Speaking of seeing things, merely searching for Martin Brodeur on the waiver wire (he’s owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues as of this writing) is a pretty surreal experience.
Brodeur is a fascinating example of the divide between “traditionalists” and “statheads.”
To simplify arguments, traditionalists point to his Stanley Cups and NHL records as a simple bit of evidence that he’s as great as his resume indicates. Statheads point to so-so save percentages (at least compared to his contemporary All-Stars, most glaringly Dominik Hasek and his almost inhuman numbers) and say that he was propped up quite a bit by New Jersey Devils defenses that featured a great system, Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and even some solid supporting characters like Brian Rafalski.
Fantasy owners should have friendlier feelings toward Brodeur. Only Henrik Lundqvist really stands as a reliable year-to-year fantasy fixture in any way comparable to “Marty” (and this season hasn’t been kind to that status so far).
The game changes enough that I hesitate to say that we’ll never see another Brodeur-type guy from a workload standpoint, yet let me say that I don’t think we should. It’s odd and amusing that Brodeur’s former team the New Jersey Devils (also weird to type) have made that point this season, as I’m not so sure it’s to Cory Schneider’s benefit to get trotted out night after night.
Should we really be excited about Brodeur or Bryzgalov?
That all comes down to what you’re looking for in your excitement. If it’s weird stuff, you’re likely set; Brodeur in a St. Louis Blues jersey is just bizarre while Bryzgalov’s just an oddball in general. (His second tour with the Anaheim Ducks actually makes more sense to me, although it looks like he’s just in a tryout stage right now).
If you have a well-stocked roster, don’t bother. That said, if you’re goaltending is rotten or you’re just sort of bored, why not give Brodeur a very short-term add just for the sheer strangeness of it all?
He’s expected to play tonight (Thursday), so we’ll get to see how much of a disaster/surprise success this ends up being. It certainly makes a random December night more interesting, if nothing else.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.
BLACKHAWKS 4, BLUES 1
-- Brodeur actually dressed last night, but watched Jake Allen lose to Chicago instead of suiting up for his first game of 2014-15 via a relief appearance. St. Louis isn't the only team dealing with a goalie injury in that game, as Corey Crawford's struggling with a lower-body issue.
-- It sounds like Patrick Sharp isn't too far from returning.
-- I've been pretty positive about Kris Versteeg, yet I can't say I expected 21 points in his first 21 games of 2014-15. His one-goal, six-assist run in the last three games is pretty ridiculous.
-- David Backes generated more PIM (16) last night than he had in 23 games before (14), giving him 30 overall. With seven SOG and six hits, Backes made some serious peripheral waves on Wednesday. Still, he only has two points (both goals) in his last eight contests.
-- Sign Vladimir Tarasenko's had a ridiculous season: he "only" has three points in his last five games.
JETS 2, OILERS 1 (OT)
-- Eleven … hey, that was Mark Messier’s number! Think about those days instead of the 2014-15 season, Oilers fans. (It works for Kevin Lowe.)
-- Speaking of 11, that many points in 26 games is definitely disappointing for Dustin Byfuglien, but he's still delivering peripherals (84 SOG, 49 PIM) and has four points in as many games. If an owner's still fed up with that slow start, try to poach a fellow who probably eats about 18 poached eggs for breakfast.
(Speculation, mind you.)
-- Evander Kane is starting to pick up his scoring and is also flustering people with pictures of himself with money again. Sounds like all's well to me.
-- David Perron rattled some cages, yet he's waking up offensively, with a three-game point streak. He's only connected on 5.4 percent of his shots, well below his 12.8 career average (which was almost exactly his 12.7 mark in 2013-14). Whether it's with Edmonton or not, better days could be coming.
-- Ondrej Pavelec update: still a nice save percentage (.919) and he's now above .500 (9-8-2).
-- Jacob Trouba's on fire right now: six points in his last four games. He's a player to watch considering his flashes of brilliance and first-round (ninth pick in 2012) pedigree.
DUCKS 5, FLYERS 4 (SO)
-- Nice game for Wayne Simmonds: two goals, seven SOG and two PIM. It's difficult to find a better combination of goals and peripherals, but it can admittedly be a little frustrating to fight through the periods without tallies.
-- Sami Vatanen continues his strong work with another goal on five SOG.
-- It's easy to lose track of Frederik Andersen's nice rebound with all the backup talk, but he's won five of his last seven games. Not too shabby.
-- Jakub Voracek's really had a remarkable season, hasn't he?
WILD 2, CANADIENS 1
-- Even with Ryan Suter spending a rare night on the mend (I've heard murmurs about the mumps), Minnesota thoroughly dominated this one. Montreal's been successful in the standings, but I'll admit I'm among those who openly wonder just how good the Canadiens really are.
(The talent's there, yet I'm not so sure about the coach and a few other factors.)
-- Jason Pominville is on a three-game point streak. With 85 SOG in 24 games, expect more goals than the five he's produced so far (just a 5.9 shooting percentage).
-- Jason Zucker's on a nice streak: four goals and one assist in his last five games.
-- Boy, has Thomas Vanek landed in Minnesota with a dull thud, especially if you benched him during one of his rare nice games (three points against Dallas on Nov. 28). The lack of chances is the most upsetting part; a guy who was firing pucks like crazy has gone without a SOG twice in six games, only generating four overall in that span. He's already experienced five games without a SOG in 2014-15. Overall, he only has 39 SOG in 24 games. He smoked those totals in Montreal (61 in 18 games) and on Long Island (50 in 13 games with the Islanders) last season.
Whatever the explanation may be, the Wild can't feel great about its investment right now. The bad news and the good news fight for the rebound here: it's just the beginning of his contract.
-- Mikael Granlund's been disappointing, too, with just a goal in his last six games.