Ramblings: Sergachev’s breakout; Mantha vs. W. Karlsson; Hughes, Kakko and then? (June 12)


The last hockey day of the 2018-19 season!

Tonight marks a night that we’ve all experienced dozens (or if you’re me – hundreds) of times in our driveways growing up. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. And if it precisely matches the dream driveway scenario, it's going to overtime as well.


Two of my keeper leagues have a playoff component, and those teams are built around the playoffs. I am the two-time defending postseason champion in both (one league just finished 29th year, other league just finished 19th). These whacked-out, messed-up playoff results have ended my shot at three-peats in both (unless Brad Marchand somehow gets three points tonight without Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo getting any).




And so without further ado, taking your fantasy hockey questions…

Two tweets from @lusshouse for this first one:

Salary Cap league, 2pts for W, 2pts for SO.

Rank these G based on their $$/pts:

Price at 15M

Crawford at 5M

Koskinen at 5.2M

Howard at 4M

And in which bracket would you consider Binnington the top name of this list?  In which bracket is he not your top name? Just for context, in case you want it.  I've owned Crawford for years.  Someone dropped Price last year after he signed + Habs finished bottom 3.  Others are free at the draft.  Will need to decide this summer if I hold on Crawford or not.

I would expect Carey Price to match what he did last year, which is 80 points under your system or 5.33 points per million. For Corey Crawford, given his situation, I would take 60% of his expected full-season production. To be conservative. That’s about 45 points, or nine points per million. With upside and downside. Mikko Koskinen is another wildcard. One of these years the Oilers are going to get it right and they don’t plan to give us a heads up. We’ve just fallen into this habit of giving them a projection of 80 points, or maybe a slight improvement, and every year they fall short. Well, one year they’re going to get 100 points and they won’t gradually work their way up to it either. But let’s play it safe and assume an 80-point team again. Let’s also assume they don’t sign a goalie, which would be a mistake. But Koskinen is making big bucks and they’ll keep throwing him out there, win or lose. I’d give him 60 points or 11.5 points per million. Jimmy Howard, I don’t see why his numbers would change one iota, other than maybe give him a shutout (he actually had zero this season). So give him 46 points or 11.5 per million. This leaves Jordan Winnington, who may sign for $5.5 million or perhaps as much as $7.5 million? Seems crazy, but he’s a Top 3 Conn Smythe candidate and Calder candidate. I’m leaning high here, call it $7 million and I think 70 points – or 10 per million.

So Binnington is the top name on this list at say $6 million or less, but as it sneaks over the $7 million mark he slides to third if we’re talking cap value.


Mikhail Sergachev. Four years from now, unless Victor Hedman sustains a 20-games-plus injury before then.


Karlsson followed up a 78-point season with 56 points. His 5on5 S% was 10.6% in 2017-18 which was too high. Last year it was 8.5%, more inline or maybe a tad low. However, the arrival of Mark Stone has pushed the Vegas top line down to a 1B or even second-line scenario. I think Karlsson hovers in the low 60s for points, bouncing between 58 and 67 in each of his next three or four years. It’s worth noting that in his final 26 regular season and playoff games he had 22 points, which is a 70-point pace with Stone on board. From what I’ve heard, I don’t think Karlsson will be traded and I would not count on that. But stranger things have happened.

Anthony Mantha had 33 points in his last 38 games and clicked with Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin like nobody’s business down the stretch. He is a bit of an injury risk that Karlsson is not, but if Mantha plays 80 games I say he tops 70 points. He gets more Hits than Karlsson, but fewer BLKS and Karlsson gets faceoffs. I think I take Karlsson since the points will be close (maybe lose seven or eight here), but Karlsson takes faceoffs and if Paul Stastny gets hurt I wonder if Karlsson gets moved to Stone’s line.


McDavid, MacKinnon and Barrie are the safe picks. Gustafsson if you want to be a little risky. For goalies, Bishop for safe and Winnington for the risk. If it’s me, I try one risk and one non – so Jordan Binnington and Tyson Barrie.


I’ll begin with a note about players in these situations. I’m referring to players in their mid- to late-20s, regular and proven 50-point defensemen, with stud Golden Boys arriving or recently arrived. Here’s the note: they have nothing to fear. Nothing. Barrie is in his prime and coming off 116 points over the last two years. He won’t lose a second of opportunity or ice time to the new kid. Unless and until Cale Makar out-produces him even though Makar sees less PP time, Barrie is fine. Same with Torey Krug.

Barrie vs. Krug: Both players have the same upside and expected production. Both players are a good bet to miss 10 games next season and every season (until they start proving otherwise again). Both players are signed for next year and then they become UFA’s, and the two players are of similar age (within three months of each other). Same two-year PPPts, both have scored 14 goals before. I wouldn’t care which one I owned, I have absolutely no preference. Rarely do we see two more closely matched players. Whenever this happens to my decision making, I see if I can trade down, or trade the player who gives me more return…just try to benefit in some way from my lack of preference. Does this make sense? For example, at the draft if it’s Player A or Player B, I always take the guy I am more certain someone will take before it gets back to me. Or I’ll trade down and just take whichever of the two slips to me (while benefitting from trading down). I love the ‘I don’t care’ decisions, they’re the best.

Pro Tip: After I looked at each player’s page individually, I went to Info/Analysis and in the little box there I typed “Krug” – was instantly given player-over-player charts and graphs comparing the two directly, stat by stat. Crazily similar. Anyway, it’s a great tool for when you are making these decisions.



All this and more in the Fantasy Prospects Report!

For all 13 editions of this Report I have had my Top 25 forwards for points-only leagues side-by-side against my key prospect guy. The first few years this was Matt Bugg, and later Brendan Ross followed by Peter Harling. This year it’s Cam Robinson. The two of us have Hughes and Kakko going one and two. We both have Cole Caufield next in terms of points-only fantasy value. I then had Alex Turcotte and Dylan Cozens. Who did Cam have? Pick up the Prospects Report. You buy the Fantasy Guide anyway, just get the Keeper League Fantasy Pack for another six bucks and you get the Prospects Report. The rest of our Top 25 are in there.


This is a rumor that is out there, and further down the timeline of this tweet a reported rumor had Shayne Gostisbehere to Montreal for Paul Byron and Andrew Shaw. Now there is obviously more to the rumored deal than just that (picks, salary, prospects to be sure), but that’s the NHL meat of it anyway. I can see Gostisbehere being traded, given Philly’s depth on defense (with more NHL-ready prospects on the way). If he’s traded it would center around cap space (possibly the most important of any deal – cap space is gold). Byron and Shaw do not make sense here because the Flyers actually gain salary and a lot of it. I strongly doubt this deal happens because the Flyers can’t even add a salary dump to make it worth their while (they can just buy out Andrew MacDonald, who is in his last year at $5 million).

But onto your question. What would it mean? Well, Travis Sanheim would turn into gold. Sanheim will do well regardless – I really liked how he got 22 points in the second half and I think he can do that (44 points) full season in 2019-20. But with Ghost gone, I can see Sanheim surprising everyone with something into the 50s. He’d make a great dark horse.


The NHL Competition Committee put together the following recommendations for rule changes in the season ahead. Hooray, expanded video review…

Expanded Video Review/Coach’s Challenge – The Committee recommends changes to the Coach’s Challenge and expanded video review, including as it relates to a Referee’s ability to review some of his own calls on the ice. Recommendations will be prepared for the League’s Board of Governors, General Managers and the NHLPA’s Executive Board.


Helmets Off During Play – The Committee recommends work on a rule construct for implementation next season that would reasonably require a player to leave the ice in the event his helmet comes off during play.


Goalies Unnecessarily Freezing Puck – The Committee recommends that the defensive team not be permitted a line change when a goalie freezes the puck on any shot from outside the center red line. The offensive team will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place.


Face-off Procedure Changes/Line Changes – The Committee recommends: i) that following an icing, the offensive team will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place. ii) To begin a power-play, the offensive team will have the choice of which end-zone dot the face-off will take place. iii) That no line change be permitted for the defending team if, in the judgment of the Official, the actions of a skater of the defensive team caused the stoppage by unintentionally knocking the net off. The offensive team will have the choice of which end-zone dot the face-off will take place.


Puck Out of Bounds – The Committee recommends that when the attacking team is responsible for the puck going out of play in the attacking zone, all face-offs will be conducted at one of the two face-off dots in the attacking zone.


Regular Season Tie-breakers – The Committee recommends adoption of a proposal that would modify existing regular season tie-breaking procedures and adding additional criteria.



In the forum, in this thread, I announced the players I decided to add into the Fantasy Prospects Report . On Saturday I already put in three new profiles. The other nine will be in this week. I also collected all 31 players we ranked as a “blue-chip prospect” to draft, and put them into a convenient chart just before the 2019 Draft section. So that update is in as well. To get any update, simply re-download the document and it will be the updated one.


See you Monday.