Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smyth Coming Back?

The Colorado Avalanche have gotten off to a strong scoring start, scoring 24 goals in their first six games of the season. Scoring wasn't necessarily going to be an issue with the Avalanche, especially if the team was to remain healthy for the better part of the year.

One player guilty of being unhealthy over the last few seasons has been Ryan Smyth. He hasn't played a full 82-game season in the NHL in four years and has struggled to be consistent on the scoresheet.

Smyth has gotten off to a good start to his season, having four goals and two assists in the first six games with the Avs, putting him on a point-per-game pace. In the Draft, he was taken in the ninth round, 152nd overall by Don, and he is quickly emerging has a huge bargain. If he could finish the season with 82 points in 82 games, Smyth would generally be considered a second to third round pick in the draft, but thanks to his inconsistencies, no one wanted to pick him up right away.

He isn't only beneficial to himself either. Ryan Smyth has done wonders for the rest of his teammates as well in the early part of the season. With his presence in the line-up, the opposition does have a hard time sending out a full compliment of defense against any one certain line from Colorado. This opens up the gate for teammates on other lines to be successful and it has seemingly worked already. Paul Statsny, Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk have all enjoyed successful starts to their seasons as well and if the Avalanche can get their goaltending up to par, they will have a very competitive team.

Of course, we are only six games into the long season and there is still a lot of bone-crushing, punishing hockey left to be played. Smyth does embody a substantial risk in fantasy pools, but in the ninth round, he shouldn't be considered a bust, even if he misses ten games in the season.

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