Ramblings: Ranking Young Defenders, Bolts Third Line, Solving RoR & MacKinnon (Aug. 18)

Cam Robinson

2020-08-18

I believe it was in the middle of the 17th overtime frame in Game 1 of the Bolts – Jackets series that I said whoever won that game would win the series. Well, that prediction is looking clean at this point. On Monday morning, Tampa Bay grabbed a commanding 3-1 series lead over the club that swept them a year ago.

The 2-1 victory was won on the backs of some timely goals and solid goaltending. Brayden Point has been a beast in this series – especially with Steven Stamkos remaining on the shelf. But I want to talk about the Lightning's third line. Blake Coleman, Yanne Gourde and Barclay Goodrow have been a force at even-strength. 

That trio has controlled a ridiculous 74 percent of the shots on goal while on the ice and 82 percent of the high-danger chances (14-3). They also chipped in for five points in the massive game four victory.

Those aren't the types of players who win you fantasy leagues. But they sure as shit help a team push deep into the playoffs and allow your big gunners more games to hit the high notes. 

 

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Very quickly on Point, he saw his pace fall from 95 to 80 points this past season. That drop came almost exclusively via a dip in secondary assists. In 2018-19 he had 23 A2s in 79 games. This year in 66 contests he had just 12. On the flip side, he matched his 27 primary assists in 13 fewer games.

Secondary helpers are the most volatile stat to replicate year-over-year. Primary assist rates trending upwards are another story altogether. Playing alongside Nikita Kucherov should help keep him A1’s up. If he can ride a little luck on the secondary wave, I don’t see a reason he can’t get back into the 90-point realm next season.

He’s one of the quietest elite assets out there.

 

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We still don’t have any official word on the severity of injury to Andrei Svechnikov. However, as the Canes took on the Bruins in a crucial game 4, Svech was up in the stands with a boot on his leg. We all could’ve guessed it’ll be a bit.

Carolina sure could have used him in this one too.

The Canes jumped out to a 2-0 lead that held until midway through the third period. That is until the Bruins flipped the switch. Four goals in less than seven minutes. The end result was a 4-3 Boston victory and a 3-1 series lead.

In the middle of that run of goals, Jordan Staal was blown up by Charlie McAvoy. He went to the room.

&nbs