Ramblings: Dobber’s early-season notes (Oct 08)




Late draft? Pick up the Fantasy Guide! Last update was October 3 and since nothing major has happened since that date, that is where I’m calling it this year. Shortly, in Frozen Tools, we will have an “on pace” row for each player so you can review what each of their stats are on pace for over 82 games. We had that in the old version, we’ll be bringing that back.


I was bullish on Thomas Chabot in the Guide, bumping him up to 42 points after the Erik Karlsson trade. But from what I saw on Saturday I wonder if he shoots past that mark by the middle of March. Very composed and mature, and six moves ahead of everyone else. Then again, it was the Leafs’ defense he was up against so I’ll reserve judgment for a few more games. But man, so far so good.


The debate of Elias Lindholm vs. James Neal was never really a debate in my mind, but I’ve seen too many hockey writers assume that Neal would be Johnny Gaudreau’s linemate that it created this imaginary debate. Long-time hockey fans and writers have a lot respect for James Neal. That’s the ticket that gets punched when you tally 80 points in a season – once you do that, you’re considered “can’t miss” for years, even though you’re frequently missing. Neal had 81 points playing with Evgeni Malkin back in 2011-12. Since then, he hasn’t topped 62 points and is usually around 45 points thanks to injuries holding him to 70 or 75 games. This is over five seasons with three different teams, and this is clearly a well-established second-line number. Meanwhile, Lindholm is seven years younger, on the rise, he shoots right (which is what the Gaudreau line needs) and can play center as a backup to Sean Monahan. Two games into the season, Neal is still finding his way on one of the other lines (third line with Derek Ryan on Saturday), he has one point and is averaging 16:43 of ice time. Lindholm is on the top line, has three points and is averaging 21 minutes per game. In my Keep 12, back in September I traded Ryan Johansen for a draft pick so that I could make Lindholm my keeper over him.  Any lingering doubts you have over Lindholm and what he will do this season, you can probably start letting them go.


I grabbed Austin Czarnik in two of my leagues, late (almost the last pick in one) because I felt that the Flames pursued him hard, signed him early and promised him certain things for signing him such as ice time and PP time. To me, that says that they have scouted him, done their homework and brought him in to succeed. So he will