November 2 2015

by Dobber on November 2, 2015

Rambling about Versteeg, Desharnais, Condon, Ullmark, a couple of hot AHL prospects and more…

***

Another reason to love Tampa Bay – if their key guys start blowing it, they have such amazing depth that they can just create other key guys. Triplets aren’t scoring? Well, how about Vladislav Namestnikov. Ben Bishop not inspiring? Well how about Andrei Vasilevskiy?

On Sunday it was the latter that inspired. Vasilevskiy was average between the pipes in his season debut, stopping 32 of 35 shots. But Steven Stamkos played a great game and the Triplets line woke up with three points each. This could be the catalyst to finally kick them into gear.

Tampa dressed Tye McGinn for his first game with his new club (he actually played his brother Brock, with Carolina). Both McGinns were pointless.

Jonathan Drouin has missed three games now with an LBI. He had six points in five games to start the season and I wonder if he tried playing through the injury after that, causing his slump…

*

Man, I had a feeling Kris Versteeg would do this. Same as the splash he made when he arrived in Florida, he’s doing it again in Carolina. Three points last night give him 10, which leads the team. He had 54 points in 71 games for Florida that first year but if you remember – prior to his injury he was nearly a point per game. It was only upon returning that he hit a wall for the last three or four weeks. I’d like to see a healthy year so he can put all the crap behind him. I wouldn’t bet on it, but I’d like to see it. For now, I’ll assume he’ll play what I had him in the Guide for – 67 games. I had him in there at 41 points but after this hot start I’m comfortable with bumping that up above 50. So if he played the full 82 games, which would pro-rate to 61 points.

Last year Versteeg played with Patrick Kane and had 27 points in 34 games before suffering an injury.

*

Victor Rask also tallied three points, giving him eight on the season and that’s good for second on the team.

*

David Desharnais is racking up the points not playing with Max Pacioretty. I never thought I’d say that. Ever. Unless I was discussing his Swiss League performance towards the end of his hockey career. But no, he’s off to a career start playing with the likes of…uh… Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise. Twelve points now puts him in a four-way tie for tops on the team. No explanation for this other than the fact that he’s a small player in his sixth year and in his late 20s. I find that the diminutive types tend to have “fifth-year” or “sixth-year” magic. But the fact that he’s doing this despite secondary PP time and that he’s pulling along the likes of Weise and Fleischmann is selling me on this being for realsies. I think if someone in my league was over-exuberant on the “sell high” bit with Desharnais, I’d consider paying decent value for him. They’d see it as getting good return, but I have a hunch that it will end up being cheap. I remember a decade ago when I had Martin St. Louis the year he busted out. I didn’t think it was for real – I thought he was good, but not that good. So I traded him for Nicklas Lidstrom. Good return, I thought I sold high. But nope, turns out in hindsight I actually sold low. Now that’s an extreme example and Desharnais is nowhere close to that, but it’s an example of paying a perceived premium that didn’t turn out that way.

So Fleischmann, eh? Up to 10 points. My team is getting killed in that fantasy league and I dropped Fleischmann and Brouwer. Fleischmann was even an early drop – late August to get my team down to 31 players. So I have to sit here and watch the likes of Kunitz, Kesler and Perron produce like dogs while two guys I drop are going nuts.

This is “new team adrenalin” but Paul Byron has three points in three games since getting into the Montreal lineup at the expense of Alexander Semin. And so Semin continues to be scratched…

*

Nik Ehlers has points in nine of his last 11 games.

The Jets tried to continue going back and forth with the hot hands of Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec on Sunday. Hutchinson was up but he blew it. He got the hook after giving up four goals on nine shots. So Pavelec will get his regular start next and with a strong game I wonder if he starts stringing together consecutive starts.

*

Carey Price is sidelined for a week and I think Michael Condon is going to get the starts. He got the 5-1 win yesterday and I’m sure we’ll see him Tuesday and Thursday. Price should be ready to go Saturday but it’s possible they give that one to Condon as well because the team has three days off after that. If that happens, can you imagine if Condon wins all three games and goes 7-0-0 to start his career? Oh, he’s got my attention. He got my attention when he stole the job from Dustin Tokarski

*

It was a rocky debut for Linus Ullmark but he’s gone ahead and won his next two starts – with authority. Two games, 58 shots faced and 56 saves. I really like his chances now – with a shaky Chad Johnson ahead of him and a fragile Robin Lehner, he’s in a real good spot on an up-and-coming team. In one of my keeper leagues I get one FA pick per year for players aged 24 and older – if Ullmark was 24 I’d use my pick right now. It was between Ullmark and Andrey Makarov and my hunch was always Makarov, but here we are. Ullmark has been impressive since crossing the pond. Meanwhile Makarov has been blowing it for Rochester.

Read more on Ullmark here.

*

So the flu has been going around the Islanders locker room and it cost John Tavares two games so far. The worst timing in the world – the guy gets the flu just before his team plays games on back-to-back days. Had he gotten this back on Tuesday he would have missed zero games and been recovered in time for the Thursday contest. Fantasy hockey!

*

Well, Johan Larsson is still playing with Jack Eichel. Problem is, Eichel is in a slump. Eichel has just two points in his last nine games and is minus-6 in that span. Larsson has three points in four games since Evander Kane went down. I downgrade him from a steal that should be in most deep lineups, to a “bench and hold”.

*

Joel Ward is getting a little ridiculous now. It’s stretching beyond hot streak now, with his 11 points in 10 games. He’s seeing the bulk of the power-play time, and his ES shifts are with Hertl and Marleau. He turns 35 next month so it’s hard to believe he could beat his career high of 49 points set two years ago, but I’m very interested in his short-term outlook. As you probably recall, the Sharks as a team slows down in the second half each year, so that’s when his points will come back down to earth.

*

Chris Stewart picked up his first point of the season on Sunday. And his second. And his third. So clearly he caught wind of the fact that I dropped him last week.

Good on the Ducks for winning a game and actually scoring some goals. Nothing to do with Ryan Getzlaf, who is still sidelined. Nor Corey Perry, who was seventh among Ducks’ forwards in ice time. Seventh. Yep, Coach Boudreau isn’t messing around, he wants the win.

*

Prospect to keep an eye on – Frank Vatrano. He’ll never be lights out, but he’s a natural goal scorer who was never drafted. The Bruins signed him in March after he scored 18 goals in 36 games in college. So far he has 10 goals in 10 games in the AHL.

*

The Stars recalled prospect Devin Shore on Sunday. Shore is off to a great start to his pro career with eight goals and 11 points in nine games. More info on Shore right here.

*

Mark Stone could see a small suspension for this hit on Landon Ferraro. Or it may just be a fine. Stay tuned…

*

I’m getting killed in the DobberHockey league hosted by Office Pools. Too many bozos to drop and only four trades to do it. I already burned two of my trades, and now I have to decide between Schwartz, Semin, Pouliot or Weber for the other two. Yes, Schwartz is out for another 11 weeks or so…but when he returns I’d like to just put him back in my lineup again. And meanwhile, it’s looking like Weber will be crap for the rest of the season and Pouliot may not be up for 12 weeks anyway. And is Semin done? Looking like it. I’ll have to look at the other options in each of those boxes and make a decision. I have zero shot at winning this thing, but I’d like to at least look respectable and get into the Top 500.

I could easily burn about 10 trades right now – including the above quartet as well as Schultz, Gardiner, Bernier…yikes. And that’s assuming I keep Silfverberg and MDZ (which I will because I don’t have enough trades to cover switching them up).

Anyway, to make a trade, simply go to Office Pools and click ‘Trades’ at the top. And when you play daily sports, consider Draft Kings as your guys because they’re kicking in $500 for the top prize of this contest.

*

Oops, we did it again. We took your suggestions and we made the Player Profiles even better. Somehow we perfected perfection. Now it gives you faceoff wins in the game log, salary cap information, and the last five years of several advanced stats for comparison – without compromising how much we fit on the page, or the look. We’re really closing in on the perfect profile page for fantasy owners – and we’re still taking suggestions. Frozen Pool is the brain child of Jason Arbuthnot, and the fixes and upgrades are courtesy of Eric Daoust.

*

My Puck Daddy article from last Thursday includes some write-ups on lesser-known newcomers – here.

Via Sportsnet, I did a mailbag on Friday (and every Friday) – here.

I’ll end this great read with a link to another great read – 20 Fantasy Thoughts.

*