Lining Up: Bubble Keeper Week and Potential Line Mates
Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Welcome to Bubble Keeper Week at Dobber Hockey. No this isn’t a PSA to reuse your bubble wrap, it’s an overview of a few players fighting to keep your attention in fantasy hockey leagues. I’ll do my best to provide compelling cases for some of these ‘bubble keepers’ and how their potential line mates greatly increase their value.
After a busy offseason, the Calgary Flames now feature a forward core with many interesting pieces. The dynamic duo of Gaudreau and Monahan have proven time and time again why they’re valuable in fantasy hockey leagues, but what makes them even more valuable is their ability to make those around them better (see: Micheal Ferland from 2017-2018). So, what happens when you take a talented player and play him alongside two very talented players? Well, what I’m hoping for is a similar situation to Dallas’ top line, with Gaudreau – Monahan – Neal being the new Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alex Radulov. It’s been a while since James Neal has played a full season, so I’ll remind you that the last time he played 82 games (2015-2016) he managed 58 points. If he remains healthy and plays with Gaudreau and Monahan this season, I expect nothing less than 55 points. It seems obvious, but I should probably mention that predicting lines for a season that hasn’t yet started is always risky. To cover my bases, I’ll mention Elias Lindholm as another candidate for third wheel on the top line. Now, Lindholm might be a little better than a ‘bubble keeper’, but I figured he should be in the conversation if we’re discussing Calgary’s top line. Once a fifth overall pick in 2013, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of 23-year-old lindholm just yet.