Team performance and the recent introduction of higher salary changes have put an interesting twist on the game as the season progresses. The lack of offensive punch from an Oilers lineup desperate for some home success has also contributed to the tight race atop the leaderboard.
With the Oilers currently riding a struggle that includes seven consecutive home losses, an opportunity exists to turn things around with three more games on this homestand to salvage good vibes and points in the standings.
But as we’ve covered before, your true test of mental stamina is brought to the forefront when the team struggles to find the back of the net. You’re challenged to find points elsewhere, including solid defensive performances and underlying numbers.
This week’s Forecast will feature those statistical categories. Game LeaderboardSeason LeadersPlayer StatsNot a member? Sign up!TUESDAY. 11:30PM.
No more than two hours following the completion of tonight's game vs. Dallas, the salaries of this week’s highlighted players will be amended, while last week’s players (Dubnyk, Peckham and Omark) will be reverted back to their standard cap-hits. Here are this week’s salary amendments:LADISLAV SMID ($1M > $3M)
Quietly, Ladislav Smid
has been putting together a fantastic Fantasy Hockey season. Smid has still yet to score a goal in 2010-11 and his modest eight even-strength assists only represent a portion of where his success has been accumulated.
As we noted earlier, underlying numbers are going to be an ongoing theme for our highlighted players. While the offence is certainly a secondary area of Smid’s game, his brand of physical play and defensive posture has helped him establish his name as one of the team’s most dependable blueliners.
Of Smid’s 373 Fantasy points this season, an impressive 93 have been gathered through the hits category. His total is second only to Theo Peckham
, whose tally has now reached an incredible 146.
Physical play aside, Smid’s renaissance as a stay-at-home rearguard has helped him gain notoriety for his defensive positioning as well. In total, Smid has recorded 70 points this season on the back of blocked shots; a total third-best on a club that has struggled with defensive play for much of the season. JIM VANDERMEER ($2M > $3M)
For the first time this season, Jim Vandermeer has made our weekly trio of highlighted players. After recovering from a pair of lingering ankle injuries, Vandermeer has stepped up to provide an intimidating physical presence that has helped the Oilers draw resurgence in team toughness.
On the season, Vandermeer has accumulated an impressive total of 308 points despite missing 15 games due to those aforementioned lower-body ailments. Much like Smid, his physical play and solid defensive presence have helped him earn such a respectable total. With one goal and six assists at even-strength on the season, the unheralded areas of his game are brought to the forefront.
Of Vandermeer’s 308 points, 76 have been gained through his physical play, while 37 have originated from the blocked shots category. In a time when offensive production is a question mark, Vandermeer’s physical play and defensive structure are guaranteed.KURTIS FOSTER ($2M > $4M)
When Kurtis Foster signed as a free agent this past summer, many expected a higher offensive output. After recording a 42-point season last year with the Tampa Bay Lightning, his booming shot and power-play presence was expected to help provide an offensive boost to an inexperience blueline.
While Foster has struggled offensively, his defensive qualities have helped him establish impressive Fantasy numbers. In total, Foster has collected 431 points; 65 of which have come from hits, while 55 are the result of blocked shots. All things considered, Foster is a valuable contributor at a reasonable price.
In addition, while the offence has been dry, he continues to get chances on the back of an incredible shots on goal total. Foster has gained 131 Fantasy points in this category, making him an especially dangerous weapon to have in your lineup. If the offence does begin to increase, his value will raise once more.
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com