Every Sunday, we share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Alexander MacLean, and Dobber
1. Happy New Year, and all the best to you in the coming year! I know we were hoping that 2021 would turn out better than 2020, and it looked like it would for a while. We can at least try to think positive and hope we will be out of the woods sometime in 2022, but we are clearly not there yet. COVID continues to inconvenience our personal lives and make hockey season less enjoyable. So much for the World Juniors.
There’s also the matter of our fantasy hockey rosters. I’ve chatted with a few people who say they are close to bailing on the season already because of all the game postponements and players entering COVID protocol on top of the usual injuries. Although I have to admit that I didn’t want to look at my fantasy rosters during the extended holiday break, I’m not ready to throw in the towel. As Winston Churchill once said, if you’re going through hell, keep going. (jan1)
2. Looking back on this year in hockey, it was been, in a word, absurd. We had the intra-divisional play season last year that was off-and-on all season long with COVID outbreaks. Then we had playoffs stretch well into July. The 2021-22 season started this year relatively problem-free, but the last month or so has been a disaster for a lot of teams.
Of course, the absurdity brought a lot of good. We saw Connor McDavid go absolutely supernova at the end of last season, a run that we haven’t seen in decades. We also saw a Canadian team head to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since the aughts, and the rise of numerous young stars like Makar, Kaprizov, Fox, Shesterkin, and Tkachuk, to name a few. We saw Trevor Zegras setup one of the most unique goals in hockey history, and we saw McDavid (there he is again) roast an entire team from a standstill. Again, it’s easy to focus on the negative because there has been a lot, but there’s been so much fun in the NHL, too. (dec30)
3. To no one’s surprise, McDavid-Draisaitl-Matthews were on the podium for most points in the 2021 calendar year. What may surprise some people is that Brad Marchand finished fourth. Behind him were another pair of wingers in Mikko Rantanen and Jonathan Huberdeau.
One of the reasons why it might surprise some that Marchand is fourth is that he’s missed a handful of games this year and, quite frankly, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak haven’t been monster producers. Pastrnak’s points-per-game mark in 2021 is a four-year low while Bergeron is well under a PPG himself. A couple years ago, each player on this line was over the PPG mark. That has all changed for a couple of them, but not Marchand.
It is fair to point out that Bergeron is in his age-36 season while Marchand is 33. It could be a genui