F&F Check-in: Midseason heroes and zeroes

We like to pretend that you're hanging on our every move and transaction with these industry leagues, and with that pipe dream in mind, here's a look at where the Yahoo! Friends and Family Hockey League sits with roughly half of the season in the books. We'll look over the teams in the order they drafted. If you want to revisit the draft itself, click here. If you want to see the main page of the league and peep the standings, head over here. And if you prefer to skip all of this and make a sandwich instead, we're not going to blame you.

Okay, let's do this thing. I'll invite the other owners to add their own spins (or sack dances) in the comments.

Rotowire-Maingot

What's Worked Out: Logan Couture(notes) was a shrewd grab in mid-November. … Trading Craig Anderson(notes) and Thomas Vanek(notes) for Henrik Lundqvist(notes) early in the season, very well played. . . Stealing Tim Thomas(notes) at pick 169.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Alex Ovechkin(notes) has been ordinary as the No. 1 overall pick. … Ryan Getzlaf(notes) and Ryan Whitney(notes) got hurt. … Antero Niittymaki(notes) (ninth round) hasn't played well.

Outlook: Maingot has a pair of second-place finishes in the last two seasons, and he's currently second again. He's a plugged-in, high-volume owner, and he'll be a factor until the end.

Rotowire-Topper

What's Worked Out: Sidney Crosby(notes) has left the rest of the league in the dust. … Corey Crawford(notes) was a home run as a pickup in early November. … Dwayne Roloson(notes) got traded to a contender.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Daniel Alfredsson(notes) (Round 6) could be in the middle of a cliff season. … Erik Johnson(notes) (Round 7) is taking the slow route to stardom.

Outlook: Topper's got outstanding depth in all areas and has to be seen as a championship threat, especially if he makes some late-season trades to address the categories he most needs.

NHL - Simon

What's Worked Out: A trio of unheralded wings (Andrew Ladd(notes), Clarke MacArthur(notes), Claude Giroux(notes)) have produced nicely. … Eric Staal(notes) was a solid value in the third round.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Marty Turco(notes) (fifth round) doesn't seem to have much left. … Chris Stewart(notes) for off to a hit start, then got hurt. … Simon Gagne(notes) has totally forgotten how to play hockey, apparently. … Chris Pronger(notes) broke his foot.

Outlook: Simon has respectable skater depth and points should be scored here, but a group of underachieving goaltenders has probably sealed his 2011 fate.

FMR - Maltais

What's Worked Out: His forwards keep shooting the puck - Maltais is second in the league in SOG. … Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) has justified the investment as the No. 21 pick. … Brian Boucher(notes) is emerging in Philadelphia. … Keith Yandle(notes) is growing into a star.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Martin Brodeur's(notes) fall has been well documented. … Patrick Marleau(notes) is one of several Sharks skating in quicksand right now. … Derek Roy(notes) got off to a solid start, then suffered a devastating quad injury.

Outlook: This looks better than a tenth-place roster, but it's going to be difficult to make up enough points to contend over the final 40 games. Look for a step forward, nonetheless.

Rotowire - Eagleson

What's Worked Out: Steven Stamkos(notes) has produced a healthy profit from the No. 5 slot. … Cam Ward(notes) is a solid goaltender from Round 6. … Alex Goligoski(notes) was a nice pluck in Round 10.

What Hasn't Worked Out: The draft time didn't click with Janet and she had to autodraft, which explains the Dion Phaneuf(notes) and Mark Streit(notes) mishaps (among others). It's a cruel game. I hope you crush all of us next year, Eagle.

Outlook: Eagleson has worked the wire regularly (second-most active owner) and has a shot to finish in the Top 6 by the end of the year.

NHL.com - Cubeta

What's Worked Out: Brandon Dubinsky(notes) was a find in the 19th round. … Matt Duchene(notes) is maturing into a star. … Bobby Ryan(notes) was a value at No. 30.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Zach Parise(notes) suffered a major knee injury in October. … Kevin Bieksa(notes) was cut before things worked out for him. … Niklas Backstrom(notes) got hurt, and the goaltenders behind him haven't been effective. … Zach Bogosian(notes) hasn't stepped up his game.

Outlook: This team has adequate scoring potential, but something needs to click with Dan Ellis(notes), Peter Budaj(notes) or Antti Niemi(notes) if there's going to be a second-half rally.

Yahoo-Romig

What's Worked Out: Dustin Byfuglien(notes) was one of the steals of the year, going in the ninth round. … Jonathan Quick(notes) (Round 5) might get into the Vezina discussion. … Erik Karlsson(notes) hasn't always been consistent, but the points are there. … Corey Perry(notes) was nifty value in the middle of the third round.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Mike Green(notes) has been just another defensemen, not the stud we all expected. … The support goaltenders (Jonas Gustavsson(notes), Mike Smith(notes), Jonathan Bernier(notes)) have not played well.

Outlook: If Romig can fix his team's plus/minus and find a second goaltender, he's got a shot to finish in a medal position.

Fantasyhockey.com - Ev

What's Worked Out: Mikhail Grabovski(notes) and Drew Stafford(notes) were nifty plucks off the wire. … The goaltending group of Jimmy Howard(notes), Jaroslav Halak(notes) and Semyon Varlamov(notes) has been solid for the most part. … Dennis Seidenberg(notes) is turning into an intriguing player for the Bruins.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) has the New Jersey flu. … P.K. Subban(notes) hasn't turned into the star many expected. … Tyler Myers(notes) has taken a step back in his sophomore year.

Outlook: Ev could be a dangerous team in the second half, especially if he finds a way to gain in his two weakest categories (assists, power-play points). He's got depth in goal, which should afford him trading options.

Rotowire - McLarney

What's Worked Out: Ryan Kesler(notes) (Round 5) is on the cusp of stardom. … Jack Johnson(notes) (Round 13) is taking the leap in Los Angeles. … John-Michael Liles(notes) has stayed out of the doghouse and is having a solid year.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Nicklas Backstrom(notes) has taken a major step backwards. … Trading Henrik Lundqvist for Thomas Vanek and Craig Anderson turned into a mishap. … Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) has been in a full-season funk.

Outlook: If McLarney can find a sniper or two - he's lagging in the goal and shot categories - he might find his way to the medal podium.

Yahoo - Funston

What's Worked Out: Brad Richards(notes) turned into a highway robbery pick in Round 6. … Martin St. Louis(notes) clicked in Round 4. … Tobias Enstrom(notes) might be the most underrated defenseman in hockey. … Brent Burns(notes) keeps finding the back of the net (12 goals).

What Hasn't Worked Out: Sergei Gonchar(notes) and Nathan Horton(notes) have been somewhat disappointing in new cities. … Andrei Kostitsyn(notes) continues to be a fantasy tease.

Outlook: This deep team should at least maintain its current spot in the standings, with a Top 3 position possible if Ryan Miller(notes) gets back to his 2009-10 form.

Team Reed

What's Worked Out: Carey Price(notes) is finally the stud that Montreal expected when they drafted him. … Jeff Skinner(notes) has hit the ice running as an 18-year-old. … Andrej Meszaros(notes) apparently has won the plus-minus lottery (plus-26). …

What Hasn't Worked Out: Tuukka Rask(notes) lost his job to Tim Thomas. … Michael Cammalleri(notes) can't seem to get untracked. … There's no clear No. 2 goalie to run with Price.

Outlook: Here's another team that isn't lighting the lamp enough (last in goals, and last in shots). If those areas are addressed, Reed will finish the year in a respectable slot.

Yahoo - Pianowski

What's Worked Out: Pekka Rinne(notes) (Round 4) and Jonas Hiller(notes) (Round 5) have been reliable. … Kris Letang(notes) (Round 13) developed into a star out of nowhere. … Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) (Round 6) is working on another Norris year. … Patrick Sharp(notes) took a step up in class.

What Hasn't Worked Out: Travis Zajac(notes), New Jersey. Enough said. … Alex Steen(notes) got off to a slow start, then was prematurely cut.

Outlook: This has been the healthiest team and the luckiest team through half of the season. I know one person who would love to see it continue.

Alright, skaters, enough about our league. Who's made your season through 40 or so games? Who's wrecked your championship dreams? Discuss in the comments, amigos.

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Image courtesy Associated Press

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