Rambling the Devils’ D, the Pens’ O, Couturier, Ristolainen, both Kanes and more …
I’m not a coach. I don’t pretend to know how to coach. But one decision that looks so obvious to me is, in the case of the New Jersey Devils, rotate Adam Larsson, Damon Severson and Eric Gelinas on the power play. And maybe as a fourth guy I would consider Jon Merrill. What actually happened last night was that those four players combined for 12 seconds of PP time while Andy Greene and John Moore (?!?) were the QBs. Greene I can understand. A little. But Moore’s career high is 15 points and he has just six so far this year. New Jersey’s strength is their puck-moving defensemen…and they’re not using that strength at all. It’s almost like putting Evgeni Malkin in net. Such a waste.
There has been a lot of positive coverage of Lee Stempniak here on DobberHockey, but I haven’t been a part of it. What he’s doing has been a nice surprise I’ll acknowledge (and have acknowledged), but we’ve seen the streakiness plenty of times. Don’t forget that he had 14 goals and 18 points in 18 games with Coyotes back in 2010 after he was dealt to them at the deadline. The last time he got 48 points was nearly six years ago. Today his pace is for 62 points. Pencil him in for the low-40s and be thrilled if he gets into the high-40s. He has three points in his last six games.
Zach Fucale was called up by the Habs and backed up Michael Condon. Had Condon stumbled last night, I suspect we’d have seen Fucale next game. That would have been great. But no such luck. Nothing against Condon but a preview of Fucale, who is several years away from becoming an NHL starter, would have been cool.
Sean Couturier had a three-point game last night. The Flyers are a desperate team, especially when it comes to offense. So it’s interesting to see that Couturier’s portion of Philly’s power play is up to a career high 32.4% on the season. His offensive zone starts are 44.76%, also a career high. And his 5on5 SH% is very low at 4.76% (usually around 8% for him) – which indicates he’s due for more. Anyway, this is all information that you can get quick and easy in his DobberHockey profile. In keeper leagues he makes for an intriguing ‘buy’. He’s not going to be a 70-point player, but I think we’ll start to see him leave this 35- to 40 stuff behind and instead push into the 40s or 50s.
In two games, Wayne Simmonds went from having a horrible season to a typical one. That’s what five points can do this early in the campaign.
Michael Del Zotto has five points and 24 shots in the nine games that Mark Streit has been out. Shayne Gostisbehere has six points and also 24 shots. In fact, Ghost has at least two shots in every game so far.
Mika Zibanejad left last night’s game after getting his bell rung by Radko Gudas. If concussion protocol is done properly, he’s missing two weeks because to me he looked out of it. Wobbly. But if this is handled the “usual” way, then they’ll just squirt some magic spray on him and he’ll be back next game. Stay tuned.
With three points last night, Rasmus Ristolainen is now on pace for 58 points (Frozen Pool says he got four points Tuesday, but the NHL took an assist away from him). I’ve always considered RR as a potential low-40s player offensively and a defensive stud. But how he’s producing and how he’s being used is forcing me to re-evaluate and grudgingly admit that I was wrong. He is looking like he’ll be a low-50s guy.
Many of you were wondering what was going on with Evander Kane, but it turns out that he was just getting his legs under him after missing a ton of time from injuries over the past year. Give him back-to-back two-point games now. If this is the Kane that we know and love, then these Sabres are suddenly pretty good.
I watched Jack Eichel for the first time in what must have been five or six weeks. And only the third period and overtime. But he looked like he was really squeezing the stick and trying to do too much himself. I couldn’t tell you how long this slump will last, but I think he’ll really take off when he finally does get back into a comfort zone.
Cody Franson has just one point in his last seven games. The Sabres are using a four-forward power play for both units, with Ristolainen as the only defenseman on the top PP and Franson as the only rearguard on the second unit.
Mike Green has seven points in 12 games since returning from injury. That’s a 0.583 pts/game average which is right in the middle of his average the past two seasons with Washington. The new team isn’t helping him – I suspect this is the fantasy player that he is now. That is – a 0.60 pts/gp guy who plays about 70 games per season (42 points).
With three points, seven PIM, three hits and a power-play goal last night, Justin Abdelkader is on pace for a career season. His pace – 23 goals, 49 points, 82 PIM, 10 PPG, 216 hits will all either tie or set career bests for him.
Jake Allen gave up three goals in the second period so Ken Hitchcock finally turned to Brian Elliott after what seems like forever (actually two weeks). Elliott started the season with four straight wins and hasn’t won a game since. That was October 18.
Robby Fabbri has three points in four games (plus-3). Of note – the last two games he played 32:02, which is his highest two-game total of the season.
Colton Parayko has four points in 10 games since Kevin Shattenkirk returned. That’s a 32-point pace which to me is a little low. Sure, we expected a decline, but not this much. But what’s troubling is that over the last four games his PP ice time has gone way down. Overall, he’s on pace for 45 points. But these signs are making me wonder if he’ll reach 35 – that’s a number that I thought was very safe for him, as recent as two weeks ago.
Jaromir Jagr has just eight points in his last 14 games as the ol’ market correction kicks in…
Max Domi has yet to go three consecutive games without a point so far. He’s on a four-game points streak currently.
Just like when I mentioned Simmonds above, same goes for Filip Forsberg. A horrible season, but in three games (five points, including three Tuesday) things are fixing themselves. His pace is for 55 points, which is a slight decline versus last year but about where I’d peg him. In the Fantasy Guide I had him projected for 63, which was flat to last year. But it’s clear now that he’s probably looking at a slight decline.
Ryan Suter is on pace for 75 points, which is nuts. But if you look deeper at some of the fancy stats and they don’t indicate much in the way of “luck” or “overachieving”. He’s earning it! I’m still quietly shopping him in hopes of upgrading other areas of my team because 75 points…come on.
Jason Zucker has just one point in his last eight games. The 23-year-old is a streaky player, so best to ride this out with him on your bench for now. I’m just glad he’s been healthy (knock on wood).
Mikael Granlund has 10 points in his last 10 games.
The Flames scored three in the third to force OT last night, but it’s Karri Ramo who is interesting me again. He’s slowly turning his numbers around. Not to anything spectacular, but to something No.3 goalie fantasy-worthy.
Pavel Datsyuk has just three points in his 10 games so far and I was asked on Twitter if he should be dumped. I still have faith in him as being a top player, but he should definitely be benched. I would not drop him, unless of course your league is so shallow that Datsyuks are sitting on the waiver wire all the time. You just need patience.
So that was the Pittsburgh game we’ve been waiting for all year. Five goals (though one was an EN), Chris Kunitz with a long-overdue two-point game, ditto for David Perron. And then Evgeni Malkin picked up three points. Crosby got blanked though. Still, this is a team that should be getting four goals every game, so it’s pretty sad when we celebrate the one time that they actually do it. Last night marked the first game in which the Pens scored five goals.
In Frozen Pool I noticed that the Hot/Cold feature was the second most used feature of the past week. That feature is going to be fixed up beautifully – but right now it's not very good. It can be used, but it's not the greatest and not overly user friendly. So hang in there, I'll let you know when Eric and I have that up perfectly for you. In the meantime, enjoy the best feature – the player profiles.
Also – I'm late with the Rankings. Sorry for that. I'll be working on them today, though it may not go up until Thursday.
Pekka Rinne ridiculous!
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