Ramblings: Rielly, Kadri vs. Getzlaf (Feb 25)

by Ian Gooding on February 25, 2017

Rielly, Kadri vs. Getzlaf, plus more…

Lots to talk about including trades, Friday games, and questions. And heaven help us, the mumps are back too.

Steve has you covered with the Patrick Eaves trade to Anaheim. Not much I can add to that, except the fact that this should help Stars’ forwards that were missing out on the opportunity to play alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. The trade didn’t seem to hurt the Stars initially, as they cruised to a 5-2 win over the Coyotes. More on them in a bit.

The Detroit Red Wings are sellers. Yup. Let that sink in. I heard today that the last time they missed the playoffs, Glen Hanlon was the starting goalie. That’s how long it’s been. The Red Wings’ first move as a seller came Friday with the trade of Tomas Jurco to Chicago for a third-round pick.

The Blackhawks have the uncanny ability to turn suspect players into solid contributors – one current case in point being Richard Panik. Though only 24, Jurco has zero points in 16 games this season. That’s right, zero. Plus if you go back to last season, Jurco has now gone 25 consecutive games without a point. So if the Hawks want to turn Jurco into a solid contributor, they’ll have their work cut out for them. (Not to mention that writing a full article discussing the fantasy take of this deal might be a stretch.) So I’d have to assume that Jurco will need to start at the bottom and work his way up in Chi Town.

*

Just when you’d forgotten about the mumps, they have resurfaced, this time in Vancouver. A friend of mine suggested that because the Canucks would be missing four or five regulars for the time being, their draft lottery odds would improve. Yes, there’s that. But there’s also the fact that buyers may now be hesitant to trade for Ryan Miller, Alex Burrows, and Jannik Hansen. From a PR standpoint, the Canucks cannot afford to have a repeat of last year’s trade deadline, when they missed a golden opportunity to trade Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata.

Since the Canucks are a barren wasteland when it comes to fantasy, there are little to no fantasy implications from this news. What fantasy owners should be more concerned about is the mumps potentially appearing among other teams as well. Remember that Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry were sidelined with the mumps back in 2014, so your fantasy team might not be immune. Hopefully you are though.

*

That’s nine consecutive home wins for Braden Holtby. Yup, start him every time he starts at the Verizon Center.

With Matt Niskanen scratched, John Carlson was back on the first-unit power play. Although he was held without a point, he skated 27 minutes for the second consecutive game. If you still have time to buy low, you may just want to do that.

*

I would have normally thought that the Senators would be a strong play against the Hurricanes. But no Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, and Bobby Ryan meant no goals from the Senators. Eddie Lack made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season. If you didn’t start Lack in daily, I don’t blame you. He hasn’t posted a win since November 20.

With no points in 14 games, Victor Rask has been dropped in many leagues to the point where he is now owned in just 15 percent of Yahoo leagues. But the point slump ended on Friday with an assist. But goals-wise, he’s now at 15 games and counting without one.

Sebastian Aho had also been a cold Cane, recording just one point over his previous six games. But he also recorded an assist on Friday while firing six shots on goal. He wasn’t the only Cane to shoot the puck on Friday, as Jordan Staal took eight shots on goal while scoring a goal and adding an assist. My best explanation for the Hurricanes is that they seem to be a team that scores by committee.

*

Maybe Father Time is catching up with the 37-year-old Roberto Luongo, who let in another four goals on Friday. Since December 5, Lu hasn’t been the greatest thing for your fantasy team, posting a dreadful 3.32 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. Over that same stretch, James Reimer has a 2.17 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. Reimer started three of the previous four games for the Panthers and figures to start the next game Sunday against Ottawa.

Despite Luongo’s age, you may not have seen this coming. Lu’s goals-against average and save percentage had remained relatively stable since the 2011-12 season, and the analytics-focused Panthers appeared to be on the way up. But in spite of the fancy stats, the Cats are in the top-third in the league in shots allowed (31.6/game). From an enhanced stats perspective, though, the Panthers are a middle-of-the-pack team with a 50.34 shot attempt percent.

Luongo is owned in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues. Reimer is owned in just 36 percent. If you own Luongo, you better find a way to handcuff Reimer if he’s still available.

*

Line combinations for the Stars, minus Patrick Eaves:

19.93%  EV           ROUSSEL,ANTOINE – SEGUIN,TYLER – SHARP,PATRICK

16.37%  EV           BENN,JAMIE – EAKIN,CODY – RITCHIE,BRETT

15.66%  EV           FAKSA,RADEK – KORPIKOSKI,LAURI – SPEZZA,JASON

6.41%    EV           HUDLER,JIRI – MCKENZIE,CURTIS – SHORE,DEVIN

Only four Stars’ forwards were held off the scoresheet on Friday. Three of those forwards were from one line. Guess which one? Believe it or not, it’s the one at the top of the list.

Tyler Seguin did not record a point in spite of seven shots on goal and nearly seven minutes of power-play time.

I would think Patrick Sharp would benefit in the short term with Eaves’ departure. Sharp hasn’t reached Jurco-level proportions of mediocrity, but it’s fair to say he’s been a massive disappointment if you drafted him and kept him on your team all season. I realize he scored 55 points last season, but remember that the Stars seemed to massively overachieve. Maybe if he stays healthy there’s a late-season surge in him, but I wouldn’t blame you at all if you simply decided to move on.

*

Last season I thought Radim Vrbata might be done. This season he should be in the conversation for comeback player of the year. As long as your league doesn’t count plus-minus, he should be a player to consider. How in the world is he 18 percent owned in Yahoo leagues and someone like Sharp is 51 percent owned? Have a lot of people bailed on their Yahoo teams, or do many leagues simply not allow transactions, because that’s all I can come up with.

With a goal and an assist on Friday, Vrbata is now riding a three-game goal streak and an eight-game point streak. The Coyotes have been playing a little better in February, so it is time to get reacquainted with Vrbata as a fantasy option.

*

Question time. Thank you for your submissions again.
 


A quick glance of the scoring race would show that the two are equal, so it would be easy to give the benefit of the doubt to Getzlaf. But let’s take a closer look with a side-by-side comparison this season.

Ryan Getzlaf: 11 G, 35 A, minus-5, 105 SOG, 26 PIM

Nazem Kadri: 25 G, 22 A, minus-5, 184 SOG, 81 PIM

Not only has Kadri scored more goals, but he has also taken more shots on goal and more penalties. Clearly we can see which player has been better in your league. Kadri has had a surprise breakout, so let’s look back at last season for a better sample size.

Getzlaf: 13 G, 50 A, plus-14, 178 SOG, 55 PIM

Kadri: 17 G, 28 A, minus-15, 260 SOG, 73 PIM

And back to the 2014-15 season.

Getzlaf: 25 G, 45 A, plus-15, 191 SOG, 62 PIM

Kadri: 18 G, 21 A, minus-7, 176 SOG, 28 PIM

Two seasons ago, this would have been an easy decision. But right now this has been trending the other way. I would give Getzlaf the clear edge in assists and a slight edge in plus/minus. But I’m also willing to give Kadri the edge in the other three categories. Your league seems to reward players who shoot the puck and play a hard-nosed style, and Kadri is more of that player at the moment. Although Getzlaf’s overall point total hasn’t dropped, his gradual decline in shots and thus goals is slowly decaying his fantasy value.

Age also matters in keeper leagues, so it’s also worth mentioning that Kadri is five years younger (26) than Getzlaf (31). Many players have solid careers well past 30, but there are very few elite scorers at that age.

In a pure points league, it's probably still Getzlaf. But league format matters. So this might seem like a bold move, but I’m going to recommend that you keep Kadri. Sometimes it takes longer than normal for a player to come of age. His future looks bright in Toronto with the young scorers.

*


I’ll group these two questions together, since they both concern Morgan Rielly.

To give you an idea where I think Rielly stands, I had earlier this season dropped him from one of my teams that employs four defensemen. Those d-men were Brent Burns, Dougie Hamilton, John Klingberg, and Justin Faulk. Rielly is still showing as available in this league and about two-thirds of other Yahoo leagues at the moment. This league counts power-play points, making it the kind of league that Rielly has been more likely to have been cut from.

Of his 22 points this season, only four have been scored with the man advantage. Yes, it’s fair to say that Mike Babcock is killing Rielly’s fantasy value. But with the league’s top-ranked power play (23.1 percent), Babcock won’t be changing his power play anytime soon. That power play currently has Jake Gardiner (2:32 TOI/GP) and Nikita Zaitsev (2:04 TOI/GP) ahead of Rielly (1:08 TOI/GP).

In a points-only (no power-play point separation), I would rank these defensemen in this order:

Zach Werenski

Morgan Rielly

Ivan Provorov

Shea Theodore

I’d give Rielly a 60-point ceiling, which is contingent on him receiving first-unit power-play minutes. I think time on the top power-play unit will happen sometime in his career, just not this season. If this season is any indication, there should be a lot of scoring to go around in TO for many seasons to come.

*

Enjoy your Saturday. Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.