After the way Kyle Wellwood finished the 2008-09 season, it wasn’t a stretch to think this year he was finally going to outgrow his consistently inconsistent label and put up a solid campaign.
That hasn’t exactly worked out as planned; Wellwood has been good, but not great with 11 goals and 11 assists in 65 games. Statistically, it’s important he contributes as the Canucks sport a 12-4-2 record when everyone’s favourite everyman finds the scoresheet.
From a Canucks Fantasy Hockey standpoint, it’s more important Wellwood just keeps doing what he’s doing.
Since the Olympic break Wellwood has been a part of eight out of 11 winning fantasy squads, a declaration no other player can make.
Sure, Roberto Luongo leads the Canucks in fantasy points with 1,212, almost 750 more than Wellwood, but Bobby Lu has only been featured on two out of 11 winning teams since the break.
Although Wellwood hasn’t been a man possessed, his game instead repossessed at times, there’s something about having him on your team that leads to success – whether he’s putting up points for not.
For a cool $1 million that’s a risk you can afford to take.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
This was the most inconsistent week of Canucks hockey in a while with Vancouver losing to the New York Islanders before barely sneaking past the San Jose Sharks two nights prior to being outdone in overtime by the Detroit Red Wings.
Vancouver earned three of a possible six points yet couldn’t help but feel down when the week ended because of the Red Wings stealing a point with no time left in overtime Saturday night.
Daniel Sedin became the sixth 20-goal scorer on the Canucks versus Detroit with Vancouver icing one of the most balanced attacks in the league; that led to three different players leading in fantasy points: Kyle Wellwood (25 vs. NYI), Roberto Luongo (34 vs. SJ) and Shane O’Brien (38 vs. Det).
Overall Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler have all passed 1,000 fantasy points this season.
WE HAVE A WINNER
The John Tavares show ensured the Islanders/Canucks game wasn’t even close, but in fantasy hockey it was a battle down to the wire.
jes-mar won the game with 96 points thanks to five of eight players surpassing 10 points, including Wellwood and his 25; all-in-all it was a narrow victory with six points separating first from 15th.
Who knew someone raised in the African jungle by the Mangani "Great apes" could making winning at fantasy hockey look so easy. That’s what tarzan did against San Jose with 137 points.
Even without Jane, tarzan spread the wealth between 11 players to accumulate four more points than oittoe, who took a similar approach with $20 million between nine players.
Some noticeable differences stood out between the rosters of beebeep and jennys pics for the Detroit contest, but in the end both finished atop the leaderboard with 136 points.
This was one of the rare games where teams tie for top spot, even though one took Luongo and the other didn’t. His points typically sway too far in one direction to keep teams with and without him close in fantasy points.
Click here to check out the leaderboard, it's a jumble of 8,032 fantasy fanatics.THE WEEK AHEAD
The Canucks travel to Edmonton Tuesday before hosting Anaheim Wednesday, Vancouver then visits California to face San Jose Saturday.
Of the three games this week, only one is against a playoff team (San Jose), but the Canucks are only 4-3-0 against Anaheim and Edmonton the 12th and 16th ranked teams in the Western Conference.
For no reason other than that I’m running out of ways to pick players to recommend for the coming week, I’ve taken a glance at the history books for this week’s players.
CANUCKS vs. OILERS, MARCH 23 – On this day in 1994: Pavel Bure scores his 50th goal into an empty net vs the LA Kings.
Based on this, I’ll take Vancouver’s leading goal scorer, Alex Burrows, to find the back of the net against Edmonton.
CANUCKS vs. DUCKS, MARCH 24 – On this day in 1992: Kirk McLean backstops the Canucks to a 4-2 win at Minnesota, earning his club record 38th win.
A stellar goaltending performance will be matched by just that, a great game in goal by Roberto Luongo against the Ducks.
CANUCKS vs. SHARKS, MARCH 27 – On this day in 2003: Markus Naslund records his 100th point of the season, becoming only the third player in team history to reach the 100 point mark (Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny).
Henrik Sedin sits at 95 points going into the week, him collecting three or four in the first two games is doable, making a repeat 100-point milestone a possibility for March 27.
Pavol Demitra has left the team for personal reasons, it’s unclear when he’ll return to the line-up. Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder), Steve Bernier (groin), Willie Mitchell (concussion) and Alex Bolduc (shoulder) remain on the injured reserve list.
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!