Thu Dec 30 04:28pm EST
(Note: Our friends at Dobber Hockey are back for some fantasy fun. All stats are through Wednesday night's games; this feature will be found on Thursdays here on Puck Daddy.)
Time to hand out some midseason pretend fantasy awards. Why? Because everyone else is doing it and we're unoriginal.
Best Single-Game Statistical Performance
These were the games that caused owners to distract the rest of the office the next morning with their furious fist-pumping after noting that their fantasy squad just moved up to first place. All on the basis of one player's performance.
Since that game, Stammer has managed just 16 points in 17 games.
Prust has been a revelation this year. It looks like he'll get 35 points, 200 PIM and finish with a plus-15.
Welcome back Geno! The superstar had a tough start, but is showing signs that the Malkin of old is ready to emerge.
Interestingly, he didn't have any penalties that game despite having 72 PIM on the season.
The most underrated goalie in the league finally gets some recognition as he takes home this coveted fantasy hockey hardware.
Biggest Fantasy Hockey Surprise
We expected 40 points. He's almost there...before January. His shots, penalty minutes and plus/minus are also on pace for career bests.
Although the top netminding job in Philly has slipped from his grasp, his October and November performance was enough to single-handedly save some fantasy league owners. None of whom had heard of him prior to October.
It's hard to imagine a recent Vezina winner not getting selected in the first 20 rounds of a 25-round draft, but that was often the case this past September. Tuukka Rask(notes) is the next big thing and he clearly arrived last year. But, if the crazy twists and turns of fantasy hockey have taught you anything, it's to never
make trades when you're drunk count out Tim Thomas
I have before me four fantasy hockey magazines from the summer, including my own (and two others I contributed to). Predictions for Byfuglien were 50 points, 42, 41 and 38. These were from the summer, so the predictions were based on his being a forward. When he was moved back to defense, I reduced my own prediction to that 38 number you see above. Whoops. He's proved all the experts wrong.
Goals, assists, shots, penalty minutes, moustaches, plus/minus, power-play goals, fashion sense -- these players have impressed in several categories.
Nominated - Steven Stamkos
Sure, his points are higher than expected and he's turned his plus/minus around, but his 30 PIM to date are a nice bonus.
Nominated - Corey Perry
The only player with more than 40 points and 70 penalty minutes, Perry also has a pair of shorthanded goals. He does it all. He'll even help your other players, like Tom Gilbert(notes), pad their stats.
Nominated - Dustin Byfuglien
To give you this kind of help across the board as a defenseman who wasn't even drafted in a lot of leagues is unreal. Big Buff is possibly going to top 25 goals, 70 points, 80 PIM, 300 shots, 10 game winners and a plus-15 rating. And that's if he slows down a little.
The 2009 Grammy winner for best bongo soloist is up for a fantasy hockey award just two years later. Nobody expected 100 penalty minutes from him, but that's exactly what he's on pace for to go along with his solid point total.
Winner - Sidney Crosby
These guys are good for one thing, and one thing only. They'll give you little help in the other areas of your league.
He's not shooting the puck and his plus/minus is horrible. He's also the gentlest 6-4, 235-pounder in the league. Thornton provides assists. Don't look to him for anything else.
Despite being on pace for a career high in points, the Islanders' sniper is still not quite good enough to provide help in any category but PIM.
The former 18-goal scorer will be lucky to wind up with 10 this year. He also keeps his penalty minutes down. But his assists could well top his career high of 50 set in 2006.
Nobody provides more assists than the yin to Daniel Sedin's(notes) yang. In fact, his pace of 90-plus assists is so impressive that his other numbers aren't actually that bad -- they just look bad when sitting next to the assist column.
The Hot/Cold Award
These guys frustrate the hell out of you. You dress him for the week and he goes four games without a point. So you bench him and he tallies six points in three games. So you hurriedly dress him for the following week and he manages one assist in four games. And so forth...
Bourque is nominated for this award every year. He had eight points in four games in October, six points in five games in November and six points in six games to start December. Mix that in with a bunch of pointless droughts and you can see why Bourque owners have forehead-shaped dents in their desks at the office.
Not drafted in a lot of leagues, fantasy owners scrambled to get him when he had 11 points in seven games in early November. Thirteen games later he added just five more points to his total. He currently has six in his last seven -- just to piss off the owners who dumped him two weeks ago.
Like Bourque, ‘Flash' has done this before. After 11 points in his first eight games with the Avalanche, he followed it up with just one in his next four and a minus-4 rating to boot.
The ‘Bulin Wall is sometimes a wall, but other times he's been more of a gate. A loose gate that swings noisily in the wind.
Thankfully, Spezza put his fantasy owners out of their misery by getting hurt for a few weeks. After a decent October, he had a horrible November/December. But his talent is enough to keep him in the lineup. So his getting hurt was a blessing in disguise, as owners can now bench him without reservation.
The WTF Award
These players are producing so far below expectations that fantasy owners are wondering if they're using stand-ins on the ice while they party it up with their millions on a yacht in the Caribbean.
Nominated - Jason Spezza
He's topped 90 points twice and just turned 27. Uh, isn't that supposed to be your prime?
Not to be too hard on the kid, as he is still a teenager and his linemates sometimes consist of the hotdog vendor on the left side and the fat sweaty guy in Row 7 Seat 16 on the right. But in fantasy circles we were hoping for 60 points and a plus/minus that was within shouting distance of zero. I still think he'll get to 60, with the impending return of Kyle Okposo(notes).
The 36-year-old is a proven 65-point defenseman. But in Ottawa he is on pace for 35. The kicker is that his minus-19 is already one off his career worst.
All the power-play time in the world doesn't matter if your shots don't hit the net. It's hard to imagine this consistent net-misser scored 54 times in the first three years of his career. Is this even the same guy?
What. The. F$%#. This will be called the Kovalchuk Award next year, if he bounces back.
Dobber can be criticized and ridiculed over at his own site, as well as at TheHockeyNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@DobberHockey). Also keep an eye out for his Midseason Fantasy Guide, which will be released on Jan. 7.