fantasyhockey.com/Kukla’s Korner League Midterm Report

01/31/2012 1:58 AM -  Ian Gooding

Let’s study the secrets of the success of… a third-place team.

Okay, so it’s not first place. But it is a 16-team league. And a team that has rattled off ten consecutive wins in head-to-head league competition, following three consecutive losses to start the season.

There is probably no better time than the All-Star break to assess the situation of your fantasy team. That is what I intend to do while I provide my midterm report for the fantasyhockey.com/Kukla’s Korner League midterm results.

Here are the overall results:

What a Duchene*** is proving that last year’s championship wasn’t due to luck, as he is also this year’s current leader. He is also the league’s proud owner of Sidney Crosby, who he has carefully stashed on IR next to Chris Pronger, whom he must believe has a sliver of a chance of returning. If Crosby happens to return for the fantasy playoffs, WAD will be the without-a-doubt team to beat. No Crosby, however, and all bets are off. By the way, I won’t ask him to change his team name to something more PG-rated, since a name change may break his mojo.

Here’s my third-place team (Vancouver Giants, the team I watch live the most often), in all its glory:

My top-6 forwards – Henrik Sedin, John Tavares, Matt Moulson, Logan Couture, David Backes, and Alexander Semin – will probably rival that of any team in this league. Sedin, my top-scoring forward, has now gone four games without a point, his longest drought since before the 2010 Olympics, but in the meantime I have somehow managed. I have also been savvy (blessed) with solid waiver-wire pickups in Taylor Hall, Derek Stepan, Cody Hodgson, and most recently David Desharnais. These players have been important contributors to make up for the losses of Brian Gionta and Simon Gagne to IR.

However, like many NHL teams, I will probably be looking for blueline help at the trade deadline, as Erik Karlsson is my only defenseman ranked in the top 100, according to Yahoo. With a defensemen-leading 47 points and 168 shots on goal, Karlsson is the top-ranked defenseman in Yahoo leagues, a sound return on a sixth-round pick in this league. I added Tomas Kaberle from waivers when his trade to Montreal was announced, turning down a trade request from WAD shortly after that would have sent Mike Cammalleri my way for Kaberle.

The only goalie I have kept the entire season is Carey Price, who has maintained decent ratios in spite of suffering the effects from a down season in Montreal. However, my turnaround started shortly after adding fantasy draft afterthought Brian Elliott, who is heading to the All-Star Game with a sparkling 1.69 GAA and 5 SO, numbers that no one in their right minds would have predicted. After finishing a dismal 10th last season, maybe that luck factor is finally kicking in for me.

Are you a member of this league? State your team and the good/bad about it so far. Or, make a suggestion below for my team.

On a side note, one single tweet about the lack of discipline that P.K. Subban has shown this season seemed to open the floodgates of contrary rebuttal, particularly from Canadiens fans. Maybe I was a bit hasty with the tweet in criticizing his character, since he is only 22 (I can remember my level of maturity, or lack thereof, back then). However, I believe it’s time to put P.K. in the “overrated” category, given what he has accomplished in his career thus far. During Wednesday’s unexpected 7-2 rout of the Red Wings, Subban was benched during the second period after taking a penalty. He was held without a point in the goal onslaught, leaving him with 19 points (3g-16a) and five power-play points in 48 games. P.K.’s career high is 38 points, which he earned last season. He is owned in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues, which to me is too high given the numbers listed.

One respondent suggested that it was unfair of me to critique Subban if Drew Doughty has only three more assists with the same number of goals this season. I will say this: Doughty is also overrated, as he has had only one elite-level season (59 points in 2009-10) over his four-year NHL career. Doughty has played two more full seasons than Subban, but his career high is still 21 points higher than Subban’s. Doughty is highly regarded because of his draft status (second overall in 2008) and his play for Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics. However, the numbers suggest that Doughty does not have the proven track record that those in fantasy often assume. But the career numbers still suggest that he is a better option than Subban at this point.

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