October 21 2015

by Dobber on October 21, 2015

Rambling about a rumored Atkinson trade, plus Galchenyuk, Crosby, Kuznetsov, Lee, Ramo and tons more…

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Montreal has won seven games in a row to open the season. And they play Buffalo and Toronto next. Um…

Columbus has lost seven games in a row to open the season.

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The Habs are getting the goals (23 in seven games) and the saves (just seven goals allowed). Everything is rolling. Besides Subban and Price (already locked up the Vezina for this year, geez), Montreal can thank the emergence of Alex Galchenyuk. Everyone and their mother called this guy having a breakout year. He’s been my favourite sleeper pick since putting together the Guide. His line, with Alexander Semin and Lars Eller, has been silent lately after a fantastic training camp and Game 2. But they combined for a goal last night so maybe that wakes them up again. Semin saw just 12:20 of ice time so I’d still be cautious with him.

Also of note, Max Pacioretty had a great fantasy line with one goal, seven shots and four hits.

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David Backes had 12 hits against the Habs. He had 14 hits in six games before that.

With the St. Louis loss, that’s another strike against Jake Allen. So while he sits at 1-2-0 and has allowed three goals in each game, Brian Elliott cruises along at 4-0-0…

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The biggest news of the night though was the fact that Sidney Crosby snapped a career-high five-game pointless drought. And as expected, once the dam broke the points flooded in. Three on the night for Sid, which in turn helped Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin (two points each).

Line combos courtesy of Frozen Pool:

#1

29.4%

CROSBY,SIDNEY – KESSEL,PHIL – KUNITZ,CHRIS

#2

25.1%

HORNQVIST,PATRIC – MALKIN,EVGENI – PERRON,DAVID

#3

18.7%

BONINO,NICK – PLOTNIKOV,SERGEI – RUST,BRYAN

#4

10.2%

CULLEN,MATT – FARNHAM,BOBBY – PORTER,KEVIN

 

 

 

 

With Kunitz also getting time with the first PP unit, it’s only a matter of time before he breaks his own goose egg – though I have little hope of him reaching the 55-point mark this year.

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When Pascal Dupuis, Eric Fehr and Beau Bennett get back from injury those line combos are going to look a hell of a lot better.

Daniel Sprong missed the game because of work visa issues.

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The night that Nicklas Backstrom was named the most underrated player (by his peers), he goes out and scores two. This on the heels of his first game of the season (he missed the start recovering from hip surgery) in which he tallied three assists.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists last night and has five points in five games. If he’s arrived, then the Caps just entered the awesome zone. You tell me – has he arrived?

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From the files of – great trade for both sides: TJ Oshie has five points in five games and Troy Brouwer has six points in seven games.

Braden Holtby isn’t doing great. But he’s facing like, no shots. So he’s getting the wins. And that’s a category that’s in all fantasy leagues that have goalies. Just 19 shots against last night and 19 shots against on Saturday.

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The Flames scratched Mason Raymond to make room for Joe Colborne’s return to the lineup. Colborne rewarded the decision by going minus-3. It took Raymond four whole games to do that.

The horse I have in the Calgary goaltending race is Karri Ramo. I don’t own him in any of my leagues, goodness no – wouldn’t touch that situation with a ten-foot pole. But I chose him as the most likely goalie to be the guy in Calgary. So far he’s 0-3-0 and his SV% is an ugly 0.879. He got the hook and Jonas Hiller wasn’t any better. Time to try the other member of the three-headed monster Joni Ortio.

Another star to break his pointless slump – Mark Giordano, who scored.

Kris Russell is now pointless and minus-7 on the year.

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Another big-name slumper guy is Patrick Sharp, who is still looking for his first point. But lookie here:

#1

28.8%

BENN,JAMIE – SEGUIN,TYLER – SHARP,PATRICK

#2

20.8%

EAKIN,CODY – HEMSKY,ALES – JANMARK,MATTIAS

#3

19.6%

FAKSA,RADEK – ROUSSEL,ANTOINE – SCEVIOUR,COLTON

#4

19.6%

FIDDLER,VERNON – NICHUSHKIN,VALERI – SPEZZA,JASON

 

 

 

 

 

That line was absolutely buzzing and they were responsible for both Dallas goals. Unfortunately, Sharp didn’t get a point. And his PDO indicates (see his player profile for this – click his name!) that he’s in-line with where he should be in terms of luck. Pucks are going in when he is on the ice, at the right pace. I think he’s a fixture on this line for a few games, the way they looked.

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That’s Radek Faksa’s second career game. He was called up on the weekend and has two shots and four hits.

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Claude Giroux has two points in five games. Last year he started with 21 points in 16 games and the year prior he started with seven points in 15 games. He doesn’t seem to like starting the year normally – always has to be in either hyper-drive or tortoise mode. But his production always ends up in the same area. And by extension, Jakub Voracek too.

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James Neal is on fire. Three more points last night gives him seven in three games (and 18 shots). A lot of market corrections this week, but Neal’s market correction overshot the target…

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Anders Lee has points in four straight and five points in all. He has been playing exclusively with John Tavares and Ryan Strome this season and as long as that trio stays healthy, you can look for Lee to stun fantasy owners. I don’t even want to go out on a limb and tell you what I think he can do, because even I think it would be too crazy to say.

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 I don’t often endorse seeking a trade (but will sometimes support a waiver claim) based on a trade rumor, but the Blue Jackets are 0-7-0 and they scratched Cam Atkinson last night. Beatwriter Aaron Portzline tweeted that a trade could be in the works and that he’s hearing that the Devils are interested and are offering up Adam Larsson. In this situation, I like both players in their new homes. Atkinson would supersede Jiri Tlusty and Kyle Palmieri as the forward with the most upside, and his ice time and PP time would spike accordingly. Unless the other two guys, Atkinson would actually score the odd time.

Meanwhile, Brandon Saad is off the Ryan Johansen line. Boone Jenner is in his place. And Saad was with Alexander Wennberg and Scott Hartnell.

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Larsson upped his value last night with two points including the OT winner…

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In case you were wondering about Duncan Keith’s surgery on his MCL tear – it was successful. Thank goodness.

Keith is out for a month. Psst – consider picking up Trevor Daley. Just a hunch.

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Now the big concussion lawsuit facing the NHL has a big gun involved. I don’t mean that Kevin Stevens is the only big name or big star added (Bernie Nicholls is on the list, after all). But Stevens to me was the epitome of NHL concussions. I’ll never, ever, forget when he got the concussion. He was out before he hit the ice face first. When he returned from that, he was never the same player. This was the injury, I’ll never forget it:

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Curtis Glencross retired from pro hockey after 507 NHL games. Only 32, he definitely could have carved out another four or five seasons at the AHL level and/or Europe and earned another $1 million easily in that span. Europe was obviously out due to his three young children. Glencross’s best fantasy season was in 2011-12 when he had 26 goals, 48 points and 62 PIM in just 67 games – that’s like 59 points and 90 PIM over a full season.

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A couple of Sportsnet articles:

Ian Gooding’s Start and Sit column (goalies)

Rick Roos’ Buy Low/Sell High column

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And ICYMI, I posted the Top 100 goalies yesterday (here).