Tag Archives: Patrik Elias

10 hockey pool sleepers

JamesTeterenko photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Patrik Elias is a good sleeper pick.

Hockey season begins this week, and with it, many hockey pools.

But usually, the top picks all finish within a few points of each other (unless there are injuries). Pool are won in the later rounds, when you’re trying to figure out who could be that pick that breaks through with 60 points. A couple of those, and some luck with injuries, could win you your pool.

In no particular order, below are 10 sleeper picks to keep an eye on during your hockey pools:

Patrik Elias- While everyone was having a brutal season with the Devils last year, Elias had 62 points. His worst season since the lockout has been 45 points. Should be good for 50 points.

Kevin Bieksa- Three seasons ago, he had 43 points. Since then, he’s battled injuries. But with Christian Erhoff now off to Buffalo, he should see more powerplay time. That, combined with at least 75 games, should have him finishing with about 45 points.

Ryan Callahan- The new captain of the Rangers, he set career highs in goals and points last year, despite missing a quarter of the season to an injury. A full healthy year should see him get 55 points.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard- Had a good finish to the season last year. After missing a whole season a couple of years back, he should be ready to be the Pierre-Marc Bouchard of old, and finish with about 60 points.

Ryane Clowe- Maybe the quietest 60-plus point guy in the league last year. He has seen an increase the last few seasons, going from 52 points to 57 to 62. Should see that number continue to rise this season.

Marc Staal- It’s about time he break through (points wise). Forty points is attainable.

Gui Latendresse- Has been dynamite in his time in Minnesota, but he can’t stay healthy. He had 37 points in 55 games two years ago after being traded to the Wild, and six points in 11 games last year before being injured for the rest of the season. I expect him to finish with about 50 points, especially with the team trying to be more offensive.

Vaclav Prospal- Still a capable player, despite his age. Had 23 points in 29 games last year before missing the rest of the season due to injury. May be playing on a line with Rick Nash and Jeff Carter.

Marcus Johansson- The Capitals sophomore will see more ice time this season, and may see time with Semin on his wing. Could be a 50-point threat.

Evander Kane- It looks like the 2009 draft may turn out to have one of the best first rounds in quite a while. Kane was the fourth overall pick that year, and has seen his numbers increase each season he’s played. I’m expecting Kane to crack the 55-point barrier this year.

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New Jersey Devils preview

While New Jersey doesn’t play the boring neutral trap game they used to years ago, they’re still a strong defensive team to play against.

They won’t win many shootouts, but with their goalie, they won’t be in many of them anyways.

Forwards: Zach Parise is the future of this franchise up front. He has scored 31 and 32 goals the last two seasons, and pretty much the same amount of assists. He’s still young, and has a bright future ahead of him.

John Madden is a defensive specialist out there. He plays hard shorthanded, matches up against the other team’s best players, and scored 20 goals last season. He’s the type of all-around player every team needs bu so few has.

Patrik Elias has played all 12 of his seasons with the Devils. His numbers fluctuate from 45 points to 96, but he’s still a dangerous player, chipping in with almost double digits in powerplay goals every season.

Defence: Gone are the days of the strong defensive lineup of Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermeyer and Brian Rafalski. However, they still have a couple of strong players back there.

Paul Martin is the leader on the backend. He mans the point on the powerplay, and is tough on the puck.

Colin White is a bruiser on the blueline, but doesn’t take stupid penalties.

Goaltending: Once again, this team’s playoff push lies in the hand of Martin Brodeur. But Brodeur, one of the best goalies of all time, has been up to the task year after year. They guy is a beast. He has started at least 70 games in each of the last 10 seasons. His goals against was a sparkling 2.17, and his save percentage at .920. He’ll soon start passing records for most shutouts in a career, wins in a career, and so on. If you’re a young goalie, you don’t want to be drafted by the Devils, because you’ll never get a chance to play.

Pool picks: Brian Rolston could be worth a pick. He’s had at least 58 points in six of the last seven seasons. He’s also pretty durable, never missing more than five games a year in any of those seasons. Stay away from: Brian Gionta. He had one good season of 89 points a few years back, but hasn’t had more than 53 in any other year. Not worth a pick.

Miscellaneous: The core of this team (Martin Brodeur, Colin White, Jamie Langenbrunner, Jay Pandolfo, Zach Parise, Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias) are all signed for at least three seasons. So for good or bad, this team will be together for quite a while.

Expected finish: Fourth in the Atlantic division, seventh in the Eastern conference.

Overall: Martin Brodeur will keep this team from missing the playoffs. However, they may not have the grit and depth needed to make a deep run.

But when you have Brodeur, anything is possible.

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