I’m not sure if the Indianapolis Colts or New Orleans Saints offer anything like Canucks Fantasy Hockey, but if so, I’m sure whoever writes for them can sympathize with me.
The English language is limiting, there’s only so many ways to say pick Peyton Manning and Drew Brees; similarly, I've run out of different ways of trying to explain how much you need the Sedins and Burrows on your fantasy team.
Dec. 14 – “Daniel and Henrik Sedin have transformed Canucks Fantasy Hockey by becoming a two-pronged attack that can single handedly lead to fantasy success.”
Jan. 4 – “Henrik Sedin. Pick him. That goes without saying right now.”
Jan. 11 – “Buying Vancouver’s entire first line isn’t cheap, it’ll set you back $13 million. The good news is that it isn’t your money – wait, it isn’t even real money. Like I said last week, just do it. Trust me.”
Jan. 18 – “Everyone wants to be king of the fantasy castle and right now Burrows and his average of 14.66 fantasy points per game are the key to filling that role. Get him before it’s too late!”
Jan. 18 – “Buy Vancouver’s top line. No explanation needed.”
You get the picture.
Last week I was especially adamant on purchasing the Sedins and Burr (…buying all three is as heavily recommended as brushing your teeth on a daily basis…) and you’ve got a grin the size of a huge watermelon rind if you listened.
Like Manning and Brees will do this coming weekend in Super Bowl XLIV, Vancouver’s top line put up huge numbers over the last seven days; they were almost as destructive a force as what nearly whipped out civilization in the movie 2012.
Henrik, Daniel and Alex came together for 237 points in three games, an average of 79 a game and 26.3 per player a contest. Find me a better way to spend $14 million of funny money and I’ll bet on USA winning gold at the Olympics (that’s a pure balk, I could never do that).
Two of the past three winners of Canucks Fantasy Hockey owned all three pieces of this puzzle; of the 13 fantasy winners in January, an astounding 10 of them bought at least one-third of the line, four winners went with a pair and four invested in all three.
Three fantasy champions avoided the Sedins and Burr at the right time and benefited from that, but those games are few and far between.
For the sixth time in 2010, here I go: buy the Sedins and you’ll be in the running for a win in your Canucks Fantasy Hockey pool.
Oh, and put some faith in Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints this weekend. All the signs point to the Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts winning, so an upset is likely.
Pick the Sedins and pick the Saints. Just do it.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Right now, there’s no stopping the Canucks.
Vancouver went a perfect three-for-three this past week, similar to the week before that.
Wins over Buffalo, St. Louis and Toronto forced Vancouver to play its best hockey in a while though, the Canucks had to make comebacks in all three games. They saved the best for last by erasing a three-goal deficit to the Maple Leafs en route to a 5-3 win on Saturday night.
Outside of the Sedins and Burrows, the big players for the Canucks included Christian Ehrhoff (50), Roberto Luongo (39 – forgetting the Toronto game) and Brad Lukowich (37).
WE HAVE A WINNER
For most of us, January will go down as the month before the Olympic madness started; for puckster99, January will be remembered as a stretch of 31 days to led to a Canucks Fantasy Hockey championship for highest average points (128) and most accumulated points (1664).
puckster99 was, shockingly, reliant on the Sedins and Burrows, although they liked to mix it up once and a while and spread their dollars thin on a barrage of players. Either way, for their efforts, puckster99 wins a cell phone courtesy of TELUS and receives a pair of Canucks tickets to an upcoming home game. Nice.
Not to be forgotten are the three winners from this past week: valcanuck, Lyssy1988 and canucks_fan1996, who all put up 146 points versus Buffalo; GBBooth was king of the castle with 153 points in the St. Louis game; and PuckdaddyO, who managed to score 179 points and allude four others at 178.Click here
to check out the leaderboard, it's a jumble of 7,034 fantasy fanatics.THE WEEK AHEAD
The Canucks continue their epic road trip with stops two, three and four this week as they visit the Canadiens on Tuesday, Senators on Wednesday and Bruins on Saturday morning.
Life on the road has treated Vancouver well thus far with the team 1-0-0 on the 14-game trip and 11-11-1 away from home on the season.
No mention of the top line needed. You know what to do.
With the Canucks living on the road right now, it’s worth noting who performs better in hostile environments than others. With $10-14 million tied up in the top line, you need some bargains to fill spots. Here’s what my research told me.
None of Vancouver’s top 11 scorers have more points on the road than at home. The Canucks have played eight more games at GM Place, so this stat isn’t all that revealing; what is, however, comes in the form of plus/minus where Mason Raymond (-5), Ryan Kesler (-7) Steve Bernier (-3), Rick Rypien (-4) and Aaron Rome (-3) are all behind the eight ball on the road.
On the contrary, Alex Edler (plus-2), Ryan Johnson (plus-4) and Nolan Baumgartner (plus-2) each have been on the ice for more goals for than against at even strength as the enemy.
What does this mean for your picks in Canucks Fantasy Hockey this week? I’m not exactly sure, but it really is interesting – just kidding. Raymond, Kesler and Rypien are to be approached with caution in the next few games until we determine if their road plus/minus is a fluke or indicative of poor play on the road, while Christian Ehrhoff, Mikael Samuelsson and even Tanner Glass have proven they are reliable at both ends of the ice in opposing rinks.
At the end of the game, points are all that matter, but Vancouver will be forced to win some low scoring games in the next few weeks so plus/minus could sink you if you’re not careful.
My pick of the week: Christian Ehrhoff, $3 million. Get him before his cost rises.
Sami Salo is day-to-day, but could suit up Tuesday in Montreal. Check his status before investing.
Willie Mitchell, Kevin Bieksa and Alex Bolduc all remain on the injured reserve list, while Jannik Hansen is no good to you right now as he’s with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose on a conditioning stint.
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!