Ramblings: Perron, Parayko and the Blues Running Hot (Nov 29)

by steve laidlaw on November 29, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Perron, Parayko and the Blues Running Hot (Nov 29)

Allen’s splits, Parayko’s potential, Klingberg isn’t shooting and more.


Despite having not yet scored a goal, Colton Parayko is on fire, with nine assists in the past 11 games. Not bad for a guy seeing third pairing/second power play deployment on a lot of nights. Now third pairing is overstating it a little because he’s good enough to skate 20 minutes a night and not be sheltered but he is still frequently asked to elevate one of Joel Edmundson, Petteri Lindbohm or Roberto Bortuzzo and has done so well enough.

Parayko is a mega star waiting to blossom, whenever he can get out from under Kevin Shattenkirk’s shadow. Brent Burns is a tempting comparable considering they are both massive individuals with a ludicrous ability to rush the puck up the ice and also boast amazing shots, but Burns’ shot production is unparalleled. Parayko, even if we extrapolate his current shot production to what he might produce skating 25 minutes a night would only finish with 232 shots over an 82-game season. That would have been good enough for fifth in the league among defensemen, but not in Burns’ ballpark.

Parayko might instead nestle into the Dustin Byfuglien range, without the crazy PIM numbers. I think we’d all be satisfied with that.

By the way, Shattenkirk put an end to a five-game scoreless drought last night. No real concern with the drought. Even 50-point defensemen will go through fairly long slumps.

Jake Allen splits alert:























That’s just for this season. The trend isn’t as notable in his career stats but it’s still there.























Some folks like to act on this information, others do not. I know I’ve been actively avoiding the Blues on the road in daily fantasy for the past few weeks.



Second line with Jaden Schwartz and Paul Stastny plus top PP time? David Perron checks out. Only 28% owned on Yahoo.


Julius Honka continues to put up tangible fantasy production, while John Klingberg does not. It’s only been four games since Honka got in so we shouldn’t jump all over him yet but he notched a pair of assists last night and has three in total, plus 14 SOG. Meanwhile, Klingberg was scratched for Honka’s debut and has just one assist and one SOG in the three games he has played.

The minutes are still there for Klingberg but his shot rate continues to be alarming. This situation feels similar to the one in Philadelphia with Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov but it’s more of a B version.

Gostisbehere is so damned good that I don’t think anyone could push him out. I’m quite there with Klingberg. This shot rate is really killing me. I’m getting Toby Enstrom vibes. Remember when Enstrom was the golden boy for the Thrashers only to be brushed aside when Byfuglien came along? Enstrom is still really good but he was pushed out of a #1 job because he just isn’t dynamic enough. If Klingberg can’t be a shooter, we could see something similar.

I’m not sure Honka’s the guy to push Klingberg out. He’s no Byfuglien. Or if we go back to the Philly example, he’s not even on Provorov’s level.

Dallas is currently middle of the pack in power play percentage. Some of that has to do with the litany of injuries the Stars have faced. We’ll see how they do going forward. If Klingberg continues to not be a shooting threat, he opens himself up to turn into an Enstrom. Until a Byfuglien arrives, Klingberg is still a 50+ point option but every shotless performance has me doubting more.

Despite the two-goal night I’m not sure Jamie Oleksiak is going to be replacing Klingberg either:


A two-game night and one of them involved the Islanders. WOOF!

After scoring a pair of goals a couple of games back, Anders Lee was elevated to the Islanders’ top power play unit. He scored a goal on a deflection from the net-front, which is where he is going to do damage if he ever does so. Not nearly as effective last night. Despite skating a season high 4:52 with the man-advantage Lee was held scoreless. Still, this is a positive trend, if only we could count on it to continue.

I’m not sure there is anything to glean from Thomas Greiss having started three of the past four games for the Islanders but you can probably expect another game out of him this week, especially after this win. The reason to expect another start is that the Islanders have a back-to-back on Wednesday/Thursday. It’s against the Penguins and Capitals so I’m not sure we should expect a win, no matter who gets the starts.


Mark Jankowski made his NHL debut last night, going scoreless in 10:22 of action. He skated mostly with Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg, which isn’t a bad spot but ultimately not one where I envision him becoming fantasy relevant.

The Flames are your team to mine for streaming targets this week as they play three more games, on the Wednesday/Friday/Sunday off-day slate that is so favourable. They are the only team with those three days on the schedule. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to mine. I scooped Mikael Backlund but only because my league scores faceoff wins. I’d love to pump up Sam Bennett here but they seem committed to using him on the third line for now.


My thoughts on the Gerard Gallant firing:

Things normally need to hit unsustainable lows for a coach to be fired. The word is that there were disagreements between the front office and Gallant, who was not hired by the new regime so they were likely looking for any reason to make a swap. That means, the typical regression may not necessarily apply. Still, I have some optimism, if only because I see the potential to turn around the Panthers’ rotten power play, which is one of the areas where I think that a coach can have a significant impact.

Tom Rowe’s teams in San Antonio, where he coached most of two seasons in the AHL were about middle-of-the-pack in power play percentage, which doesn’t overwhelm me with optimism but it can’t be worse than what the Panthers have been doing.

I still don’t think that you can buy Aleksander Barkov stocks at a cheap price. His fans are mostly irrational.

Vincent Trocheck could be more easily attained, perhaps because I am the only one still holding Trocheck stock.

Rest assured that we will be going over the Panthers’ line combos with a fine-toothed comb over the next few weeks, even if it doesn’t turn up anything conclusive.


There are strong indications that Jack Eichel is ready to return tonight. Yippee ki yay!

The decision to activate Eichel is easy for me, as I have Taylor Hall ready to go on IR. Some of you may have tougher decisions, where you may not want to prematurely activate Eichel and have him not play until later in the week. In most cases, I’d say wait it out as long as possible but if that option isn’t there, I would probably take the chance.

Eichel won’t completely change things for the Sabres but he’ll bring an extra 20 goals over the final 61 games that the Sabres wouldn’t have had. For a team, dead last in scoring at 1.81 goals per game, that offense is huge. It puts them closer in line with the Canucks, Senators and Avalanche. Bad teams, but not embarrassing, at least in terms of offense. Being the lone team under two goals per game is embarrassing and Eichel is essentially that difference.

I do hope that he can help spark Sam Reinhart. Reinhart hasn’t been bad, with 10 points through 21 games. That’s essentially the same pace that got him 42 points as a rookie. The way he finished up last season with 14 points in the final 19 games had us hoping for more. Maybe 55-60 points. He’d have to go near a point-per-game pace the rest of the way to get there. 50 points is still in play.

Interestingly, the Sabres’ power play is a lone bright spot, clicking at 20% efficiency. Does the return of Eichel hamper that? You’d think no, but perhaps yes. That’s where Reinhart has done most of his damage, as a net-front guy.

The Sabres have also gotten something out of Matt Moulson as a DH on their top PP unit. He has scored eight of his nine points with the man advantage. He’s not really fantasy relevant, but do the Sabres try to continue mining value out of him, and allow him to block Eichel on the top unit? Or do they start kicking the tires on trades?

Eichel was a huge part of their power play last season, where he scored eight goals and 21 points. Hard to see him being left off what could be one of the most lethal top units in the league but they are already doing it without him.


With Eichel returning, an interesting question pops up: Eichel or Auston Matthews?

Matthews is having the season that I expected Eichel to have, as he is pouring on shots, while scoring at a 35-goal/66-point pace. Eichel can’t match him, after missing 21 games, but he could match the pace. The question is, will he? More importantly, if Matthews is doing as a rookie, what we hoped/thought Eichel could do as a sophomore, does that not put Matthews ahead? Indeed it does.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out all the whispers we heard about folks not being all that impressed with Eichel after the World Cup, despite how people fawned over the Team North America roster. I still think Eichel is going to be awesome, it just may be that guys like Matthews and Connor McDavid are better. Not necessarily a slight on Eichel.


Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.