The first rule of Fantasy Hockey Club is nobody gives a shit about your fantasy hockey team.
Tough. I’m gonna tell you who I got tonight for my fantasy hockey team, knowing full well there are few people more bring than someone who drones on about how many points he got from ‘Cindy’ Crosby, who he hates but, Lord, he’s so lucky he got the second overall pick and yada yada yada.
Ten of us sat around the picnic table in the back of Jimmy’s yard, each of us picking 10 skaters.
Last year, I had a middle pick.
This year … score! … 10th of 10, meaning I get two picks in a row. Thank goodness I was late getting to the show. Traffic was a bitch, you know.
Yes, I’d like to claim it was a strategic move to be late and ‘get stuck’ in last but I just didn’t get there on time.
It worked out, even though nine of the very top guns in the NHL were gone by the time I walked through the door and got to pick.
But I think I made out all right.
1. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils
You mean Kovalgate, right? Yeah, it’s time to put the contract drama behind us and let Kovalchuk get to work. 90 points? 100?
2. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
70 points last year … hmm, that’s down from his usual 90. Datsyuk is never a bad pick. Kid’s got moves so sick he leaves goalies sneezing.
3. Mike Richards, Philadeliphia
Dang, another guy whose production was down last season. He was a point-a-game guy before he got only 62 points in 2009-10. Yuck. Still, a lot of confidence built up during a healthy playoff run and less pressure on Richards could add up to more points.
4. Alex Tanguay, Calgary Flames
If you read last night’s post, you pretty much have an idea why I took Tanguay here, even though some pundits had him ranked way lower than 40th. Hell, he’s feeding Jarome Iginla. As we say in Newfoundland, ’nuff said.
5. Nathan Horton, Boston Bruins
Can you imagine leaving the Florida Panthers and heading to a place with a rich hockey tradition like Beantown? Nathan Horton can … and he’ll be inspired like a fat kid in a donut shop.
6. Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings
Coming off a knee injury, he’s an iffy pick but you know how they are in Detroit. The guy’s one of the top wingers in the league and he had 18 points in 12 playoff games after returning from the IR.
7. Dustin Penner, Edmonton Oilers
Sheesh, now that I’m looking at some of the reviews, I’ve made some pretty ballsy picks. Penner was inconsistent last year and his ice time may suffer with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle tabbed as the new studs. I’m hoping they light a fire under Penner’s ass.
8. Patric Hornqvist, Nashville Predators
Pretty pretty goals. That is all.
9. Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
One of the top point-getting defencemen in the league. No-brainer.
10. Derick Brassard, Columbus Blue Jackets
It’s tough taking anyone from going-nowhere-fast teams like Columbus or Minnesota. Brassard is slotted to play between Jakub Voracek and Nikita Filatov. That’s basically Russian for ‘lots of assists.’
11. Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers
We need to start getting points for penalty minutes. Then this would have been a brilliant pick. He’ll still get me somewhere around 50 points.
12. Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings
You’d think I like the Red Wings or something … come on, they’re always up there and they have lots of players who like to get bags and bags of points. God bless ’em.
13. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
A 50-point defenceman. ‘Nuff said. But if he drops off after he signs a mega-long contract, I can take him … I just need a stool or a stepladder.
14. David Booth, Florida Panthers
OK, not the safest pick but one of the guys took Maxim Afinogenov, who signed a contract to play in the KHL this season. Duh … Booth has a soft head, not as bad as Marc Savard, but has Stephen Weiss with him in the Sunshine State … 30 goals or so, I figure.
15. Mikael Backlund, Calgary Flames
Backlund is going to spend his rookie season on the top line. And kid can handle it. We saw him do it in glimpses last season while he was up from the Abbotsford Heat. He’ll be feeding and getting fed by Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. Welcome to Calgary, kid.
16. Steve Downie, Tampa Bay Lighting
Have you seen the way Steve Stamkos is playing? Yeah and Downie is tabbed to be on the same line. Thank you.
17. Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal Canadiens
Come on, this guy’s nickname is Tits, right? You have to … he is also due for a breakout year. Soft and lazy … things might change now that his brother is in Nashville.
18. Erik Cole, Carolina Hurricanes
I have football on the brain. I totally wrote Carolina Panthers first. If Cole and Eric Staal can fire each other up, he’ll get a point per game.
19. Andrew Ladd, Atlanta Thrashers
25 and he has two Stanley Cups … the word is, Ladd signed with Atlanta because he didn’t want to be on the third line anymore. He can step into a top-line position with the Thrashers. He’ll get lots of points. He just won’t win many games.
20. Ales Kotalik, Calgary Flames
Not a lot of people have very much good to say about Kotalik … call on me … Kota … I digress … damn you, Alex Ruiz. I like what I’ve been seeing from Kotalik in the preseason and after all the shit-talking about him, I’m hoping he carries a chip on his shoulder. All. Season. Long.
There you have it. One more season with no one from the Toronto Maple Leafs or Vancouver Canucks.
I’ll pat myself on the back for that, thank you.