Ramblings: Trouba Signs, Seth Jones Hurt (Nov. 8)

by steve laidlaw on November 8, 2016

Trouba signs, Seth Jones hurt, Capitals' star minutes and more.

Jacob Trouba signed a two-year bridge deal with the Jets worth $3 million annually. They got this done a couple of weeks sooner than I expected. I still expect Trouba to be traded but perhaps not until the offseason. The Jets held a hard line and it appears to have paid off in that they kept a talented young player without selling him for pennies on the dollar.

How this all goes over in the Jets’ locker-room will be interesting but recent examples suggest it won’t be an issue. For instance, when things hit a room patch with Evander Kane a couple of seasons ago it didn’t derail the Jets’ playoff push. A better comparison would be the Jonathan Drouin situation in Tampa Bay last season and he eventually helped them to a long playoff run. Winning can mend a lot of wounds so these first few weeks may be key.

Obviously, Trouba returning is a boon for his fantasy owners, although here is where we remind you that Dustin Byfuglien isn’t going anywhere so at best he can only reprise a secondary power play role. Still, he’s an excellent young player who could string together 30 points in 70 games with secondary PP time.

This is also a big deal for those invested in Jets goaltending. I was starting to have some doubts about Connor Hellebuyck. Long term, I know he’s legit but for this season, it was looking rough. Trouba upgrades a leaky defense in a big way. Of course, the timeshare is still in effect so perhaps this helps Michael Hutchinson more than Hellebuyck. Either way, I’m not jumping off Hellebuyck in any leagues after this news. He just bought a couple more weeks.

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Andrew Ladd finally scored his first goal as an Islander. Perhaps this will spark him. It’s not as though he hasn’t had chances. He was also stashed on the fourth line, which isn’t exactly what you want to see:

18.66%EV CHIMERA,JASON – LEE,ANDERS – NELSON,BROCK

17.91%EV CIZIKAS,CASEY – KULEMIN,NIKOLAY – LADD,ANDREW

16.42%EV BAILEY,JOSH – CLUTTERBUCK,CAL – TAVARES,JOHN

15.67%EV PRINCE,SHANE – QUINE,ALAN – STROME,RYAN

3.73%PP BAILEY,JOSH – NELSON,BROCK – STROME,RYAN – TAVARES,JOHN

I hate all of these line combinations. It seems the only entertainment to get out of the Islanders these days is seeing what horrific line groupings Jack Capuano can cook up next.

Cal Clutterbuck also scored his first goal of the season, and while he skated mostly with John Tavares, Tavares did not setup the goal. In a league that counts hits this is a nice little boost for Clutterbuck even if it is likely short-lived.

Anthony Beauvillier continues to be a healthy scratch and Mathew Barzal continues to be out sick. I bet these are not the circumstances you’d have expected had I told you these two would still be with the team by this point in the season.

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The Canucks are terrible but they can’t honestly finish with under two goals per game can they? The Sabres pulled off the feat twice in recent years at the peak of their tanking but they didn’t have a single player on their team as good as one of the Sedins, let alone two of them. I have to think the Canucks will start to find a bit more offense.

The Sedins will certainly get going. Daniel has goals in back-to-back games. I have lost all hope for Loui Eriksson, whether he remains with the Sedins or not. At this point, just drop him and shoot for another option. Especially since Brandon Sutter has taken his spot on the top power play unit.

Remember when Sutter got off to a quick start skating with the Sedins last season? There’s potential for a hot run or two from Sutter with his current usage. Still, he probably maxes out around 40 points. This is a fantasy wasteland.

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The Bruins kicked off their five-game week with a 4-0 shutout of the visiting Sabres. Lots of intriguing waiver options to scoop off of these team, although the ideal time to take advantage of the dense schedule would have been to move yesterday. For instance, Ryan Spooner, just 10% owned on Yahoo would have made a nice waiver scoop. He notched a power-play assist.

Great bounce back for Tuukka Rask after getting throttled by the Rangers over the weekend. appears to be back in the saddle as an elite goalie. Amazing what a couple bad months to start last season did to crush his perceived value. I had him as a tier two goalie option, but even that is looking like a mistake at this point.

David Krejci scored his first goal of the season last night. He has likely been pressing recently with 15 SOG in the past four games. Good to see him get the monkey off his back. Krejci has been money for 60 points quite frequently. He probably falls a little short of 60 but his slow start doesn’t crush that dream.

Torey Krug continues to pile up shots without any luck. He did notch an assist, however. That’s two points in the last three games. Not enough to get excited about but you also shouldn’t shake your fist at this. Count me as a Krug believer.

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Anyone hoping that Matt Moulson had found the Fountain of Youth needs to come up with a new plan, that includes Dan Bylsma. Moulson is now scoreless in five straight. Let’s find someone else to stick in that cushy spot alongside Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo. Unfortunately, there just aren’t that many options.

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A long eight-game scoring streak was put to an end for Aleksander Barkov as he assisted on Jonathan Marchessault’s goal. It was only a matter of time before Barkov found some points, as his line with Marchessault has been creating chances. Of course, I will also say that it was only a matter of time when Barkov gets his annual injury.

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Ondrej Palat put a seven-game scoreless streak behind him with a goal. He was not going to be denied firing off seven SOG in the game. Still, Palat’s drought underlines some of the issue with opting for lower ceiling options. It is hard to justify their roster spot when they are failing to meet that ceiling.

On the flip side, Palat has a history of elite 5-on-5 production, and is seeing quality usage, including the most power play time of his career at 2:56 per game. Palat’s 5-on-5 on-ice shooting percentage is also in the dumps at 4.2%. There’s a good chance for a turnaround somewhere. It wasn’t enough to prevent me from dropping him last week, but I am not averse to grabbing him later on.

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Interesting look at how the Capitals’ are reducing the ice time of their star players in order to keep them fresh come playoff time:

It’s not just Ovechkin who’s had to adjust to playing less to start the season. Top center Nicklas Backstrom is also averaging the fewest minutes (17:57) of his career, winger T.J. Oshie hasn’t played this little (17:00) since he was a rookie, and defenseman Brooks Orpik’s average time on ice (16:44) is down a little over three minutes from last season.

This sort of talk makes it sound like more of a permanent thing, than just an early-season experiment. It’s almost enough to make me knock their scoring projection down a few points. The thing about Backstrom and Ovechkin is that they are so damned good on the power play that this doesn’t need to be a death sentence. So far, they are producing well, even with the lost minutes.

 

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This isn’t necessarily huge fantasy news, as Seth Jones was likely maxing out somewhere in the 35-point range. He is a really good real life player though and there will be trickledown effects. Removing 22+ minutes of Jones means more minutes of worse defensemen in front of the dazzling Sergei Bobrovsky. He’ll need to stand on his head even more.

Zach Werenski also loses his defense partner. This might mean they try and stretch Werenski’s minutes to fill the void or they boost minutes for David Savard, Jack Johnson and Ryan Murray. Either way, Werenski loses the best possibly option. I wouldn’t be shocked if this slows him down a bit. Of course, this shouldn’t affect the play of Columbus’ lethal power play so Werenski and the gang shouldn’t be devasted.

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Tyler Bertuzzi has been banging on the door the past couple of years. Read more on him here.

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Don’t expect to see Zatkoff in much action. Not with Peter Budaj putting together an impressive stretch of play. I cannot believe Budaj is looking like the answer in Los Angeles but so far the team is winning with him.

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Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.