Rambling about Dubnyk, Perreault, Gaudreau, Pouliot, Weise, Chris Stewart and a whole lot more…
Devan Dubnyk isn’t off to the greatest start. The fact that he’s getting a lot of wins is a statement on the team and not his play. However, he did get the shutout Saturday. But apparently he felt something “pop” in his knee and didn’t get the start Sunday. But reason No.128 why he’s a safe fantasy own: Darcy Kuemper is terrible. Sorry Darcy, I was a big fan when you were a prospect, but you haven’t been cutting it despite golden opportunities. So Kuemper gets pulled after giving up four goals on 18 shots and a hobbling Dubnyk stops 14 of 15. Dubnyk has actually stopped 56 of his last 59 shots, which is bringing his SV% back in line (currently up to 0.909 now).
Just when Jared Spurgeon was starting to wake up…he goes minus-5 on Sunday.
Quietly, Jason Zucker has points in three straight games and he took five shots on net in the fourth game. His ice time has been significant lately, too. He’s talented, don’t you doubt it:
Blake Wheeler has points in all eight games so far and has four shots on goal in each of his last four games. He’s 29 and in the heart of his prime. Obviously going to have a career year but that doesn’t make him any less of a ‘sell high’. He’s not going to finish with a point-per-game, but he’ll be 70+ for the first time in his career. I’m using him as the enticing part of a bigger package that will help me address other needs.
Drew Stafford has goals in three straight.
Last year Mark Scheifele clicked with Michael Frolik and Mathieu Perreault. With Frolik gone, it’s been Nik Ehlers on that line and that’s a significant upgrade offensively even though Ehlers is a rookie. The line combined for another goal Sunday. The domino effect of the chemistry here is the fact that Mathieu Perreault is a staple. So when Ehlers and Scheifele take the next step to stardom, the skilled Perreault comes along for the ride. His long-term upside gets a bit of a push.
Winnipeg’s line combos last night:
#1 26.4% LADD,ANDREW – LITTLE,BRYAN – WHEELER,BLAKE
#2 26% BURMISTROV,ALEXANDER – LOWRY,ADAM – STAFFORD,DREW
#3 21.6% EHLERS,NIKOLAJ – PERREAULT,MATHIEU – SCHEIFELE,MARK
#4 17.6% COPP,ANDREW – PETAN,NIC – THORBURN,CHRIS
Why I like Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan this season no matter how big a step back the Flames take this year: Johnny Gaudreau. Legitimate star who will put up points no matter what. So Hudler and Monahan, even slumping, will get their share of “gimme” assists.
Emerson Etem got back into the Rangers lineup thanks to a Viktor Stalberg injury. He picked up an assist while stuck on the checking line. Here were the Rangers’ line combos:
#1 22.1% HAYES,KEVIN – LINDBERG,OSCAR – MILLER,J.T.
#2 20.6% BRASSARD,DERICK – FAST,JESPER – KREIDER,CHRIS
#3 19.1% ETEM,EMERSON – MOORE,DOMINIC – STOLL,JARRET
#4 18.6% NASH,RICK – STEPAN,DEREK – ZUCCARELLO,MATS
Oscar Lindberg picked up another point and now has seven. I didn’t see this game, but I suspect that Kevin Hayes was the driver of this line. Lindberg is not a potential scoring-line guy (likely), whereas Hayes most certainly is.
Not that he’s a threat to Henrik Lundqvist the way Lundqvist is playing, but Antti Raanta has won both of his starts now and has allowed just one goal on 45 shots.
Waiting on Alexander Khokhlachev? He’s been a good prospect for the Bruins for several years now, but you’ve been waiting for a sign. Well, how about this – he’s tied for the AHL lead in scoring right now with 11 points in seven games. Here is our lowdown on Khokhlachev.
Last week I made my first two trades in the DobberHockey free fantasy pool over at Office Pools. The first trade window ends November 15 and you have four trades in each window. I’m off to a horrible start between Crosby, Kunitz and about four injuries. I had to replace two of the injuries and I could have burned the other two deals too, but will hold off a little longer. I sit around 1000th! Christmas is approaching and if you’re considering a hockey jersey, give Cool Hockey a look – as a thank you to them for providing three free custom jerseys are part of the prize package.
Fast becoming the best fantasy hockey article each week – because it’s pulling the best bits from the seven best articles each week (!) – 20 Fantasy Thoughts, posted yesterday.
And my Fantasy Mailbag at Sportsnet from Friday – here.
So with three seconds left, this was called “no goal”:
Hopefully you were patient with Milan Lucic. Five points in his last five games, with six hits in last night’s game.
Benoit Pouliot has four points in his last five games. As Connor McDavid wakes up, Pouliot will continue to put points on the board. Don’t leave him sitting on the waiver wire, a worthwhile snag.
Aleksander Barkov is out for a few weeks with a broken hand. On Saturday Nick Bjugstad slid onto his line with Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau. The line combined on two goals Saturday. Not only does Bjugstad get a clear boost here, but Barkov may lose his spot when he gets back. Barkov can still put up points on his own, but obviously it helps to have Huberdeau on his line.
Dale Weise has five points in his last six games and is plus-4 with 11 hits in that span. He plays four games this week, so I actually considered dropping Chris Stewart for him as a one-week grab. Stewart has been an anchor, as have a lot of Ducks. I hate to lose Stewart for nothing and I really want to be patient with him. But his ice time has been declining – he’s not impressing anyone right now. In the end, I decided to pick up Nikolay Kulemin instead of Weise. He’s just a safer player to put up points (and also plays four games).
Evander Kane is out with a knee injury, indefinitely. He has just three points so far and now he’s hurt. I think now is the time to for him. As you can see (if you click his name), he’s a ‘heavy buy’ as far as the luck measuring stats go. His value is too low and it’s time to take advantage. Of course, you’ll have to sit on him until he gets back.
Johan Larsson is a reasonable replacement for him until he does return.