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 started with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Elite Suite – Sidney Crosby is the crème de la crème of the Elite Suite and the entire fantasy hockey world. As long as the Croz stays healthy, you can bank on 100 points one way or the other. If you have the good fortune of picking first overall, don’t try to be a genius and just grab Sid. We all know Evgeni Malkin has it and can put up 100 points regardless of his changing linemates, but he isn’t proving to be a sure thing year after year. Tread carefully but Geno is a potentially championship winning pick in the first round of fantasy drafts this fall.
Dependable Joe – Despite post-season struggles for Fleury and the Penguins, Marc-Andre is a solid goalie on a perennial top regular season team. With little competition, expect close to 40 wins, 2.40 GAA, and a 0.915 save % until proven otherwise. Playing next to Crosby is a plum gig for Chris Kunitz and he is as good a bet as any for 25 goals and 60 points. Be careful not to overpay, as keep in mind that Kunitz put up over 30 goals for the first time in his career as a 34 year old and may come back down to earth a bit.
Risky Plays – Kris Letang has top flight offensive prowess in this league when all cylinders are firing. With injury potential very real, and defensive challengers in Christian Ehrhoff and Olli Maatta ready to shoulder more of the offensive load from the back end, Letang’s days as an elite defender may be numbered. Plays on a line with Sidney Crosby they’ll say, but counting on Pascal Dupuis to deliver workable fantasy numbers this season is a fool’s errand.
Sleeper Seeker – Christian Ehrhoff is your classic sleeper candidate this fall as he’s coming off a horrendous -27 season with a meagre 33 points, and is flying under the radar. His ability was displayed previously in Vancouver with back to back 14 goal years, and landing on a power-play with Sid Crosby and Geno Malkin is a fantasy owner’s dream. Patric Hornqvist has a 30 goal season to his name, and has never played with anyone the calibre of Geno Malkin. If he brings his hard charging style to the Pens, Geno the magician may pull another 40 goal scorer out of his hat with Hornqvist. Long pegged as a home grown winger for the big boys, Beau Bennett could be had very late in fantasy drafts and has the potential to be a revelation, but remember at this point, its still just potential.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – Manning the point for the Portland Winterhawks has proven a great path for many developing rearguards, and now comes Derrick Pouliot from that lineage. The smooth skating Pouliot was the center piece in the Jordan Staal trade, and will be given a shot to stick with Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik finding employment with the rival Caps. Many stand in the way of prime time power-play minutes, but for dynasty makers, this is one guy who will be worth the wait.
Keep Eyes Peeled – A surprise last season with 9 goals as rookie, Olli Maatta showed he belongs with a very strong calder contending year. The addition of Ehrhoff doesn’t bode well for his offensive numbers, but don’t take your eye off Maatta as he may surprise yet again. Coming from a solid hockey lineage, Kasperi Kapanen will be one of the hottest waiver wire adds if he manages to crack the Pens top 6. Bennett has struggled with injury and Dupuis isn’t the stiffest of competition, so make sure to pay attention to Penguins camp.
For Hockeyland Canada,