Ramblings: Toews, Triplets, hot lines, and Auston vs. Laine II (Feb 22)

by Dobber on February 22, 2017
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Toews, Triplets, hot lines, and Auston vs. Laine II (Feb 22)

Ramblings: Toews, Triplets, hot lines, and Auston vs. Laine II (Feb 22)


Oh wow, finally some movement on the ‘new server’ front…

Server Update: We started the migration yesterday but it stalled halfway through. Back to fixing the bugs again. Frozen Pool is just so complicated. When it was created, it was made as a simple tool that pulled line combinations and basic stats. Slapping new features, new stats, new looks one after another over the years (without doing it big-picture-wise) has left quite a big mess. A thousand times more code than what is needed, as much of it can be streamlined/combined. Anyway, we’re close. Then the slow site will be fast. Can’t wait!


Just like Patrik Laine vs. Auston Matthews Part 1, the sequel didn’t disappoint. In fact, I would have bet money (had such a wager been available to me) that both players would have at least two points and that the game would be a great one. You can check off both boxes there – Laine had two goals, Matthews two assists…and where in Game 1 Laine scored in OT to win it, Matthews went out in Game 2 to set up the OT for his third assist. Just a perfect script. And I would have bet on it. That’s a great thing about hockey – when a match-up gets hyped it really pulls through. That happened a lot with the early Ovechkin vs. Crosby games.

The aforementioned awesomeness was so expected (for me, anyway), that the fantasy owner in me instead focused on other things. Such as Josh Leivo continuing to click on the Nazem Kadri line. He’s very much a ‘buy’ for the short term, no question. And ride the hot streak until the line loses the sizzle. Leivo has eight points in his last five games thanks to two more last night. In the long term I don’t think Leivo has scoring-line upside. But if he can keep producing like this early on then he can carve himself an NHL career as a productive third-liner. The odds have been against him – I myself had ruled him out simply due to the numbers game and his proneness to injury. But whenever he’s in the NHL he seems to step up.

The second key thing I filed away – Nikolaj Ehlers scored. The seven-game pointless drought is over. With the monkey off his back, perhaps he stops squeezing the stick so hard and gets back to what he was doing before the drought (and before I acquired him in a trade in one league!).

Mathieu Perreault has six points in his last four games and he’s really clicking with Laine and Mark Scheifele. With linemates like that, he has to be taken seriously. The numbers say that Perreault has a lot of ground to make up – the market correction  should be a big one and so far it has been. He’s on pace for 33 points but I can see that settling in at 40 – potentially much higher, obviously, if he can hang onto his spot on this line.


Kadri, by the way, has 18 points in his last 16 games and has upped his end-of-season pace to 35 goals and 65 points.

Jake Gardiner has 21 points in his last 34 games thanks to two more points last night (and three on Saturday).

Per Elias Sports, Auston Matthews is the second teenager in Maple Leafs’ history to record 50 points in a season. Who was the first? Answer at the bottom.


Damn, Toews, take it easy. Ever since exploding for four points back in January, Jonathan Toews has 20 points in 12 games thanks to the five-spot he put up last night. He was put on a line with Richard Panik and Nick Schmaltz and given more offensive duties. Ever since then the troika has gone all nutty (even more so since Schmaltz took over for Ryan Hartman there).

Panik has 13 points in those 12 games and the beauty of it is that the numbers aren’t all that out of whack for him. He generally shoots at around a 13% clip and this year sits at 14.8%. That’s really just an extra goal. And his 5on5 SH% is 9.28% which is a little higher than his career – but pretty much on par with the NHL average, especially for a second-line player. Panik is also on Chicago’s top four-forward PP unit. He’s out there with Toews, Kane, Panarin and Keith!

Schmaltz had three points last night and has seven in his last six games.

The success of this combo essentially keeps Marian Hossa on a checking line and out of the fantasy mix after a promising start. He does have six points in his last 11 games, but that may be the ‘best’ pace he can do, as long as he plays with Marcus Kruger and Dennis Rasmussen.


After their incredible hot streak, the duo of Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu had cooled off. But that sure didn’t last long. After “just” two points in five games, they’ve really picked it up again over the last three: Koivu has three consecutive two-point efforts while Granlund has five points in that span.


The other big news of the night is that the Triplets made a special appearance. One night only? Or is it a comeback? They took the Connor McDavid line apart for three goals. Nikita Kucherov snapping out of a season-high four-game pointless drought with a four-point night. Tyler Johnson with his two points now has 11 in his last 10 games. And Ondrej Palat chipped in two goals and has five points in four games. The Triplets have been tried several times this year, mostly after Steven Stamkos was injured (because Kucherov was with Stamkos before that) and have had mixed success. If this kicks off a hot run for these guys, then they’ll push TB into contention (as well as any poolies who had been counting on them for production this season).


Arizona recalled Anthony DeAngelo from Tucson. He had been down there for the past month, ever since serving his three-game suspension. The Michael Stone trade certainly helps him – he sits seventh on the depth chart but pretty much ranks ahead of Kevin Connauton when he’s up…and could also take ice time over Connor Murphy and Jakob Chychrun when he’s hot (and/or they stumble). The last five NHL games that he played he did not get a point, but had nine points in 15 games before that.


Another scoreless slump ended in a big way last night as Johnny Hockey picked up four assists after going four games with goose eggs. He and Sean Monahan rekindled some of the old magic with Monahan picking up three assists. I don’t know how long Micheal Ferland has been playing with those two, I haven’t seen a Calgary game in a bit, but it hasn’t been long and since he managed his first two-goal game of the season I would expect that he gets another game there at the very least. Ferland, to date, has only been an asset in the hits department. But first-line billing would certainly change that in a hurry. Even his PIM would spike if he can hang onto that job.

Michael Stone made his Calgary debut. So which star lefty defenseman did the right-shooting Stone play with? Was it Mark Giordano? T.J. Brodie? Nope – Matt Barkowski. Really, Stone didn’t have a direct effect on Giordano. But he did have a domino effect. His presence pushed Dennis Wideman out of the lineup, which allowed Giordano to settle back in with Dougie Hamilton, which in turn allowed Giordano to post two points. Domino effect!


Montreal line combos in their second game under their new/old coach:
















So…pretty much the same as the old/old coach.

One change that has to be made though – stop putting Nathan Beaulieu with Greg Pateryn. Come on. I warned that when Pateryn came back he could be put with Beaulieu. And sure enough. Until this changes, he won’t have much use for you in fantasy.

This is bound to help Carey Price’s confidence:


Answer: Ted Kennedy had been the only Maple Leafs teenager to record 50 points in a season, doing it in 1944-45.