The Blown Call Sports Blog examines the issues in modern day sports. It is meant to be a commentary about what is wrong and right in sports. For fantasy junkies, there will be plenty of juice here for you as well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

NHL Thursday Night Extravaganza

Ales Hemsky is the best player ever. Overstatement. But lately, he has been unstoppable. He scored his 4th goal of the season tonight, which was also his 4th TSN Highlight of hte Night candidate nomination. The thing I love about this guy is that he is so easy to cheer for because he makes all his goals count. They aren't little tips or crease goals, they are goals that make an NBA fan appreciate hockey.
Fantasy Analysis - If you are looking to grab Hemmer, you are probably a week late. If you are lucky to own him, expect a career year at a point per game rate.

The St Louis Blues goaltender tonight is Ben Bishop. He is 6'7".
Fantasy Analysis - that's tall.

Shea Weber has 7 goals. Alex Ovechkin has 2
Fantasy Analysis - If there was any time Ovechkin would be considered a Buy Low candidate, it would be now. Shea Weber is a monster.

Nicklas Backstrom was a +1 tonight. Why is this news? Because there is nothing else to say about his season so far. While Ovechkin posted 3 assists and Semin had 2 goal night (including the winner), Backstrom continues to struggle. The dreaded sophomore jinx is an easy explanation, but how about the steady play of Sergei Fedorov and Michael Nylander, who have relegated Backstrom to 3rd line duties with Brooks Laich and Victor Kozlov.
Fantasy Analysis - Backstrom is the leading vote getter right now for 1st Team Buy Low All Star. Get him now from a frustrated owner. He is too talented and Fedorov and Nylander are too brittle for Coach Boudreau to keep him on the 3rd line.

While NicklBack struggles, NiklBack is hot, and Nickelback still sucks. The Minny goaltender won his 8th game tonight in 11 games, stopping 34 shots against the Colorado Avalanche.
Fantasy Analysis - Keep rolling him as a #1 starter. Who needs Gaborik? The Wild continue to win without him. If Gabby is asking for 8-9 million+ per year, I'd send him packing for a package of young players (maybe including Jordan Staal, who would fit right into Lemaire's defensive system)

Mike Smith, among the league leaders in SV% and GAA, will se them go down tonight, as he gave up 5 goals on 35 shots. Perhaps he was paying too much attention to Adam Voros, who he kind of dropped the gloves with, and not on stopping the puck.
Fantasy Analysis - game to forget, but the Rangers are now 3-0 against the Lightning this year. Keep Smith as a decent #2 and real good #3 goalie, who will see a lot of shots and save most of them.

Mikhail Grabovski scored his 6th goal of the season tonight. In my opinion, one of the hardest working lines in hockey, thus making them one of the best lines in hockey right now, Grabovski - Hagman - Kulemin continue to roll. Ron Wilson has these guys forechecking and using their incredible speed and hands. It is fun to watch
Fantasy Analysis - If you are in a deep league, keep these guys atop your watch list. Someone has to score for the Leafs (right?), and I'm betting it will be one of these 3 guys.

Blake Wheeler had a hat trick tonight.I've been waiting for this guy to break into the NHL for a long time.
Fantasy Analysis - I've never been a big fan of the Bruins, but they have some weapons on their team. That being said, Wheeler is a little bit down the line from being a top Bruin option.

In Tavares Watch 2009, The Atlanta Thrashers beat the New York Islanders 4-3 tonight. How did they do it? The Islanders decided to play with their off hands in the 3rd period, which led to 3 unanswered Thrashers goals.
Fantasy Analysis - a line consisting of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo looks pretty dangerous in a few years.

My take on what will happen in New Jersey: Lou Lamorello has a few options, but he is not the type of guy to go out and spend a lot on a temporary fix. Among goalies available are Nikolai Khabibulin, Olaf Kolzig, and Dwayne Roloson.
The Hawks desperately want to get rid of Bulin, but I don't think Uncle Lou wants to take on that contract.
Olaf Kolzig used to be really good, but I think I would rather have Kevin Weekes.
Of the 3 goalies, Roloson seems to be the best fit. He has proven to still be effective, not too pricey, and has a demeanor similar to Brodeur, where he knows his role.
My bet is that they will roll with Weekes for a bit to get a few wins under his belt to prove to other GM's that they are not desperate for a goalie, to lower the value of the other goalies, then Lou will acquire a goalie.

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