In this week's edition of CBCSports.ca' Fantasy Hockey 1-on-1, the guys discuss Rick DiPietro's comeback. Is the injury-prone Isles goalie worth the risk?
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All stats are through Wednesday.
1. Is Rick DiPietro worth adding to your roster?
Jordan: Let's not kid ourselves: DiPietro is a risk. You can't miss almost two full seasons and not be a risk. But let's remember that, before countless injuries to his hip, knee, lower-body, upper-body, mid-body and whatever else, DiPietro was a solid fantasy pick. From 2003-2008, DiPietro posted a record of 111-89 with a 2.70 GAA and 14 shutouts. Those are stats good enough for a No. 1 or No. 2 spot on your depth chart. Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago, but you can't argue with his record since his return as he's 2-1 with a shutout. With DiPietro playing well, Marty Biron has all but vanished from the Island and even a hot Dwayne Roloson is taking a back seat. I guess that's what happens when a team's 15-year, $67.5-million man finally comes back from the abyss.
Jesse: I say this all the time about fantasy goalies: with the exception of guys like Brodeur, Kiprusoff and Nabokov, win totals are too hard to predict, so just grab guys who are guaranteed to get playing time. That strategy paid off spectacularly this season with Ryan Miller, who I drafted pretty high just because I know that Sabres coach Lindy Ruff knows that putting backup Patrick Lalime in net is the hockey equivalent of throwing in the towel. As expected, Miller is playing almost every night and — surprise — the Sabres are actually good this season, so he's racking up the wins. The point is, picking Miller was a good gamble because we knew he'd get a ton of playing time. The risk was low. You can't say the same about DiPietro. Sure, after signing him to that silly contract, the Isles are going to give him every opportunity to seize the No. 1 job just so they don't look as bad as they do now. But is DP going to stay healthy enough to seize that opportunity? We're talking about a guy who has played a grand total of eight games over the last two seasons because of all those injuries you mentioned. That's the worst kind of gamble.
2. Who's your drop of the week?
Jesse: With the Olympics just three weeks away, this hurts, but it's Brenden Morrow. I love the Stars captain's toughness and two-way play, but he's running on fumes right now. Since Dec. 8, he's got two goals and four assists in 18 games. Worse, he's dealing with an "upper-body injury" that kept him out of Monday's game against Minnesota. Yikes. Is it too late to get Steve Stamkos on Team Canada?
Jordan: How about another guy that was whispered to have a shot at Team Canada after last season's playoffs: Chris Osgood. It's tough to give up on a Red Wing, especially one that could turn it around come crunch time like he always seems to do, but Osgood has lost his starting job (to Jimmy Howard, of all people). Ozzy has played in just two games in January after making just three appearances in December, going 1-2-1 over the two months. Prior to his win on Dec. 12, Osgood's last victory came way, way back on Nov. 5. It's just not worth holding onto that kind of dead weight.
3. Who's your add of the week?
Jordan: After taking a look at Guillaume Latendresse in my Fantasy Hockey Plus/Minus video last week it seems only natural to follow that up by highlighting the man he was traded for. As good as Latendresse has been, Benoit Pouliot has arguably been just as solid. Pouliot has five points in four games this week, six goals this month and nine points in 13 games since heading to Montreal. In his three-plus years in Minnesota, Pouliot scored a total of nine goals. He already has eight with the Habs.
Jesse: Matt Stajan. I know, no one wants to hitch his star to the Leaf wagon, but Stajan is having a career year. His 14 goals are just two shy of his all-time high, and he's also on pace to beat last season's career-best 55 points. Chances are, he'll do it: Stajan is averaging more ice time than any of Toronto's non-Kessel forwards, and he's up near the top in power-play time. Picking him up won't be hard because he's owned in just 22 per cent of Yahoo! leagues.