He’ll get there next year…

By now we should be used to this, but it’s amazing nonetheless. Johan Franzen has 51 points in his past 48 playoff contests and 118 points in his past 170 regular season contests. The discrepancy is mind-boggling…

Miroslav Satan is having an impressive post-season with nine points in eight games. But even if he finishes with 18 points in 15 games, I won’t be selecting him in any fantasy leagues. He’ll be 36 in October and hasn’t reached 45 points in three seasons. That being said, he’s probably extended his NHL career with his recent performance…

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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