Ramblings – September 8 2015

Michael Clifford

2015-09-08

A Kopitar bounce-back, draft value for Mark Scheifele, and sitting, waiting, and wishing for Jack Johnson. 

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For those expecting Neil Parker to deliver his Ramblings today, he is on vacation in Toronto, and was fortunate to take in a couple Blue Jays games. We are all jealous, Neil. In the meantime, I will be filling in today for Mr. Parker.

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There is something to be said about consistency in fantasy hockey, and fantasy sports in general. The reason Henrik Lundqvist is drafted pretty much every year among the top three goalies isn’t that he always finishes as one of the top three goalies, but he hasn’t tanked a full year in a long time. Not long ago in these Ramblings, I brought up how Brad Marchand was quietly one of the most consistent scorers in the NHL, and how he’s a safe draft pick in the middle of a draft. He probably won’t explode to be a top-25 forward, but it’s unlikely he finishes very far outside the top-75 forwards, if not inside of them.

Anze Kopitar was one of these players. Last year alone, in a one-year league, it’s almost a certainty that he was an early-to-mid second round pick in 12-team leagues, and possibly slipped in at the very end of the first round.

I mean, from 2009-2015, Kopitar was one just three players to have 20+ goals, 70+ points, and 200+ shots in each of the four 82-game season contained in that stretch. The other two were Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin. Considering he was a double-digit plus in each of those years, and had at least 20 power play points in three of those four, this was as consistent as it got.

Kopitar cratered hard last year. He finished as a minus player (though to be fair, the 2014-2015 Kings may have been the unluckiest team in recent regular season memory), had just 134 shots on goal (59 fewer than his previous career low, which came in his rookie year), and failed to crack the 20 goal mark for the first time in his career (again, in 82-game seasons).

There are two ways to look at this this season. Either Kopitar, who is just 28-years-old and is playing for a contract, bounces back f