Thursday, September 9, 2010

Most Likely to Succeed?

Hockey season is almost here! What's that mean? That means fantasy hockey season is almost here! As a result, the folks over at are doing a "most likely to succeed" series for every team, choosing the player from each team they think will have a breakout season. Guess who they picked for Minnesota? If you guessed Guillaume Latendresse, you're right! What a ballsy prediction, picking a player who played barely more than half a season with Minnesota last year, but still managed to score 25 goals with the club. Hats off to them for being so bold. Here's what they had to say.

Of the skilled players, Guillaume Latendresse looks like the most likely to succeed following 25 goals in only 55 games. More impressively, the former Montreal Canadien mostly played on the second line with offensive dynamos like Andrew Ebbett and James Sheppard. If he could play with a decent center like new signing Matt Cullen he could possibly even improve from there.

Wow, he scored 25 goals playing on a line with Andrew Ebbett and James Sheppard? He must have gotten a lot of unassisted goals, since Ebbett and Sheppard combined for 10 assists last season. You're right though, he did play on a line with a bunch of bums. In case you need some help finding that power trio in the link above, make sure to scroll down a bit to the part where it says .11%. Maybe you'll find it there. Don't look at the fact that he was on a line with Martin Havlat almost 70% of the time(67.16% if my figures add up correctly, which they do cause I'm perfect). Don't worry about this. Or this. Or this.Or THIS.Or this. Or this. Or this. You want a few visual aids? How about this? Or this? Or this?

Don't get me wrong, I think he's a decent player who obviously found a good fit in Minnesota. He had nothing to do with James Sheppard though. And now that I think of it, it wouldn't really be considered a breakout year if he scored 30 goals this year like they predict, since he netted 27 last year. I guess that'd be like predicting James Neal to have a breakout season and score 30 goals this year, when he had 27 last season. Or like predicting Antoine Vermette to have a breakout season the year after he posted career numbers in every scoring category. Let's see what they had to say about that...

He may go through slumps but the Quebec native may be finally reaching his potential. An improvement on his 27 goals and 65 points could almost be expected… after-all someone needs to score in Columbus.

Not necessarily, my friend. When a team is really bad(25th in the NHL in goals scored), their opponents don't just let them score goals out of pity. That is good though, "someone needs to score in Columbus." That's some solid analysis. Care to give any sort of information to back that claim? No? I didn't think so. Let me help you out. You could have mentioned that he was only 6th on his team in power play time on ice despite the fact that he was 2nd in total points, only two points behind Nash. Add to that the fact that when he does get power play time he's without Nash almost 75% of the time. As a result, he only had twelve power play points. It's safe to assume a larger role on the power play could really help his offensive production. But don't worry about using stats to back yourself, just go ahead and keep making blind predictions.

So tell me, who is the dark horse in Nashville? Which player do you think is going to have a real breakout year for the Predators? Oh, it's Shea Weber, you say? Wow, I've never heard of him. Tell me, who is he?

He has led all Nashville defenders for the past two seasons, after both Kimmo Timmonen[sic] and Marek Zidlicky were dealt.

Oh, so he's already been pretty good then?

During the Olympics he was regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.

Wow, that's a high honor. That's gonna be pretty hard to top. He was one of the best defenders in the world last year, and he's going to be better this year? That's interesting.

Next season the Predators may or may not make the playoffs. Their one constant for the past few years has been Weber; it should continue to be Weber.

That's great, but the whole point of the article is to tell us who is "poised to increase their point totals" isn't it?

So what's the overall moral of this story? Martin Havlat is my hero.

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