Ramblings: Cammalleri, Marner, Schwartz (Nov 27)

by Ian Gooding on November 27, 2016

Cammalleri, Marner, Schwartz, Ducks’ goaltending, plus more…

If you go to the Frozen Pool RotoRanker and press the Yahoo buttons and rank for the past week, you’ll find Mike Cammalleri near the top of each list. That’s because he’s been arguably the league’s hottest player over the past five games. Cammalleri scored two goals on Saturday, which gives him seven goals and four assists over his past five games. There’s a good chance that he was dropped in your league back in October or early November, as he failed to score a goal in his first ten games. So things have averaged out for Cammalleri, who sits at a relatively normal (for him) 15.6 shooting percentage. Another 25-goal season is well within reach.

Cammalleri wasn’t the only star for the Devils in their 4-3 shootout loss. Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid made 46 saves, which gives him some solid numbers this season (2.33 GAA, .933 SV%). Cory Schneider has struggled in November (3.04 GAA, .892 SV%) and has overall season numbers that are slightly worse than Kinkaid’s (2.53 GAA, .915 SV%). So at this point I don’t think it would be a stretch to assume Kinkaid will start at least once a week. He’s someone to consider for a spot start, at least in a back-to-back.


Your Penguins’ line combinations for Saturday:





Yes, the HBK line that was so successful in last year’s playoffs was back in action. That didn’t seem to affect Jake Guentzel, who scored again to give him three goals and an assist in his first four NHL games. Guentzel was profiled in our Waiver Wire article for Sportsnet this week. He’s still worth a look in deeper leagues, but you’ll want to pay attention to his linemates. If he is downgraded to the fourth line, he becomes irrelevant for fantasy purposes.


After replacing the injured Jimmy Howard on Friday and earning the win, Petr Mrazek played his second game in as many nights, stopping 22 of 24 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss. But with four potential games next week, Mrazek should help with your minimum number of goalie starts. But these are not the Wings of old, so wins won’t be as easy to come by, particularly with the Stars and Penguins on the schedule.


Artturi Lehkonen was back in the lineup for the Habs, playing on a line with Andrew Shaw and David Desharnais. With the Habs still rolling, the rookie probably won’t be back in the top 6 in the near future like he was early in the season. Especially with Alexander Radulov and Alex Galchenyuk scoring at the pace they are. And yes, the Russian and the Belarusian-American are for real.



Carey Price is still Mr. Saturday Night. He’s 27-1-1 on Saturdays over the last three seasons. You shouldn’t need us to tell you to start him.


Two assists for Mitch Marner on Saturday, which broke a three-game point drought. He’s another Johnny Gaudreau type, not just size-wise and in playmaking ability but also his home/road splits. Ontario boy Marner has 14 points in 11 games at the Air Canada Centre, but just four points in ten away games.

Auston Matthews scored a goal on Saturday, his third in two games. This after not scoring a goal in 13 games. Considering his four-goal debut, there have been some real peaks and valleys to his rookie season. What if I told you that Marner, who is a few months older than Matthews, could be the stronger Calder Trophy candidate at season’s end? This is nothing against Matthews, but in the Leafs’ games I’ve watched Marner has stood out. I think Marner is an elite player in the making, even though he doesn’t receive as much attention from the Toronto hype train as Matthews.


It took only 18 games, but Jaden Schwartz has already equaled his goal total from last season (over 33 games). Schwartz scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season, giving him a six-game point streak in which he has scored five goals and three assists. Schwartz has regularly been injured throughout his brief career, but his 0.84 points per game since 2013-14 places him in the company of Nikita Kucherov and Filip Forsberg over that same stretch. If he can stay healthy for an entire season, that’s 70-point potential.


You noticed Nathan MacKinnon if you watched the Canucks/Avalanche game. Although he was held without a point for the first time in five games (three multipoint games over that stretch), MacKinnon fired seven shots on goal in 22 minutes of icetime. I know some MacKinnon owners are worried that he’s never going to break through, but we seem to forget that he just turned 21. He’s going to be just fine.

MacKinnon took a scary crash into the boards early in the second period, but he seemed to be okay afterward.


Loui Eriksson has been an easy drop target for fantasy owners because of his slow start to his first season with the Canucks. But what if I told you that he has four goals in his last seven games? His current linemates (Markus Granlund, Michael Chaput) shouldn’t strike fear in fantasy owners. Or as my seven-year-old son said, “Who are those guys?” It’s easy to conclude that maybe Eriksson isn’t as good a fit with the Sedins as we thought, but I’d be willing to bet he’ll receive another go with them when the Canucks struggle to score again.

Bo Horvat demands your attention. Not only is he on a four-game point streak, but he also leads the Canucks in both goals (7) and points (15). I know – not saying much. But he’s on pace for 55 points. If you don’t think he can do it, consider that he’s been scoring at that rate for the entire calendar year of 2016 (45 points in 66 games since January 1). Jim Benning has admitted he wants to sign Horvat long-term. Elliotte Friedman listed Victor Rask and Rickard Rakell as comparables.

Jake Virtanen for Evander Kane straight up … chew on that. But it was brought up again by the CBC panel during the second intermission of the Canucks/Avalanche game. As a Canucks’ fan, I don’t want to see them trade Virtanen, particularly for a player with as checkered a past as Kane. But the guys on the Hot Stove Panel seemed to stop short in thinking that Virtanen would be enough for Kane. So if I’m the Canucks and I “should” be rebuilding, I don’t make that deal. But I’d love to hear from a Sabres’ fan or two for their perspective.


Aside from his team winning the game, Marian Gaborik had a forgettable 2016-17 season debut. Zero … (taking a breath) … goals, assists, shots on goal, hits, blocked shots, takeaways, or faceoffs won. He skated just under 12 minutes mainly with Jordan Nolan and Nick Shore. But if you believe in his World Cup showing, he’s owned in only 9 percent of Yahoo leagues. Just don’t expect the world.


With another goal on Saturday, Rickard Rakell is already up to eight goals in just 13 games. That includes four goals in his past five games. So although his season didn’t start on time, he could be on the verge of that breakout some of us predicted. Getting on that top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry has been key. Of course with the pucks going in, his shooting percentage is at an unsustainable 22 percent. So that breakout is not a guarantee, particularly if he is moved off the top line. But at the moment he’s worth an add, particularly since he’s still unowned in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues.

John Gibson is officially on the hot seat. Jonathan Bernier has now won four of his last five starts, while Gibson has lost three of his last four starts. Bernier has also started three of the Ducks’ past five games. The season numbers also show in Bernier’s favor (2.02 GAA, .935 SV% for Bernier; 2.62 GAA, .906 SV% for Gibson). Picking up Bernier as a handcuff if you’re a Gibson owner might not be a bad idea right now. It probably won’t last, but that’s the way it is at the moment.

Since the summer, I’ve been following with interest Dobber’s argument that Frederik Andersen is a more skilled goalie than Gibson. I didn’t believe it at first, particularly when the trade to Toronto went down, but now I’ll give the founder of this website some credit. In a league where saves, goals allowed, and wins are your goalie stats, Andersen is the better goalie, and that seems to be where Dobber is coming from. That’s true even when you factor Andersen’s rocky start to the season (3.67 GAA in October). One more point in favor of Dobber’s side: Andersen has a .931 save percentage this month.


Finally, some good news in Craig Cunningham’s recovery, as former junior teammate Milan Lucic pays him a visit.


Enjoy your Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.