2008-09 NHL First Half Fantasy Duds
Total Pro Sports – Yesterday were the 2008-09 NHL First Half Fantasy Studs, now today it’s time for the Duds. Players who had high or moderately high expectations but weren’t able to live up to them in the first half.
RW – Jonathan Cheechoo – San Jose Sharks: After a disappointing 2007-08 season with only 37 points, Cheechoo has followed it up with…another disappointing season. He only has 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 points, and only 5 power play points, in 33 games. Seems like his 50+ goal season is only but a distant memory now.
LW – Milan Michalek – San Jose Sharks: I will first point out that Michalek is still a young player with lots of potential and could easily turn things around in the second half. However, with only 29 points (11 goals & 18 assists) he definitely needs to pick up his play and show people why he was the 6th overall pick in 2003. He is playing with guys like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Ryan Clowe and Devin Setoguchi so I do expect things to pick up for Milan in the second half.
C – Pierre-Marc Bouchard – Minnesota Wild: I will cut Bouchard some slack as he is playing on the defence first Wild and hasn’t had his buddy Marian Gaborik around a lot. But, that still doesn’t make up for the points, or lack thereof, that he’s put up so far this season. Pierre-Marc has 8 goals and 15 assists for 23 points after 43 games. Oh, and back to the defence first part, he currently has a +/- rating of minus-10.
C – Sam Gagner – Edmonton Oilers: After a successful rookie campaign last year putting up 49 points in 79 games bigger and better things were expected of Gagner for this season. So far he has disappointed scoring 4 goals and 13 assists for only 17 points in 43 games.
C – Rod Brind’Amour – Carolina Hurricanes: After a disappointing and injury plagued 2007-08 season Brind’Amour was looking to rebound with a solid season this year…so far no luck. Rod has only been able to score 8 goals and add 19 assists for 27 points in 48 games. He also has a terrible +/- rating of minus-29.
D – Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins: When Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney both ended up on the I.R. at the start of the season the Penguins turned to Letang to pick up some of the slack. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to. In 43 games Kris has managed 1 goal and 13 assists for 14 points and has a +/- rating of minus-3. Now that Whitney’s been back for a bit look for Letang to improve his play in the second half as some of the pressure has been lifted off his shoulders.
D – Mathieu Schneider – Atlanta Thrashers: After some very successful post-lockout seaons in Detroit and Anaheim, Schneider’s been having a hard time adjusting to playing in Atlanta. So far Mathieu has 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in 35 games. He also only has 3 power play points, a part of the game in which Schneider has excelled throughout his career.
D – Andrej Meszaros – Tampa Bay Lightning: When the Lightning traded Dan Boyle right away they looked to find a cheaper and younger replacement. They chose to trade for Andrej Meszaros to lead their defence and power play. So far it hasn’t worked. Meszaros has 2 goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 47 games. He has only averaged 37 points so far in his career but he is still young and was expected to take the next step this season.
G – Jean-Sebastien Giguere – Anaheim Ducks: What was thought to be one of the more solid fantasy picks for the season, Giguere has been anything but. In 31 games he’s posted 12 wins, a 3.08 GAA, .904 SAV% and 2 shutouts. Far from the stats normally posted by J.S.. Jonas Hiller has played well and has earned more playing time than expected due to Giguere’s lack luster play. It will be interesting to see if this battle for playing time will bring out the best in Giguere in the second half.
G – Marty Turco – Dallas Stars: Looks like the Stars might have given away the wrong goaltender in the Brad Richards deal from last season. In 42 games Turco has collected 19 wins while posting a 3.08 GAA, .885 SAV% and 1 shutout. At 33-years old Marty is getting up there in age for goaltenders and might be playing for a new team if his play doesn’t improve in the second half.