Dobber takes a look at what's up with Wayne Simmonds and Devan Dubnyk


Wayne Simmonds is on pace to finish up with 58 points. That number in itself is not an eye-popper. Actually, his 0.70 points-per-game average is a tad off of last year's mark of 0.71. But what makes this a big deal is the fact that he is second on the Philadelphia Flyers in scoring. And while every single member of this Flyers' team - even Claude Giroux - is underachieving offensively, Simmonds is as good as or better than he's always been. He's looking at a career high in assists, points, penalty minutes, power-play goals and shots on goal.

As with all the Flyers players, Simmonds started the campaign with five points in 16 games and a minus-10 rating (but a nice 31 PIM number). Since then he's posted 35 points in 41 contests to go with a plus-7 rating (and 52 PIM). That's a 70-point pace, which is slightly above where I would peg his upside. What's up with that?

Well, we know what it isn't. It isn't added power-play time. Check it out











(sarcasm font) Unless those seven extra seconds per game are extremely meaningful (/sarcasm font), the answer lies elsewhere. Let's look at Offensive Zone Starts:



Off. ZS %








Yes, that's high, but not any higher than it was two years ago. So who is he getting the points with? Aside from his 16 power-play points, here are his linemates for his even strength points:













The rest of his even-strength points are mixed-and-matched line combos, including a couple of points earned just after the power play expired. And while Claude Giroux appears in those mix-and-matches, it hasn't happened often enough to influence Simmonds' overall production. He is not the reason for Simmonds' success.

Well, Simmonds is a key on the Philly power play. Perhaps the power play has just been especially awesome the last 100 games? Let's take a look at the Flyers' success rate.



Team PP%








Nope. All I can conclude is that there is no explainable reason for the production. And if that's the case, then perhaps that just means that this is the Wayne Simmonds we can expect  - 55 to 65 points. As long as he sees three-plus minutes of PP time per game, that is.


Nice move, Nashville

I can understand why Barry Trotz has been the longest-tenured coach in the league. After all, he takes a bad team and makes them a playoff contender, year after year. But eventually, GM David Poile needs to realize that Trotz is not going to get these guys into the Final 4. So if you never want to win Cups, then by all means - status quo sounds great. Otherwise, it's time to roll the dice.

Not only does Trotz kill the offense, but he also makes you look like a fool Mr. Poile. You go out and get him a goalie with 171 NHL games of experience under his belt, and Trotz plays him twice in nine games. Bad habits my ass. You could have the worst habits in the world - you could have a habit of turning around and drinking from the water bottle whenever the opposition is coming down on a breakaway - and still thrive in the Nashville system. It's stubbornness, plain and simple.

Dubnyk isn't a savior. He's not even a good goalie. But he's better than Carter freakin' Hutton. But he needs a steady stream of games to find his groove, and he's not getting it. But that's what you get with Barry Trotz. He's the guy who gives Craig Smith the 12th most minutes per game on the team despite Smith leading or in second on the team in shots and goals.

So what's up with Devan Dubnyk? Fantasy-hockey Siberia - located at the end of the Nashville bench, that's what's up.


Forum update

It looks like the forum is down for a while yet. The login issue is fixed. Going forward, you can log directly into the forum and make changes to your forum user settings. Very easy, no more hassle or any of that 'cookies' business. Apparently, the limits to private messages will also be fixed. So you can PM again.

The rest of the list we will work on while the forum is open, such as adding a column in Latest Posts to tell you what section the thread is from, emailing you notifications if you subscribed to a thread, etc.

I wish I could nail down an exact date and I shudder to think that it may be another week, but that's what it's starting to look like.


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