Ramblings: The Brock Boes Monster Surfaces (Dec 1)

by steve laidlaw on December 1, 2017

If you are looking for it, I broke down the Adam Henrique/Sami Vatanen swap here and here.

Any anticipated Henrique boost may not be as long-lasting as initially expected:

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Take note, this means the clock is ticking on the buy low window for John Gibson.

There were also some notes that perhaps Henrique’s absence will help Pavel Zacha. Perhaps long term it will, but in the short term he doesn’t seem ready to consistently contribute. I remain firmly in the Zacha to the AHL camp.


Cam Talbot has been placed on injured reserve for what Todd McLellan is calling a minimum of two weeks. As we have seen with Carey Price, time off to rehab an injury can be a positive. Talbot has been banged up for at least a week now, and clearly has been off his game. Some time away could ultimately be positive. On the other hand, Price also offers an example of how a goalie injury can linger all season. Ultimately, this is a negative, but you can try and spin some positive.

Unlike with Tristan Jarry in Pittsburgh, I am not advocating a pickup of Laurent Brossoit in Edmonton, but as I always say, any goalie is capable of going on a run. In a deep enough setup, you could find room to take a flyer on Brossoit, but I’d only advise it if dropping an already terrible non-starting goalie option like Scott Wedgewood for instance.

More importantly, Jarry remains widely available. He represents a better goalie scoop than Brossoit.

Brossoit’s tenure as the Oilers’ starter got off to a roaring start:

Indeed, that was Kris Russell slamming the game-winner through Brossoit’s legs late in the third period. This came just minutes after Russell had tied it for the Oilers. This isn’t rock bottom, but oh brother is it low.

Adam Larsson isn’t of much fantasy relevance, however he missed last night’s game due to an upper-body injury. Life isn’t getting any easier for the Oilers’ goaltenders.


Just as folks were complaining about William Nylander’s production he rattled off a three-point game, extending his scoring streak to four games. He’s just fine.

Also fine, Mitch Marner, who has been held off the score sheet in five straight, but will score in bunches once again.

Jake Gardiner has run up five points in the last four games. I was excited for him this season, but Morgan Rielly has clearly jumped ahead. Gardiner’s still a threat for 40 points with how much the team scores, and his second unit PP deployment, but he just isn’t meeting my criteria for full-82 ownership. Grab him while he’s hot, however.


Jonathan Drouin is officially listed as day-to-day. He did not travel to Detroit, nor did he play last night, but the Canadiens return home on the weekend, so he could be back in short order.

The Canadiens fared well without him, getting six goals on 25 shots, including one from Max Pacioretty who was due. Pacioretty has now wrung up a three-game scoring streak, but most importantly he ended an eight-game goal-scoring drought. He is on pace for 24 goals and 46 points, but as I have continued to preach, Pacioretty is a 30-goal/60-point guy.

Brendan Gallagher should be in the same realm, but cannot get enough minutes. He remains an efficient per-minute scorer, but does not skate enough power play time to sustain scoring runs. Still, he’s on pace for 55 points and 246 SOG. That’s relevant in a lot of leagues.

Shea Weber was retroactively placed on the IR, dating it back to November 18. This is mostly a paper move opening up a roster spot to fill in with Drouin out. Weber could still come back at any point. Jeff Petry is up to four points in six games filling in for Weber.


The Wild have been without Jared Spurgeon the past couple of games, and the prognosis keeps getting worse:

Spurgeon was on track for a 45-point breakout season. That has effectively been derailed.

A couple of games ago Jonas Brodin stepped into Spurgeon’s top PP minutes, but last night it was Matt Dumba. We can all agree Dumba is the more talented option. Dumba notched an assist and six SOG in over 26 minutes of action. This could be the cure to what has been a slow start. Don’t be shocked if you get a 45-point pace from Dumba over the next few weeks, but this is also going to be a small sample situation, so his production could go any direction. Point being, the opportunity is there for improved results.


The Flames’ top line has cooled off a tad. Johnny Gaudreau has gone three straight games without a point, while Micheal Ferland and Sean Monahan have been held off the board in each of the last two games. Ferland has been hit hardest with just two points in his last six games. He’s also the only one to be concerned about as Gaudreau and Monahan are plug and play options.

Depending on your settings Ferland may still be relevant. As I have said since he got hot, Ferland is Patrick Maroon 2.0. We aren’t sitting on a superstar. 45-55 points is the range to expect with some nice peripherals. I could see Ferland being dropped in a good number of leagues, although the Flames do have a juicy upcoming schedule.

It probably isn’t helping the top line that Kris Versteeg has missed action with a lower-body injury. The latest update suggests that he may be lost for the season. Versteeg isn’t crazy impactful, nor has he been particularly fantasy relevant, but he has fit similar to how Sam Gagner fit with the Blue Jackets last season. Now they need to find a new option as a power-play specialist.

They have experimented with Mark Jankowski and Jaromir Jagr in Versteeg’s spot in practice, but in last night’s game it was Troy Brouwer in those minutes. No one wants to see this experiment again. Jankowski scored a pair of goals last night, and would be intriguing in this spot.

Folks really want to see Dougie Hamilton elevated to the top PP unit. I don’t see it happening. He’s probably going to score 45 points anyway.

Mikael Backlund continues to roll, he’s up to 11 points in the last 12 games. Getting Backlund and that second line going will do wonders for Hamilton and Mark Giordano.

Mike Smith continues to be a top-five fantasy goalie.


Through two games since being recalled Dylan Strome has no points and has averaged 12:42 per game with secondary PP time. Not exactly optimal usage. Strome might still be a top prospect, he crushed the AHL, but he’s not a prospect I am buying. The hype doesn’t seem like it matches the value.


The Brock Boes monster has climbed into a tie with Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anders Lee for 24th in league scoring with 25 points. His recent run of scoring has seen eight goals and 11 points in the last nine games, including five power-play points.

At one point there were concerns that Boeser and Bo Horvat weren’t getting enough power play time. Now that they have teamed up with the Sedin twins and Alex Edler on a stacked top unit, they are scoring goals in bunches.

Daniel Sedin has scored seven points in the last six games, and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark last night. Meanwhile, Henrik Sedin has eight points in the last six games. Boeser’s greatest feat might be dragging the Sedins out of the twilight and back to relevance. It probably won’t last for the Sedins, but Boeser is for real.

Nikolay Goldobin jumped onto the off wing with Boeser and Horvat replacing Sven Baertschi, he made this slick dish to Boeser for his first point in his first game of the season:

I’m not sure I can get behind Goldobin in most settings. He skated only 13:02 with no power play time. He is an intriguing prospect, however. More important is that bumping Baertschi eliminates him from relevance in most leagues. Lines shuffle all the time and I’d expect Baertschi to get back on that top line at some point.

Derek Dorsett has been forced into retirement due to spinal issues. He had been one of the early surprises racking up ridiculous numbers in multi-category leagues. It’s doubtful you’ll find any meaningful replacements for the production he provided if in these sorts of leagues, however the return of David Backes may offer one good option.


Radek Faksa is on a killer run with four goals and five points in the last two games. The Stars have desperately needed some depth scoring and Faksa is providing some. It’ll be hard for Faksa to sustain much fantasy relevance seeing no power play time, however.

Jamie Benn has gone five straight games without a point. He had been split off from Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin at even strength, but that line was reunited last night. Still no results for the power forward. I’m annoyed as a Benn owner, but not concerned. He is still on track for a nice season.

Martin Hanzal might be done as anything relevant in any sort of league. He was out due to injury AGAIN last night. The big centerman has missed six games due to injury already, is skating under 15 minutes per game, and hasn’t come close to anything resembling quality offensive production.


Alex DeBrincat wound up with 10 goals in the month of November, a damn impressive total for a rookie skating under 15 minutes per game. He has 12 points in the last nine games and represents a strong option to take a flyer on. I still don’t buy into his staying power at his current deployment, but he is obviously an awesome option in keeper leagues.

I’ll keep beating the drum that Nick Schmaltz is a more intriguing option than DeBrincat because he sees more minutes overall, but especially more time with Patrick Kane. Schmaltz has 11 points in the last eight games.


After a hot start to the season Jimmy Howard has given up four goals or more in four of his last five starts. Tread careful if using him in the short-term. 


After scoring a pair of goals Marian Gaborik has four points in four games since returning from injury. He is skating 16:10 per game, with time on the top power play unit alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

The Kings have a nice Friday-Sunday run on the road this weekend, which just might make Gaborik an intriguing streaming option, if you can believe it. However, I am not certain that Gaborik has been cleared to skate in back-to-back situations, so make sure he’ll be in the lineup before making the desperation move.


Injury update on Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers’ top center is out with a concussion, which could derail a breakout season. Every head injury is different so there is no timeline here. David Desharnais skated in his spot on the top line and top power play unit, and had a big night earlier this week.


Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.