Bruins at Blackhawks: Sturm is the secret weapon

December 18, 2009

Sabres LW Thomas Vanek (i.e. "Player B") has been outperformed by Bruins LW Marco Sturm in the past month.

Seeking fantasy action in Friday’s Bruins at Blackhawks matchup, I painstakingly researched stumbled upon the following statistical nugget:

In the last month, Player A has these numbers:

5 goals, 3 assists, +7, 8 PIM, 1 PPP, 32 shots.

In the last month, Player B has these numbers:

3 goals, 7 assists, -3, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 35 shots on goal.

Player A is Bruins LW Marco Sturm (15 percent owned in Yahoo!, 83.7 percent in ESPN). He amassed these stats in 12 games.

Player B is Sabres LW Thomas Vanek (89 percent owned in Yahoo!, 96.6 percent in ESPN). He amassed these stats in 15 games.

Lessons learned:

1. Trade your LWs for depth at other positions. A name brand like Vanek could have fetched you a goalie or a No. 1 D. If you’d started Sturm over Vanek during the last month, your team would have been better off.

2. Vanek is due to break out. The 25-year-old has a zesty matchup hosting the defensively challenged LeafsĀ  Friday.

3. Sturm is a sneaky start at Chicago. The Blackhawks have posted two straight shutouts and they have allowed only four goals in their last five games. They also lead the league with an incredible 1.96 goals-against average.

Still, I endorse Sturm as a sneaky start. The Blackhawks have won four of five. They are riding high. The Bruins are desperate. They have lost two straight games, both in the final few minutes of action. (A shootout loss at the Islanders on 12/12 and a third period choke job vs. the Flyers on 12/14).

Also: Despite Chicago’s gaudy defensive numbers, the Genius remains unsold on the Blackhawks goaltending. He has a hunch Sturm will sneak one between the pipes.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons