The first Canucks Fantasy Forecast of 2010 starts and ends with Henrik Sedin. Surprised?
Three road games. Three wins. Three solid outings by Henrik Sedin.
The awards just keep piling up for half of everyone’s favourite twin combo (sorry Mary-Kate and Ashley) as in addtition of being named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for December, Henrik was also recently named the Canucks Fantasy Hockey Player of the Month for the same 31-day stretch.
Hank will likely never know how important that second award is, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to bask in his glory.
In 15 games throughout December, Henrik led all Canucks scorers with 25 points (5-20-25), including five points (1-4-5) over the past week. Vancouver went 2-0-1 over that stretch.
If, for some insanely insane reason, you’ve missed out on all that Henrik has had to offer so far this season (55 points in 42 games), it isn’t too late to add some Swedish flavour to your fantasy line-up.
Regardless of the match-up, arena or time of day, Henrik has been lights out all year with only 10 pointless games to his name and only one in the last 14 outings. Production, thy name is Henrik Sedin.
Besides all this, I continually get emails from Sedin pessimists who claim that $5 million, a fourth of your fantasy funds, is too much to spend on one twin, they’d prefer to drop a dime on Steve Bernier ($2 mill), Tanner Glass ($1 mill) and Sami Salo ($2 mill) and hope for the best.
My only response is that with Bernier, Glass and Salo you cross your fingers and say a prayer, with Henrik you fold your arms, smile and look smug. And rightfully so. You made the right choice.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
The Canucks continue to flex their muscles away from GM Place as they now sport a 9-10-1 record following a 3-0-1 road trip.
A trip to Phoenix began the week and although Vancouver struggled mightily for much of the game, the Canucks clawed their way back to earn a single point. Two nights later a full-fledged comeback helped them steal two points in St. Louis before a solid team effort led to a 3-1 win over Dallas.
Vancouver was able to end its road swing in style thanks to a balanced scoring attack that had Alex Edler (19 vs. Coyotes), Daniel Sedin (35 vs. Blues) and Ryan Kesler (35 vs. Stars) each carry the torch for fantasy points once during the week.
As far as game stars, Daniel led the pack with a pair this past week, followed by Henrik and Roberto Luongo, who each had one.
WE HAVE A WINNER
As bizarre as it is, kesledin put up 108 fantasy points to claim top spot when Vancouver lost in a shootout to Phoenix, but not Kesler nor a Sedin were on their team.
Six players were above 10 points for kesledin, including Edler (19), Samuelsson (17) and Bolduc (14). kesledin’s 108 points put up in the 20th fantasy game of their season wasn’t even close to their high of 189 from November 28, but having the right players on the right night is all that matters.
A difference of two players and one point is all that separated neemau5 from mwat during Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve TELUS Game of the Week in St. Louis.
neemau5 rolled the dice and dressed just seven players and they came together for 136 points; 59 from the Sedins, 46 from Tanner Glass and Ryan Kesler. That was narrowly enough to escape the chase from mwat and their 19 points Mikael Samuelsson push.
For their efforts, neemau5 wins a pair of tickets to see Vancouver vs. Calgary on January 9.
The lone king of the castle in the final game of the week was Ashmon, the lone fantasy winner to buy Luongo and make it to the top.
Captain Lui made 31 saves and allowed only one goal to record 35 fantasy points, including a game star, giving Ashmon 153 for the game. That was two points better than david1040, who also rode Luongo to a big day.
Click here to check out the leaderboard, it's a jumble of 6,252 fantasy fanatics.
THE WEEK AHEAD
A trio of games in five days means you’ll have three scoops of all-you-can-eat fantasy hockey this week.
Columbus is in town on Tuesday before Phoenix on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday. Bing, bang, boom.
Henrik Sedin. Pick him. That goes without saying right now. Same with Mikael Samuelsson and Mason Raymond. One is skating like he’s mad at the ice to prove his country wrong, the other is just in the midst of a breakout year. Do it.
You won’t win with only three players though, so versus Columbus, I’d add Willie Mitchell to your roster.
There’s typically no rhyme or reason as to why certain players put up big numbers against certain teams, that’s just the way it is. For Mitchell, the Blue Jackets are one of those teams and he has eight points in 29 games to prove it. That’s the fourth highest single point total against a team for Mitchell, who had a goal and an assist and 37 fantasy points in Vancouver’s loss to Columbus earlier this season.
Mitchell is only $3 million so loosen the purse strings and pick him up.
Against Phoenix it’s tough to say who is going to step up for the Canucks. Maybe Alex Edler will again, but maybe not. I’m going with my gut on this one and saying Roberto Luongo will put up big fantasy numbers as Vancouver takes down Phoenix to enact a little revenge for the loss last week.
Although Luongo is pricey at $5 million, he’s put up 705 fantasy points, second only to Henrik’s 715.
When the Calgary Flames come to town for a Saturday night showdown, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows are the men you want.
In three games against the Flames this season this dynamic duo has combined for 69 points, and that includes a brutal one point showing when Vancouver lost to Calgary 5-3 on October 16.
The Flames employ a strategy of ‘let the bodies hit the floor’ and while some players shy away from that, it fires up both Kesler and Burrows, meaning they’re both more likely to step up during crunch time.
Pick one or pick both, your call. If either comes through to win you top spot, remember that I like pastries.
D Kevin Bieksa (leg), C Ryan Johnson (foot) and RW Pavol Demitra (shoulder) are on the injured reserve list, although Demitra has been practicing with the Canucks of late and could return soon. Until I give you the okay, don’t waste your money.
While I claim to be the Canucks Fantasy Hockey swami, the man with all the answers and a crystal ball as clear as they come, this is very self-described. Most of my picks are backed by stats, while others come from the gut. Use with caution!