Some very bad injury news for Vladimir Tarasenko, as the team revealed that he will have surgery on his left shoulder and it appears he’ll miss the rest of the regular season. They are officially saying he’ll be re-evaluated in five months so that leaves some wiggle room, but not much. All that from some innocuous shoulder-to-shoulder hit in the neutral zone.
Not sure what to do as far as replacements go. No one in that franchise can directly replace his offensive contributions. Robert Thomas looks like the immediate waiver grab as he’s at least on the top line for now, but we’re probably going to see a lot of movement around the forward pairings of Schenn/Schwartz and O’Reilly/Perron. Unless someone blows the doors off, there probably isn’t a permanent replacement here.
A trade, perhaps?
Perlini is still just 23 years old but he hasn’t been able to make it work in two different spots. Will Detroit be different? I’m skeptical.
A lot of news on the injury front for Pittsburgh.
Evgeni Malkin was at practice on Monday but in a non-contact jersey. That he was on the ice in practice with the team is a good sign and it might not be long until he’s back in game action.
In the nine games after the injury to Galchenyuk, which came a game after the injury to Malkin, the Penguins went 6-3, and two of those losses were against Tampa Bay and Vegas, perhaps to the two best teams in the league. Pittsburgh weathered the storm and the underlying numbers are fine, to boot. This will be a very fascinating team all year long.
It’ll be a wait-and-see approach with a Murray fantasy replacement because he finished the game on Saturday night, including his secondary PP minutes. If I had to guess, they’ll go back to just splitting up Jones/Werenski on the two PP units but again, that’s a guess, and we’ll just have to wait and see.
After some mild experimenting in college, Tampa Bay returned to their senses and have Brayden Point back on the top PP unit. It was always going to be temporary, and they still used Point on the top PP unit at times anyway, but it’s good to get some clarity on the situation.
Let us never speak of this dark period in time again, yeah?
I wonder where he fits in the lineup. They obviously think highly of him given they moved on from Brandon Guhle to acquire him, but he’s another right shot in a lineup loaded with them. They’re also playing good hockey right now. I feel like Henri Jokriharju is going to get the short end of the stick, but I hope I’m wrong.
Just FYI: Montour is pretty good at producing across-the-board fantasy value. If anyone needs some depth on their blue line, now would be the time to pick him up.
Big news for Toronto as Travis Dermott was back in full practice on Monday, skating on the third pair with Justin Holl. Dermott has missed every game to date recovering from shoulder surgery but looks ready to go.
There may not be much fantasy value here right now but it’s good for dynasty owners that he’s back in the mix.
Morgan Rielly missed practice again. He’s still playing, which is important, but that he’s continually missing practice obviously means something is wrong. What it is, and whether it’ll get worse, is anyone’s guess.
There were only a couple games on Monday night, which means lots of time for discussing other things. Luckily, with Halloween in a couple days, I can take the holiday and spin it into a Ramblings.
Here are some facts and stats from the first nearly-four weeks of the NHL season that should scare fantasy owners. Some of these will be really SpOoOoOoOoOky! (No, they won’t, this is lame as hell, just let me live, man.)
Anaheim is 7-6 with a 1027 PDO
For those unfamiliar, PDO is just a crude measure for luck, be it on the player level or the team level. As of Monday afternoon, Anaheim is fourth in the league in PDO, meaning it has been one of the luckier teams in the NHL.
“But they have John Gibson,” you might say, and you may be right. But it’s worth remembering that he was probably the best goalie in the NHL last year and the team finished with a save percentage of .928 at five on five. Right now, the team’s save percentage is sitting at .940. So, when Gibson and Miller don’t both maintain save percentages in the .920s – well, they might pull a 2018 Islanders, but I wouldn’t bet on it – the team’s PDO will decline.
Now, teams get lucky and unlucky and it’s an ebb and flow all year. That the Ducks are 7-6 and one of the luckiest teams in the NHL, though, doesn’t bode well for a potential playoff run. This is a much better team than last year, but there is still a long way to go. Hopefully some of the kids can start picking up the slack. If not, wins may start becoming harder to come by for Gibson.
This isn’t a Boeing joke, though I did spend more time than I’d care to admit trying to think of a punny sub-headline. Rather, that is amount of ice time per game at five on five currently being enjoyed by Rangers forward Lias Andersson. Among 356 forwards with at least 70 minutes at five on five – as of Monday afternoon – he is 355th in TOI/game. And it’s a distant 355th, as he, Nic Dowd, and Mark Jankowski are the only forwards under 8:25 per contest. Not only is he nearly in last, he’s in the lowest tier imaginable, and there’s separation from the next tier up. It’s brutal.
Of course, the difference here being that Andersson is a legitimate prospect and the others are not. I would say that playing eight minutes a game with face-punchers and defencemen (literally Brendan Smith) isn’t great for prospect development, but I’m not an NHL coach. They clearly know best.
That is the current ratio of goals to shots at five on five for Max Pacioretty this year. In fact, he has the second-most shots in the league at five on five and has yet to score. There’s a lot of weird stuff going on:
max pacioretty might be having the funniest season to date— Michael Clifford (@SlimCliffy) October 28, 2019
– 69 points (nice, and would be a career-high)
– 340 shots (would also be a career-high)
– 12 goals (would be a career-low for any season with 60+ games)
But what might seem scary could actually be a huge boon for fantasy owners. That is massive shot volume Patches is posting, and he won’t keep shooting under four percent at all strengths forever. I doubt it’s possible to wrangle him from his fantasy owner because guys on pace to put up 70 points, over 300 shots, and roughly 100 hits usually aren’t on the trade bait list, but you never know.
Wouldn’t it be kind of scary if his shooting percentage didn’t have positive regression this year? (It will, just be patient… BUT WHAT IF?!)
To bring it back to the Rangers for a second, this is their current adjusted shot share through nine games. Again, just nine games, it’s not definitive proof of anything, but it’s an absolutely horrific start to the season. It does give us something to follow this year, though:
- The worst team by shot share in the Behind The Net era (since 2007) was the 2014-15 Sabres at 37 percent.
- It seems unlikely the Rangers are bad enough to get that low, but the next-worst shot share was the Sabres in 2013-14 at 42.5 percent, and that is very much within reach. In fact, those two Sabres teams and the 2007-08 Atlanta Thrashers are the only seasons of sub-43 percent hockey we have on record.
Are the Rangers bad enough to make a little history? If Mika Zibanejad is injured for any substantial length of time – and that’s still TBD as he’s currently day-to-day with an upper-body injury though it appears he’ll be fine – then maybe they are.
Is any of this related to David Quinn playing a defenceman on the third line, one of the team’s prospects on the fourth line with face-punchers, and Adam Fox getting less ice time per game than Marc Staal? Who can say?
This is staying with the Rangers because honestly, the start to the season is fascinating. That percentage is the percent of shifts Adam Fox starts in the offensive zone. The *offensive* zone. That number is the second-lowest in the NHL, ahead of only Ryan Graves in Colorado. What’s important about that is that he’s not being put in the prime offensive situations *and* he still leads all NHL defencemen in relative shot share. Just behind him are Roman Josi and Aaron Ekblad. Yeah, it’s been a great start.
It’s just nine games but that kind of usage is a worry for fantasy owners. It’s not to say guys tasked with less offensive responsibility are useless in fantasy – Ekblad is a good example of that – but it’s just hard to reach full fantasy potential until the coach takes the reigns off, like Drew Doughty all those years ago in Los Angeles, for example.
Pleasepleaseplease Quinn, I beg you, let Fox run the top power play for a while.
This is the current rate of shot attempts being generated by the Dallas Stars. A team with Tyler Seguin, Alex Radulov, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, John Klingberg, and Miro Heiskanen is currently generating fewer shot attempts than the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings.
I wrote about them last week but it’s worth reiterating just how anemic the Stars look most of the time. This is a team with offensive weapons that should scare every team on every night and right now they’re about as terrifying as a shih-tzu in an adorable Halloween costume.
“Oh, we’re facing Dallas tonight?” *starts day-dreaming*
Yeah, that’ll work.
Anyway, nothing will change until there is a change of coaching staff. There could be a 2018-19 St. Louis Blues-esque resurgence, but management needs to realize there’s a problem first.
- Ramblings: Surprises, Disappointments, & Everything In-Between (Dec. 4)
- Ramblings: Marner returns; updates on Strome, Spurgeon, and Landeskog; Fiala - December 5
- Fantasy Take: John Hynes fired as coach of Devils
- Goldipucks and the Three Skaters: J.T. Miller, Anze Kopitar, & Brady Tkachuk
- Injury Ward: Dahlin, Backstrom, Landeskog, Fleury, Marner & Hughes
- Capped: Teams with free-agent uncertainty
- Eastern Edge: Storylines from around the East
- Ramblings: Landeskog Returns, Phil Finally Provides Some Thrill (Dec 6)