James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Are Ovi's top pick days over?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


FINNISH FLASH HARDLY FINISHED


Teemu Selanne might just be a relevant fantasy hockey threat up until his final NHL game. A 4-point night (2 goals, 2 assists) against the Capitals pushed his season totals to a ridiculous 14 points in 12 games. Every sign is that he’ll hang up his skates after the Ducks’ final contest in the season or playoffs, but don’t blame Bob Murray, Anaheim fans and fantasy owners everywhere if they beg him to come back for more.

 

EDLER REPLACEMENT


Savvy Canucks fans believed that Alexander Edler would be able to replace the offense they lost with Christian Ehrhoff’s departure. Some even thought that Edler would rank as an upgrade over the hard-shooting German.

 

So far, those people are feeling pretty smart. Edler produced his second consecutive three-point game to bring his total to 12. He has 6 points on the power play and is shooting like the Canucks hoped, with 36 pucks on net already. That’s just one less shot than Ovechkin, by the way. (To be fair, Ovechkin has only played in 10 games, but it’s still an impressive feat.)

 

Edler obviously isn't likely to register a 82-point season, but expect him to crush his career high of 42 if he can stay healthy.

 

SKINNER SHINES


You can probably point to the location of the 2011 All-Star Game (Carolina) to explain why Jeff Skinner became the youngest All-Star ever, but he might be a legitimate one in his sophomore season. The 19-year-old scored 2 goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning to push his season totals to 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points in 12 games.

 

Sadly, with Eric Staal struggling and Jussi Jokinen banged up, the Hurricanes probably need him to keep that hot streak going.


HARDING NOTICED


After being an unappreciated backup for quite some time, Josh Harding fell off the map with a season-ending injury in 2010-11. With that in mind, it’s heartening to see Harding off to such a great start.

 

He's now 2-0-1 with a 1.30 GAA and .965 save percentage. Niklas Backstrom is still the man in Minnesota - his hefty paychecks will ensure that - but Harding could earn himself a healthy amount of starts and maybe a nice look for a future job. (Did somebody say Columbus?) Keep an eye on him for spot starts, if you're the type to add and drop a lot.

 

TOUGH LUCK FOR TOBIAS


Tobias Enstrom ranks high on my list of under-the-radar stars; the only thing that’s holding him back fantasy-wise is penalty minutes. Some people were annoyed that Dustin Byfuglien pounded Jack Skille for what seemed like a legal hit, but the reasoning is simple: Enstrom is extremely important to the Winnipeg Jets' attack. Byfuglien went on a slump after the All-Star break last season, which was also around the time Enstrom gor injured. That was not a coincidence.

 

INJURY SNIPES


As I noted briefly, Jussi Jokinen is banged up.  Paul Maurice said it was “nothing catastrophic,” which roughly translates to day-to-day … Jochen Hecht is back on the IR, which prompts me to ask: “When was he not on the IR?,” … Andy Sutton isn’t injured, but he’ll miss 5 games thanks to a suspension … Tomas Kopecky is day-to-day with a knee issue … Matt Read is likely to miss a couple games with an upper-body injury … Tyler Kennedy will remain out indefinitely.  (Click here for the full injury list.)



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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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