Ramblings: The Rangers Rebuild, The Michigan(s), Avs Injuries, Ovechkin, Gusev, & Meier (Oct. 30)

by Cam Robinson on October 29, 2019
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: The Rangers Rebuild, The Michigan(s), Avs Injuries, Ovechkin, Gusev, & Meier (Oct. 30)


Let’s start this off with a goal of the year candidate from the SHL. Canucks 2019 second-rounder, Nils Höglander decided to do the most impressive lacrosse-style goal I've ever seen on Tuesday. While under pressure, he banks the puck to himself off of the back of the net and has the presence of mind to toe-drag around the stick check WHILST cradling the puck up for the highlight-reel finish. 




Hoglander recently returned from a five-game suspension after sending a VICIOUS elbow to an opponent. This kid is full of fire and skill. Don’t be surprised to see him cross the pond as early as this spring to get some AHL games in.

The club may have snagged him in the second round, but he’s a first-round talent. He should be on your fantasy radar. 



Alex Ovechkin had a few choice words regarding the Maple Leafs recent struggles. 


“They are still a young group of guys and I hope they’re going to learn. But it’s up to them how they want to do it and if they want to play for yourself, if they want to win a Cup, they have to play differently.”


The Great Eight backed up his talk by dumping two goals, four points – including the OT winner, and 10 shots on goal. The guy had 16 attempts! 



Ovi remains an animal. Oh, and that overtime tally put him ahead of Luc Robitaille for sole possession of 12th all-time with 669 markers. Incredible.



Roman Josi inked an eight-year extension on Tuesday that will kick in for the 2020-21 season. That deal will pay him a little over 9M per season through his age-37 season. I’m not here to question Josi’s fantasy impact – he’s a terrifically consistent producer and one that should be valued. However, I loathe teams paying for past results and there is a very real possibility that Nashville will be eating it on the tail-end of this deal. 



The Preds and their newly-extended captain put 51 shots on goal against the Blackhawks in a 3-0 victory. Patrick Kane has just one assist in the last five games. We haven’t seen too many prolonged dry spells from the 30-year-old in recent seasons. The Hawks are clearly trending way down, but I’d wager Kane finds his way back to above a point-per-game as we move forward.



The Pens thumped the Flyers 7-1 in the battle of Pennsylvania on Tuesday. This one was never close. Philly has surrendered 17 goals in the last three games with Brian Elliott and Carter Hart alternating stinkers. 


I’m a big-time believer in Hart, but more so than any other position in real life or fantasy, the strength of the team has such a massive impact on netminders. If you’re a decent goalie on a great team, you’re valuable. A great goalie on a medium or poor team? Not so much. 


Hart will possess a boatload of value in keeper leagues due to his age, pedigree and early career performance, and I might be inclined to sell on that potential if given the chance. As much as Philly has some decent youngsters on the way up, the discrepancy between that potential youth movement and the ageing star talent on the roster doesn’t bode well for their long term upside. 


I’d love to tell you to buy-low on a couple of these guys – and you could on Sean Couturier I suppose, but for a player like Shayne Gostisbehere, who has been putrid for nearly 100 games now, the tide doesn’t appear to be shifting in his favor. 



Another major blow to the Avs came down on Tuesday. Captain, Gabriel Landeskog will be out for an indefinite amount of time. And we’re still waiting on word to see the damage to Mikko Rantanen after his foot decided to turn around the wrong way. That’s two-thirds of the top line down. The team needs to bubble wrap Nate MacKinnon


The team has (obviously) shuffled the lines up in preparation for their next tilt. They’re going with Donskoi-MacKinnon-Kadri on the top line and Burakovsky-Jost-Compher as the second. 


These power-play units are not ideal for our fantasy world. It does give a massive boost to Joonas Donskoi – and Nazem Kadri to a lesser extent. If both are living next to Mack in all-situations, their stock should quickly climb. Notice JT Compher no longer earning the prime ice. There goes that potential heater (for the moment, anyway)



Timo Meier to 3rd line with Jumbo in the Sharks game against the Bruins. Things have not been rosy for many San Jose players, but the fourth-year forward has especially struggled. He’s been bounced from the top power-play unit as well. 


I trust skill, so I’m buying low if possible. 


The Sharks were thoroughly tromped by Boston 5-1 while being outshot 41-17. It was another ugly outing for San Jose. These older teams sure look old these days. 



Another game, another two points (goals) for John Carlson. I spoke last week about selling as high as high can be on this guy. I stick by that advice, but also with the aforementioned caveat of riding this horse all the way to a Championship if you’re able. I remain wholly convinced that the sweet sweet ride is going to end sooner or later – and that means a return to a more reasonable 60-ish point pace instead of hitting a triple-digit pace. Decide now – go for the gold, or sell for the moon. 


Both tasty options. 



Wait, another lacrosse-style goal? Two in one day? It’s a great day! 



Andrei Svechnikov converted the first-ever “Michigan” goal in NHL history. It’s his second-career attempt and this one delivered. Svech tallied the other marker in this contest as the Canes defeated the Flames 2-1. If you all recall, I’m a huge believer in Svechnikov. Just ask the guy who owns him in my decade-long keeper. I’ve been 'babysitting' him for months. Sorry for the harassment, Peacock. But we both know I won’t be deterred.



Another player out of the lineup will be Nikita Gusev. The Devils ‘rookie’ will be a healthy scratch on Wednesday in a game against Tampa. Reports are that he’ll sit and watch the game with Patrik Elias to analyze the game. 


Gusev was expected to make an immediate impact in the revamped New Jersey top six. Things have not gone to plan. He’s been shuffled all over the lineup and he nor the team, have found their sea legs yet. I’m not saying go out and buy-low on him, but I’d be keeping a close eye on it. I believe he’s still a super talented guy who should mesh up well amongst their top guys. If you can get him for a song to stash for a minute, go on and do it. 



The Rangers recalled Filip Chytil from Hartford. The organization made claims of wanting to ‘over ripen’ the former first-round selection, but all it took was nine games and nine points in the AHL, a bunch of losses by the big club, and Mika Zibanejad going down with an injury to spark the move. 


Thank goodness too. Because it was painful to watch New York continually deploy Ryan Strome as their 2C. I can’t imagine him as the top centre but that is what we saw tonight versus the Lightening. 


The team did put the 20-year-old, Chytil in a position to succeed though – deploying him next to Pavel Buchenvich and Chris Kreider at even-strength. And it was a success. Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, and Adam Fox lit the lamp as the youth movement reigned supreme over the Bolts. 


Despite the win on Tuesday, this team is clearly going to be poor this year, but the potential for greatness is percolating just under the surface. The youth movement is already insulated by high-end younger vets like Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin. They’ll very likely add a high-end prospect from a disgustingly deep 2020 class to their pool. 


To add a cherry on top, they boast arguably the top netminder outside of the NHL. Igor Shestyorkin is finding impressive success early in his AHL campaign. 


 All the elements are there for this team to mimic a Colorado Avalanche ascension up the standings. The gaudy point totals should follow a few of the members around as well – especially those who grace the top power-play unit. 


Buy early on these Rangers in keeper leagues. It won’t take long for everyone else to catch on (if they haven’t already). 



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