January 12, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-01-12

So today is a big day for Fantasy Hockey nerds as the Dobber Hockey Midseason Guide is launching this afternoon! You can pre-order the guide here and I highly recommend you do. I personally contributed a quick advanced stats diagnostic for all thirty teams, so hopefully our readers find my contributions (and the guide itself) as informative as usual! This is now available for download

 

Note: forum issue seems to be fixed. Email me at [email protected] dobberhockey with any problems.

 

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The Jets have fired head coach Claude Noel and have hired Paul Maurice in his stead. Noel’s tough to rate, I think, becasue the Jets did improve when he was first hired (by the underlying numbers) and while they haven’t improved much since, they’ve remained a roughly league average puck possession side with awful goaltending. 

 

Getting jobs with teams that lean on bad goaltenders can blight a coaches resume permanently (see Arniel, Scott). Hopefully Maurice is smart enough to recommend a trade for Khudobin or any of the players from Anaheim’s stable of netminders as a first course of action…

 

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One guy who went off this week was Wild depth forward Justin Fontaine, who managed a hat-trick this week. Fontaine obviously couldn’t keep it up against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night as the Wild fell 4-2 and Fontaine was quiet. While I’d mention that his underlying numbers aren’t particularly auspicious (no depth forwards on the Wild have strong underlying numbers), he nails the eye test with his excellent skating and high-end passing ability. Really high on this kid going forward.

 

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Another player lighting it up of late is Tampa Bay Lightning defender Matt Carle, who had a rather magnificent fantasy outing on Saturday in a 6-3 Tampa Bay victory over the Philadelphia Flyers (Carle had 2 A and was +6). Carle is traditionally one of those players who the “fancy stats” love and fans who watch him daily dislike, but he’s having a huge season in Tampa: leading a good team in minutes while handling the toughest competition and coming out roughly even by the underlying numbers.

 

As a fantasy bet, however, beware of regression with Carle. Don’t pick him up if you need +/-, for example, because his 103 PDO (combined sh% and sv%) is bound to drop off. Carle is benefitting from both a favourable on-ice sh% (which may inflate his assists totals) and an unlikely to be sustained on-ice sv%, and probably provides more actual hockey value to the Lightning than he will Fantasy value to potential owners.

 

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In my league (a 20 team deep Yahoo! Sports league that counts G, A, PPP, +/- and hits for skaters) Radko Gudas is the best. Which is why I bring him up every week. An assist, +4, and 5 hits on Saturday.

 

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The Devils defeated the Florida Panthers in the last second of overtime (thanks Ice Wings) and Brian Campbell played 8 minutes more than his next closest teammate (was never really considered for Sochi though). Cory Schneider continued his excellent play and continued to get zero goal support from one of the league’s worst offensive teams. 

 

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Aleksander Barkov continues to be one of the most impressive teenage skaters I’ve watched in this league in recent years. He played nearly 20 minutes against one of the best puck possession teams in the league on Saturday and came out even by shot attempt differential. In many ways handling a major role like that at Barkov’s age is more impressive to me than “Nathan MacKinnon skates by bad defenders” or “power-play specialist meshes will with talented team and puts up points from the blue-line.” Barkov doesn’t turn 19 until September by the way…

 

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The Ottawa Senators have quietly massaged their season into moving in the right direction (after a massively feckless start) and racked up another win aganist the Nashville Predators on Saturday (albeit a win of the shootout variety). Nashville put together some crazy line combinations on Satur