Mention anything about the Flames scoring or lack-there-of within two miles of Olympic Way and you may see the hair standing up on the backs of some people's necks. The same holds true for Flames Fantasy Hockey regulars.
The number of goals the Flames have scored lately is well documented. The team is frustrated. The coaching staff is frustrated. The players are frustrated. Anyone playing Fantasy Hockey knows each game through this rough stretch has been a complete crap shoot. Picking players with your eyes closed may give you a better chance of collecting points than methodically researching each pick. Either way we all know this isn't going to last forever. Right? We sure hope not.
Looking at the Fantasy Hockey numbers the last little while one thing remains consistent. Miikka Kiprusoff.
It's a rare occurrence that the Flames staple between the pipes doesn't collect a nice number of points, even when the Flames lose. Other than a game against a very good San Jose Shark team that we would prefer not to talk about, Kipprusoff is still the best Flame on the ice most nights.
This translates into some attractive Fantasy numbers. His price is hefty at $5 million but you always know you're getting points with him. Just ask Fantasy Hockey studs such as season leaders Kraush and HesaJewBob who make Kipper a regular in their lineup.
An even better deal is backup Curtis McElhinney. An absolute bargain at $1 million he is sure to collect some points. I love when McElhinney plays because picking him is a no-brainer and it opens up an additional $4 million that you don't see very often.
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The Flames sit seventh in the NHL in goals against (2.50 per game average) so although McElhinney is the backup you know the Flames defence is going to come through. He has had some solid starts this year and some impressive Fantasy numbers as well. The only challenge here is knowing when he is going to get the nod. The only advice I have to alleviate that problem is research. Watch calgaryflames.com and look for the probable line-up. I've been stung myself this year on a few occasions where I am surprised to find out McElhinney is starting after I've already broke the bank on Kipper.
The past two weeks have skewed the Fantasy Hockey numbers more than Alex Burrows' penalty minutes total. The team played seven games and have only scored nine goals in that span. A bright spot has been the play of blue liner Mark Giordano. He has been consistent all season and at $2 million makes him an easy buy every game. He has managed to collect 99 points since the Flames last found the win column. That averages out to 14.14 points per game, tops on the team in terms of Fantasy numbers. Slightly higher than Kipper's 12.83 points per game.
In the last two weeks the Flames all of a sudden find themselves fighting for a playoff spot.
|Brandon Prust is a good purchase as he picks up fighting majors |
Speaking of fighting, this brings up an interesting fact regarding Fantasy poolies. Brandon Prust and Brian McGrattan are amongst the league leaders in fighting majors. What does this mean for the Fantasy Hockey fanatics? points of course. Brandon Prust who is currently second in the NHL in majors has averaged 11.25 points per game, good enough for 4th spot on the Flames. At a cost of $1 million he is a great purchase.
Despite all the heat he is taking lately, Dion Phaneuf is also a solid selection. He's not cheap at $4 million, however he is always up there with shots and hits. He is lodged between Kipper and Prusty for fourth in average points at 11.57.
Curtis Glencross also had a huge game against the Ducks with a goal, an assist, a plus-2, five shots, three blocked shots and a game star. All that added up to 44 Fantasy points. A nice surprise for anybody who spent the $2 million on him.
Another player to watch is Jamie Lundmark. He is affordable at $1 million and when he plays he usually produces. He tends to find his way to the top line and is seeing some power play time lately.
Here is a look at some Fantasy Hockey numbers:
The past 7 games (2 Weeks)
And the winner is...
Calgary vs Colorado 2010-01-11
Viper took the glory on this night taking a range of cheaper players. The most expensive buys for Viper was Bourque and Jokinen at $4 Million but the rest of the roster was completed with $1 Million and $2 Million players. He amassed 157 points.
Calgary vs Pittsburgh 2010-01-13
When Sid the kid hit Cowtown a few weeks ago, Modano23 hit pay dirt edging out 4 others by 2 points. Selecting a nice mix of more affordable players including Gio, Bourque and Langkow who combined for 53 points. More impressive was he did it without a goalie.
Calgary vs Nashville 2010-01-15
Not alot of points to be had in this game but Princess Fan found a way to top 569 others including season leader Kraush by 1 point. Conroy was key as he was plus-9 in the faceoff column collecting 16 points.
Calgary @ Anaheim 2010-01-17
An interesting and unfamiliar fantasy game where the Flames scored more goals than any other in the past few weeks. mmummery took the crown without a goalie and 138 points. Glencross had a large game as well as Jokinen, Iggy, Regehr and Gio. Yours truly finished 6th in this stanza, however I can only dream of how it would have turned out had I picked McElhinney instead of Kiprusoff who sat on the end of the bench chewing bubble gum all game.
Calgary @ San Jose 2010-01-18
To be honest I am trying to erase this game from my memory as I'm sure all Flames faithful are. jesse21flames found something to cheer about as he collected 78 points for the win.
Calgary vs Chicago 2010-01-21
Another game where the Flames had trouble finding the back of the net shriranga rode the backs of Dion Phaneuf and Miikka Kiprusoff for 59 points and the victory. Phaneuf with an assist, 4 shots, a hit and 2 blocks added up to 15 points. Wow! 15 points?
Calgary vs St. Louis 2010-01-25
The Flames get shut out on this night but the Fantasy Hockey is a tight race. Flameboy34, Ranga and winz all garnered 64 points for the 3 way tie. All 3 had identical rosters that included both Brandon Prust and Brian McGrattan who each had fighting majors. Interestingly enough another 3 participants tied for 2nd with 63 points each.
Keep your eyes peeled for some Fantasy Hockey Bonus games as well as random draws. Everybody who plays has a chance to win. And, with a new month starting, it means a fresh start for the monthly prizes.
|Iginla's slump is unlikely to last |
The Flames have an interesting schedule in the next two weeks. Dates against the Stars, Coyotes and Oilers round out the week before five in a row vs Eastern Conference teams.
When the Flames finally break out of this scoring slump is anybody's guess but I would suggest it is going to happen very soon. I've stayed away from high priced players such as Iginla, Jokinen and Bouwmeester lately but that is going to change.
I'm about ready to pray to the hockey gods try to add some luck by picking them in the next few games. Do you honestly think Jarome's goal slump is going to last much longer? Not a chance.
The Flames have been one of the healthiest teams in the NHL this season. There isn't much to report here other than Nigel Dawes who missed Monday's game against St. Louis is listed as day-to-day with a leg injury and David Moss who was placed on injured reserve
I caution you...
This is only the opinion of one Fantasy Hockey regular. I am checking off players every game in hopes that all my theories and wild ideas all come together for some Fantasy Hockey glory. I've found the front page of the leaderboard (top 50) on several occasions. Does this make me an expert? Not a chance. I've also found the back end of the leaderboard more times than I care to talk about. But then again, it's all about being a fan and having fun. Which is what I'm doing.
See you in two weeks.