Rambling goaltenders…lots of goalie talk. Also Radulov, Perron, Ceci and more …
I’m really enjoying the work of the summer guys, Neil Parker and Mike Clifford. So nice to have fresh perspectives. Change it up. You read myself, Ian and Laidlaw all season long and then in the summer we get two well-known writers in the fantasy hockey industry providing new takes. And they seem to have no shortage of ideas to write about during – let’s face it – the toughest days of the year to write about fantasy hockey. Neil’s take yesterday on The Hockey News fantasy rankings was spot on. You absolutely need an idea of what others may be thinking, whether you like the rankings or not. Look at as many as you can get your hands on and yes – jot down a few notes. Love it!
This year’s Bodog Cup winner odds seem to split between the haves and the have-nots. Eleven teams are at +1600 or better. The other 19 are +2500 or higher. Of the so-called ‘haves’, I wouldn’t bet on Anaheim in a million years. They need to be in the ‘have not’ section for sure. Looking at the +2500 teams, although the Rangers and the Islanders are tempting, I actually think Montreal is a solid one. Not that they’ll win the Cup, but in terms of my own personal Cup odds versus the payout I like them the best. And I’m hardly a Habs fan!
I am an Oilers fan (among other teams) and they’re at +3300. I bet you next summer they are +1600 or better. Mark it!
Expect another Fantasy Guide update later today. I already have a couple of minor things in there (i.e. Enroth to the Leafs) but I’ll wait and see if anything newsworthy happens today before I post.
The NHL Network released their Top 10 goalies right now, presumably a list based purely on talent so I have to take off my fantasy hockey hat when I look at it. Okay, disagree. And far be it for me to complain about someone else’s list, lord knows I get enough of it about my own lists! First, the list:
1. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
2. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
4. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
5. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
6. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
7. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
8. Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
9. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
10. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
I’m just not on board with this in either fantasy or reality. Take away the team in front of them, as well as the coaching style, and just drill down to pure talent. Holtby is good, but that’s Trotz pushing him up at least three spots here. Lundqvist is no longer a Top 10 goalie. Rinne is no longer a Top 15 goalie. Crawford I’d probably knock down three to five spots.
Here is my list – purely talent, not fantasy. Of course, I’m no pro scout. But I know when a goalie steals games and/or pushes his numbers better than they should be given the team and coach:
6. Frederik Andersen (Yeah. I said it)
8. Matt Murray
10. Roberto Luongo
So I went off the board a little bit. But this is what I believe. Take the coaching system out of it because that impacts goalies (Sutter or Trotz equal gold for a goaltender). Take the team out of consideration because obviously Andersen’s numbers are going to be mediocre with the Leafs, while Holtby’s numbers will possibly lead the NHL. And take out the hockey politics – the contracts and the biases that hold down the starts of top prospects like Murray and Hellebuyck. Take all that out and I think I did a good job here.
Of course…the NHL Network guys will point at my list and laugh. Aren’t lists fun?
Alexander Radulov meeting the media in Montreal (he’s asked about the curfew incident at around 2:30 and again around 11 minutes):
It looks as though David Perron will indeed man the right side for St. Louis (likely). Those who have my Fantasy Guide will have already seen that I have him penciled in there. The Blues are just too deep on the left side and regardless of the fact that he’s played mostly left wing, he is a right-handed shot and he’s played right wing before. The Blues need another player to play right wing in their top six and he’s the only logical candidate. I have him for 47 points this year with a small sleeper potential for 55. If he plays with Robby Fabbri and Fabbri has a nice little breakout, then that could really be something.
Last year the Oilers did not have a team captain. This year one will be named next month. And I’m sure you’ll agree that they’ll go the route of the Penguins with Crosby and name Connor McDavid their 19-year-old captain.
As I’m about to go to bed, Jiri Hudler is rumored to have signed with the Dallas Stars for $2 million on a one-year deal. I’ll have analysis up on that in the morning. First instinct – he’s lost his mojo and will disappoint fantasy owners. But he’ll still flirt with 45 or 50 points (hey, if Dallas can get 39 points for Hemsky, the can do better with Hudler!). I just don’t expect a return to 70 points or anything silly like that. Anyway, wait for the analysis when I’m less groggy and can look at it more closely.
Cody Ceci signed a two-year deal with the Sens worth $5.6 million. Ceci started to break through last season but then the ‘breakout’ was put on hold when the team acquired Dion Phaneuf. But he’s a year older now. More experienced. And his steady rise will continue this year. I see 36 points with at least 20 in the second half. The Sens would have been wise to sign him for five or six years and try to keep his salary around $4.5 million per year. It will be a deal a year from now. But now they’ll pay out the ass in the summer of 2018.
An interesting article here on the three goalies on the Islanders. It doesn’t really solve anything or answer the question, but it did make me take a second look at J-F Berube. Of course, two injuries will need to happen before Berube gets the right opportunity, but it’s not like Jaroslav Halak is Johnny Health. It’s almost a given that he gets hurt. So really we’re talking about one injury – and that’s to Thomas Greiss. Berube’s numbers in limited action have been pretty good.
Jimmy Vesey. (Sorry, I couldn’t do an entire Ramblings without mentioning his name – gotta keep the streak going!)
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