Ramblings: Coleman the Crusher, Sputtering Jets D (Oct 5)

by Ian Gooding on October 5, 2019


Because of the game in Prague between the Blackhawks and Flyers, hopefully you remembered to set your lineup early on Friday. If you were reading yesterday, I did remind you!

In that early game, Travis Konecny led the Flyers with two goals en route to a 4-3 win. The goals were, of course, his first two of the season. Konecny is on the first year of a six-year contract with a cap hit of $5.5 million per season, so look for increased usage this season. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until Wednesday to deploy Konecny and his Flyers’ teammates, as they are now travelling back to North America.

In a losing cause, Patrick Kane led the Hawks with a goal and two assists. We know that Kane will produce, and so should longtime teammate Jonathan Toews. The new third man on this line is generating a lot of buzz, with his fantasy ownership rising from the low single digits to 26 percent in Yahoo leagues. That player is Alexander Nylander, who scored a goal assisted by Kane. He’s definitely a hot pickup, but remember that because of the same travel situation as the Flyers, the younger Nylander brother’s next game isn’t until Thursday. If you’re okay with a bit of delayed gratification, then go get him.

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Earlier in the day, the Blues announced they have signed Brayden Schenn to an eight-year contract extension worth $52 million. I understand the Stanley Cup champions locking up an important player like Schenn, but eight years?
 


The next time you become worried that you traded a long-term prospect away for a more current asset, just remember that we could all be dead by 2028. 

By the way, that eight-year contract kicks in next season. Schenn will be close to turning 37 by the time it expires. 

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On to the evening games. I have to start this section off with something a little personal. No, not super personal or anything. My 10-year-old son just received his first-ever trade offer. (So many firsts, it just warms my heart.) I advised him not to accept the deal, so he declined the offer and decided to entered a reply in his own words: “Sorry but no.” Can’t say I’ve ever read those words on a declined trade offer.

The trade offer? The other owner’s Josh Morrissey for my son’s Evgeni Malkin. I actually put more thought into this offer than you might think, as I believe Morrissey is in for a big season as the only top-4 Jets’ defenseman from last season left standing. Morrissey did not earn a point in the Jets’ come-from-behind 5-4 shootout win over Jersey. But he did log 27:41 and has averaged over 25 minutes over his first two games.

Neal Pionk, who was acquired in the Jacob Trouba deal, is being used as a top-4 defenseman whether he’s ready or not. Pionk did chip in a goal and an assist while accumulating a similar icetime total to Morrissey (27:21). Pionk!

This Jets’ defense has even found room for Ville Heinola, the team’s first-round pick from this summer. I guess once hockey season ends he will go back to Finland and finish high school. With assists in back-to-back games, the 18-year-old Heinola is stating his case to remain with the big club. For the moment, Heinola is being paired with Pionk and is being used on the second-unit power play. For more on Heinola, check out his profile on Dobber Prospects

After the first two games, the Jets’ defense has yielded nine goals. This inexperience on defense certainly isn’t going to help Connor Hellebuyck’s numbers. His 2.90 GAA from last season may get worse before it gets better.

Here’s the latest on the Dustin Byfuglien situation from the 31 Thoughts Podcast at about the 51:30 mark.

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Multiple people @’ed me (is that a word yet?) on Twitter about Blake Coleman, so I feel obligated to provide something on him. How about this?
 


This was Coleman’s second goal of the game. Let’s cut right to the chase and determine whether he’s worth a pickup. That really depends, because there are two things that jump out at me with Coleman – one positive and one negative.

The positive: Coleman has some great peripherals. You could consider him to be Tom Wilson lite if you meant to draft Wilson but didn’t. Last season Coleman took 71 penalty minutes, dished 225 hits, and took 213 shots, the last category being significantly higher than Wilson’s total. Coleman is owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues, but he’s someone who needs to be owned in most bangers-and-mash leagues.

The negative: Zero power-play minutes on Friday. Only 0:44 PPTOI last season, and that was before the Devils’ roster was upgraded with Jack Hughes and Nikita Gusev. I know Coleman scored 22 goals last season and he’s off to a head start in a quest for another 20 goals. However, I wouldn’t reach for him in pure scoring leagues for those two reasons.  

Gusev’s NHL career started with a bang, as he scored a first-period goal. Hughes did not earn a point in his NHL debut, however. The two combined to play on a line with Jesper Bratt with all three earning second-unit power-play minutes. As much as we at Dobber like prospects, NHL coaches like experience. That might explain why John Hynes opted for Wayne Simmonds and Travis Zajac on the first-unit power play instead of Gusev and Hughes, the latter two being who you were probably hoping for.

Not the kind of news that Cory Schneider owners would like to hear. Schneider left Friday’s game in the third period. With the Devils on a back-to-back on Saturday, Mackenzie Blackwood was probably already slated to start anyway. Yet we’ll have to see whether this injury extends into next week. For the latest goalie updates, don’t forget to check Goalie Post.  

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Mitch Marner is starting to earn every penny of his new contract. Marner scored two goals and added an assist in the Leafs’ 4-1 win over Columbus on Friday. With an assist on Wednesday, he’s up to four points in two games.

Morgan Rielly chipped in three helpers for the Buds. He’s up to four assists in two games.

If you’re in a league that counts icetime, you may be interested to know that Rielly’s defense partner Cody Ceci led the Leafs with a 24:44 TOI and finished the game with a 53.66 CF%. Not necessarily known for offense, Ceci also scored a goal. What says you, Leafs and Sens fans?

How about some positives for Columbus. Cam Atkinson took seven shots on goal. Josh Anderson took six shots on goal.

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Ilya Samsonov is finally here, and he didn’t disappoint in his NHL debut. The 22-year-old Russian netminder stopped 25 of 26 shots he faced in the Capitals’ 2-1 win over the Islanders. For more on the 2015 first-round pick, you can check out his Dobber Prospects profile. He spent last season in the AHL after some impressive seasons in the KHL. It is worth mentioning that Braden Holtby is in a contract season, which should provide the veteran with some added motivation if the kid continues to play well.

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The Golden Knights and Sharks are turning out to be one of the best rivalries in the league. After the Sharks’ improbable Game 7 comeback win last season, the Knights have stormed back with back-to-back wins against their Pacific Division foes to start the season. As you might expect, there was a melee in the third period after the game had become one-sided. And a mess had to be cleaned up afterward.
 


With all the scoring the Vegases have, Tomas Nosek led the charge with two goals (one shorthanded) and an assist and a plus-3. Mark Stone assisted on both of Nosek’s goals, although the Frozen Pool Last Game Lines don’t show Stone as Nosek’s linemate.

Erik Karlsson returned to the Sharks’ lineup after the birth of his daughter, but he was unfortunately a minus-4.

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And announcement: The draw for the FREE Google Home took place Friday night. Just 98 Fantasy Guide readers entered! Just a tad less than the original estimate of 1000. Congratulations to Stew Simons!

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For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.