The Penguins may be the most top-heavy team in the entire NHL. After Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who can score for the Pens? Mark Recchi? He doesn’t have an even-strength goal in his last 52 games dating back to last year, and only seven on the PP. Who takes up the slack from his 68-point campaign from 2006-07? Michel Ouellet’s 48 points are gone to Tampa Bay. Jordan Staal is not going to score 29 goals this year. Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and Ryan Malone? These were Pittsburgh’s top producing forwards in order last year. The Penguins have zero scoring depth. Gonchar and Whitney are fine on the blue line, but they’re producing expected numbers thus far and the team is still below .500. I never thought I’d say this about the Penguins, but Pittsburgh needs scoring help in a big way right now.
Does Brian Rafalski have the quietest 17 points (in 20 games) in the NHL or what? A look at his career numbers show he’s never potted 10 goals in seven seasons. His shooting percentage (7.9) is plenty higher than his career mark (4.6). Anonymity can be a good thing on a team as deep as the Red Wings, who seem to find scoring from new sources every year.
How about Mr. Scott Pianowski’s call on Kris Draper? After Draper netted five goals in his first seven games, Pianow advised not to overreact. Draper has gone bone dry with zero goals in his last 13. Even his call on Chuck Kobasew is coming true, albeit two seasons later in a different sweater.
What do we think on Chris Osgood? Can this guy keep it up for a whole year? He played more games in 2003-04 (67) than in his last three seasons combined (65). I thought he was older than 35, but he's seen a lot of pucks over the years. I have him on two of my six fantasy teams – getting him for barely nothing before the season – so I won’t complain about him in any way. Still, can he be ridden all year long?
Speaking of fantasy championships, a couple of my favorite unheralded talents are Jere Lehtinen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Unless you’re in a shallow league where you can start an All-Star lineup, these are the kinds of guys you win with. Anyone else have any personal favorites?
Posted by Topper at 11/21/2007 5:59:00 PM