Clarified my sophomore slump statement below, with examples. I also fixed that video that didn't copy over properly. ~ Dobber 

 

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My Playoff Draft List is uploaded and ready for your download. Those of you who miss my Ultimate Fantasy Pack, I have a similar offer for you - if you buy the Keeper League Pack and the Playoff List at the same time, use coupon code ULTIMATE and get $3 off. That means that you can get the Prospects Report, the Fantasy Guide, the Preseason Draft List and the Interactive Playoff Draft List for $22.49

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We're down to the final five days of the season - technically four days, if you don't count the one Sunday game. Make sure you check our Looking Ahead feature to best take advantage of the schedule - for those in daily leagues that allow for some streaming. Of note, Winnipeg is the only team done their schedule after Thursday. So after Thursday, drop your Byfuglien, Wheeler, Kane, Ladd, Little and Pavelec - and grab guys on Minnesota, Chicago, Phoenix, Ottawa and Colorado!

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The Jets, speaking of, are against the wall now. They have to win that last game and hope that the Rangers lose two or the Senators lose three. Not seeing it, although the Sens will lose one of their three games - they play Washington. And as the Jets just discovered, the Capitals are unstoppable right now.

The Rangers lost - they're really doing everything they can to slink meekly into the playoffs.

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Alex Ovechkin is suddenly a realistic Art Ross Trophy winner. By the numbers:

Crosby 56 (two games left if he chooses to play them)

St. Louis 55 (three games left)

Stamkos 54

Ovechkin 53 (two games left and the hottest player in the Top 4 right now)

So whose thanking me for encouraging you to buy low on him in February? Even I was a little uncertain, the way things were going. But I snagged him in mid-February for Eriksson, Hemsky, Atkinson and I gave him Del Zotto for Green and Carlson (which at the time looked like I was upgrading his D). I'm going to win that league for the second straight year and could not have done it without this trade. And these are against a group of guys who write/edit/publish the annual Forecaster hockey magazine, so no slouches.

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Two points for Steve Sullivan last night. This is probably his last season. The two lockouts cost him getting 300 goals and 800 points in his career - achievements that would be well deserved.

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Carl Soderberg picked up his second assist of his career (three games). He's seeing over 15 minutes per game on significant lines - so far so good on his outlook for next year. Here were the Boston line combos:

Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin

 

 

Soderberg - Kelly - Jagr

Lucic - Krejci - Peverley

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Sophomore slumps hit about 67% of players who were rookies over the age of 21, but just 33% of rookies under that age. So Craig Smith and Matt Read were in the 'high risk' group. Were it not for Read's injury, he would have come through with flying colors. With Smith, not so much. And if it were any other team but Nashville, I would tell you that Smith will bounce back. I can't say that though. Too many other players on that team who can be considered for scoring roles.

~To further explain this, I did this study for The 2010 Hockey News Ultimate Pool Guide. I looked at the seasons after the lockout, so four groups of sophomores. And 34.8% of players under the age of 21 saw their points-per-game average decline. But that number nearly doubled if they were 21 or over. So I identified the following players as high risk for a sophomore slump in 2010-11:

Bergfors, Regin, Anisimov, Bozak, Tim Kennedy, Schremp, Yip and Sexton.

I think we can all agree that this group, other than Bozak and Anisimov, turned out to be terrible... and maintained the 67% (give or take) average that I had already identified. I haven't looked at the numbers in the seasons since.

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Montreal's Raphael Diaz played 40 minutes over two games since his return. He picked up an assist last night, but was minus-1. It was on the power play.

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If Martin Brodeur didn't win three of his last four games - and instead he retired, he would have finished his career with 666 wins. Not bad for the Devils' netminder.

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And now for a little feature that I'd like to call "all about the B's". It's regarding players whose last name starts with B. Okay, not really a feature, I just noticed that my next four blurbs happened to turn out that way. But it would make for a cool feature, eh? No? Alright then.

T.J. Brodie has six points in his last seven games.

Sven Bärtschi has eight in his last six.

Josh Bailey has 14 points in his last 18 contests. Were it not for injuries, I'd really like him for a breakout next year.

Some are saying that Dustin Brown will get suspended for two games for this hit on Jason Pominville. I beg to differ. Brown had position, Pominville came in crouched - how is that Brown's fault? He held his position and leaned with the shoulder, raising the elbow almost marginally. But it was more along the lines of pushing an oncoming freight train out of the way with his arm, as opposed to elbowing a defenceless victim. See for yourself:

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Did you enjoy the Abbotsford/Milwaukee game last night? Brodie, Aliu, Byron, Street, Cundari, Bancks, Bärtschi, Horak, Hanowski, Reinhart, Mueller, Henderson, Bang, Watson and Bartley were in action…for Calgary and Nashville. And if we're talking next year - you can add Forsberg to that list as well.

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Alex Galchenyuk is picking up ice time. His production can no longer be ignored, so none of this "10 minutes" stuff. He saw 15:28 last night and that's his second highest all season. He has 10 points in his last 11 games.

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Jiri Tlusty has points in each of his last six games. He also has his 35 points in his last 40 games, which would make him a 70-point player. Did you see that coming? In my 2008 Fantasy Prospects Report I had his upside at 75+, with 90% certainty of making it to the NHL and 50% certainty of hitting that upside.

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In back-to-back games, Jacob Markstrom faced 38 shots and stopped 36 of them. One was a win, one was a loss. Both were against playoff teams. He'll find his way. He seems to be at his best facing a ton of shots, similar to how Luongo was when he played for Florida.

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Robbery! The Wild needed the win and with 10 seconds left, Niklas Backstrom gives it to them:

 


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Comments (10)add comment

Dakkster said:

Dakkster
... Two games for Brown in a no-brainer suspension. Dirty elbows tend to get suspended.
April 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
rookies Id be interested in the sample sizes used for these numbers, because I wouldve thought the opposite would happen.The more mature rookies should be better adjusted to avoid a bad year,more defensivly sound to avoid being benched. Is this a by product of age? or of previous hockey experience (ie- coming from CHL or college,mainly due to the large discrepancy in games played), or is it due to 21+ yr olds now being legal to drink in bars in the USA smilies/grin.gif
April 24, 2013
Votes: +0

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... Thanks for the extra info on the Sophomore slump. It seems to follow that you don't believe much in 21+ rookies as being solid bets going forward? I'll have to look into this further before I form an opinion but what do you do with guys like Brunner, MZA or Soderberg who played overseas for so long? Furthermore, shouldn't this factor into your rankings of guys like Nyquist and Killorn ?
April 24, 2013
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
Brown Brown is suspended for sure. This is the second game in a row he's done something dirty (Antoine Roussel in the game against Dallas, but he wasn't injured). Can't see how the league keeps ignoring it. He'll miss the rest of the regular season, I think.
April 24, 2013
Votes: +1

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
Sophomore Slumps Explained? Dobbs, I find your comment on the sophomore slumps interesting and I'd like to see a bit more of the rationale you've used to come up with these figures (eg. What defines a slump?). Please provide a few of your over 21 examples and give us all something to really sink our teeth into.

Thanks
April 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Gaborlick said:

Gaborlick
... not the right video lol
April 24, 2013
Votes: +1

slufoot said:

slufoot
Brown hit Disagree Dobber. That was definitely a dirty elbow. I've played and delivered a few of those. Brown knew exactly who was coming to play that puck, slow-played it, waited, and popped him before leaving the zone. If you watch, Pominville doesn't even come in to hit Brown. He leads with a poke check and tries to play the puck.

A headshot if I ever saw one.
April 24, 2013
Votes: +2

PrairieDog said:

PrairieDog
... Just picked up Bailey in a keeper hoping he can carry this late run into next year - still young and was rushed as a teen - can he ever put it together for real? Say 50-60 pts on a regular basis? He plays W as well so that would help his chances when Strome comes in of being top 6
April 24, 2013
Votes: +0

TangerineDreamTeam said:

TangerineDreamTeam
brown hit Arm/elbow to face wasn't needed, either brace or your shoulder, or put your arm to his chest... pomi wasn't THAT low brown wasn't that high
Looked a lot worse than self-defense
I would give him 1 game
Max 2
April 24, 2013
Votes: +1

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Forsberg Filip Forsberg actually played last night, he had an assist, and was plus 1 with 3 SOG and 2 hits in 15:52 of ice time. Decent stat line.
April 24, 2013
Votes: +0
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