Ramblings: Halak, Demers out; Smith, Galchenyuk on fire (Mar.9)

by Dobber on March 9, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Halak, Demers out; Smith, Galchenyuk on fire (Mar.9)

Rambling about key injuries to Demers and Halak, as well a few players who are fire – and what to do with them.

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The last trade deadline for me is Tuesday night (tonight). The Forecaster league. I haven’t made any leeway at all in the past two weeks. I’m still about 63 points back and running out of time. I’m in third place and had closed the gap by about 40 points in two weeks until hitting this wall. Part of that is two players I acquired in recent deals, Jordan Staal and Erik Johnson, have crapped the bed (other than Staal’s first week that I had him). So it’s time for the Hail Mary. Time to pad the games. I offered Johnson, Pulock, Namestnikov, Staal, Palmieri for Kesler, Ribeiro, Hutton and Lucic. In that, I gain I think nine games, which probably means an extra seven points. We’ll see if he bites. But these are the types of deals I’ll be looking to close. Getting an extra seven points that way could mean the difference between winning and losing. After winning the title for three consecutive years I finished second last season by six points. To finish third in 2015-16 is my team moving in the wrong direction.

Long story short – if your league does not have max games and the trade deadline still hasn’t happened yet, then play the system. Trading five of your players could mean adding a dozen games.

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Jason Demers was injured last night and could be out for the “rest of the regular season”. With he and Klingberg out, Kris Russell and Alex Goligoski combined for 60 minutes of ice time.

I’ve mention in the past (a lot, actually) of how Russell subs in for injured offense-oriented stars and produces very well when that happens. Well, with John Klingberg out, Russell has been getting a lot of power play time and he has two points in two-plus games to show for it.

Five games without a point for Tyler Seguin now. And his points-per-game average has finally slipped to 1.00.

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Alex Galchenyuk is on fire. His three points last night give him seven in four games, 10 in seven games, and 17 in his last 18. He’s now on a line with Max Pacioretty, who is also heating up with eight in his last seven. Line combos last game:

#1           28.1%    ANDRIGHETTO,SVEN – GALCHENYUK,ALEX – PACIORETTY,MAX

#2           19.6%    BYRON,PAUL – MATTEAU,STEFAN – PLEKANEC,TOMAS

#3           15.6%    BROWN,MIKE – DANAULT,PHILLIP – LESSIO,LUCAS

#4           15.6%    DE LA ROSE,JACOB – MCCARRON,MICHAEL – MITCHELL,TORREY

Look at these lines! Wow – eight forwards who a month ago were either in the AHL…or they should have been (ahem – Brown).

FYI – the line combos are still working fine, we are still working on widening the pages. So some of the Frozen Pool tools are shoved down the page (in some cases by a lot). Sorry, for now you’ll have to scroll a bit. But it’s only temporary. (Just yell at Eric on Twitter, he likes being yelled at)

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The three points that Mats Zuccarello tallied last night marked his second three-point effort in 10 games and sixth of the season.

Glass half full: Wow, what a talent with so many big games!

Glass half empty: Yikes, just 32 points in the other 61 games.

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Something to consider if you’re desperate for short-term help. Brian Gionta has six points in his last nine games (plus-3) and has 24 SOG.

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Another injury: Jaroslav Halak left the game. Take a look:

Looks like same ol’ groin issue to me. And I’m no doctor, but that looked like a two- or three-weeker. He’ll be gone just long enough for Thomas Greiss to really gain traction on a goalie controversy…and he’ll be back just in time to create further havoc for the Isles playoff hopes as fans and media push for Greiss. And so, after just six games, Halak Attack is toast. Ironically, he got the win – and it was the 200th of his career. For what it’s worth, here were the six-game numbers:

5-1-0, 1.68, 0.943

Frans Nielsen picked up two points in a game for the third time in a row and the fourth time in seven games. I gotta hand it to him – he’s been some kind of consistent since 2010-11. Six years in a row with between 43 and 58 points.

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Phil Kessel has 18 SOG over the last four games but just one goal to show for it. The increase in shots is promising, because he’s on pace for his lowest shot total (pace is 272) since he was a sophomore in 2007-08 (pro-rating the lockout year).

 

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Nikita Kucherov was okay after this hit to the head. He passed concussion protocol, but we’ll see what is said tomorrow:

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Brad Marchand scored his 34th goal of the season. I think he makes Team Canada, what say you? He certainly needs to be there – a 40-goal scorer (soon) whose bread and butter is in an agitating/checking capacity. If you’re going to roll three lines of superstars plus a checking line, Marchand certainly deserves to be on that checking line.

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With the shutout last night, James Reimer is 1-1-0, 1.54 and 0.946 with the Sharks. Martin Jones is also putting up great numbers. In the “coaching system vs. talent” debate, to me this is more proof of the former. At any rate, Jones will get the bulk of the workload and until he seriously falters, we won’t see much of Reimer.

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Another guy on fire right now is Craig Smith, who has 14 points in his last 11 games and 10 points in five games. The benefit of being a capable sniper playing on a line with a red-hot star in Filip Forsberg

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Tyler Toffoli has three points in his last 11 games and it has some people panicking. After all, last season he started off white-hot before cooling off in the second half. But this time it’s different. Last year he was new to the league and early on he was the only player scoring (remember Kopitar had that brutal start), but as the season wore on the veteran coach leaned on his veteran players. This year, Toffoli is no longer considered “inexperienced”. So no, I don’t think this is an end-of-season slide. Also, if it helps, Toffoli had three points in 11 games between November 25 and December 19. So he’s already had a slump like this and has bounced back. I know this flies in the face of what Laidlaw was saying yesterday (kind of), but I think Toffoli bounces back soon.

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Points in five straight for Gustav Nyquist puts him one behind Tatar, two behind Larkin and five behind Zetterberg on the Red Wings. It wouldn’t be too hard for him to lead this team in scoring, which would be quite the comeback. I know of a few poolies who had written him off last month.

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With three points last night Cam Atkinson has 16 in his last 18. Alexander Wennberg has 10 points in his last 12. In the case of Wennberg, he’s showing more and more the ability to possibly become a No.1 center. His upside isn’t as high as Ryan Johansen’s, but he’s still quite the talent.  Here is the breakdown of Wennberg’s power-play time by quarter (as a percentage of the team’s available PP time):

1st Quarter: 1:37 PPTOI, 24.6%

2nd Quarter: 1:44 PPTOI, 41.1%

3rd Quarter: 2:39 PPTOI, 54.7%

(you get that from Wennberg’s player profile page)

Right now the Blue Jackets are leaning pretty heavily on two scoring lines:

#1           32.3%    ATKINSON,CAM – DUBINSKY,BRANDON – JENNER,BOONE

#2           15.9%    FOLIGNO,NICK – HARTNELL,SCOTT – WENNBERG,ALEXANDER

#3           13.3%    CALVERT,MATTHEW – CLARKSON,DAVID – KARLSSON,WILLIAM

#4           7.7%      BOLL,JARED – BOURQUE,RENE – CAMPBELL,GREGORY

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So in one of my leagues I have Anderson, Halak and Elliott. How’s your week going?