September 22, 2014

Dobber

2014-09-22

Thoughts on Merrill, Heatley, Beau Bennett, Brendan Smith, the domino effect in Columbus at forward – and more …

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Pre-season games? Pre-season games!

Soon there will be pre-season points available, and Frozen Pool has such a report. Click here. When it’s ready with the pre-season games, you simply select “exhibition 2014-15” and off you go.

Just a note about Frozen Pool – right now some of the features will not work if you are logged into DobberHockey. Weird, I know, because it’s supposed to be the opposite of that. But anyway, if you have any trouble with a Frozen Pool tool, simply return to the DobberHockey home page and logout. Then try it.

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Devils defenseman Jon Merrill collided with Ruslan Fedotenko during drills late last week and Merrill was forced to leave, reportedly “feeling woozy“. The team is playing it safe and holding him off the ice. I doubt this causes Merrill to miss much more than a week or so, but it being a concussion you can never know for sure. In the Guide I have him pencilled in for 75-6-24-30 with 28 PIM. In a three-year forecast for him – I have him favored over both Marek Zidlicky and Eric Gelinas, so keeper leagues keep that in mind.

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Not at all unexpected, Dany Heatley is practicing with Getzlaf and Perry in scrimmage sessions. Heatley has completely lost the magic and about the only thing in the NHL that can turn things back around is a Getzlaf-Perry situation like this one. I don’t have my hopes up, but if anything is going to work it will be this. Still, the experiment could be over surprisingly quick. As we saw with Selanne last season, Coach Bruce Boudreau will have little patience for big name vets who aren’t contributing due to an erosion of talent.

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It’s early of course, but Danny Cleary has been playing with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen and apparently showing no signs of knee problems. NHL.com reports that Coach Mike Babcock has been impressed with his play. However, if he forces his way into the lineup (and on a scoring line, at that), this is to the detriment of talented youngsters such as Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan. I’m all for kids “earning it”, but I get the sense that even if they earn it…they won’t earn it. Nyquist will never spend time in the press box, but I can see Tatar and/or Sheahan there once in awhile in the first month. Even though they won’t deserve it. Sounds ridiculous I know. But when a team signs too many vets, this is the result. One of the tougher teams to project for, that’s for sure.

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Dmitry Orlov is still sidelined with a broken wrist suffered back in May at the Worlds. But there is no pain in the wrist no