January 22, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-01-22

Get the Midseason Guide here!

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Fresh morning add-ons to the ramblings…haven’t done that in a while, so thought I’d indulge.

I watched most of Nathan MacKinnon’s games early on in the season, but not so much since Christmas. I caught him last night and it just struck me as a marked improvement. I don’t know if it’s confidence or that Parenteau is back, but he’s playing like a star now and not just a talented rookie. He has five two-point games in the last 11.

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Matt Beleskey has 10 points in his last 11 games. Nick Bonino 13 in his last 11. I, along with a few others, had Bonino as a solid dark horse. But I don’t think any of us saw this coming. He’s a legit No.2 center, which makes Mathieu Perreault on the outside looking in. Again. Perreault had his chance and did well with it, but injuries – not just to him, but also Silfverberg – spoiled the momentum.

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Blake Wheeler has six points and is plus-6 in his last four games. Evander Kane – 13 in his last 13

The Leafs six-game winning streak can be looked at in several ways, but I find one of them really interesting:

Toronto is 16-16-4 with David Clarkson, and 11-4-1 without him. Not saying they’re better off without him, I just found it interesting. Keep in mind they got him for the playoffs, so that’s where we’ll judge him.

I looked it up and didn’t find anything significant here – the Leafs are 12-9-3 without Bozak and 15-11-2 with him.

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An interesting goalie matchup went down last night. One that included goalies I figured would turn things around soon. Craig Anderson is already well on his way and with the 34-save shutout win he is now 7-1-3 in his last 11. Braden Holtby is the other one. He’s a good goaltender mired in a tough slump – made tougher by a prospect backup who was on a hot streak. It’s hard to turn things around if you don’t get any rope. Every time Holtby lost the game, he lost the net for the next game, dating back to early November. Now, after taking over for Grubauer in two straight games that Grubauer was yanked, Holtby gets net back. He stopped 24 of 26. The Caps lost because their offense has dried up. And Alex Ovechkin was absent due to an LBI (day to day).

Holtby owners – hang in there. Just like Leafs fans (they’ve won six straight now) and Columbus fans (they’ve won seven straight now), your patience will be rewarded when Washington turns things around.

Mikhail Grabovski – pointless in four – took 12 minutes in penalties Tuesday. Before he missed time with the flu, he had 27 points in 32 games. After the flu – six points in 15 games.

Here is the incident, you can see him claw Zack Smith‘s face at the 1:30 mark:

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DobberBaseball has its sixth annual Fantasy Baseball Guide up for sale. Release date is Feb. 13 and if you buy before then you get it for $5.99.

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Jesse Winchester continues to enjoy his return to the NHL. The talented, undrafted winger signed out of college – maybe he signed with the wrong team? Or maybe Ottawa wasn’t patient enough with him, pushing him to the fourth line by his second season, never to return. But after a year in Finland, he is doing well with the Panthers. He has four points in two games since returning from a hand injury and 13 points in his last 22 games.

Tyler Ennis is on a five-game points streak and has 20 shots on goal in that span. He’s shown us a couple of times that he turns it up in the second half.

Linus Omark gets back into the lineup, plays with some quality linemates, picks up an assist – but was also a minus-2 and his ice time was held to 11 minutes. It’s not looking good for Mr. Omark. Here were Buffalo’s line combos:

 

21.15%

EV

63 ENNIS,TYLER – 26 MOULSON,MATT – 21 STAFFORD,DREW

19.38%

EV

65 FLYNN,BRIAN – 82 FOLIGNO,MARCUS – 28 GIRGENSONS,ZEMGUS

13.22%

EV

19 HODGSON,CODY – 17 OMARK,LINUS – 9 OTT,STEVE

7.49%

EV

19 HODGSON,CODY – 23 LEINO,VILLE – 9 OTT,STEVE

4.85%

EV

37 ELLIS,MATT – 23 LEINO,VILLE – 32 SCOTT,JOHN

4.41%

PP

63 ENNIS,TYLER – 19 HODGSON,CODY – 26 MOULSON,MATT

4.41%

PP

23 LEINO,VILLE – 17 OMARK,LINUS – 9 OTT,STEVE – 21 STAFFORD,DREW

You can get these line combos during the game or immediately after – free – by going here and setting it to “Latest Regular Season Game”.

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The Carolina-Philly game was postponed due to snow craziness (I think that’s the scientific term), but will be played today at 6pm ET.

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Everyone pick up Ryane Clowe right now because the more I say that I’m not buying his hot streak, the more it will continue. So the reverse curse is alive and well. Expect a five-point game next time, because I’ll finish off this blurb with this – Clowe is a shadow of his former self and he’ll hit a big slump soon. *looks up and cringes, expecting the lightning bolt to strike*

Clowe has 10 points in his last eight games and is plus-3 in that span.

Damien Brunner was back with a bang, tallying three points. Since he only played four minutes in his prior game before getting hurt, we won’t count that one and say that he has six points in his last three games.

Eric Gelinas also tallied three points. There’s a defenseman who should be snapped up in most league formats. He has six points in five games. The Devils need his skill set, and I had identified that in the preseason fantasy guide. The problem is – I picked Damon Severson to fill the need, with a slight chance that Jon Merrill does. Didn’t see Gelinas coming at all.

Here is the Gelinas goal…from center ice!

The Devils chased Brian Elliott out of the net after scoring three goals on nine shots. For Elliott, he’s lost three in a row. Bodes well for Halak owners. Halak was better than Elliott last night, though not by much.

Cory Schneider is 7-4-4 in his last 15 games. His 1.88 GAA is second in the NHL.

Chris Stewart has three points in his last 13 games. Here were his linemates (and the rest of the team):

20.56%

EV

42 BACKES,DAVID – 9 SCHWARTZ,JADEN – 20 STEEN,ALEXANDER

12.22%

EV

21 BERGLUND,PATRIK – 74 OSHIE,T.J. – 17 SOBOTKA,VLADIMIR

9.44%

EV

79 CRACKNELL,ADAM – 10 MORROW,BRENDEN – 75 REAVES,RYAN

7.78%

EV

56 PAAJARVI,MAGNUS – 12 ROY,DEREK – 25 STEWART,CHRIS

6.11%

EV

74 OSHIE,T.J. – 56 PAAJARVI,MAGNUS – 17 SOBOTKA,VLADIMIR

2.78%

PP

12 ROY,DEREK – 17 SOBOTKA,VLADIMIR – 25 STEWART,CHRIS

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Rick Nash has nine points in his last nine games – all of them goals.

Mats Zuccarello has two points in his last five games, which in itself is not concerning. Not at all, actually. But combined with Nash going on a hot streak and the fact that Zuccarello saw just 12 minutes Tuesday, the slump could be a lengthy one. I’m not ready to drop him yet, by any means – but the leash is getting shorter.

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With the win last night, Kevin Poulin has won seven of his last nine games. And suddenly, he’s back to the form that he teased us with several years ago. Hint: it’s a good thing.

Calvin de Haan has just a point in four games. He’s still getting PP time, but not on the top line. That honor still goes to Andrew MacDonald.

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My Hockey News article yesterday looks at the Columbus Blue Jackets and what to expect from the key players in the second half.

James Wisniewski has nine points in his last seven contests, after two more last night. It gives him 30 on the year and moves him into 11th in the league among defenseman. It’s all about healthy – a great fantasy own during the rare times that he’s healthy.

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Tyler Toffoli gets sent down to “work on his game”. I’m not sure how one works on playing with shitty linemates and getting no power-play time, but apparently that’s what he needs to do. He’s been down for three games with Manchester and has four points – but all four points came in one game.

Martin Jones took a beating last night, giving up five goals on 34 shots. He’s lost four in a row now after winning his first eight career NHL games.

Winnipeg was the first team to beat Anaheim in Anaheim in regulation time last night. Ondrej Pavelec was the first star and he’s won four in a row. The buy-low window on him has closed – between that and the new coach, his owners are holding onto him no doubt.

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With two points last night, Alex Goligoski has 16 in his last 32. Not great, but a little more Goligoski-like.

Valeri Nichushkin is pointless in his last six. This, despite still playing with these guys:

16.92%

EV

14 BENN,JAMIE – 43 NICHUSHKIN,VALERI – 91 SEGUIN,TYLER

13.53%

EV

20 EAKIN,CODY – 16 GARBUTT,RYAN – 21 ROUSSEL,ANTOINE

12.03%

PP

14 BENN,JAMIE – 12 CHIASSON,ALEX – 72 COLE,ERIK – 91 SEGUIN,TYLER

11.65%

EV

72 COLE,ERIK – 38 FIDDLER,VERNON – 13 WHITNEY,RAY

11.28%

EV

12 CHIASSON,ALEX – 10 HORCOFF,SHAWN – 17 PEVERLEY,RICH

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For Jacob Trouba, give him four points in his last three games. He’s also plus-9 in his last four. I’ve been recommended him to those who ask in the forum and include him in a bunch of choices. I trust him to continue what he is doing, or only slow down a little.

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Kellan Lain plays 0:02 of his first NHL game and was kicked out of it. Then he plays 5:23 and scores his first NHL goal.

Vancouver coach John Tortorella was suspended for six games for the same incident that got Lain kicked out. Well, actually it was more of an ‘aftermath’ of the incident that cost Torts.

The Oilers were without Yakupov (concussion) and Hemsky (ankle).

Ben Scrivens lost his second start for the Oilers, but stopped 25 of 27.

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Hahahaha this is great. Watch the mini-box on the right (“inside the glass”):

 

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

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LINE COMBOS

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