December 30, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-12-30

Something about Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist. Currently not linemates at all, Zetterberg has been back for one game and Nyquist scores. Nyquist has three points in eight games with Zetterberg out of the lineup, but six in seven with him in.

I like the kid line that Nyquist is on – Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson are the linemates. But I don’t like the ice time they’re getting (just over 10 minutes last game). Until Nyquist is back on a line with Zetterberg, he’s worth a point every two games.

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This has been a year of easy solutions when you get screwed by your goaltending early on. How many other years were you able to pluck a Ben Scrivens or Antti Raanta…or Marek Mazanec, Frederik Andersen, Jonas Gustavsson, Philipp Grubauer or Martin Jones off the waiver wire? None. On the flip side, it also means that a lot of your key starters are going down, but still with so many options on the wire – as long as you were fast, you were okay. And anyone who suffered from slumps (i.e. Anderson or Lundqvist owners) have had the opportunity to be bailed out thanks to the waiver wire this year. Never seen anything like it.

But that all will start to come to an end this week. Jimmy Howard is scheduled to face Nashville tonight. If he does well, that will be it for Gustavsson. Corey Crawford is back as early as Thursday (bye Raanta!). Jonathan Quick is still on target to return within nine or 10 days (so long Scrivens and Jones!).

Get the latest starting goalie information by bookmarking Goalie Post.

When Crawford is back, I can see the Blackhawks keeping Raanta up. It’s clear he is ready, while Khabibulin is terrible and LaBarbera is weak. But what will happen is – Crawford will get a ton of starts and after Raanta is idle for a couple of weeks he’ll be sent back down for a few spot starts. Any way you slice it, Raanta will be lucky to have 10 more NHL starts in the second half.

As for Jones – he’ll go to the minors when Quick returns. The Kings won’t let him rust on the bench and unlike Chicago, they have a pretty good backup in Scrivens. It seems strange to send a near-NHL-record-breaking goaltender to the minors, but that’s what you can expect.

Regarding Grubauer – it’s looking as though the Caps are going to keep him up until Braden Holtby gets rolling. Right now, Grubauer is their most trustworthy backstop. Until that changes, he stays. And it’s pissing Michael Neuvirth off. But a Neuvirth trade is not assured. Granted, there are teams that need goalies, but there are also many goalies available. Let’s not forget that Jonas Hiller is a free agent in the summer and the Ducks have plenty of options in net. But back to Grubauer – short term, I think he’s a stud. But after two weeks, I think Holtby gets his game back, or Neuvirth gets a spot start that impresses brass enough to send Grubauer down. He should be Washington’s backup next season, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t.

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