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 continue with the Central Division. Plenty of stud players for fantasy poolsters to familiarize themselves with, so lets keep it going with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Elite Suite – Video game character turned NHL hockey player, Nathan Mackinnon has put the league on notice with a dazzling display in last year’s playoffs. We’re convinced the planet Krypton is sending babies to Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, because, like Sidney Crosby, Nate has otherworldly talent. Some say the elite suite designation is too early for Mackinnon, but we at HLC have always been ahead of the curve. Matt Duchene has established himself as a bonafide point per game player, and uses his insane wheels and slick moves to get it done. Having inherited the winning attitude of NHL greats Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic, Duchene is sure to grow his game and go dynamite on opposing defenders this season. At the time, it looked like a good haul for the Washington Capitals, but losing Ovy’s pal Semyon Varlamov is starting to sting Caps management. Many stats heads predict the demise of the Avalanche and Varlamov, but the numbers speak for themselves, 41 wins and 0.928 save % is upper echelon air. On a rising team, go out and get this guy for stellar netminding.
Dependable Joe – On the brink of the elite suite, Gabriel Landeskog has proven a dependable 20 goal, 60 point pace with oodles of accessory stats like shots and hits. Those sick Nate Mackinnon highlights from last year’s playoffs included a whole lotta Gabe Landeskog who has offensive flash that remains subtle. In each and every aspect of the game, Patrick Roy’s Captain is bringing top end performance, so expect the same on your fantasy roster. Keep doubting the Edmonton, Alberta born Jarome Iginla, calling him old and washed up, but all he’s done has recorded his 12th 30+ goal season last year. With goals at a premium in the real life and fantasy game, grab Iggy because he’ll get top 6 minutes and produce dependable joe numbers with upside. Never given enough credit for his offensive ability, Ryan O’Reilly keeps getting better with rising PPG numbers. St. Patrick has him lining up on the wing with dynamo Matt Duchene on the top line, which has upped his PP production and goal scoring.
Risky Plays – Fall is a time for optimism in the hockey world, but don’t focus too much on Danny Briere’s “upside” of 30 goal, 70 point past because its just that, in the past. GM Sakic acquired Briere because he has an innate ability to be non-existent, then turn into a playoff game breaker right when you need him most. We’re happy for Joe, but warn you not to fall succumb to brand name trickery.
Sleeper Seeker – The Avs’ first round playoff series against the Minnesota Wild took a noticeable turn when the puck moving defender, Tyson Barrie, went down to injury at the hands of, you guessed it, Matt Cooke. Perhaps its the Avs’ lack of depth in that area, but Barrie is counted on to get the puck up to the high flying forwards. He’s paid his dues and produced at every level, so expect more this season as its just the beginning of the beginning for Barrie.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – With already a bevy of young players in the lineup serving prominent roles, the Avs are focused on adding more veteran help than rookies. As such, we likely won’t see the likes of Joey Hishon or Stefan Elliott until called into duty due to injuries.
Keep Eyes Peeled – A recommendation based purely on the fact that he could be had late in drafts, Alex Tanguay may have his best days behind him but he’s always used more his brain than body to get it done. This elder statesmen is a good bet to get top 6 minutes, has always had a good PPG, and remember, has played with new addition Iginla in Calgary before as well. Make sure to have an IR spot ready for him just in case, but he could be a serviceable fantasy player this season.
For Hockeyland Canada,