In 1998-99, Darcy Tucker led the Tampa Bay Lightning in scoring. Even then, with just 43 points his value in fantasy circles was that of a depth player, unless the pool counted penalty minutes. However, his 176 penalty minutes that year is a total he has not come close to hitting in any season since.
From an offensive perspective, Tucker bounced back and forth for five seasons between 32 and 59 points before reaching a career high last season of 61 points. Suddenly, in a lot of pools, he is worthy of a pro-roster spot - especially ones that give points for his 100 penalty minutes.
So what does the Toronto Maple Leafs forward do for an encore?
In 16 games, he puts up 16 points (including 10 goals) and 25 minutes in penalties. With eight of his goals coming on the power play and two of them game-winners, the 31-year-old has become an upper-tier fantasy forward in serious pools that count multiple categories. In fact, as far as wingers go, there are not too many out there who are better.
Ilya Kovalchuk? Just three more points, but 19 less penalty minutes and four less power play goals.
Shane Doan? Less than half the penalty minutes and nearly half the points.
Jarome Iginla? The stats are not even close.
Sidney Crosby? The wunderkind center has more points, but just one goal on the power play and just 14 penalty minutes.
As weird as this sounds, Tucker is one of the best wingers to own right now in hockey pools that count a multitude of categories. In basic pools that only count points, he is now a legitimate pro-team guy. Will this last?
His impressive numbers won't continue at the current pace, but that's not to say they won't still be impressive. With his importance to the Leafs higher than ever, Tucker, who is still at the peak of his career, should surpass his career high in points and add 100 penalty minutes to bootÂ…
Alexander Semin of the Capitals, who was off to such a fantastic start to his season with 12 points in eight games, has now gone pointless in his last five. He should still produce in the high-60s when the season is concludedÂ…
Is the Jeff Friesen experiment over yet? In hockey pools, it should be. In Calgary, however, who knows? He has just one point in 13 games this season and is a minus player. He is pointless in his last 11Â…
Speaking of Calgary, who is their No.1 center? Is it Daymond Langkow, who has 11 points and is a minus-4? Or is it young Matthew Lombardi, who has 10 points and is a plus-8 with less ice time? By the end of the season, unless at trade happens, it will be LombardiÂ…
Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Mike Comrie of the Coyotes has a fractured foot and is on the shelf for four weeks. With top pivot Steve Reinprecht (shoulder) also out, newly signed Yanic Perreault should see a big surge in his productionÂ…With Richard Zednik out with a rumored fractured wrist, the Capitals have recalled Tomas Fleischmann. The youngster had been tearing up the American League and contributed an assist with the big club despite minimal ice time on Saturday.
Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN's Fantasy section.
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