Ramblings: Thoughts on Pulock, W. Karlsson, MacKinnon, Donato, Mrazek, Faulk and more (Mar 19)

by Dobber on March 19, 2018
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Thoughts on Pulock, W. Karlsson, MacKinnon, Donato, Mrazek, Faulk and more (Mar 19)

Here is an interesting option for you down the stretch – Ryan Donato (scouting profile here). Too bad he’s on the Bruins, though. That’s a very deep team and certainly a tough roster to crack, especially when you see the likes of Danton Heinen fighting to stay in the top six. But on most teams Donato would make a quick impact after tallying 43 points in 29 games for Harvard in this his junior year. Donato ranks 71 on my Fantasy Prospects List but after turning pro and signing his ELC with Boston a year early, he moves up. He was their 56th overall pick in 2014. Donato is notable for making Team USA for the Olympics last month. He’s also Ted’s son. Remember Ted?


Last year there were 48 players who tallied 20 PPPts (or more), and in 2015-16 there were 55. This season, so far, we’re at 42 with 31 more in range of possibly getting there (i.e. 17-19 PPPts). So I figure 60 players will get there. Not a huge increase. So I’m trying to figure out how four players are going to hit 100 points and nine or 10 are hitting 90. Best guess is that the players are cutting out the slashes due to the crackdown, combined with having a high-scoring expansion team (instead of a trap expansion team). The 5.92 goals per game this season marks the highest since the season coming out of the lockout (2005-06 at 6.16 goals per game). That’s great for fantasy hockey.

Up until 1993-94, every season was above six and even eight goals per game.


The Hart Trophy is Nathan MacKinnon’s to lose. What he’s doing, with so little around him, is remarkable. And let’s not forget that he was doing so poorly for so long that fantasy owners couldn’t give him away. I have him in one of my keeper leagues and I was always getting low-balled. And even when I tried trading him for anything close to decent value, I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was willing to “sell low”, but just not as low as other owners were looking for. After 53 points last year and 52 the season before, he started this campaign with five points in 10 games. I was getting Tweets asking if I’d finally given up on him (I remained firm). Since then, MacKinnon has 84 points in his last 54 games! That includes the three he got on Sunday. MacKinnon also had 11 shots, moving him to four shots shy of his career high (251). FIFTH year magic!

MacKinnon is currently the hottest player in the NHL right now. Speaking of which, check out our NEW hot/cold player page. Pretty awesome, and Eric Daoust has a whole bunch more changes in store for Frozen Tools (formerly Frozen Pool).

Vladislav Kamenev returned to the Colorado lineup after suffering a broken arm in his first game back in November. He manned the fourth line with Gabriel Bourque and Alexander Kerfoot, forcing Nail Yakupov to the press box.

For Yakupov that makes 11 healthy scratches in his last 16 games. He’s going to have a great KHL career. Mark it!


In that game, Detroit’s big line of Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi were a combined minus-11. Eight points in 18 games for Zetts, and the 37-year-old is on pace to finish with 54 points.

You don’t need me to tell you that the Red Wings are a mess. And there’s no way out of this mess in the foreseeable future without a superstar in the pipeline or a goaltender. Jimmy Howard has gone 0-6-1 in his last seven games and Jared Coreau has been absolutely brutal in his four games. And that’s the best they have right there. And we’ve seen time and again how difficult it is to land a goaltender once you struggle without one. You start taking gambles on successful backups (Carolina – Darling, Edmonton – Talbot) or you roll the dice on a European. So perhaps the Wings will look to Czech goalie Pavel Francouz, who is again dominating the KHL and received some notice at the Olympics. Or perhaps they make a pitch for David Rittich. With this stuff, you roll the dice and if it works then you get a great fantasy asset…and if it doesn’t, you get a Scott Darling.

(By the way, if the Hurricanes still have Darling next season, I would still add him as a third goalie to my fantasy squad and see if it pays off)


Speaking of Detroit goaltending, Petr Mrazek may be “good enough” for Philadelphia to get into the postseason, but he’s actually been worse with Philly than he was with Detroit.

Philadelphia: 5-5-1, 3.14, 0.888

Detroit: 8-7-3, 2.89, 0.910

When Brian Elliott is back in a week or two, and Michal Neuvirth is ready about a week after that, it will be interesting which of the three starts in the postseason. Neuvirth has been the better goaltender, but my money is on Elliott. But this is a team that is winning despite goaltending, not because of it.

In case you’re wondering why Travis Konecny saw just 11 minutes of ice time Sunday. A pretty good tilt, actually:


John Carlson has 19 points in his last 20 games and is on a five-game points streak.


Ben Bishop left the game early Sunday and it looks like he’ll be gone a while. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks, per the team.

Meanwhile, Patrik Laine continues his ridiculousness with another two goals. He is on a 15-game points streak and has 18 goals and 26 points in that stretch.


Dallas is now the lowest of the teams with any kind of “chance” to make the playoffs. Using this site, here are the West teams on the bubble, and their odds of getting in (fighting for three spots):

Colorado 83.6%

Los Angeles 72.8%

Anaheim 72.5%

St. Louis 44.2%

Dallas 31.1%

With Calgary pretty much falling off this list thanks to their loss Sunday. Of course NSH, VGK, WPG, SJS and MIN are pretty much locks even if they don’t have the ‘x’ beside them in the standings just yet.


While I’m at it, here are the Eastern Conference teams, with TBL, BOS, TOR, WSH, PIT and PHI pretty much locked in. Two spots left:

Columbus 83.5%

New Jersey 74.8%

Florida 47.8%

The picture is much clearer in the East.


Anthony Duclair, who is out with an LBI, has eight points in 23 games with Chicago. Richard Panik has nine points in 24 and is seeing about 2:30 more ice time per game. Neither are fantasy relevant, but just interesting to see that it wasn’t this huge robbery by Chicago that everyone was opining on the Internet when it happened. I know Duclair is only 22 but I don’t believe in him. He’s just not the player he was as a rookie and I can’t say why. In fact, I believe in Panik’s chances of getting 50 points over Duclair’s chances next year.

Alex DeBrincat with a hat trick out of the blue again. As teams start benching him because of his run of three points in 13 games…he goes out and does that. His third hatty of the season and after each of his first two he didn’t really go on any kind of a run so don’t assume this is him snapping out of it.


Vladimir Tarasenko is out with a UBI, so here were the line combos for the Blues without him:



















See what I mean about the Blues sticking with Jake Allen through thick and thin? It’s going to cost them the playoffs but that doesn’t matter – he’s the Golden Boy. But they’re winning despite him – he’s won four of his last five despite giving up 14 goals on 134 shots (0.896 SV%). (Update – when I wrote this last night I had forgotten that Hutton is out with a neck injury, though his recent MRI was negative so my guess is he's available soon if not now)

Vince Dunn had a four-point game Sunday. He’s been getting a lot of PP time lately, cracking the first unit and playing with Alex Pietrangelo on it (Colton Parayko is his ES partner). Dunn has three PP points in his last two games and nine on the season. If he elbows out Parayko off that first unit for good then I suddenly like Dunn a hell of a lot more for next season. And that’s exactly how this is trending – Parayko was more PP in the first half of the season, less in the second (so far). Dunn – the opposite.


The Devils aren’t making the same mistake as the Blues. With playoffs in danger, they are rolling with their non-Golden Boy backup Keith Kincaid. Cory Schneider hasn’t been good at all since returning from his groin injury whereas Kincaid has been on a roll. But playing back-to-back games over the weekend made it tough, as one would expect, and Kincaid took the loss after winning nine of 11 before that. Because of the loss, I think the Devils will try Schneider again next game.

Patrick Maroon has points in six of his eight games as a Devil, seven points with them so far – four of them on the power play. A definite playoff pool sleeper if the Devils get in.

Josh Manson, after picking up an assist, left the game Sunday with a UBI. Only word after the game from the coach was that he was “likely” to make the upcoming road trip.


Ryan Pulock has points in his last three games and has six points in his last five (two of those on the power play). Looking further back, he has 22 points in his last 39 contests…and that’s a taste of what you can expect next season.

Josh Bailey snapped a four-game pointless skid with two points Sunday. But he was still a minus-2 and in fact he’s minus-12 in his last 12 contests, which drops him to minus-16 on the season.


I found this interesting…

I already had a low fantasy-hockey opinion of Justin Faulk to begin with…but if outside of those two months he only has 22 career PP goals? We’re talking about 12 PPG in two months, and 22 PPG in 40 months! That 49-point season was aberration and the 37-point seasons he’s had since (not even that, this year) is his “norm”.


William Karlsson somehow got his shooting percentage up even higher Sunday when he scored three goals on four shots. He has 39 (!) on just 164 shots. In the prior two years he had 15 goals on 204 shots. He’s sitting at 23.8%. Karlsson has 21 points in his last 21 games – I know we were all expecting a slowdown, but it’s just not happening.


Here are the latest 20 Fantasy Hockey Thoughts. See you next week!