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 Hockey Ramblings: Crosby (Guentzel, Sheary) Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 03/20/2017 :  16:54:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fourteen teams played on Sunday the 19th and eight of them scored at least four goals. I don’t have the data on offense since goaltenders were forced to wear the tighter pants, and perhaps I’m just looking for a bright light in a sea of darkness…but maybe it’s working?

Sidney Crosby missed the first seven games of the season. By the time he got back to game action, Connor McDavid was miles ahead of him in the scoring race. Well, it took about five months, but he finally caught him. A hat trick Sunday gives The Kid 40 goals (leads the NHL) and 80 points (ties him with McDavid).

But that isn’t what poolies were most interested in that game, as many of us figured Crosby catching McDavid was a foregone conclusion. No, what raised our eyebrow as the scoring summary:

Crosby (Guentzel, Sheary)
Crosby (Guentzel, Sheary)
Crosby (Guentzel, Sheary)

If that doesn’t say it all for you…

Jake Guentzel is now tied with Jimmy Vesey in the rookie scoring race (25 points), and it’s possible that he actually gets into the Top 10 rookie scorers this season in just half the games. It would require his passing Mikko Rantanen (31 points). And now you see why I touted him as the top fantasy prospect forward to own. Immediate dividends, great upside, and his “floor” isn’t so bad either. On the third line on his own (i.e. no Crosby) he could easily produce the numbers that Jordan Staal did when he was there.


Jaromir Jagr has five points in his last 14 games. He’s played exactly 1700 games in his NHL career, the fourth player to reach that milestone.

Hunch: Aleksander Barkov breaks out next season. Although, as a Band-Aid Boy, the term “breakout” may not be as good as it should be, given the likely games missed. But his fourth NHL season hasn’t been a good one. He has too much talent for this kind of production to be his ceiling. He has another gear for sure. So that makes next year, his fifth one, a strong breakout likelihood.


Pavel Zacha has quietly posted a four-game points streak. His ice time has been up during those four games, too.


Adam Lowry has five points in his last five games. Last night he saw over 20 minutes of ice time and lately he’s managed to sneak onto the top PP unit. He has two PP points in his last three games. He’s still on the third line, but he’s been dynamite on special teams. Here were Winnipeg’s line combos:


And here were the two PP units:


Four-forward units with Dustin Byfuglien of course anchoring one, while Josh Morrissey manned the other.


Connor Hellebuyck was pulled after two periods and Michael Hutchinson snuck in there to steal the win. For Hellebuyck, he has been roughed up three times in his last five games. This offseason in keeper leagues I consider him a “buy low”. The fact that you scoff at that is just making me believe that he’ll be even cheaper to acquire than I thought…


Since March 2 Devan Dubnyk is 2-7-1, 2.92 GAA and 0.899 SV%.


Sven Andrighetto has five points in eight games with Colorado. Not enough to impress me or dissuade me either way. So I’ll continue watching him these last few games to better come up with an opinion on next season.

Matt Duchene has one point in his last 14 games and is minus-14 in that span. Not really the time to trade him. Not exactly “selling high”. But do the Avs have a choice?


With Artem Anisimov hurt, we all expected Nick Schmaltz to start producing, and he has (two assists last night, three points in four games). But the injury has also helped prospect John Hayden:


As you can see, Hayden has taken Schmaltz’s spot on the Toews line and he has three points in his last two games. Here is our fantasy outlook and scouting report on Hayden.


Sergei Bobrovsky (35 saves) improved to 7-0-0 in March (1.14 GAA, .963 SV%, 3 SO) and registered his NHL-leading 39th win.


Elias Lindholm has quietly put together a seven-game points streak. He had nine points in his first 27 games, but has 30 points in his last 33 contests. A sneaky-good offseason add in your keeper.


The Flames signed goalie Tyler Parsons to a three-year entry-level contract. I normally don’t waste my time with teenaged goalies. Even in deep leagues, such as the one I’m in with 15 teams and 37 players per team. It’s deep enough that other GMs in my league have no problem drafting 18- or 19-year-old goalies. But I don’t bother because I can always get a 22- or 23-year-old who I’ll only have to sit on for two years before seeing dividends. Even the top prospect goalies make you wait until they’re 23 or 24 (or longer). Andrei Vasilevskiy is a recent example. He’ll finally pay dividends next year – when he’s 23. You thought, when he was 20, that he’d be “the guy” within a year. That was obviously wrong. John Gibson is another example. Here is his first year of actual help and he’s 23. Last year’s 40 games helped in spurts, but not the way you needed him. Again, at 20 or 21, you figured her was “right there”. It didn’t happen. Meanwhile, goalies sneak up on you. Matt Murray, Devan Dubnyk, Thomas Greiss – bet their current owner didn’t draft them as teenagers! Don’t waste roster space.

But I digress. Parsons, although technically will be 20 by the time I draft next, I could possibly consider. In a later round. Because in Calgary they have an injury-prone Brian Elliott. And an injury-prone John Gillies. There is an opportunity here to sneak into fantasy relevance at 21 or 22 the way a Steve Mason did. Anyway, in the final round of my four-round draft, I would consider this (near) teenager.

As for Chad Johnson – I like him as a goalie, but no matter where he is or what he does, organizations consider him Plan B. It looks like they’ll always consider him Plan B as a starter.

By the way, Elliott has won 11 games in a row. I would love him as a keeper option, but man…his injuries ruin it for me.


Last night was Curtis Lazar’s first game for Calgary, but he only played 10 minutes. So really it’s just the same ol’ same ol’.

It looks as though Matthew Tkachuk will get suspended (maybe two games?) for this elbow on Drew Doughty.

Doughty played over 28 minutes, so he’s obviously okay. The Kings, however, are not. They’re the only team in the West with a shot at sneaking back into a wildcard spot – but that shot is a long one.

Anze Kopitar has 11 points in his last 11 games. Usually he starts these runs at the 30-game mark and gives us a nice final 50 games. Starting at Game 54 is a little too late for my tastes and I wonder if he’s starting a decline already at just 29 years of age. For now I’ll treat it as an off year and cautiously pencil him in for 62 to 65 points next year.


Eight teams in the West are set for the playoffs and six teams in the East with 11 games to go for most teams. The Bruins, the Leafs, the Isles and the Lightning battle for the last two spots.

Written by Dobber of

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