The Wire Troll: Christmas Wishlist Part Uno
Here’s hoping Kyle Turris (left) raises his game in Ottawa — and not just his beer pong game.
Here at the Wire Troll, we appreciate the readers, their comments, and that all essential interaction. In this very strange Fantasy hockey season, injuries have ravaged so many teams and the goal has been to try to aid your Fantasy roster in the best ways imaginable.
When coming up with a “Christmas Wishlist,” it is important to keep in mind that these are wishes mixed in with the usual Wire Troll. The goal is our wishes this week will hopefully be fulfilled by the following players. The first part will involve the wish and then the player.
Next week with Part Deux, we will wrap up with the players that have already delivered on some of our more far fetched wishes. It seems hard to believe, but Week 11 is the midpoint of the Fantasy hockey season in leagues with playoffs. With that in mind, time is of the essence and with the Christmas roster freeze in effect starting Monday until December 27, that time is now.
Wish No. 1: A prospect who could flourish in a new place…
Kyle Turris, C, Ottawa Senators: Turris was finally given his escape out of Phoenix and traded to Ottawa for David Rundblad and a 2012 second round pick. Now, definitely neither of these players have lived up to expectations, but the reality is that Turris never had a prayer in Phoenix. His development was iffy to say the least, but with Ottawa, he will have a chance to gradually blend in and move up. Both of these guys are only owned in less than 1 per cent of all Fantasy leagues and can be had for nothing. Turris has more upside than Rundland at least and maybe the pick as well. Ottawa is better suited for Turris and his talents. The Sens will allow him to grow.
Wish No. 2: I just need a few blocks to get me by…
Niklas Hjalmarsson, D, Chicago Blackhawks: In most cases, defensemen (especially the stay at home variety) can only rack up certain categories. Usually the defensive defenseman will help you with ATOI, hits, and blocks. Well, with Hjalmarsson, Two out of Three Ain’t Bad (as Meatloaf would have you believe). Most of your waiver wire has the real heavy ATOI defensemen, but it is hard to ignore a guy that plays 20:05 a night and has 86 blocks in 32 games. If you are just dying — especially with blocks — and need a guy that will boost your totals by about 10 per week, then here is your guy — Signed, Sealed (and) Delivered.
Wish No. 3: I need a goalie who is still available and can get me a few wins here and there…
Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Philadelphia Flyers: Bobrovsky has been pretty consistent for the Flyers all season. Now, while his save percentage is a bit below the .910 league average, think of the defense he plays on. Philadelphia thrives on scoring goals and creating offensive mayhem. Defense is… well… at times optional, honestly. (In fairness, however, who needs a defense when you spend most of the time in the other team’s zone?) Also, the Flyers have had some real clunkers that throw off said numbers (Saturday night was a good example). However for as good as Ilya Bryzgalov can play, he can just bomb out too often for some people’s Fantasy tastes. Having a good handcuff like Bobrovsky that can rack up wins and occasional appearances is a solid idea going forward, especially in Week 11 and beyond.
- We ranked Boston’s Tim Thomas as the top goalie in the league heading into the season, but he didn’t exactly start out that way, going 3-4 in October with a 2.14 GAA and .929 save percentage (hardly numbers that would make a Fantasy owner squirm, but we’re used to so much more from Thomas recently). Well, the veteran netminder sure has put that start in the rear view mirror, hasn’t he? He went 9-0 in November with a 1.76 GAA and .941 save percentage. In December so far, he’s 3-1 with a 1.51 GAA and .961 save percentage. Yup, he’s back, and really only Brian Elliott of the Blues has been a better goalie than Thomas this season, but if the Bruins’ netminder continues on this trajectory, he will soon be back at the top of the list.
- Speaking of rankings, we pegged Patrick Kane as the ninth-best right winger heading into the season and he’s been pretty much right on par with that, definitely playing at a top 10 level for his position. The thing is, we’d like to see more. Two seasons ago, Kane seemed on the cusp of stardom, but over the last two seasons, he’s been back to merely being a point per game player. He got off to a nice start this month with seven points in the first four games, but has now been shut out in three straight games. In Friday’s win over Anaheim, Kane’s ice time was down and he only had one shot on goal. The first overall pick from 2007 has flirted with being a truly elite player, but has yet to take that plunge. He only turned 23 last month, so there is time, but we sure would like to see him break through into 35-goal, 90-point territory this season, but it’s going to take a big second half for Kane to achieve that.
Well, that should do it for this week. Next week we throw on the Yule Log for everyone and sing Christmas songs. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration… or is it? Aloha for now.
VOTE FOR ROTOROB
RotoRob.com is up for an award, having been nominated as the Best Sports Blog in Canada! If you love our site, show us by helping us bag some hardware. You can place your vote here.