Ramblings: Dougie Hamilton, Second-Half Superstar (Feb 9)

steve laidlaw



In yesterday’s ramblings I referenced being high on Boston as one of six teams to play 11 games during the standard head-to-head playoff run from March 5-25. You can use FrozenPool’s fantasy game planner to plan ahead.

Generally, I don’t quibble over the number of games from a star player, because I know I’ll be using him for every game possible. Nine games out of Nikita Kucherov are likely going to be better than 11 games out of a lesser player. In a perfect world, your best players are ones with jam-packed schedules though. Stars off of teams like Boston, Dallas, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Anaheim offer a ton of value in the head-to-head playoffs on teams skating 10 or 11 games, but particularly because of their off-night value.

The most packed nights are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Of Boston’s 11 games, only six occur on those packed nights. So they offer five off-nights. That’s good, but in terms of off-nights Calgary, Dallas, Vancouver and Anaheim each give you eight! Pittsburgh isn’t far off with seven off-night games. Having players off these teams will not only help you get a lot of games, but it will also make it easier to fit in waiver wire pickups from teams who may not have the same favourable off-night schedule.

If you’re staring down a swap as the deadline approaches do factor this in. Of course, you also need to project ahead. The last thing you want is to buy a player trending down.

For instance, in my trade talks from yesterday, where the Henrik Lundqvist owner wanted to bring in some extra help, asking for one of my Carter Hutton, Connor Hellebuyck or Andrei Vasilevskiy. He had forward talent to offer. I asked for one of Kucherov, Johnny Gaudreau or Jonathan Marchessault for Hutton. He balked, countering with one of Brock Boeser or Travis Konecny.

Those are two good players, but I ain’t having it. Boeser even fits the logic of getting a player with 11 games during the H2H playoffs, with a hefty off-night schedule. Maybe I should have jumped on him, but I don’t like where his season is headed. He’s certainly a player who will shoot a high percentage for his career, but the whole shooting above 25% for two straight months thing is dead in the water. Even after scoring last night he has just nine points in 15 games since the start of January.

I don’t know that this is “the rookie wall”, but I do think there’s some regression kicking in. I also suspect that since he was named an All-Star that he is the guy opponents are focusing greater atten