Ramblings: Tatar Four Points; Blackwood, Nilsson Impressing As Starters (Nov 16)

by Ian Gooding on November 16, 2019
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Tatar Four Points; Blackwood, Nilsson Impressing As Starters (Nov 16)


The Top 100 Roto Rankings have now been updated for this month. Since I took over the rankings this summer, I haven’t had a month in which I’ve made more updates than this one. This is a reflection of so many players performing above or below preseason projections, as well as revaluing players after injuries. Feel free to weigh in if you believe I’ve missed anyone. And if you’re going to tell me that the rankings suck, please at least extend the courtesy of explaining which players you’d rank differently.  

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Brad Marchand scored two third-period goals while firing seven shots on goal to lead the Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Leafs. With 13 goals and 32 points in just 19 games, Marchand is now third in league scoring. Not surprisingly, Marchand is in the top 10 in our Roto Rankings. And he still loves to troll.
 


With his goal on Friday, Auston Matthews has a six-game point streak in which he has 11 points (3g-8a).

The Leafs announced earlier in the day that they will be without Alexander Kerfoot indefinitely after he underwent surgery to repair dental fractures. Kerfoot’s injury meant that Jason Spezza entered the lineup for Friday’s game against Boston. Spezza played on a line with Ilya Mikheyev and Nic Petan, who was playing in his second consecutive game after being recalled from the AHL.

After the game, Mike Babcock confirmed that Kasimir Kaskisuo will make his NHL debut on Saturday against Pittsburgh. As a Frederik Andersen owner, I had noticed that Andersen had generally received the easier starts during the back-to-backs than recently demoted Michael Hutchinson. Pittsburgh might be an easier matchup than Boston now that Sidney Crosby is out of the Pens’ lineup, but they are still the Penguins. Kaskisuo had been dominating the AHL this season (2.13 GAA, .928 SV%), so you could roll the dice on him if you’re in need of a one-day add. For more starting goalie information, be sure to check Goalie Post.
 


Pushing the panic button yet, Leafs fans?

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The New Jersey net belongs to Mackenzie Blackwood at the moment. Blackwood has now played seven of the last eight games, the most recent a 38-save 2-1 win over Pittsburgh. Cory Schneider could get back between the pipes for the Devils as they play again on Saturday, but so far Blackwood has been the far superior goalie, as he has all six wins for the Devils this season. Most recently, Blackwood has quality starts in three of his last five games. Schneider has to be considered droppable in many leagues at this point.

Speaking of underperforming Devils, Friday was yet another game of P.K. Subban not being used on the first-unit power play. Even with Sami Vatanen on IR, Subban has given way to Will Butcher on the first unit power play. What’s more, Subban has zero power-play points and is without a point in six games. I wrote about Subban at this time last week, and nothing has improved since then. He’s still 91 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, so based on name value I don’t think he’s waiver-wire fodder. Maybe stick him on your bench and see if you can good value in a trade with an unsuspecting owner in the meantime. His 0.7 PTS/60 and 33.3 IPP suggest that things will improve, but getting back on PP1 will be critical.

Blake Coleman filled your statsheet in banger leagues on Friday, scoring a goal with a plus-2 and dishing eight hits. He’s now in the top 25 in hits and scored 22 goals last season. I’d like to see some power-play time – any power-play time – before suggesting universal ownership in leagues that count hits, though.

With no Sidney Crosby, the Penguins paired Jake Guentzel with Evgeni Malkin. The two combined for 13 shots (Malkin 7, Guentzel 6), although they couldn’t generate any offense against a hot Blackwood. If Guentzel and Malkin will be a thing during life without Crosby, then you shouldn’t be as worried about Guentzel during this stretch. More about the impact of the Crosby surgery here in yesterday’s Ramblings.

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Tomas Tatar had himself a day against Washington, scoring a goal and adding three assists to go with a plus-3 in the Canadiens’ 5-2 win. He now leads the Habs in scoring with 19 points in 19 games with a significantly higher 3.8 PTS/60. A point per game doesn’t seem sustainable for Tatar, but there seems to be enough there to believe that the career-high 58 points from last season was no fluke.

Jonathan Drouin left the game in the second period, but returned in the third period after being on the receiving end of this Alex Ovechkin freight train.
 


That hit seemed to fire up the Canadiens, who followed up with four second-period goals to cement the victory.

Phillip Danault scored a goal and added two assists and a plus-3 of his own, giving him points in back-to-back games and a plus-5 over that span. Danault has six goals and 14 points in 19 games, so he seems like a candidate for additional ownership beyond his current 10 percent in Yahoo leagues. Beware of his shooting percentage (20.0%), which is double his career average of 10 percent, though.  

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With an assist on Friday, Cam Atkinson now has assists in four consecutive games. Yet he’s without a goal in nine consecutive games, dating all the way back to October 24. The high-volume shooter has been averaging nearly three shots per game over that span, which is slightly down from his pace over the previous two seasons. His shooting percentage of 4.4% is well below his three-year average of 11.4%, so pucks will have to start going in. Yet at least a slight dip in production had to be expected with the loss of Artemi Panarin.

With an assist on Friday, David Perron now has 11 points (3g-8a) in his last nine games. Interestingly enough, this was shortly after when Vladimir Tarasenko was injured. Perron has received over a minute more in icetime per game, mostly in power-play time. So the Tarasenko injury has helped Perron’s fantasy value, at least so far.  

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Break up the Senators, they’ve now won four of their last five games! Anders Nilsson stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced to lead the Sens to a 2-1 win over the Flyers. Nilsson has started four of the Sens’ last five games and has three quality starts over that span (plus the stinker against Carolina on Monday). It takes a leap of faith to own any Senators’ goalie, but if you have to pick one to own, Nilsson is the one to own over Craig Anderson at the moment. If the Sens are better than we thought, then Nilsson could provide some sneaky-good value.

The Flyers’ long-term signing of Kevin Hayes at over $7 million this offseason raised some eyebrows. It hasn’t exactly panned out so far, as Hayes has just four goals and seven points in 19 games. Worse yet, Hayes does not have a single point in his last nine games. Virtually all of his advanced stats suggest that an improvement is on the way, although he hasn’t exactly been placed in a position to succeed offensively.

Hayes was able to receive some first-unit power-play time during the third period of Wednesday’s game. Hayes owners should hope that this arrangement sticks somehow, as he is currently 11th on the Flyers in power-play time. Because as it stands right now, he only seems relevant in leagues larger than the standard-sized 12-team leagues.

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The recent injuries to Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle mean that Bo Horvat has been leaned on more heavily in a defensive role and shorthanded situations. This was apparent on Tuesday, when Horvat became the first forward to reach the 27-minute mark in a game ending in regulation (60 minutes). This deployment doesn’t come at the right time for Horvat, who has just one even-strength goal all season (an empty netter) and no goals at all in November (eight games).

Horvat is usually matched with a multitude of different wingers, but he has managed to push through anyway. His 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 4.49% suggests that the goal production should return at some point. Only Tanner Pearson (who might be Horvat’s most regular winger and a player who recently broke his own goal-scoring slump) has taken more shots than Horvat among Canucks.

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For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.