Today as we're lucky enough to have Yankee Canucks from the fantastic Nucks Misconduct as our Canucks expert. They are one of the bigger hockey blogs out there so they probably don't need any introduction. If you've been living under a rock make sure you bookmark them and add them to your daily visit list. They do great work. Y.C. makes his Blogger's Breakout debut this year so the pressure is on the rookie to deliver some big picks. It will be tough as breakouts on a top team like the Canucks are hard to find.
We asked Y.C. nine fantasy relevant questions about the Canucks and the NHL in general. Follow the jump to read his answers...
To see the rest of our Blogger's Breakouts click here for the main page.
Yankee Canuck from Nucks Misconduct.
Q1) Canuck Breakout of the Year?
Q2) Darkhorse Breakout on the Canucks?
Tempting to say whoever plays with the Sedins while Alex Burrows is on the LTIR (best bet is Mikael Samuelsson who had a career season last year on the Kesler line), but he may lose that slot once Burrows returns. So instead I'd look at Raffi Torres. He had some very solid years in Columbus before getting injured and his stint with the Sabres was more than forgettable. But he can be an impact-type player and crash-and-bang style will endear him to Vigneault as long as his play is consistent. He's been their leading scorer in an otherwise forgettable preseason, so throw in some increased PP time and a 35-40 point campaign isn't out of question.Prediction: 77 games, 15 goals, 35 assists, 50 points and 36 penalty minutes.
Q3) Breakdown Player on the Canucks?
Alex Burrows because he'll miss some games, may show some rust when he gets back and had a career year in 2009-10 that was far and above his previous averages. I don't see how he gets close to sniffing 30+ goals this time around, but I'd love to be proven wrong. Sami Salo is another no-brainer; he'll be out even longer than Burrows and is a prime candidate to suffer some maintenance injuries along the way. Salo is more risk than reward from here on out.
Q4) League-Wide Breakout of the Year?
There are other teams out there? I'd guess whatever scab plays with Kane and Toews; if he actually stays there and isn't juggled up and down the lines like Quenneville did last year, he should be in line for a huge fantasy boost. Another Kane to watch is in Atlanta where I think Evander Kane could take a step forward, especially with the off-season influx of experienced Cup winners. Also in Atlanta is our favorite friend Dustin Byfuglien who, if he sticks around on defense, would be a good gamble since you know he's going to get ample PP opportunities.
Q5) Who are your First Five Picks in a Fantasy Draft?
Ovechkin, Crosby, Thornton, Doughty & Keith and then quickly scrounge for a goalie. Goalies are overrated...should I mention I never win my leagues?
Q6) Best Value for Money Fantasy Goalie?
Jaroslav Halak is someone who may come cheap and should be a workhorse on a good St. Louis team. Jimmy Howard in Detroit too but I guess his coming out party last year will see him move quickly in a draft. When in doubt, gamble on one of the Kings guys (more Bernier and less Quick in my mind) and pray the other one gets lost in a mudslide.
Q7) Taylor or Tyler?
Tyler! Oilers suck! Oilers suck! (Who am I kidding? It'll be Taylor damn it all).
Q8) Your Stanley Cup Pick?
Since I know I'm jinxing them: the Hawks. In reality, the Caps make sense on paper but need to prove it on the ice. I wouldn't be shocked to see Detroit or Pittsburgh rise from the grave and get back in the Finals. With luck, anyone from Canada will do but the further west the better. Since Calgary has more question marks than exclamation points and Edmonton needs a few more seasons before they morph into Chicago that leaves one team that I refuse to publicly link with Cup success.
As a blogger I will most definitely miss the empty net goals that were Wellwood references. Now we're left to mock a portly Shane O'Brien and he probably won't make the starting roster. No one in their right mind will miss Pavol Demitra. If you find someone who does, run away because they're a zombie or an otherwise unearthly creature.
Many thanks to Yankee Canuck for a great job. It should be a very good season in Vancouver and we'll be following the Canucks closely on Nucks Misconduct, you should too.