Ramblings: Crosby Scores Four, Datsyuk and Zetterberg Skating Together, Mass Hysteria (Feb. 9)

by steve laidlaw on February 9, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Crosby Scores Four, Datsyuk and Zetterberg Skating Together, Mass Hysteria (Feb. 9)

Ramblings: Crosby Scores Four, Barkov Hurt, Datsyuk and Zetterberg Skating Together, Mass Hysteria.

No Evgeni Malkin again last night. They are calling him day-to-day.

Who needs him when you’ve got Sidney Crosby going supernova? Another four-point effort for Crosby who has goals in seven straight, points in 11 straight. He has 22 points in those 11 games. Crosby has now climbed above the point-per-game mark with 53 in 50 games, tying him with Evgeny Kuznetsov for fifth in league scoring. Sure he’s still 23 back of Patrick Kane but to put it another way, he’s only 23 back of Patrick Kane. Hands up if you think he can take over the scoring lead.

There’s no point blabbing on about Crosby though. If, like me, you were unable to buy low on him that window is shut. It’s been shut for months. Now to those who hung in there here are the spoils.

You can, however, still take advantage of Crosby’s eruption by getting in on Chris Kunitz or Patric Hornqvist who had two and one point last night respectively.

Remember this poll from a week ago?

There are still plenty of non-believers out there. Hornqvist is available in 36% of Yahoo! leagues while Kunitz is available in 43%. Hornqvist has 14 points in his last 14 games, while Kunitz has 10 in his last 12.

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The Ducks got thumped by the Penguins but something had to give in a matchup of these two hot teams. At least Ryan Getzlaf kept it going with another goal as part of a two-point night.

John Gibson got ventilated for six goals before finally getting yanked. In the last 10 games Gibson and Freddie Andersen have each started five. Gibson is 3-2-0 while Andersen is 5-0-0. Advantage Andersen? I’m not going there yet. He did stop all four shots that he faced last night though and will be in tough tonight if the Ducks come out flat against the Flyers and their hot power play. It still seems like this situation ends with a 50/50 split for Gibson and Andersen unless one of them slips but good luck predicting which one.

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It seems pretty safe to say that Mark Stone has his mojo back. Another two goals in a three-point night for Stone. He has goals in four straight games with eight points in this stretch.

Kyle Turris has gone scoreless in two games since returning from injury. Check out the latest lines:

21.25%

EV

HOFFMAN,MIKE – RYAN,BOBBY – TURRIS,KYLE

15.75%

EV

PAGEAU,JEAN-GABRIEL – SMITH,ZACK – STONE,MARK

13.92%

EV

CHIASSON,ALEX – PRINCE,SHANE – ZIBANEJAD,MIKA

12.45%

EV

DZINGEL,RYAN – LAZAR,CURTIS – NEIL,CHRISTOPHER

 

Turris is still getting his minutes with the big guns but amazingly it is Stone skating on the second line and second PP unit who is getting work done.

Poor Mika Zibanejad has been relegated to third line duties but has points in back-to-back games anyhow and nine points in his last 10 games. He was second among Senators with 5:18 on the power play so still plenty of opportunity for him there.

JG Pageau looks pretty interesting now that he is seeing minutes alongside Stone at evens and on the PP. He has points in four straight games. I don’t like Pageau for sustained production but if you are in a pinch he makes a hot option.

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Pretty good explanation why you shouldn’t overreact to any one game.

The Lightning did lose Jason Garrison to a lower-body injury. If he misses time that could thrust Matt Carle back into the lineup. He has been a disaster, leading to many healthy scratches. Poor Ben Bishop could feel the pain of this one tonight against a somewhat rejuvenated Habs squad.

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Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg skated together last night. Can you guess what happened?

Two goals for Datsyuk. Zetterberg had assists on both. Check out the Wings’ lines courtesy of Frozenpool:

18.91%

EV

ABDELKADER,JUSTIN – DATSYUK,PAVEL – ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

10.08%

EV

GLENDENING,LUKE – HELM,DARREN – SHEAHAN,RILEY

7.14%

EV

DATSYUK,PAVEL – LARKIN,DYLAN – ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

7.14%

EV

ATHANASIOU,ANDREAS – NYQUIST,GUSTAV – TATAR,TOMAS

6.3%

EV

LARKIN,DYLAN – RICHARDS,BRAD – TATAR,TOMAS

Things got jumbled around a bit because of penalties. At one point we saw the awe inspiring Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Larkin combo that might break my brain if deployed regularly.

I’ve been pretty vocal that Datsyuk is the guy you want to own fantasy-wise off this squad. Pairing him with Zetterberg just re-enforces that. This clip could easily be 10 years old:

No Mike Green and no Niklas Kronwall for the Red Wings. Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith led the way in PP ice time for Wings defensemen. Once upon a time this would have been an exciting proposition. Now we know better. Kindl did have an assist in just 13 minutes of action but I’m not buying either of these two.

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The Panthers lost Aleksander Barkov to an upper-body injury after taking a head shot from Justin Abdelkader. I’m calling concussion right now and assuming that’s the case until told otherwise. This would be a huge loss. Injuries are the concern with Barkov. He has missed time in each of his three seasons in the league and has already missed a couple of weeks earlier this year.

Nick Bjugstad stepped into Barkov’s minutes. I once thought Bjugstad might have a brighter future than Barkov. I’m no longer there. This is an intriguing spot for Bjugstad but I don’t think he has the same fantasy impact as Barkov.

Watch out for Abdelkader seeing some supplemental discipline if you own him in any leagues.

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It has been confirmed that Ryan McDonagh is out with a concussion after the punch he took over the weekend. As is often the case with concussions, we don’t have a firm timeline for his return.

Keith Yandle fans should get excited, he skated over 25 minutes for perhaps the first time all season. Part of this was because the Rangers had five power-play chances to the Devils’ none so Yandle skated over eight minutes with the man-advantage alone. No points, and he actually went minus-one as Henrik Lundqvist’s shutout bid was erased by a late shortie from Travis Zajac. How you concede a shorthanded goal with less than three minutes remaining and while nursing a two-goal lead is beyond me.

With Rick Nash still out JT Miller kept it rolling scoring another goal. He is up to nine goals in the last 10 games.

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Joseph Blandisi went scoreless last night but has 10 points in 12 games in his latest call-up. He probably becomes irrelevant when Mike Cammalleri returns but he’s yet another intriguing waiver wire option. For the record: Miller > Blandisi and odds are both are available.

The Martin Brodeur statue was unveiled last night. I could have sworn they did that last season but the one last night was a lot more mobile. I kid, I kid…

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Alex Pietrangelo will miss at least the next three weeks with a knee injury before being re-evaluated.

Let’s assume Pietrangelo meets that timeline with no further complications. That leaves the Blues with just a week to decide how healthy he is before moving on a potential deal. It was always unlikely that they would trade Kevin Shattenkirk or any other defenseman but this injury all but squashes that possibility.

In the meantime, losing their top defenseman is a big blow for a team that has been getting by mostly on smoke and mirrors of late. Grinding out wins behind the superb goaltending of Brian Elliott. Elliott probably takes a hit in value so the time to sell is now because Jake Allen will be back soon enough.

Colton Parayko will see a boost in minutes though he will still be stuck behind Shattenkirk in the pecking order for power-play time.

Hidden impact here is that Pietrangelo has quietly (unless you’ve been reading my ramblings) been having a poor fantasy season. He grades out as the 48th best defenseman in the Dobberhockey Experts League where we score goals, assists, plus/minus, PPP, SOG and hits. Some widely available option who would be an upgrade even without the injury:

Anton Stralman (58% owned)

Shayne Gostisbehere (61% owned)

Alec Martinez (27% owned)

Parayko (60% owned)

Erik Johnson (46% owned)

Nick Leddy (51% owned)

Ryan Ellis (29% owned)

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In other Blues injury news, Jaden Schwartz still isn’t ready to return and will not play tonight.

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David Savard is back practicing but remains day-to-day with an oblique injury. Could be another week or so before we see him back in the lineup.

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The Jets signed Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year extension worth $7.6M per. I think that it’s a victory for the Jets to have limited the deal to five years. Byfuglien is one of the best defensemen in the game so they were going to pay a premium, in both salary and term, to keep him so limiting the term is vital. Byfuglien will be 36 when he comes off the books, which is palatable. We know the drop off can come swift for some players, which makes this deal inherently risky so the fewer years the better.

Byfuglien’s salary for the final season is $6M. I was hoping that last season would back-dive a little more just in case Byfuglien turns into a pumpkin by the end of the deal. As we have seen, budget teams are more than willing to take on big cap hits with smaller salaries attached in order to help them hit the salary cap floor. Brian Campbell in Florida is a great example.

Ultimately, Byfuglien has little chance of outperforming this deal, while there is a very good chance his game falls off significantly by the end of it. Those odds likely result in this deal being a bad one but every player is unique. I don’t want to be the one who definitively states that Byfuglien will be in decline by the end of this deal, even if there is a strong likelihood that that is the case. And of course there are aspects of keeping a veteran leader like Byfuglien around that go beyond measure.

What we know for sure is that he isn’t going anywhere at the trade deadline or in the near future. That’s great news for guys like Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Mark Scheifele, Mathieu Perreault and Nik Ehlers who should all benefit from his continued presence in the lineup.

For those hoping Tyler Myers or Jacob Trouba would take over for Byfuglien that transition no longer seems imminent. Hell, we might even see one of them shuffled along in a trade to better balance the roster. 

I don’t believe Myers should be a #1 defenseman on any team anyhow so Myers owners shouldn’t have been banking on a move. Trouba owners on the other hand, there are some sour grapes to be eaten here.

I think that Trouba, a RFA this summer, is headed towards a bridge deal. It may even take a holdout in training camp to get that far. Ultimately he takes the biggest hit here. On the other hand there’s a big buy low opportunity in case he gets moved, especially with how poorly his season has gone.

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In other Jets news, Drew Stafford was suspended one game for high sticking. He has been back on the second line so I’m not positive this has a huge impact anyhow.

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We interrupt these ramblings for the latest example of hockey players doing awesome things:

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Now for some over/under polls:

Jordan Staal

Staal has 14 points in his last 14 games and needs just 16 in the final 28 to hit the over. Looks like most folks see this bubble bursting.

Laidlaw’s Pick: I like the over. Carolina may hang in the playoff race but it’s still likely that Eric Staal is dealt at the deadline. That opens up even more minutes for Jordan who has been skating second unit PP minutes the past month or so.

Nikolaj Ehlers

Ehlers requires no hype. As mentioned above, he stands to benefit from Byfuglien sticking around and with Ladd likely headed out, Ehlers should hang onto his spot on the top line where he has been so productive.

Laidlaw’s Pick: Over. He needs at least 19 in the final 30 to get there but I like Ehlers for as many as 25 in the final 30.

Brayden Schenn

Folks really aren’t all that keen on Schenn getting to 50. The recent Sean Couturier injury hurts but Schenn is still a part of the lethal Flyers power play that has punked fools since Shayne Gostisbehere arrived. Schenn has scored 14 points over his last 15 games but a lot of that has come from shooting 30% in 2016.

Laidlaw’s Pick: Under. Going the safe route considering even a couple of missed games would be precarious for Schenn’s chances. Even with 31 games remaining, getting the 21 required will be a push and this from someone who just acquired Schenn in a trade.

Zach Parise

A big part of me wanted to set the line for Parise at the same spot as Schenn but I wanted even action and for stars that requires an inflated line. That 40% think Parise will score 26 in his final 30 games is astounding. If you are stuck with Parise in your league don’t be afraid to shop him around, the name still carries value.

It was also suggested to me that the Wild are great post-All-Star. Perhaps that is the case but Parise has scored 0.82 points per game pre-All-Star and 0.80 post-All-Star for his career. Whether or not that is relevant here I will leave up to you.

Laidlaw’s Pick: Under. Way under.

Torey Krug

It is hard to believe Krug was once looking like a good option to clear 50. It still feels like he should be a good option for that level of production considering his favourable deployment and offensive skills. Alas, he has slumped after a hot October and people have caught the scent.

Laidlaw’s Pick: Over. Despite the struggles I really like Krug. He’ll finish within a point or two of this line one way or the other for the third straight year.

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My man Todd Lewis has an interesting take on the ramifications of the Dennis Wideman suspension that run deeper than the simple impact on the Flames.

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In a somewhat related topic, there is a study that indicates a concussion may triple the likelihood of suicide in the future, which is certainly something to chew on.

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Thanks for reading. You can follow me @SteveLaidlaw.