Fantasy Hockey: Olympic repercussions
In this week's edition of CBCSports.ca's Fantasy Hockey 1-on-1, Jordan looks at some repercussions of the Olympics on some NHLers, while Jesse's off enjoying some fun in the sun. If only we were all so lucky.
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All stats are through Wednesday.
Now that the Winter Olympics are over and players have had the chance to slide back into their roles with their NHL teams, what are the most significant fantasy hockey repercussions of the Games?
Jordan: It's no surprise that many players have picked up their games since the league resumed. A majority of them got to recharge and heal during the break, and now's the time for a big push as the playoff races heat up. But there are some whose games have been directly affected by playing for (or not playing for) their country. Take for example Marian Gaborik. The sniper had 35 goals and 69 points in a surprisingly healthy campaign for the Rangers — that is, until he joined Team Slovakia. His fantasy owners held their collective breath as he hobbled on one leg in a vain attempt to help his country win a bronze medal. Consequently, Gaborik missed a few games with a bad groin and has not been the same. He has just one assist in three games since his return. Then there's Jarome Iginla. He may not have been the hottest player heading into the Olympics, but he sure is coming out. I guess that's what happens when you play on the wing with Sidney Crosby and either Rick Nash, Mike Richards or Eric Staal. Iggy has four goals and three assists during his current three-game point streak.
Who are your Olympic-themed pickups of the week?
Jordan: Continuing on the Olympic theme, fantasy owners couldn't be happier about the snubbing of Scott Gomez (USA), Jussi Jokinen (Finland) and Mikael Samuelsson (Sweden). The trio have been among the hottest players in the league since being passed over. Gomez has an impressive eight points in four games for the Habs, while Jokinen has four goals in five games for Carolina. By far the player most unhappy about missing the cut was Samuelsson. The Canucks forward had some choice words for Team Sweden's brass and it seems to have lit a fire under him. Heading into the break, Samuelsson had a three-game point streak and since then, he's tallied seven goals and nine points in five games. If those three players aren't available, take a chance on the Olympics' leading scorer, Pavol Demitra. Initially viewed as a surprise selection to the Slovakian team due to injury, Demitra went on to lead the tournament with 10 points in seven games. And he's continued to produce, scoring five points in six games upon his return to the NHL.
Who are your Olympic-themed drops of the week?
Jordan: For as many players that have drawn motivation from the Olympics, there are those that have gone in the opposite direction. That long list includes the likes of Shane Doan, Jay Bouwnmeester and Dion Phaneuf. All three players have a history in international play with Team Canada and were on the short list, but none made it this time around. Since the Games, Doan has one assist in four games, while Bouwmeester is a minus-5 also with just one lone assist. As for Phaneuf, his entire season has been fairly mediocre, but since his move to Toronto he has just two assists and no points in March.