I figured it was time to pile on an Avs update in the middle of picking the 10 teams that will finish the best. So here you go, I'll follow up with my #5 pick in the West later:
-Looks like Smitty is back with the Avs and ready to go. In the meantime, Stats tweaked a groin as he was preparing a return and may be out a couple of weeks.
-Sakic should be back the first or second week of March. Adept fantasy leaguers are trained to notice things like "he's tooling around in practice". Sports hernias take time to heal, so Joe is most likely skating for conditioning purposes. No real need to rush him back since the Avs are playing a great team game these days.
-I think with Clark's shoulder dislocation against the Ducks (It didn't look that horrible to me when it happened, but oh well. I think it was more a case of a Sharks player landing on him hard as they both hit the boards) may prompt the Avs to look harder at a D-man.
Theo is actually back to his old self. And by that I mean Hart Trophy levels of play ('bout time!)so with Clark out probably the rest of the season I'm betting the Avs might look at swinging Svatos or Wolski. Svatos has shown a ton of guts lately, and leads the Avs in scoring, so he has a lot of value right now.
-Speaking of d-men Dan Boyle is being shopped, but anyone who's been paying attention knows that he and St. Louis will be the first to go should Tampa's ownership decide they need cap room.
I'm betting the Rangers end up with Boyle, who could help even though Rozsival seems to be a fairly productive OD already. This still wouldn't solve the Rangers chemistry problem, as a pouty, slacking Jagr has torn more than one team apart in the past (re: Pittsburgh, Washington)
-Failing and Avs d-man trade I'm anticipating more playing time for Kyle Cumiskey, who remains the most under used player on the team because of his experience, even if he might be the best skater on the squad.
Frankly I haven't seen an Avs defenseman skate that well since The Messiah. Once Cumiskey gets regular time I expect to see him lauded for his fluid skating along the lines of Rob Niedermayer, who is still the best skater in the sport.
-One side note: J.R. Smith on the Nuggets is regularily being called "Smitty" by announcers and teammates. For some reason this bugs me. There can be only one Smitty. His name is Ryan and he has a classic mullet along with being the only player in history to score two natural hat tricks for a team which also ended up being the only goals scored by said team (Edmonton) in winning those two games.
It's an obscure stat, but an interesting one.
That's all for now. More later!