Roberto Luongo is back. Were you smart enough to buy when his stocks were low?
Roberto Luongo, oh how we missed thee.
The Vancouver Canucks went six games without their captain and while Andrew Raycroft and Cory Schneider filled in admirably, there’s no arguing the Canucks are a better team with Lui on his throne.
From a fantasy standpoint, having Luongo back made a monster difference as far as points go. If you were savvy enough to invest in shares of Luongo LTD (KickPadSave) since his return, theres’s a good chance you’re currently king of the castle.
Luongo made 26 saves against the Red Wings in his first start since October 27 for 11 fantasy points and followed that up with 34 points off a 32-save win over the Avalanche in which he earned a game-star and was third in Canucks Fantasy scoring.
Any fantasy player knows that the one thing that separates winners from losers is consistency and right now that's spelled L-u-o-n-g-o.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
From being blown out by St. Louis to blowing out Colorado, Vancouver experienced some real highs and lows to end its five-game, 10-day road trip.
Nothing went right for the Canucks against the Blues last Tuesday as the visitors gave up four goals in the first 7:36 of the opening period in a 6-1 loss. This porous effort translated into a loss in the standings and a lot of lost points for those playing Canucks Fantasy Hockey.
With an assist, plus-1 rating, two shots, two hits, three faceoffs won and a blocked shot, Ryan Kesler led all Canucks with 22 fantasy points; he was the only player to eclipse the 11-point mark. Who knew selecting a line-up for this game would be like trying to step around landmines as although 14 Canucks had at least one fantasy point, six finished in the minus. Yikes.
Fantasy points were once again few and far between two nights later when the Canucks lost their third consecutive game, mainly because Vancouver only managed to score a single goal. Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler led the charge with 14 and 13 points thanks to a power play assist each and a handful of shots, hits and blocks.
For the second time this season Vancouver emerged from a funk in sizzling style. After opening the year with three loses, the Canucks thumped Montreal 7-1. This time around Colorado got the brunt of the rage in a 8-2 Canucks win on Saturday.
In an eight goal effort it’s not surprising that every single player had a minimum of four fantasy points. Henrik Sedin’s first career hat trick capped off a 42-point performance, which included a game-star, while Mason Raymond (31), Ryan Johnson (37), Jannik Hansen (39), Kevin Bieksa (30) and Roberto Luongo (34) all had over 30 points.
WE HAVE A WINNER
Not picking a goalie paid off for judnuck and diogiman as they finished atop the leaderboard with 77 points apiece in Vancouver’s 6-1 loss to St. Louis. Although most of us want to forget this game ever happened, judnuck and diogiman should cherish their first victory of the season. The combo of Kesler, Wellwood, Bieksa and Glass combined for 54 points and vaulted both into first place.
Although Robero Luongo held his own against the Red Wings, lore396 opted for 10 skaters, including four defencemen, instead and it paid off. lore396 held off LGall by four points to win this game 82-78.
The offensive success of the Canucks translates directly into success at Canucks Fantasy Hockey, as nucks1 can attest.
nucks1 had 11 players on their roster, game-stars Luongo and Hansen were in that mix, and only two, Rypien and Wellwood, scored less than 17 points.
A new Canucks Fantasy Hockey record was set by nucks1 as 273 points helped them finish numero uno in the TELUS Game of the Week and tickets to the Canucks/Blackhawks game on November 22nd.
Click here to check out the leaderboard, it's a jumble of 5,372 fantasy fanatics.
THE WEEK AHEAD
You don’t have to worry about setting your fantasy roster for another four days as the Canucks are off until Friday before finishing up the strangest home-and-home series ever when Colorado comes to town.
It’s Family Night at GM Place on the 20th, hopefully all the kiddies in attendance will get to witness another TKO by the Canucks.
Ryan Kesler - $4 million – This past week Kesler put up 45 fantasy points over three games, good for an average of 15. To put those numbers in perspective, Kesler had eight less points in three contests than Kyle Wellwood has had all season. Not to compare apples and oranges, but Kesler continues to be a constant contributor with goals, shots, hits and blocks. Get him. Now.
Jannik Hansen - $1 million – Not many Canucks are averaging a point a game this season, but Hansen is. Does it matter that he’s only been back for two games? Probably. At $1 million he’s worth his weight in gold right now though and as Vancouver continues to search for scoring depth, Hansen will likely be there to step up. The Danish Duke is back and your line-up should reflect that.
Roberto Luongo - $5 million – The ribs are healed and the man behind the mask will be nice and rested when the Avalanche roll into town on Friday. He was in the zone against them this past weekend and a repeat performance could be in the cards. Forget about Steve Bernier, Shane O’Brien and Wellwood and purchase Luongo. Right now, he’s a slam dunk.
Michael Grabner (fractured ankle), Alex Bolduc (shoulder), and RW Pavol Demitra (shoulder) are all on the injured reserve list. Daniel Sedin (broken foot) is as well, but there is talk of him returning to action as soon as this Friday.
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!