|Fantasy Hockey PIM Monsters|
Top PIM Monsters for 2007-2008 season
Dany Heatley (LW/RW) Ottawa:What Dany Heatley did this year, even with just one good eye, is absolutely amazing. He dominated all NHL categories, and did a very nice job accumulating 74 PIMs to go along with his beefy back-to-back 50 goal seasons. Now, Iím sure you arenít reading this column for me to tell you that Heatley is a top fantasy hockey player, with his dual wing eligibility (in most leagues), and contribution to all categories. So weíll move on to a less tastier fare in a moment. I just wanted to point out: #1 getting a refurbished tooth for your gapped face grin doesnít always affect your fantasy point performance and #2 now that Dany is focusing on his defense, his improved plus minus makes him an obvious top guy for next years fantasy draft. Imagine how many PIMs this soft power forward could get if he ever turned mean?
Sean Avery (LW) New York Rangers: Thereís a reason this column has the title that it does. That leads us to the second best PIM Monster from the NHL, love him or hate him, Sean Avery is a penalty minute machine. Avery has always been a treasure trove of PIMs, but his trade to the New York Rangers seems to have ignited a deep desire within him that until now, only TheGirl Next Door might have ever seen. So instead of just an average PIM goon, Avery has emerged as a top PIM Monster. Now Iím sure youíre saying, Sean Avery? This punk who I just watched on MTV cribs is your #2 PIM monster? Yeah, that is exactly what I am saying. Now that Sean actually cares about winning and playing hockey in the Big Apple, I expect big things from the former NHL penalty minutes leader. Now, it might be asking to much for Avery to repeat his 174 PIM performance of this year. Chances are the former Los Angeles King will tone it down a bit as he matures. But I have to ask, just how good can this kid actually be, or more bluntly is he capable of maturing? Avery's on his best behavior is still going to be one of the NHL bad boys and get you 120+ PIMs plus some points. Final Analysis: If Avery can stay on his best behavior, expect a big boost in scoring and a mild decrease in PIMs. Worst case scenario, he reverts back to old form and racks up the PIMs. Sean will be a UFA next season so expect him to come out swinging.
Sheldon Souray (DEF) Edmonton Oilers: Souray had a big rebound year, and became a top fantasy defensemen again. Sure the guy has a beast of shot from the blueline, but what goes unnoticed to most are the 135 PIMs he racked up. No matter where he ends up next year, I expect more of the same Ė 26 Goals, 38 Assists, and 135 PIMs. Not to mention a change of scenery will only help his plus minus.
Keith Tkachuk (LW) St. Louis Blues: Tkachuk had a resurgence in 2006-07. Quite a rebound for the former ďdoughnutĒ boy, scoring 27 goals, 31 assists, and racking up 126 PIMs. As long as old age and the summer munchies donít get to him, heíll remain a top PIM monster next year. The career averages for Tkachuk are around 1 pt per game, and more importantly for this analysis, 2 PIMs per game. Expect the rage to continue and for the old man to rack up the PIMS once again along with potting a few goals.
Kevin Bieksa (DEF) Vancouver Canucks: Welcome to the show kid. In his second year, Bieksa came out of the blue, embraced his inner demon, and became a top PIM monster. Playing the point in Vancouver, he scored 42 points along with racking up 134 PIMs. Now, if he were on any other team I might steer clear of him next year. But letís face it, Vancouver just doesnít have the offense to look a gift horse in the mouth. Final Analysis: Grab him early in keeper leagues. This kid has the opportunity to be a star in Vancouver and is not afraid to drop the gloves. Heís on the smallish side, but plays a large game. I expect his PIM totals to decline somewhat in the future, once he fully adjusts to the speed of the pro game. However, heíll make up that decline in PIMs with more points.
Marc Savard (Center) Boston Bruins: Sure, anyone can blow a gasket and rack up the PIMs for you. However, not everyone will continually blow a gasket year in and year out quite like Savard will. He proved last year that his stats were not inflated in ATL, scoring 96 points while racking up 96 PIMs. Really, the only things heís got against him are most of the points he scores are assists, and that he plays in the center position. Assists can usually be found anywhere, and the Center position is the easiest spot to fill in fantasy hockey. However, it is near impossible to find a player that can score as many points as Savard and continually unleash his inner PIM monster. Final Analysis: Year in and year out, Savard has demonstrated an uncanny ability to score points and spend countless minutes in the penalty box. If he played a more rare position, heíd probably be the top PIM Monster year in and year out. Until he seeks anger management counseling pick him up early in your fantasy draft.
Dion Phaneuf (Def) Calgary Flames: Phaneuf was once described to me as a human wreaking ball on skates. I didnít believe it until the first time I saw him play. This kid is the real deal, and unlike Bieska, heís pretty much proven himself all the way. This year he scored 50 points along with racking up 98 PIMs. Final Analysis: In a keeper league, Phaneuf should be the number one defenseman drafted. If heís not, count yourself lucky and grab him. He will always rack up points and pims, and be a top PIM Monster for years to come.
Philippe Boucher (Def) Dallas Stars: With Philippe Boucher, you can always count on one thing, more often than not Boucher will go underrated in your fantasy hockey league draft. Boucher was a late bloomer, and heíll probably go unnoticed in your league. But this guy was the offense in Dallas for most of the year. He scored 51 points while racking up 104 PIMs. As long as he can stay healthy, heíll do it again. Final Analysis: Take Boucher after all the more popular defensemen are taken, and say wee wee wee all the way home.
Scott Hartnell (LW/RW) Philadelphia Flyers: I have to be honest. I was going to stop the column after gimpee Boucher, but the guilt of leaving Hartnell off a PIM list was just too great. This year, even only playing 64 games due to injury, he was able to score 22 Goals and 17 assists while racking up 96 PIMs. Hartnell is the exact type of guy you should be looking for in your draft, someone who consistently scores and isnít afraid to take a penalty or two. Final Analysis: Take Scott early and you wonít be sorry. Given the fat contract he signed in Philadelphia he'll be given a bigger role. This includes big minutes at even strngth and on the power play. Which should translate into even bigger numbers for Scott.
Look for a Rebound Next Year:
Shane Doan (RW) Phoenix Coyotes: What was wrong with this Doan? He went from roaring tiger (123 PIMs), to a pussycat (73 PIMS), in one year. Ok, I guess 73 PIMs isnít quite a pussycat, but I just like saying the word. What caused this reduction in PIMs? Was it because of the contract year? Was it because of his wonky back? Or could it be some sort of conspiracy? We may never know, but what I can tell you is that the world needs Shane Doan to unbottle his anger and start racking up those PIMs again. Final analysis: Expect the Coyote's captain to lift up this team onto his ailing back and carry them as far as he can. Doan should be good for a nice chunk of PIMs and will also score well in all fantasy categories except plus/minus.
Brenden Morrow (LW) Dallas: Morrow failed big time in his PIM duties this year. Maybe someone slipped him some something to calm his mood. I don't know but this guy just was not the same this year. He kept his cool and look where it got him? So while he disappointed everyone this year by trying to play like the Fonz, look for him to increase the PIM load next year. Remember, he was one of the top rated guys the first month of last season. Brendan may not start out of the gate on fire next year, but you can only hope turns back to the dark side and becomes the top PIM monster we all know he can be. Final analysis: Try to draft him earlier than his stats suggest or trade for him in keeper leagues this summer before he starts PIMing it up. Morrow is a Jack of all trades, but master of none. Heíll produce week in and week out in all fantasy categories and give you a large portion of PIMs to boot. You canít go wrong with Morrow.
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