Goldie: My final weekly piece for Dobber is up on late-season sleepers. What an honor it has been to provide Dobber Nation with goalie insights and analysis over the past 4.5 years. I can't believe it has been that long. I am forever grateful for Dobber giving me the opportunity, and I posted a thank you note to everyone in the forums. Much love, guys!
My weekly piece for the Canucks Army is on Wisconsin forward Joseph LaBate. He's a 6'4" freshman who has some offensive upside in three or four years with the Canucks. Read it here.
Danny Briere is a player I'd be targeting in a trade right now - he has zero goals and six helpers in his last 20 games. He is 34, but I think he has another year or two of PPG (or close to) production in Philadelphia.
I know Carolina is not very good this year, but I am surprised at the lack of coverage Justin Faulk is getting around the league. Another 24 minutes logged for the rookie defenseman last night.
Christian Ehrhoff has five points in his last five games (four of them wins).
Without Lupul for month, the Leafs turned to rookie Carter Ashton. He had no points and no shots in 10 minutes of ice time last night.
Matt Frattin has an opportunity to earn some more ice time – he didn’t have a great statistical game last night, finishing minus-3 with no points in about 15 minutes of ice time.
Have you checked out our inaugural Cage Match Tournament? Each week we pair players off and you get to vote on who wins until there is but one left standing, the best player in fantasy hockey. This week it’s #1 Henrik Sedin vs. #8 Joe Thornton, #2 Daniel Sedin vs. #7 Eric Staal, #3 Zach Parise vs. #6 Ilya Kovalchuk and #4 Corey Perry vs. #5 Ryan Getzlaf. Who will you vote for?
Jordan Staal has 15 points in his last 12 games. Since February 11th, he has been held without a point in only two games. Imagine how good this team is going to be if.when Crosby and Letang come back?
Music to my ears – Mathieu Perreault is very important to Washington. How important?
“And such is why assumptions are not to be made. Hockey is a game of growth, adaption, intelligence, and, of course, chance.
Perreault ended up impressing during training camp, and as a result even earned a spot in the starting lineup over his fellow young center, Marcus Johansson, in the season opener. Perreault hasn’t looked back since, and in Nicklas Backstrom’s stead, it’s been the 6th round draft pick who has become, perhaps, the team’s second most valuable forward. He has already surpassed his career highs for goals, assists, and points, leads the team in shooting percentage (a stat which, as pointed out here by Japers Rink, is not to be undervalued), has notched his first career hat trick, and perhaps most remarkably, has scored a goal with his face.”
These comments from Bobby Ryan are interesting, to say the least.
““My next step ultimately would be to break away from Getz [Ryan Getzlaf] and Pears [Corey Perry],” Ryan said. “I think we’ve had chemistry. But at some point, you’re going to have to prepare for life after Teemu [Selanne]. I’d like to fill into that role and have that second line be built. I think I can step into Teemu’s role. I think I can put up 35 to 40 goals year in and year out.”
Ryan’s comments could be taken a few ways. For what they are, he recognizes a hole on Anaheim’s second line. However, is there more to it? Does he want to get out of the shadow of his two offensively talented linemates and teammates?
Calgary recalled WHL scoring star Sven Bartschi on an emergency basis, as the injuries continue to mount. Bartschi has 94 points in 47 games with Portland. He had a very good showing at camp and in the preseason – consider him a 100% lock to make the team next season.
Matt Duchene’s tough season continues – he suffered an awkward lower body injury on Tuesday, and is out indefinitely. Mike Connolly, a college scoring star acquired in the trade with San Jose, will take his roster spot.
Garon is out for a month with a minor groin tear – Dustin Tokarski will join the team and should back up Dwayne Roloson. Judging by Roloson’s play lately (and not so lately, either), that back up tag likely won’t stick on Tokarski for long.
Winnipeg prospect Ivan Telegin has 23 points (including a whopping 17 goals) in his last 12 OHL games. Here’s more on Telegin from a Barrie newspaper.
“What’s even more impressive is that the lightning speed comes in a six-foot-four, 185-pound package. Head coach and Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk played with and against a lot of talented players in his 16-year career, but admits he hasn’t seen anybody with that combination of size and speed like Telegin.
“Yeah, it’s sick,” Hawerchuk said. “He would be fast in the NHL, I think. I haven’t seen somebody that big and quick. There’s power in it, but it’s quick.”
The DobberBaseball Fantasy Guide is out – pick it up here.
The Sedin twins, usually pillars of consistency, have combined for a measly single point in the last six games. I attended the two most recent Canuck games in person, and this is a case of the numbers telling a lot of the story.
Teams are checking them tight, but they both look a bit fatigued. The power play is struggling a bit too, and newcomer Marc-Andrei Gragnani has been tried there. He has looked OK, but teams don’t have to worry about Sami Salo’s point shot as much, which takes away some of the previously open ice down low and along the side boards.
I’d expect the Sedins to rebound, as they are two of the best and most consistent forwards in the league, but this recent slump is proving that even they are not immune from the usual ups and downs of the grueling 82 game schedule.
Montreal signed prospect forward Patrick Holland to an entry-level contract yesterday. Holland was acquired in the Cammalleri trade. He has 44 points in 26 games in the WHL since being traded from Calgary, and he has 101 points in 66 games.
He probably doesn’t have the upside to be a top line star in the NHL, but he should settle in nicely as a second or third line center. His numbers are impressive.
Now that Grabovski has been locked up, Olli Jokinen is far and away the best center available. Like Toronto, the Flames are pretty thin up the middle without much help on the horizon. Will they be forced to pay above market value to keep Jokinen around? How long and high would you go for Jokinen, if you were Calgary GM Jay Feaster?
Cammalleri, Moss, and Tanguay can all play center in a pinch, but all three are more effective on the wing. Backlund isn’t ready to be leaned on as a top line guy, yet.
The downside of giving Jokinen big money – this is his first good season in a while. He turns 34 next season. He probably isn’t a number one center on most teams, but on Calgary he is. This added ice time likely inflates his offensive numbers.
The upside – he’s a pretty healthy player, which should be something Calgary values after the number of injuries they have battled this season. He has nine straight 50+ point seasons. Pretty impressive.
If you were Steve Tambellini, what would you do next summer to make the Oilers competitive? The priorities would be adding two or three NHL level defenseman and a goaltender. The forward group would be much improved by improving the other areas of the team (better breakouts would lead to an increase in production for all forwards across the board).
The Canucks targeted both Carolina and Washington for potential Hodgson destinations. Elliotte Friedman speculates they were interested in Brandon Sutter and John Carlson, respectively.
Zack Kassian’s second line stint didn’t last long – he had a decent game against Dallas, but the Canucks don’t really want to put too much offensive pressure on the kid. In a depth role, he can skate, hit, and fly a bit more under the radar.
Chris Higgins was finally put back with Booth and Kesler – Higgins strengths (puck retrieval, board work) suits Kesler and Booth better than Raymond’s speed and perimeter game did/does. Raymond will skate with Hansen and Pahlsson on the third line, for now.