Tag Archives: Clarkson

Don’t forget your Enforcers

Matt Cooke, Todd Bertuzzi and all of those tough guys with bad reputations are turning a new leaf; they have to or face public outcry and discipline. New NHL disciplinarian and ex-Red Wing Brendan Shanahan will make it so. If an illegal hit surmounts to a suspension, the league will release a video of the play, then break it down to formulate a proper decision.

Pittsburgh Penguins pesky winger has been the target of resentment from fans everywhere for his hit on Boston Bruins Marc Savard, who is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Bertuzzi has toned down his sock’em robot imitation after the Steve Moore incident, and touted his skills in Detroit significantly scoring last season.

Cooke has been a consistent 30 points scoring for the past few seasons with the Pens, but his reputation needed some TLC. Last season his penalty minutes climbed as his suspensions and poor public profile contributed to his need to reiterate that he was not a nasty guy rather a caring family man. As Sidney Crosby’s health has been disruptive to the Pens and its fans, Cooke still may drop the gloves or take a hit but his role as enforcer must tame for the success of the team. Giving up penalties won’t help Pittsburgh, particularly if Crosby sits out most of the upcoming season. Don’t shy away from Cooke, but give it time for his new face to form.

For Detroit Red Wings fans, the signing of Bertuzzi was a surprise and caused some grumbling. Bertuzzi put up a solid 40-plus point and often scored the game changer. As a fantasy league option, the winger was a hot pick mid-season. His numbers are expected to be fair for the 2011-12 season, yet the 36-year old may be running low.

Bertuzzi and Cooke will meet as the Red Wings travel to Pittsburgh Sept. 21 for a preseason game.

The unfortunate passing of Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien has brought a lot of attention to enforcer forefront. Though fighting and hits were not the cause of death for either player, it is a reminder to all hockey followers that these tough guys have a purpose and a place on the team. As the New York Rangers rebuild from the tragedy and acquire a tenacious team, both Sean Avery and Brandon Prust are ones to keep an eye on.

Avery has always been the Rangers bad boy
. From his “sloppy seconds” comment creating a surge of bad PR, Avery has rebounded to support same-sex marriage publicly and was recently redeemed from an interaction in Hollywood. Having a tough guy reputation attracts more trouble than these guys stir up. As a scorer, Avery had a great start to the 2010-11 season. His charisma boosts the Rangers to turn up the heat.

Brandon Prust excelled last year. Prust was Boogaard’s roommate on the road, so this season his play will be dedicated to the loss. Prust sat on my roster and produced with 29 pts., 160 PIMS, and 161 hits. If you play in a league that doesn’t reward for hits or penalty minutes, find a new league.

In Philly, your best bet is Scott Hartnell, who also snapped to it early in the season. New Flyers to take a look at include Max Talbot with 66 PIMS and 154 hits; Wayne Simmonds with 75 PIMS and 125 hits; and don’t forget your Chris Pronger who is capable of some enforcement.

In New Jersey, the Devil you may look at is David Clarkson. Though Clarkson tamed his temper last season, he still acquired 116 PIMS and 170 hits.

If you are still on the New York Islanders float, consider Travis Hamonic with 103 PIMs and 118 hits. Hamonic was a late addition to my team and he made the difference in those categories.

If you hold grudges and cannot get over Matt Cooke’s issues, then take Kris Letang as you Penguins pick. The defenseman posted 101 PIMS and 167 hits last season.

Defenders can supply your team with assists and goals, so don’t forget to support your local enforcers.

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Top Tough Guys

Every team has the player who is the scrapper, the guy who causes trouble for the opposing team.  But not only do some of the top tough guys cause problematic penalty points, these guys can score.

David Clarkson- New Jersey Devils

Never was a fan of the Devils, rather was a New York Rangers fan.  Anyone living in the tri-state area can tell you, it’s not an option to be a fan of both. My nephews played hockey in New Jersey and often met the Devils in their junior leagues.  Still wasn’t a fan.  Then, last season I picked up David Clarkson on my fantasy hockey team because he got into a fight every week; he was a guaranteed five for fighting.

After a lengthy stint on injury reserve, New Jersey Devil’s David Clarkson returned packing punches for ten penalty minutes for fighting twice with Calgary Flame’s Jamal Myers.  The right-winger has a total 16 points for the season, which may not seem like much but Clarkson can score with the best of them.  He has 54 penalty minutes thus far, but that stat should climb.

The NHL Network named David Clarkson one of the top tough guys, ever.  He’s not afraid to pick a fight to turn the momentum to his team and it’s showing as the Devils are heading into the playoffs in a comfortable fourth position in the Eastern Conference.   He has been the main reason I am a fan of the Devils, but will follow Clarkson whatever team he plays for in the future.

Sean Avery- New York Rangers

I put Avery on the list because he has 133 penalty minutes, and seems to get into a scruff any chance he can.  I’ve seen Adam Foote back down from a charge from Avery.  He has the ability to score as he has 25 points this year.  Though the Rangers are fighting an uphill battle this season sitting in ninth in the Eastern Conference and will most likely miss any playoff run, Avery hasn’t backed down. But Avery will have to take his energy elsewhere once the playoffs begin if the Rangers are not able to perform a playoff run miracle.  Perhaps his previous internship with Vogue magazine could offer him some part-time seasonal work.  The day Sean Avery works the runway at Bryant Park is a proud day for Rangers fans, at least the ladies.

Daniel Carcill0- Philadelphia Flyers

He taunts the crowd after he’s won the fight on the ice.  He’s a dude you want in your corner if you like the penalty minutes and tough energy.  Carcillo has 156 penalty minutes and 16 points this season.  He’s prone to suspensions, and is the bad kid on the team who behaves for a game or two then lets the fury out of the bag.  You either love him or think he’s overrated.

Colton Orr-Toronto Maple Leafs

As a Rangers fan, Orr was the other tough guy to complement Avery.  The NHL Network also named Colton Orr one of the best tough guys.  Orr ranks third thus far in penalty minutes with 170.  Scoring isn’t his priority with four points, so it’s safe to say he’s the pummel hound no matter what team he’s with.  Now with the Leafs, Orr has kept his image intact in Canada.

Alex Burrows- Vancouver Canucks

The Western Conference is riding high with top talent this year, and Burrows lays claim to the much of the Canucks’ success.  Having been moved to the top line with the Sedin brothers, Burrows has become one winger who can split the stats between plays and punches.

Alex Burrows fought his way to the NHL up through the ranks, and now boasts 55 points, 94 penalty minutes and an amazing plus-32 rating.  Though Burrows seemed to be in a slump early in the year, it’s been my experience that he heats up later in the year.  I picked him up when someone dropped him last year and have never looked back.

Cody McLeod- Colorado Avalanche

This is more of a personal choice because I live in Denver and know more about Cody McLeod from local stories, Avs skates and training camp.  McLeod is a true hockey player in the sense that he just wants to play the game and loves every minute of it.  He’s not into the flashy lifestyle as Sean Avery, rather he’s a Canadian boy who takes one for the team.  For fans, he’s available for autographs, usually walking right into the sea of fans to shake hands and pose for pictures.  Fans love to thank him for taking the punches and scraps against other players to defend the honor of the Colorado Avalanche; it’s just part of his game.

These are just some of my favorite tough guys, because without these guys hockey wouldn’t be the same.  Avery, Burrows, and even McLeod add some spunk to the competition and in many ways adds valor to the game protecting the honor of their teammates.  And there’s nothing better than a great hockey fight.

Glows and Blows- Week 8

Glows-

Wonder guy Marian Hossa returned to the line-up for the Blackhawks Wednesday night.

 

Would the Windy City have something to be thankful for?  Hossa showed up with a short-handed goal and a goal, but by weeks end, three shots on goal weren’t enough to deliver Friday night.  Half glow, half blow.

Avs rookie Matt Duchene scored his first home-ice goal at the Pepsi Center Saturday, but not enough to beat division rival the Minnesota Wild, but staying in the hunt for tops in the West.

 

Sid the Kid roped up his fourth hat trick in a slugfest against the New York Rangers.

Blows-

A two game suspension for Flyer Daniel Briere for a hit on Avalanche defenseman Scott Hannan.  Those Avs fans were mad.

 

Buffalo Sabre Craig Rivet, 35, and Philadelphia Flyer Daniel Carcillo, 24, took out frustrations twice on each other posting 20 minutes for fighting. Carcillo topped that with a game misconduct call for 10.

 

Out 4-6 weeks winger David Clarkson is a huge deficit for the Deveils. But Clarkson isn’t the only bruiser; Saturday, the game tallied 20 minutes of fighting with Pelley vs. Thompson and Corrente vs. Jackman.  Deep bruisers.

 

The New York Rangers have been turning the fists and digging in.  First, fighting with Tampa Bay earlier in the week posting 8 for roughing, 20 for fighting and 30 for misconduct.  Next night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, both hooked for 15 for fighting and 30 for misconduct.

Glows and Blows- Week 5

This week I had two tough fantasy match-ups, so most of my time was keeping track of my players. Thus, here’s the week’s overview:

Glows-

Canuck Alex Burrows, a winger with a punch, came out of his shell with an empty netter and shorthanded assist in a convincing win over the Minnesota Wild.

The Detroit Red Wings have delivered some great wins recently, including Chris Osgood’s 50th shutout of his career against the Boston Bruins.

Big D guy Zdeno Chara scored his first goal of the season, finally! He continued with a Gordie Howe hat-trick, an assist and 12 penalty minutes.

Minnesota Wild’s Marek Zidlicky scored his first goal of the season, incidentally the game-winning goal.

Blows-

Blues winger David Backes is back posting five for fighting despite the loss to the Calgary Flames.

Devil Clarkson took it to Islander Tim Jackman in the first 40 seconds of their match up. Clarkson took 7 PIMs for the hits.

Avalanche D guy J-M Liles is out again with a soldier injury.  I just got him off of IR.

Clarkson on the Deuce

I’ve said it before; David Clarkson is one to watch this season.  With two power play goals in the pre-season game against the New York Rangers, Clarkson came out to win it.

Posting 164 penalty minutes last year proved he was a unique enforcer with the ability to score: 17 goals, 15 assists.  Clarkson’s scoring should elevated now that he is seen as a valuable player for the Devils.  Last season he was the extra something to push ahead, and throw a punch if needed.  This season, he will be an asset to the team beyond expectations and a good lat round fantasy pick-up.