Greetings readers, welcome to Fantasy Hockey, What’s the Point Man? Honestly, what is the point man? The point man is the player who plays the point on the powerplay, near the blueline. They in many ways run the power play by acting as an outlet for forwards on the half walls, by setting up for seeing eye shots, and by being the last line of defense should the penalty kill counter. The point man could also be considered the player with the most goals and assists. Soldiers, politicians, and even entrepreneurs could play the part of a point man as well. But, What is the Point Man? The point is to dominate your foes at fantasy hockey to win cash and pain inflicting bragging rights. Here is where you can find the scoop to help you get to the top.
As part of Hockeyland Canada’s season preview, each division will be examined one team at a time to identify players to pick and players to avoid. There are six categories of players covered and it’ll begin with the Metropolitan Division. Tons of talent and intriguing players to kick things off right, lets get going with the New York Rangers.
The Elite Suite – With the glory of Stanley’s presence still eluding him, King Henrik is getting ready for another long road towards a chance at sipping from the Cup. For poolies, Lundqvist is certainly worthy of his royal status, as evident by a career 2.26 GAA and 0.920 save %. Throw in 35 wins and 5 shutouts, and you have yourself a top flight fantasy #1 netminder. His demise long predicted, Martin St. Louis continues to play the beautiful game at the highest of levels. After 13 seasons in one place, St. Louis struggled after leaving Tampa Bay for the bright lights of New York. An uncharacteristically low shooting % hint at an adjustment period, St. Louis is a safe bet to continue his point per game ways this season.
Dependable Joe – Derek Stepan’s role will continue to grow this season with Brad Richards moving on, and don’t be surprised if his fantasy game grows along with it. A 20 goal year with 40 assists is assured with upside that he could take a next level shift to 70 point territory. Former Montreal Canadiens 12th overall pick, Ryan McDonagh terrorized the Habs faithful en route to leading the Rangers to the finals. Now, expected to be named team captain and coming off a 14 goal season, McDonagh is purported to be in the Norris trophy race but whether he achieves elite fantasy status remains to be seen.
Risky Plays – Invariably, someone will reach for Rick Nash based on name value and his hockey toolbox, but don’t let yourself fall for the hype. Sure enough, Nash finds the back of the net but 13 assists from a superstar calibre player makes you scratch your head. A breakout year for Zuccarello in 2013-14 looked legit, he has the wheels and elusive moves to make it happen. Just be careful what price you pay, as an upwards trajectory on Mats’ point totals is unlikely.
Sleeper Seeker – Oozing with talent and ability, Chris Kreider is a breakout waiting to happen, but we’re not sure if he has quite figured out the cerebral side of the game to go with his embarrassing physical tools. Another playoff run full of heartache on the West coast sent Dan Boyle back East, and we may see him slip in fantasy drafts after a down year. Despite his lengthy career to date, he is remarkably durable and will likely be rejuvenated with a fast skating team.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – The Nassjo, Sweden born Jesper Fast put up respectable numbers in the AHL last season with 17 goals and 34 points in his first tour of duty in North American rinks. There may not be room in the depth chart for opening night, but he could get the call if injuries take hold.
Keep Eyes Peeled – Having put up a point per game pace in the AHL last season and showing flashes in a limited role with the big club, JT Miller could stick on the third line this fall. Being a former 1st round pick, Miller may become a valuable player in deep leagues if he emerges with a consistent roster spot. We all know this is Henrik’s kingdom, but Cam Talbot put up gaudy numbers in limited duty last season and is an important stopgap for owners should Lundqvist go down.
For Hockeyland Canada,