Every week, or as often as I remember, I’ll provide you with my poorly thought out ideas on whose stock is on the rise, and whose you should avoid like Enron. Three teams/players/things to buy, and three to sell. Simple stuff, folks. That is, if you could actually buy and sell teams and players. Oh, whatever. Never mind.
Buy: Philadelphia Flyers. The boys from the City of Brotherly Love are off to a 4-1 start this year, and have outscored their opponents 21-10. Daniel Briere has shown that he is the real deal and can score without the being part of a full throttle offense (maybe it was learning the value of teamwork?). I’m not completely sold just yet. Any division that has the Rangers and Penguins on the bottom is sure to turn around at some point this year. Luckily for the Flyers, the Islanders and Devils should be the victims of said turnaround.
Conservative Buy: The St. Louis Blues. After a 3-1 win over Chicago last night, the Blues moved to 4-1 on the young season. OK, so the Blues did beat the Blackhawks. That’s not necessarily saying a whole lot. The Blues still shut down the Colorado Avalanche last Friday, allowing only one goal. We’re going to see what this team is made of in the coming days, though as Minnesota and Anaheim come to town.
Buy: Toronto running Bryan McCabe out of town. Look, if they don’t want a defender who has averaged 59 points and a +15 rating over the last three seasons, then so be it. I’m probably not alone when I say I’ll take him on Long Island. Heck, there’s probably a bunch of teams that would find a good use for this guy. OK, so McCabe can be a bit of a defensive liability. I can live with that. We had Tom Freaking Poti all of last year for God’s sake. All I’m saying is that one dumb mistake is no reason to run a guy out of town. Then again, the folks in Toronto may be right. The Leafs will obviously be a much better team without the guy who outscored every forward on the team last year save for Mats Sundin.
And for those of you scoring at home, you have to go all the way back to Denis Potvin to find the last Islander defender to have 59 points in a season.
Sell! Oh God, sell!! Don Waddell behind the bench in Atlanta. For the second week in a row, I am doing a 180 on my pre-season prediction and am scared of what the Thrashers are becoming. Call me pessimistic, but I can’t imagine this team rallying around Mr. Waddell. Sometimes teams will take to any new coach behind the bench because they were so sick and tired of the previous one, but I’m not buying it. This team folded down the stretch last year and Waddell had the lack of foresight to keep Hartley around to usher in a worse than dismal start. How much is he seriously going to be able to do?
Cautious Sell: Pascal Leclaire. If you were like me, and picked up in your fantasy league because he didn’t give up a goal for the first 2+ games he played this season, you were probably sorely disappointed this week. Leclaire gave up five goals last Saturday to the Colorado Avalance (ok, so they do have Paul Stastny) and was benched at home in favor of Fredrik Norrena for Wednesday’s game against Dallas. Chances are Leclaire won’t be giving up five goals every night, but all signs are pointing to two straight shutouts being a fluke rather than the norm.
Sell: Edmonton Oilers Power Play. Through the first six games of the season the Oilers have scored only one power play goal in 25 chances. For comparative purposes, the Canadiens, Flyers, Lightning, Blues and Bruins all have four or more PPG in fewer than 25 chances. This isn’t boding too well for the Oilers, who brought in Sheldon Souray (48 PPP last season) to help out with the man advantage.
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