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. A couple of years ago, I posted this article and was asked to provide updated thoughts by a reader. Checking that article again, I found it interesting. Seeing the value of players then versus now. I thought I nailed it, though Adam Fox is obviously no longer a “long shot”. Hey – at least I mentioned him!
The arrival of Cale Makar, Fox, and to a lesser extent Quinn Hughes, has really changed the way teams are running their offense. I thought this was coming a decade ago, but it needed elite young defensemen to arrive and seize the league by the jockstrap and force the matter. And now, in this copycat league, you are seeing teams not only place high value in puck-moving defensemen, but using the ones they already have in more of an offensive manner (see Ekblad, Aaron). Because of this shift, I was forced to increase this list from the 20 names that I had here two years ago. We’re going with a nice, even 28!
So let’s dig in on the defensemen circa 2022 here… (feb7)
2. The first game of the Jay Woodcroft era resulted in the Oilers benefitting from the new coach bounce, as they finished with a 3-1 win over the Islanders. Mike Smith made his third start of the week his best start of the week, stopping 37 of 38 shots in earning his first win since mid-October. Dave Tippett was well-known for leaning heavily on Smith dating back to their days in Dallas and in particular Arizona, but don’t expect Smith to receive anything like back-to-back starts under Woodcroft as he had under Tippett earlier this week. That means we could see more Stuart Skinner, at least while Mikko Koskinen is in COVID protocol. Woodcroft should be very familiar with Skinner from their days in AHL Bakersfield. (feb12)
3. Evan Bouchard had the most-searched profile on Frozen Tools as of Friday, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention him here. Bouchard had already taken on the first-unit power play duties for a few games, and he should be able to maintain that in the short term since he also has experience with Woodcroft and new assistant coach Dave Manson in the AHL. Although Bouchard does not have a point in his past four games, Tyson Barrie does not have a point in his past 11 games. Barrie is on pace for just 36 points, his fantasy value sinking like a stone and not showing signs of making an immediate recovery. (