Ramblings: “Slide” candidates down to two, Yanni’s out of his Gourde, and why is Skjei producing now? (Nov 05)

by Dobber on November 4, 2018
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: “Slide” candidates down to two, Yanni’s out of his Gourde, and why is Skjei producing now? (Nov 05)

Ramblings: “Slide” candidates down to two, Yanni’s out of his Gourde, and why is Skjei producing now? (Nov 05)

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I remember when Barry Trotz coached the Predators. Year after year the prognosticators, myself included, would put the Preds near the bottom of a playoff spot, or just missing. Nashville always had a solid enough team, but not enough in the way of eye-popping stars that dazzled on paper. And yet almost every year they made the playoffs, often easily (they just didn’t go very deep, but that’s a different conversation). Is anyone truly surprised that the Isles are doing what they’re doing? Truly? I see lots of discussion on here about the tough schedule, and the PDO (luck) numbers so I don’t want to beat a dead horse. But I think it’s wrong to count out a Barry Trotz-coached team.

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We’re down to Robert Thomas and Brady Tkachuk when it comes to “slide” candidates who can be sent down before they play their 10th game thereby delaying when the entry-level deal kicks in. We all know Tkachuk is safe (he’s back soon). I mean…six points in four games? So that leaves Thomas, who I had in the Guide as playing nine games (initially) and later adjusted to 39 games (the second contract-related deadline) as he had a strong preseason. In the last week or so we’ve seen Alex Formenton, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Evan Bouchard and Kristian Vesalainen get sent down before their 10-game cutoff. Jordan Kyrou was also sent down at the nine-game mark, but he wasn’t a slide candidate and the decision was unrelated to that.

I would have said that Thomas was for sure getting sent down, but two games ago when he played with Robby Fabbri the Blues had a bonus scoring threat they could throw out there and it really worked. But then Saturday Fabbri bounced around on the scoring lines and Thomas was left as a spare part. Thomas has nothing left to learn at the OHL level, but I’m 50-50 on what happens to him.

Qualified prospects who got through that barrier? Max Comtois, Kailer Yamamoto, Henri Jokiharju, Juuso Valimaki, Dillon Dube, Andrei Svechnikov, Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt.

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One of my bigger disappointments so far this year has been Ryan Donato, who I had pegged for 46 points in the Fantasy Guide as a third-liner, but first unit PP guy. I was right on the second two things – he was indeed a third liner and the guy saw 2:30 per game on the PP. But man, the guy was snakebitten. Six goals scored on the power play while he was on the ice – mostly with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak – and he got points on one of them (for an IPP of 16.7%). In two games with Providence, Donato has one assist so far.

While I was looking at Providence, I noticed Jan Kovar has five points in five games. Very interesting, and kudos to him for signing an AHL tryout agreement and betting on himself. I’d love to see him earn his way back to the NHL.

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If you want a good Willie Desjardins/LA Kings take from a fantasy standpoint you probably won’t do better than Ian Gooding’s (here). Gooding had front row seats to Desjardins and his style in Vancouver, so he had a good feel for what he brings.

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Hoping to get the Top 300 Keeper League Players list up by Wednesday. I have been feeling under the weather lately, so that’s really the only excuse I have on that front. But I know my readers understand, you guys have been very supportive.

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Fresh off his big signed contract extension, Yanni Gourde scored in OT Sunday and now has 51 points in his last 55 games. His ice time is eking up accordingly, and now that he’s being paid like a true scoring star, the trend will only continue. I feel like a picked this diamond in the rough five years ago (Prospects Report), soured on him eighteen months ago, got back on board midseason last year…but still dialed back expectations for 2018-19 having felt he overreached. Overall it feels like a failure, but at the same time a nice call, depending on how far back you go with my writing. But I don’t like wavering back and forth on a guy, I like to evaluate long term and stick with that long-term vision, never to be shaken by some short-term events. With Gourde, I just didn’t think he could do what Jonathan Marchessault does. I’m sold now, and that juicy contract seals it. His upside is just as high.

Tampa Bay signing smaller, undrafted players: Marchessault, Gourde and Tyler Johnson. Not too shabby.

So who is next on the list? Perhaps Alex Barre-Boulet, signed earlier this year. Undrafted with 116 points as an overager in the QMJHL last year already has six points in nine games with Syracuse, and he’s 5-9. We’ll find out in 2022 I guess.

Ryan McDonagh owners are seriously cashing in on the Victor Hedman injury. In five games McDonagh has six points, thanks to his second three-point game in that span Sunday. He also has 20 shots on goal in those five games when he had all of 18 shots in the nine games prior.

Also benefiting, but only in terms of ES points – Anton Stralman who has four points in his last two games.

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Thomas Chabot now has points in 12 of the 14 games this year. Erik who?

Craig Anderson faced 45 shots Sunday, and it was the third time in five appearances that he faced at least that many.

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With two goals Sunday, Jimmy Vesey is up to five on the season. His ice time has been steady around 16 minutes, despite the third-line linemates (Brett Howden, Jesper Fast), and he’s seen good PP time though he’s been unproductive there. He has just one assist and that’s been the way of things for him – he has 38 goals in his career and 23 assists. In Harvard it was the same kind of Cy Young deal with the stats, too. Still only in his third year, I could see him becoming a 30-goal, 50-point player in his fourth or fifth campaigns. Right now his ice time is as high as it’s ever been.

Brady Skjei has four points in his last six games, three in his last four. I suspect this is related to his being paired with Tony DeAngelo for the last four games. Something to keep an eye on, as Skjei may pick it up offensively with this new dynamic. This could also keep DeAngelo in the lineup.

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The Ducks were without Ryan Getzlaf Sunday, he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. That pretty much takes Pontus Aberg back off your radar for points in the short term. Aberg had been doing well with back-to-back two-point games followed by a game in which he saw 19 minutes. Adam Henrique is a poor replacement, when it comes to players who can help Aberg become fantasy relevant. Here were Anaheim’s line combos Sunday:

#1

29.4%

COGLIANO,ANDREW – KESLER,RYAN – SILFVERBERG,JAKOB

#2

26.9%

ABERG,PONTUS – HENRIQUE,ADAM – RAKELL,RICKARD

#3

14.3%

EAVES,PATRICK – LUNDESTROM,ISAC – SHERWOOD,KIEFER

#4

10.1%

CARRICK,SAM – GIBBONS,BRIAN – STREET,BEN

 

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Cam Fowler scored his first three goals of the season Sunday. He points in each of his last three. More promising is that he has eight consecutive games with at least two shots on goal.

Hey, did the Ducks actually outshoot a team? I think they did!

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Ty Rattie was activated off injured reserve Saturday but was made a healthy scratch. Curious to see if that was just to give him two extra days of recovery, and how long they plan to do that. Drake Caggiula has suddenly seen success on the McDavid line, but I still think it’s Rattie’s to lose. The Oilers play Monday night against Washington.

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See you next Monday.