November 4 2015

by Dobber on November 4, 2015

Rambling about INJURIES and lots of them. McDavid…Kopitar…some real heavyweights go down…


Connor McDavid left last night’s game with an injury. Appeared to be shoulder or something worse like his collarbone. More on this below.


I don’t know what more to say about Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg. It’s bordering on the ridiculous. We spend year after year going ga-ga over Sidney Crosby – hyping him up since he was 13 and carrying that through long after he stopped getting 100 points. And yet we see two players in Seguin and Benn who, if healthy, will top 100 points with one-tenth of the fanfare and respect. Yes, they need each other. Alone, I think Benn tops out at 85 points and Seguin at 90. But together, man…

Klingberg is a defenseman who would be 10th in scoring on his own. And that’s great. But with Seguin and Benn to pass to, he’s going to be in top three. What a mistake I made taking Cam Talbot over Klingberg third overall in September. I don’t care how badly I need a goalie, I need to take the sure bet star – and he was a sure thing even before the season started – and worry about overpaying for a goalie later. Lesson learned.

Dallas line combos:

















Of note, Jason Spezza was a right winger and the line obviously clicked. Bad news for Patrick Sharp. But Janmark broke a cold streak by picking up a point.


David Pastrnak is out for what is probably a week with a contusion in his foot. X-Rays were negative, more on this below.

This one makes me squeamish. Chris Kelly is out for the season thanks to this play. Broken leg (fractured femur, to be precise). Kelly is 35 and in the last year of his contract. That could be it for his career:


So the Pastrnak injury led to Alex Khokhlachev getting recalled. And the Kelly injury led to him actually getting some ice time (14:02). Khokhlachev has 13 points in 10 AHL games this year. Despite that and the injuries, he still didn’t get a sniff of PP time.

Colin Miller now has a four-game points streak. Ice time now up over 18 minutes and secondary PP time. Worthy of a waiver claim.


That’s some kind of flu that John Tavares has. Four days? Reminds me of my Cuba flu from a couple of years ago, laid me out for six days. Just horrible luck that this hits him during the one time that the Isles play three times in four days.

Six players on the Islanders were credited with five hits or more last night: Cal Clutterbuck (of course), Steve Bernier, Matt Martin (of course), Anders Lee, Brian Strait and Johnny Boychuk. Isles out-hit the Devils 63-26.


Andre Burakovsky is pointless and minus-6 in his last four games. At this point there is a risk that healthy scratches are on the way. Rookies and sophomores rarely get a lot of rope to work through slumps, especially under Barry Trotz. Burakovsky was minus-3 last night, so the hammer could drop next game.

John Carlson has gone four games without a point. A market correction that brings his numbers back to realism.

Braden Holtby is a good ‘buy low’ goaltender. Sure, his W/L record is decent, but his SV% is only 0.909 thanks to the five goals given up last night. He’s pretty steady at around 0.920 so his numbers will work their way back up there.


With two points last night, Derick Brassard has seven in his last four games. With that big line reunited, and my hunch on Zuccarello having a career season – Brassard will build on his 60-point year of 2014-15.


Now the bombshell.


I’m sorry McDavid owners.

This is scary beyond the short-term, too. Crosby was Johnny Health as a teenager. Injury issues didn’t kick in until after that. McDavid is hurt already – and he was hurt again a year ago for a couple of months –how fearful are you that this becomes a thing? Yes, they’re flukes. But injuries are always flukes. He broke his hand in a fight. He hurt his shoulder (?) collarbone (?) in a collision into the boards. Here is the injury:


Another update for you:


Anton Lander will see some top six ice time I think, but I don’t think he’ll do anything with it. Jordan Eberle is set to return within what I’m guessing is a week.


With just one point in his last five games, look for Sam Gagner to get scratched again soon. Just a hunch.

Before the McDavid injury, Michal Neuvirth was playing awesome. But the Oilers rallied around the injury and went nuts in the third, so Neuvirth allowed two more goals and finishing with 45 saves on 48 shots. Since his two shutouts, he’s played really well but has two losses to show for it.


Jake Allen took the loss last night so I’m guessing the reins get passed back to Brian Elliott. Allen still played great, stopping 31 of 33. And he’s allowed just five goals in his last four games.

Robby Fabbri is pointless in his last five games after scoring in his first NHL game. We’re now six games into his season and I’m starting to think he gets to nine games and then off to junior. Ty Rattie had three more minutes of ice time than Fabbri did, so the signs are pointing to the Blues going with Rattie this year if they need the extra body.


Anze Kopitar left the game against the Blues after taking this elbow to the head courtesy of Ryan Reaves


TJ Brodie has been back for four games now and he has three points and is plus-4. Dennis Wideman has one point in those four games and is minus-9 in that span. He had a great start and had me wondering if I should eat my words, but now he’s back on track – to falter. With Giordano and Brodie healthy and with Hamilton on the team, Wideman’s role isn’t ideal for his skill set anymore. I hope you moved him already. He was minus-4 last game and is minus-8 in three games.

Sam Bennett has points in four consecutive games, six points in that span.      

Karri Ramo has allowed four or five goals in four of his five games this year. Not cool.


Matt Duchene is finally shaking the cobwebs. Two goals last night, three points in two games to give him five on the year. He’s the No.1 guy I’ve been asked about over the past week. Lots of poolies were looking to trade him or had him offered to them. In all cases I said to hold him (or acquire him if offered). I don’t think he goes nuts and gives us a 70-point season, or even 65. But he’s sure as hell better than this and a definite ‘buy low’.


Columbus chased Martin Jones from the game last night after two quick goals to end the second period. He's lost four of his last six now.


Mike Babcock will be the coach of Team Canada in the 2016 World Cup. TSN reports that Joel Quenneville and Claude Julien will assist. Can’t really argue with it. John Tortorella will coach Team USA, Todd McLellan will coach Team North America U23 and Ralph Krueger will coach Team Europe.

I hope everyone enjoys the exhibition for what it is – great hockey – rather than criticize the setup. It’s the best way to pit the best-on-best and have at least some semblance of geographical loyalty from the fans. I hope the tournament is lights-out…so good that it puts the kibosh on shutting the league down for the Olympics. I know I’m in the minority with that sentiment, but I’m truly a fantasy hockey addict: I can’t stand putting my fantasy teams on hold, even to watch tremendous hockey. Maybe I need help…


Patrick Kane’s accuser no longer wants to co-operate with the investigation. If you’ve been reading my work since the summer you’ll know that I generally tried to stay out of this other than strictly fantasy implications. I didn’t pile it on, or assume he was guilty, or state that he shouldn’t go to camp. I just opined that there was a fantasy risk that he could miss some games this year, and otherwise let the facts play out. So it looks like he won’t miss any time this season at all due to legal troubles.


Interesting article here on Sportsnet comparing Eichel vs. Domi vs. McDavid. Keep in mind that the possession chart at the bottom is a reflection of his options compared to the other two. McDavid can pass to some pretty good players, while Eichel and Domi don’t have that luxury. The other charts are very close, too close to draw any conclusions this early in the season but interesting nonetheless.


So…tomorrow. Thursday. Big day here. This happened 10 years ago on November 5 (see the date, and the domain name in this snippet of my email):



And the rest…is history!