Fantasy Counter-Indicator

Minor disclaimer: Just got back from vacation, after a wickedly rough December, which is why the blog has been quiet and my loud Devils thoughts have remained unvoiced. But lots of time in airports, airplanes and transit gave me reason to catch up on The Hockey News back issues, and spurred me to capture some of not so quiet thoughts that resulted.

Case in point, that of course starts with another disclaimer. I am not a fantasy hockey player, nor do I play one on TV, nor does anyone have me in their asthma league fantasy team (sorry if that one made you puke a bit). But I think I now have the perfect counter-indicator for fantasy players: The Hockey News. It’s not quite as bad as the Sports Illustrated cover curse but it’s up there.

Marty Brodeur on the cover early this year: I didn’t even finish the issue before Marty was clutching his torn tendon. That was the early warning indicator for me, the beacon that perhaps THN was so out of phase that it could be the anti-news source.

Here’s the latest: December 1 issue, page 8, the bi-weekly “plus/minus” roundup of who’s on the wax and wane on the icy plane — and you could have made serious ground up in your league by shorting the printed word. On the plus side: plaudits for Roberto Luongo, who then began fighting off injury as well. On the minus side: cross-bow shot at Patrik Elias, asking how he turned into “only” a 20-goal scorer post lockout. No sooner did the ink dry on this one than Patrik ran up a 10 game point streak and is bumping up against 20 goals before the halfway point in the season (to be precise: 17 goals in 37 games, putting him tied for 17th in the league). Perhaps they meant “top 20 goal scorer” and not just “20 goal scorer”?

It’s not so much the lack of timeliness in reporting here; it’s the complete lack of journalistic effort. “Do the work,” as critic-owner Mark Cuban would say. Elias missed the first half of the first post-lockout season recovering from a bout with Hepatitis A; last season he played more center than left wing and was involved in enough line combinations that you needed a periodic table of the Sutter elements to figure it out. Hard to score goals when you aren’t sure if you’re play making, checking, shooting or figuring out a new coach and system. If you want to make this section interesting, how about offering some insight into your comments, so perhaps those of us who actually follow the sport (and the players mentioned) can grasp some of the underlying rhyme even if it’s lacking in reason?

If THN wants to pick on someone’s lagging production in front of the net, how about Gomez? THN would no sooner pick on the Rangers and their staff than it would endorse George Parros as a good role model.