October 16, 2014

steve laidlaw


Fantasy Hockey Ramblings. What to expect from TJ Brodie, Andrew Shaw, Brad Richards, Mikkel Boedker, Simon Gagne and more…




There is quite the goalie battle taking place in Calgary right now. Karri Ramo is 2-0 having given up just two goals in each of his outings. Now Jonas Hiller has responded with a huge 49-save effort stealing a win from the Chicago Blackhawks.


Seriously, the Blackhawks owned the Flames in this one but Hiller was magnificent. Not that he made many outrageous saves, he just chewed up a ton of rubber.


You can probably blame the Blackhawks for their own ineptitude as well. They went 0/6 on the power play to open the game before finally getting one on their seventh man-advantage just to force overtime. Obviously they aren't worried about this loss. Those are the breaks sometimes.


Back to Calgary. TJ Brodie is garnering a ton of attention right now. He notched an assist (his fifth point through five games) on Mikael Backlund's overtime winner and has looked solid. Brodie is also skating huge minutes alongside Mark Giordano, which is positive.


I'm not sold yet. I don't know that there's room on this team for more than one big scorer on the blueline and my top candidate would be the aforementioned Giordano. I also like Dennis Wideman ahead of Brodie though it's Brodie on the top power play unit right now, not Wideman.


Wideman, by the way, scored his first goal of the season last night.


Anyways, we'll see how strong an offense that Calgary can boast. They currently sit 20th at 2.40 goals per game. It's too early to draw conclusions but that ranking is in line with where they were last season (23rd and 2.46). That suggests Brodie has been fairly fortunate to have five points to his name thus far.


It is worth mentioning that Nashville managed two 40-point defensemen (Shea Weber and Roman Josi) last season while ranking not much higher than Calgary in goals per game. The Predators had a much better power play though, so that's something worth monitoring in Calgary. They currently sit middle of the pack at 18.8% efficiency.


If Giordano can do his best impersonation of Weber, I could see Brodie reaching 40 but it's likely Giordano and Brodie come up short here. I'm putting Brodie down for 35 after this early start.


Another guy off to a hot start is Joe Colborne with five assists in five games. Sorry, I'm not buying it. He's skating predominantly with Johnny Gaudreau and Mason Raymond and seeing second unit power play time. That's just not the type of opportunity where a guy maintains a good scoring pace. It wouldn't shock me at all if we didn't see him score again fo