April 14, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-04-14

I updated the Interactive Playoff Draft List last night with the latest injuries. It wasn’t after the games were completely final, so there will be one final update later today. Buy it here for just $8.99

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Breaking: Nashville Coach Barry Trotz will not be back with the Preds next year. Analysis to come

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The 2013-14 NHL season is over. How did you do?

For closure, I’ll discuss my Forecaster league, since many of the last few Monday’s I’ve rambled about it and I’d hate to leave you hanging. Last Monday I posted this on my league chat:

“Ovechkin… Giroux… St.Louis …Anderson – DOGS. All a bunch of dogs. Woof.”

My lead had been cut to two points and those guys did neither jack, nor squat. Then as you saw in the Wednesday ramblings all four of those guys had huge nights and vaulted so far ahead that he didn’t have much of a chance. I finished with a 20-point win for the three-peat. The moral? The players you own on your fantasy team hear you. They can hear you cursing them out and they step up their game accordingly.

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I hung onto third in my other keeper, and in my 25-year keeper I finished sixth. But that’s the end of a rebuild and I probably love that team the most right now – Malkin, Kopitar, Neal, MacKinnon, Nyquist, Letang, Dupuis, Toffoli, Turris, Granlund, Yandle, on and on… just a flawless team for that type of league. Can’t wait for next year. And for the team that finished third – it ‘had’ been a three-horse race but I dropped out at the deadline because the guy who won… gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It set me up to compete for first for years to come. So again I say – I can’t wait for next year. To win all three keeper leagues in the same year is something I’ve never done, and I plan to pull all the stops to make it happen.

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Hey, remember the app I released last year? Well, it’s still going. Just a reminder. It’s a free app and right now you can download it (iPhone here, Android here) and get the ramblings on your phone. The long-term plan is (maybe by next season?) to get my monthly rankings in there and at your leisure you just type a player’s name and it will give you his ranking – great for quick trade research when you’re on the go. I’ll be meeting with the app guy in the coming weeks to finalize that.

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I put together a couple of box pools – free – that you can print up and pass around the workplace, for those who feel like running a playoff pool with casual hockey fans. Pick that up here.

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And hey – there was some hockey Sunday, too.

First, the bad. Tough way to end the season – especially when he was having a great game. Daniel Sedin taken off the ice on a stretcher after this hit:

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Before Pavel Datsyuk returned, Gustav Nyquist had 36 points in 28 games.

After Datsyuk returned, Nyquist has two points in six games.

His ice time and PP time are similar, but maybe he just needs to be counted on…and loses that edge when he’s not?

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Riley Sheahan ends the season with points in three games in a row and he has 24 on the season. That’s almost as many as Abdelkader in nearly half the games. I had often compared the two in terms of upside, but Sheahan has made it clear that he can produce more than Abdelkader. I can see him with 35 next year as a full-time Red Wing. Long-term, I think he can be a low-60s power forward. More, if he plays with Nyquist throughout his career.

Here’s more on Sheahan, for quick reference.

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Petr Mrazek got a surprise start and earned the shutout. Auditioning for the backup role next year I think. I believe the Wings are sick of Gustavsson always getting hurt, and will let him go.

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Ryan Miller lost five straight games to end the season… as opposed to the winning-five-straight thing that I had speculated on a couple of weeks ago and reaching the 30 mark. Now the Blues play the Blackhawks in the first round. Does it get any worse? The Blues have this dream team… my pick to win the Cup… and now they make me have second thoughts. I mean… a (what I thought was a slam-dunk) Cup favorite going out first round?

Miller is a slam-dunk 40-win goalie next year if he re-signs with the Blues. But that ain’t gonna happen if the Hawks put them out first round. In which case, suddenly, Miller’s fantasy value takes a massive hit when he signs with another team. So much riding on this series for Miller owners.

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Jaden Schwartz ended the season meekly, with just five points in his last 15 games.

Ty Rattie made his NHL debut Friday, but was pointless and minus-2 in his two games. St. Louis line combos Sunday:

 

20.19%

EV

15 AUCOIN,KEITH – 79 CRACKNELL,ADAM – 32 PORTER,CHRIS

12.02%

EV

40 LAPIERRE,MAXIM – 29 OTT,STEVE – 75 REAVES,RYAN

9.13%

EV

29 OTT,STEVE – 9 SCHWARTZ,JADEN – 20 STEEN,ALEXANDER

6.25%

EV

12 ROY,DEREK – 9 SCHWARTZ,JADEN – 20 STEEN,ALEXANDER

5.29%

EV

26 JASKIN,DMITRIJ – 18 RATTIE,TY – 12 ROY,DEREK

 

And consider…not going to Daily Faceoff or other sites for the line combos – I have them right here for free, even for games in progress. Please and thank you!

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From several sources – the Devils will retain Peter DeBoer as their coach next season.

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Brad Marchand had 45 points in the last 59 games, including nine in the last eight, to salvage a 53-point season. If you bought low on him in early November, you reaped the rewards.

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With two more assists last night, Jaromir Jagr ends the season with 67 points. He finished 27th in league scoring. He passed Gordie Howe for eighth place on the all-time list for assists.

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Jason Akeson played his second career game for the Flyers last night and picked up his second career point. He’s underrated and he’s also the…what’s the opposite of Golden Boy? I need a name for that. Anyway, he went through the draft a couple of times and nobody took him. Scored like crazy in junior (but plenty of players do that and go nowhere) and he leads Adirondack in scoring. He has to produce with what little opportunities he gets if he ever wants to stick.

More on Akeson here.

Great playoff pick if you like the Flyers – Mark Streit. Points in six straight to end the campaign, 10 points in those games with two assists Sunday.

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Anders Lee had three goals in the last two games to end the season. He played 22 games and had 14 points (nine goals) so he’s still rookie eligible. And as I said the other day in the forum, he’s my pick for a Calder sleeper next year.

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With a four-point game, Craig Smith ends the season with 52 points. Still fell a point short of Hornqvist and four shy of Weber for leading the Preds in scoring. Eight points in his last four games.

Hilarious how the Predators scored 14 goals in the last two games and went 9-1-2 in the last 12. It’s enough to save Barry Trotz’s job, as now their record gives the illusion that they were in the playoff race.

Calle Jarnkrok may have picked up three more points Sunday and had nine in 12 games, but don't be under the illusion that he’ll be a top-line player even on the Preds. He’s a second-line, two-way guy with reasonable upside on most teams but on a Trotz team I doubt he could ever get 60. And next year I’d be shocked if he got 45.

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Johnny Gaudreau (and Bill Arnold, for that matter) played his first NHL game for the Flames. He scored their only goal, too. I’m still thinking he’ll be a couple of years, like Nathan Gerbe was. But that’s a great start.

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Nick Bonino – nice goal here. And by ‘nice’ I mean ‘lucky’

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I submitted my NHL Award picks to Puck Daddy for an upcoming article. I’ll post my awards here for you to agree with and compliment and bask in my brilliance. Or something like that:

Dobber’s award nominees:

Hart: Crosby

Seguin, Kopitar

Crosby’s walking away with this, and the gap between him and any other player is ridiculous. But I want to give props to Seguin, who arrived in Dallas and was a key (along with the coach) to driving the Stars into the postseason. Finishing fourth in league scoring isn’t too shabby either. And I also vote for Kopitar because, to be frank, without him the Kings would score around 12 goals this year. He had 70 points and the Kings scored 206 goals (six teams with fewer).

Vezina: Varlamov

Rask, Bishop

I’d have Varlamov fourth in Hart voting, too. The Avalanche won 57 games in the last two seasons and Varlamov just won 41 himself. Rask has better numbers, but he’s also playing behind some stud defensemen. Varly often may as well have been playing behind the ticket vendor and the credit-card sign-up girl. As for Bishop – if he didn’t miss the last three-plus games with an injury, this would have been a very tight three-man race. He had a shot at 40 wins.

Norris: Hedman

Keith, Karlsson

I’m sure Keith wins this, but Hedman has my vote. He got better as the season went on, notching 48 points in his last 57 games. I don’t believe the Lightning get into the playoffs without Hedman. I do believe Chicago can get into the playoffs without Keith.

Calder: MacKinnon

Palat, Trouba

MacKinnon led all rookies in points, Palat led all rookies in plus/minus and Trouba led all freshmen in average ice time. Full credit to Palat who came on strong and made this one close after MacKinnon was walking away with it.

Adams: Roy

Babcock, Boudreau

The debate over Roy vs. Babcock to many is a close one, but not to me. Roy took a terrible Avalanche team and with the only differences being a hotshot rookie and a healthy goalie, he made them the third best team in the league? Sure, Babcock spearheaded Detroit into the playoffs with their two superstars out of the lineup, but could he do that with a normal farm system? I mean…when those guys got hurt, he just turned to Gustav Nyquist.

Selke: Bergeron

Kopitar, Crosby

Bergeron won 58.6% of his faceoffs and he led the league in faceoff wins with 1015. He also averaged two minutes per game killing penalties and was second in the NHL with a plus-38 rating. His 23.99 on-ice Corsi was behind only Kopitar and Justin Williams. Honorable mentions to Sean Couturier, who led all forwards in short-handed ice time, and Antoine Vermette.

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Still with Puck Daddy, Darren Kennedy made his Puck Daddy debut Saturday, on behalf of DobberHockey, with a couple of articles –

Playoff Busts

Playoff Sleepers

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Goodbye, Martin Brodeur (stick with it after 1:20):

 

UPCOMING GAMES

Apr 04 - 13:04 NYR vs CHI
Apr 04 - 15:04 COL vs STL
Apr 04 - 16:04 ARI vs WPG
Apr 04 - 19:04 TOR vs MTL
Apr 04 - 19:04 BUF vs PHI
Apr 04 - 19:04 BOS vs CAR
Apr 04 - 19:04 FLA vs WSH
Apr 04 - 19:04 OTT vs PIT
Apr 04 - 19:04 NYI vs N.J
Apr 04 - 19:04 DET vs T.B
Apr 04 - 20:04 NSH vs MIN
Apr 04 - 22:04 VAN vs VGK
Apr 04 - 22:04 CGY vs EDM
Apr 04 - 22:04 S.J vs ANA
Apr 04 - 22:04 L.A vs DAL

STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency PIT Players
21.5% SIDNEY CROSBY CONOR SHEARY JASON ZUCKER
20.5% EVGENI MALKIN PATRICK MARLEAU BRYAN RUST
18.5% TEDDY BLUEGER SAM LAFFERTY BRANDON TANEV

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