Ramblings – Digging into Tom Wilson, Trocheck, Driedger, a (super in-depth) look at DeAngelo and lots more (Feb 08)

Dobber

2021-02-08

Erik Gustafsson has four points in his last five games, though there's a healthy scratch mixed in there. Still, his production is up significantly over last season thanks to a bit of luck (5on5 S% at 13.4). One thing I've noticed is that earlier on he was paired up on the power play with another defenseman, but lately he's been on the power play as the lone D. I noted here last year that Gustafsson doesn't do well in a three-forwards/two-defensemen PP unit. He's best when he's solo. So keep an eye on the situation.

Scott Laughton's hat trick gives him nine points in 13 games this year. The checking-line center has been sneakily increasing his fantasy value year over year, posting a points-per-game average of 0.25, 0.39, 0.55 and now 0.69. I don't think he maintains the latter pace, but he will exceed last year's 0.55. And he's doing it without PP time and just 15 minutes of ice time each game. He's starting to have fantasy appeal in more and more leagues.

Joel Farabee, by the way, picked up his third game of three-or-more points this season. He has 10 points in three of his games, and two points in the other 10.

James van Riemsdyk is now on a seven-game points streak, with 13 points in that span. He already has 18 points on the season (13 games). Last year he got his 18th point in Game 35. The 31-year-old obviously still has gas in the tank. And on a line with Laughton and Farabee is helping all three of them. If this line is doing this and the Flyers can get the likes of Travis Konecny and Oskar Lindblom going, this is a scary team with big scoring threats on three lines.

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The Alex Ovechkin line continues to dominate. In fact, I think right now they are better than ever. Not because Ovechkin has improved. Actually, Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are finally declining just a little (emphasis on little). No, it's actually because Tom Wilson is peaking. The 6-4, 220-pound power forward finally came into his own late in 2017-18 and into the playoffs. In the Fantasy Guide of 2018 I strongly pushed that a breakout was on the way and he delivered. Were it not for a suspension that year he would have topped 50 points. Then last year a pandemic stopped him from crossing that threshold. Now he's taking that production a little further. He's 26 years old and that's getting close to the sweet spot for big players. With a shortened season. I think he can stay prett