Zetterberg

 

Continuing the series on the breakdown of each Western Conference team. This week we’ll take a deeper look into the Red Wings, Oilers and Kings.

 

As many of the Dobber writers have alluded to, it all boils down to opportunity. A top-line player will receive every possible chance to succeed, while a top-six player will receive decent even strength/second unit power-play ice-time for production. A bottom feeder will most likely receive checking line time and definitely won’t receive ample optimal scoring time. Their big break will only come if there are injuries or sudden collapses of young players from their team’s top-six. We all like to be optimistic with our projections, but there really isn’t a point in projection 80 points for a player who won’t even crack a team’s top-line, let alone top-six. If you haven’t read my projections article, definitely go and take a gander. I know I had an eye-opening experience when digging up all the stats. Note: Take the line combos with a grain of salt. They are just arbitrary and are used primarily to separate a team’s top-six from the bottom-six. I really don’t want to get into arguments about player X had chemistry with player Y, therefore they’ll be on a line together during the season.

 

The following table was the same from last week’s column, with the addition of max and min instead of range.

 

Offensive Player’s scoring position on team

West

East

League

Median

Max

Min

Top

74.6

74.1

74.3

70

112

51

2nd

62.8

64.5

63.7

61

101

41

3rd

55.1

54.5

54.8

53

84

37

4th

47.7

45.1

46.4

47

67

33

5th

42.7

38.2

40.5

38.5

53

32

6th

36

34

35

34

53

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough of the stats, now onto the good stuff.

 

Detroit – Top-six fairly locked faces decent competition from bottom-six

 

Top Six
Tomas Holmstrom – Pavel Datsyuk – Johan Franzen
Valtteri Filppula – Henrik Zetterberg – Jiri Hudler

 

Cavalry

Todd Bertuzzi, Dan Cleary

 

Bottom Feeders

Kris Draper, Drew Miller, Patrick Eaves, Justin Abdelkader (RFA) and Darren Helm (RFA).

 

Detroit’s offense slipped to 14th overall last campaign as they only averaged 2.72 goals per contest. Most of that could have been attributed to the decimation caused by injuries throughout the season. If they can stay healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them amongst the top the league in offense with a similar roster that they iced in 2008-09 (minus Hossa). The top-six is fairly set, but the pieces are certainly interchangeable. Datsyuk and Zetterberg were split for most of the 2008-09 season, as they spent only 8.91 percent of the entire season’s ice-time together. It worked then, so I can envision them going back to the well once again. Just looking at the talent level of the top-six, Filppula could be another victim of depth in HockeyTown, as there just isn’t a lot of teams (two) who can possess a 50-point scorer as their fifth or sixth depth forward. I listed Bertuzzi and Cleary as the cavalry but both could negatively impact the production of the top-six for the upcoming season. I wouldn’t expect glittering numbers, but 35-40 seems reasonable for a seventh and eighth depth forward.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Filppula. Franzen, and Hudler.

 

End of year finish:

Zetterberg

70

Datsyuk

70

Holmstrom

45

Bertuzzi

44

Filppula

35

Cleary

34

 

 

Edmonton – Potential gong show.

Top Six

Dustin Penner – Shawn Horcoff – Ales Hemsky

Taylor Hall – Sam Gagner (RFA) – Jordan Eberle

Cavalry

Andrew Cogliano (RFA), Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Linus Omark

 

Bottom Feeders

Ryan O’Marra, Gilbert Brule (RFA), Colin Fraser, Ryan Jones, Zack Stortini, Steve MacIntyre and J.F. Jacques

 

The revamped Oilers will be seeking revenge after last campaign. With only Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky and Gagner as the main veterans returning upfront, the Oilers will ice a very young team in 2010-11. On the positive side of the fence, you have plenty of sleeper potentials if you are willing to gamble, but on the flip side, you also could find yourself with plenty of frustrating busts as well. For those of you who have followed my columns intently or know me personally, you’re probably well aware of the hate that I have for Horcoff, but there might just be a bright spot heading into October. Hemsky has tallied 159 points in an injury-plagued last three seasons, 105 of which involved being on a line with Horcoff (66 percent). The Oilers brass havn’t shown they’re willing to give up on Horcoff as they still allotted him 19:25 in ice-time last campaign despite his minus 29 rating. His fantasy value is directly related to the health of Hemsky, if Hemmer stays healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Edmontonians treat Horcoff as the next coming of Jesus come April.

 

Gagner is heading into his “magical fourth year”, which could bear some watching. Hall and Eberle should make big impacts in their NHL debuts and be strong candidates for the Calder trophy come June. I’m not quite sure if the Oil would also introduce MPS and Omark to their line up, as carrying four rookies would make them very young and inexperienced. Placing them in third-line checking roles also isn’t exactly going to be ideal for their development, so you might see MPS and Omark return back to their respective leagues (SEL and KHL) for another season.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky, O’Sullivan, Gagner, and Cogliano.

 

End of year finish:

Penner

63

Gagner

41

Brule

37

Horcoff

36

O'Sullivan

34

Potulny

32

 

 

Los Angeles- Top-five set in stone,  potential surprises in competition from bottom-six

 

Top Six
Ryan Smyth – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams

Andrei Loktionov** – Jarrett Stoll – Dustin Brown

Cavalry

Michal Handzus, Oscar Moller and Brayden Schenn

 

Bottom Feeders
Wayne Simmonds, Brad Richardson, Rich Clune and Scott Parse

 

Now that the Kovalchuk/Gagne saga has concluded, the top-five in LA is pretty much set in stone. Kopitar is the “go-to” guy in LA and should lead the Kings in scoring once again. Smyth and Williams have been battling injury problems since the lockout, as the duo has missed a combined 174 contests since the 2005. If you are drafting/owning either player for this season, expect a few scratches along the way. Brown seems to consistently tease us with potential, but has never cracked anything more than the 60-point plateau. Makes me wonder if he really has that next gear as part of his arsenal, but if SOG is what you’re after, he’s averaged 220 SOG during the last three seasons. Stoll won’t wow you with dazzling fantasy numbers, but he has tallied 21, 22, and 21 points respectively on the power-play since 2007-08. After the top-five of the Kings, there’s very little veteran depth on the charts, but that doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of skill. Brayden Schenn has amassed 258 points in 195 contests in the WHL, but with one more year of eligibility remaining, he’ll most likely spend another year to finish off his junior career in Brandon.

 

Moller is continuing to develop and could definitely see some time in a top-six role if the Kings decide to remain status quo. Loktionov is my dark horse candidate and really could be the surprise of the bunch as his 24 points in 29 contests with the Monarchs last campaign certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. I haven’t followed his career path at all, so maybe Alessandro Seren Rosso can provide more insight. Handzus continues to frustrate many fantasy poolies as his inconsistent play must be causing plenty of headaches. In 81 contests last season, 48 of them resulted in goose eggs, while seven resulted in multi-point games. He had two three-game, two four-game and two five-game pointless streaks, which certainly would have been maddening for a Handzus owner.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Smyth, Kopitar, Brown, Frolov, Stoll, and Williams.

 

End of year finish:

Kopitar

81

Brown

56

Smyth

53

Frolov

51

Stoll

47

Handzus

42

 

 

Next week: the Wild, Predators, and Coyotes.

 

Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them in the comments section below.

 


Write comment
Comments (13)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Jeremy

Definitely, the thing is there's plenty of opinions on the website. The forum itself probably has 10-15 people who would consistently give their opinion. It also varies from writer to writer, I know Angus and probably Goldman are very hunch, opinion type guys... I'm very much the opposite of stats, stats, stats!

I'm definitely more of a pessimist than an optimist, but sometimes that's a good thing. No, I don't think Filatov will be productive fantasy-wise this season if things remain status-quo and it's because... If you have everyone paddling on the same stroke you really don't get that objectivity to make an informed choice, which is extremely dangerous.

So the things I write aren't always agreeing with popular opinion, but I generally provide reasoning behind my thoughts and don't just chuck out random opinions for no reason, which unfortunately many blog sites do.
July 21, 2010
Votes: +0

Jeremy W said:

jeremygwright
... Fair comment Ryan. I can't agree with you more on the blinders comment but at the same time there are sites, like O.N., that give a fairly broad view from both ends of a bias. I guess it all depends on which blogs you visit and which information you follow(statistical analysis vs opinion). I must reiterate that this site is great for the statistical targets it sets for players but sometimes lacks the informed opinions you may find elsewhere. Anyways just my 2 cents. Thanks for the open forum.

PS Derrek, that must sting a little and props to Karbinkopy
July 21, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... From the same copper and blue article (2nd last paragraph),

"Though he could go to the AHL if he doesn't make the Oilers, it doesn't sound as if he has any plans to make a trip to Oklahoma City. "

Does that mean he fully intends to make the Oilers, or does that mean he's going back to SEL bypassing AHL if he doesn't make it?
July 21, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Simmonds

Simmonds does have upside and he did get a few opportunities last year, but the thing is I think its the talent that holds him back. Just looking at his historical numbers... 124 points in 126 games, which isn't exactly mind blowing in terms of offensive numbers. But his 223 PIMs during that same span does. Which means that he's more of a fit as a third line checker than 2nd line scorer.

But his 40 points and 116 PIMs definitely is great for an across-the-board under-the-radar production. Very Clarkson like if you asked me!
July 21, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... yep released a few weeks ago...

http://www.dobberhockey.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2905:do-you-believe-in-magic-west-2010&catid=41:ryan-ma&Itemid=77
July 21, 2010
Votes: +0

Nathan Fleming said:

Devil10
Article?? Ryan are you going to have an article siilar to the one you did last year (June 16) Do you Believe in Magic??. I hope so cause I think that article single handedly won my my draft last year. ( with the exception of Patrick O'sullivan).
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Oilers

That's what's great about this website. It's the knowledge of the users that you will always find quality advice and learn something new everyday.

One thing that the readers might want to pay attention to is what I'm considering fact and what I'm considering as an opinion.

FACT: The Red Wings lead the league in scoring in 2008-09.
FACT: 105 of 159 points that Hemsky has scored in the last 3 seasons were on a line with Horcoff.
OPINION: you might see MPS and Omark return back to their respective leagues (SEL and KHL) for another season.

I'm not saying that that they will, I'd much rather see them on the Oilers squad than overseas to be honest, but you have to be open to the fact that there is a possibility that they could head back to their respective leagues especially Omark... Whether you think its a 98% chance or 1% it's entirely up to you, but you do have to be aware of that possibility.

Players wanting to put the effort in is a generic phrase that all prospects are taught to say... I'm going to try my best to make the squad this season, blah blah blah... In the future I want to play an integral role with the... I'm happy that I've been drafted by and looking forward to making an impact with...

What happens when things don't go their way... Zherdev, Filatov, even Kovalchuk to an extent...

What I'm trying to say is that the KHL is a viable option for many of these prospects and that it is considered by some (especially Russians) to a higher esteem than the AHL.

SEL isn't that much more different. A few prospects have elected to stay there than to come over. MPS spent a season there last year, so the possibility of that looms still. If he was that inclined to want to come over and play, he would have played AHL last season, would he not? Backstrom decided to stay a year after being drafted, OEL did too, and I'm sure there's a few more examples...

MPS probably is a less likely candidate to flee but Omark has tried to strong arm the Oilers before, and could very much do so again.

Also Jeremy, one thing that I wouldn't want to happen is to get people who are bloggers for the teams to provide insight. Many many many bloggers or diehards of the teams are biased. If you followed team sites, you'll see inflated comments about all their team players. If you followed the Jackets team blog last season you probably would have came out believing that Filatov would have potted 175 points last season. If you followed the Oilers blog after the Horcoff signing, you would have believed that at $5.5 mil it was a necessary expense in order to sign him and justified.

What you get with team bloggers is bias, to be honest if I wanted to know the pitfalls of the Oilers' prospects I'd probably go on the Flames boards at least you get some objectivity.

Yes you might get the few little tidbits of info that you probably wouldn't find anywhere else, but you also get the blinders as well.
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... The only players who aren't allowed to play in the AHL are guys who were drafted out of the CHL. They are allowed to play in the AHL the year they turn 20 OR after they've played four years in the CHL, whichever comes first. Everyone else can play in the AHL at any age.
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0

Karbinkopy said:

Karbinkopy
Re: Derrek
What benefit does it stand to send them to the KHL or SEL??? Well Jeremy, since you are so well informed, the Oilers aren't even allowed to send MPS to the AHL due to the CBA.


Well, look who is actually a little misinformed. MPS can play in the AHL next year and it would probably be better served for him to do so.

http://www.coppernblue.com/201...s-paajarvi

Thanks to the new transfer agreement with the Swedish Elite League, if he doesn't make the team Pääjärvi can play in either Sweden or the AHL for the upcoming season. Although the contract details haven't yet been released, I'm prepared to say this is great news for Oiler fans.
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... Looking at Simmonds season last year, I'd be surprised if he's not a shoe-in for the top six this year. The Kings love his spunk and he's shown a fair bit of scoring touch so far.
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0

Derrek said:

TangerineDreamTeam
RE: Jeremy
What benefit would there be to sending them back to soft European leagues when you can put them in the AHL. I think when doing articles on specific teams this site should invite guest writers from blogs that follow the teams closely to collaborate with the staff writers. It would give these articles a lot more credibility and accuracy. I have always been a fan of the fantasy draft nature of this site but sometimes things that are said about actual NHL roster moves are way off base and just lacking good info.

What benefit does it stand to send them to the KHL or SEL??? Well Jeremy, since you are so well informed, the Oilers aren't even allowed to send MPS to the AHL due to the CBA. SOO the benefit of him playing in a league of all grown men or even former NHLers, like in the KHL, compared to playing in the OHL again like Brayden Schenn.
The KHL may not be the NHL, but if I could chose between having my prospects playing there or against 17 year olds in the OHL.... I take the Vodka anytime.
July 20, 2010
Votes: -1

Jeremy W said:

jeremygwright
MPS and Omark MPS and/or Omark and/or Eberle will spend time in Oklahoma if they don't make the big club. The Oilers are not going to send Omark back to the KHL and slim chance that MPS will go back to SEL. They want them to get acquainted with the North American game so when they are on the big club they are ready to contribute.
I'm not quite sure why you think MPS and Omark will go back across the water. They have both stated in interviews that they are willing to spend some time in the minors to develop their respective games and both are on ELCs. What benefit would there be to sending them back to soft European leagues when you can put them in the AHL. I think when doing articles on specific teams this site should invite guest writers from blogs that follow the teams closely to collaborate with the staff writers. It would give these articles a lot more credibility and accuracy. I have always been a fan of the fantasy draft nature of this site but sometimes things that are said about actual NHL roster moves are way off base and just lacking good info.
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
great opportunity One of the LA youngsters (or any free agent they sign) has got a hell of a great opportunity on the top 2 lines. Smyth cant stay healthy- and Williams may be the worst '1stliner' in the league- he isnt the same player after all the injuries hes sustained. Stoll would be an ideal 3rd center-but his above average PP and faceoff skills make him a pretty good 2nd-and until Schenn is ready- I dont see anyone else pushing him. They have some great prospects coming- but most are dmen or goalies. If Moller makes it on the top 2 lines- he could shine- playing with Kopitar would make any average winger look like an all-star.
July 20, 2010
Votes: +0
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