GM Gates and Praba have posted their March edition of the Top 100 Roto Players.

 

Need help with your fantasy squad? Well, letters to my mailbag typically dwindle at this time of year, so here I am about to do tomorrow's mailbag (for The Hockey News) and I only have a handful of letters. Anyway, if you submit something now, you'll probably have a 50/50 shot of getting your letter published and answered. UPDATE: Plenty of letters to go with now, thank you!

 

Teddy Purcell is one of the most underrated fantasy forwards in the league. His hockey sense has really come to the forefront this breakout season and frankly I don't think he can be held back as a third/second liner next year. He was on a 41-point pace after 18 games, but his pace has been 61 since that time. With opportunity, that's where he'll land next year. He has three assists and was a plus-3 last night.

 

Toronto has one win to show for their last five games and James Reimer has now been pulled twice. Not really his fault, he's been playing great, but he is no longer riding that "unbeatable" adrenalin. He's shown enough to be their starter next season, provided the Leafs don't sign a Vokoun-type. And don't discount that - everyone knows that a proven star goalie like Vokoun is the key to any team's fortunes.

 

Chris Pronger is out for the next 3-4 weeks with a broken hand.

 

Joey Hishon has signed an ELC with the Avalanche. I think he's on the team next year, but can Ryan O'Reilly be a fourth-line center while Hishon mans the third line? It will be interesting to see how the positions fall for this team next year.

 

Toronto has signed Jake Gardiner to an ELC - per the FAN590. He'll get a long look in the fall, but what is best for him is a year in the AHL. However, that would depend on his camp performance and who the team brings in in the summer.

 

I want to offer my readers some cash, so I've managed to secure $250 from Fan Duel to give away as a prize over at DobberBaseball. All you have to do is have the best one-day fantasy team for opening day. Details are here. I'll have a similar contest on the hockey side announced later today or tomorrow.

 

Aaron Ness has reportedly announced that he will turn pro. The Islanders' prospect rearguard has been under-whelming these past two seasons.

 

Wild lines with Koivu and Clutterbuck back: Koivu with Miettinen and Brunette; Cullen with Clutterbuck and Madden; Brodziak with Bouchard and Havlat

 

With his minus-3 last night, Tyler Bozak leapfrogs over Kuba to take sole possession of the third worst plus/minus in the entire league at minsu-28. Kovalchuk looked like a shoe-in for this award, but has since improved to minus-19.

 

Erik Karlsson is the lowest at minus-33.

 

Chicago is scoring like gangbusters lately and it shows when I see the guys in my pools with lots of Hawks slowly creep up the standings. Patrick Sharp had four assists last night and is back on track for 80 points.

 

But, hey, at least Philadelphia got, er, Matt Ellis.

 

Can't figure out why Michael Frolik played just 10 minutes last night. Nobody is reporting an injury...

 

Devin Setoguchi was on fire there for a little while, but has cooled off and has just one point in six games.

 

Manny Malhotra is up to 13 points in 16 games. A great dark horse for the postseason. If the Canucks go to the Final, it wouldn't shock me to see him finish with 12/13 playoff points.

 

A commenter (Pengwin) made a point that goalies with big rookie seasons haven't done as well in the next year, and cited Mason, Howard, Halak and Rask. With regards to Braden Holtby - this is just a cup of coffee. I don't consider this is rookie season. So much like Rask played four games prior to last year, or Howard played nine games prior to his big year - Holtby can play a dozen games or so and, in keeping with that pattern, still have a big rookie year. Assuming that rookie goalies are 'destined' for a slip in Year 2.

 

Chris Osgood will probably get the start Thursday for Detroit. The Wings sent down Joey MacDonald.

 

In 30 minutes of ice time over three games, Tim Kennedy was pointless with one shot for Florida.

 

Edmonton has recalled AHL"s January rookie of the month Teemu Hartikainen. He is ranked 205 on my prospects list, still a couple of years away.

 

I'm interested in something. I often have a reader fire me off an Excel analysis of things that I muse about in the ramblings, so about this for a project - take the Top 12 scorers on each team and tell me a) how many have missed at least one game b) how many have missed at least five games c) the average games missed among the Top 12 for the 30 teams. I'm getting the impression that it's getting worse, and that preseason projections need to roll back more games played...and factor in more rookie call-ups, etc.

 

Jamie McBain is out three to four weeks with a shoulder injury. That takes him to the final game of the season.

 

David Moss left practice yesterday with a leg injury. It sounds like he will miss some time.

 

Brian Rafalski is expected back Wednesday.

 

Christian Thomas, the first Rangers prospect to score 50 goals in an OHL season since Ryan Callahan, was OHL's player of the week last week. He sits at 103 on my prospect rankings.

 

Dustin Byfuglien left practice early yesterday with a LBI.

 

Colby Armstrong broke his foot blocking a shot last night and is out for the season.

 

Clutterbuck misses this hit:

 

 


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Steffen Knippel said:

Steffen
Kudos! "GM Gates and Praba have posted their March edition of the Top 100 Roto Players."

Congratulations on a great (and valuable) side product. For a roto player like me, it was enjoyably read and the insights appreciated.

Of course, people will quibble over details, but I won't be one of them. Thanks.
March 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Uzair Siddiq said:

Sportfreunde
Hishon If Joey Hishon makes the team next year (which he should) then the consensus amongst Avs fans is that he'll be used on the wing, especially with Stewart gone. Ryan O'Reilly has been great and stepped it up so he should be getting 3rd line plus PK minutes and you'd epxect to see Hishon either as a winger or 3rd line centre. For Hishon to be playing 3rd line centre, O'Reilly would be moved up to the 2nd and Duchene would become Stasny/Jones' winger although much of this is dependant on Fleischmann/Hejduk/Mueller returning/getting healthy. For fantasy purposes, you should probably keep ROR, watch him play and his play compared to the other Avs and you'll understand what I mean.
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0

little_boyes_semin said:

little_boyes_semin
Excel If you only look at the top 12 scorers for each team (360 total players)

A) 260 have missed at least one game
B) 151 have missed at least 5 games
C) The average number of games missed = 6.944444444

Fun fact: Goligoski and Boyes have played more games than their current team, and are on pace for 83+ games.
March 15, 2011
Votes: -1

Gord Downie said:

Pengwin7
Fantasy Help Dobber,
I need help with my fantasy hockey team.
My buddy sent you an email from my cottage in Ohio.
Thanks
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeremy Wark said:

jer_33
Kadri called up. Accorfing to a tweet from a Marlies teammate, Nazem Kadri has been called up to the Leafs.
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0

Ken Shultz said:

kshultz
Braden Holtby - Rookie Year Holtby could be a great late round pick-up in one year head to head leagues next year (in leagues where points average over the week)--but how far he falls will obviously depend on whether he plays in the playoffs this year and how well he plays there.

If he plays great, he'll be off the boards early like where Niemi was this year. The hardest thing about drafting a rookie that played great the year before is holding on to him when he invariably hits a slump the next year.

I picked up Niemi off of waivers in my one year, H2H league this year when Niemi was struggling. People in the Dobber forums are too smart to fall for "pump and dump", but over in the forums for my league, I was writing all kinds of posts about how Nittymaki was the man and how Niemi was toast.

...and before I got around to offering a trade, the sucker in my league dropped him!

*evil laugh*

I ate his lunch. It tasted like victory!

If you're in a league where points average over the week, and you can pick up Holtby in the late rounds, you'll be ahead of the game. And if somebody picks him up in the first six rounds?

Goalies in a sophomore slump are probably some of the easiest buy low candidates to trade for--especially if you work the boards in your league... Hey! It's all part of the game!
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0

TheRook said:

TheRook
... the flyers actually traded Matt Ellison for Sharp, but the point can be made that Matt is easily forgetable so Matt Ellis works just as well.

We can thank Hitch for that debacle. He didnt like Sharp and never thought he would be able to play a 2 way game, never gave him a chance and eventually shipped him out.
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0

duballstar014 said:

duballstar014
Ellison Matt Ellison. Sheesh...you act like we got ripped off or something......smilies/cry.gif
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Good rambling Lots of good info today. Especially on Purcell.

With regard to young/rookie goalies, the point was more about when a team starts to lean on that goalie as their #1. Goldie can probably chime in that there is perhaps no position in sports (soccer goalie maybe, same case) where the mental aspect has such a dramatic effect on performance. Mental toughness.

Steve Mason and Jimmy Howard both had nothing to lose in their first full season getting starts. Expectations were low. Any incredible performance they contributed was seen as a huge gift. Once that performance becomes "expected", then the pressure sets in and it can become a mental game. With Mason, the team scoring wasn't there to continue to get the Jackets wins. With Howard, fortunately, the Wings score a ton and can still win games.

Halak wasn't actually a rookie last year (that was my mistake), but the point on him is that this is/was his first full season with "expectations". Great expectations. It is a very difficult thing for a young goalie.

With Holtby, we just don't know what kind of goalie he really is until HE feels like he is being leaned on as the Caps #1... and yes, this may be 2 years away.

Summary: It's not so much a "Year 2" slip, as it is a "First Year as the Annointed #1" slip.
March 15, 2011
Votes: +0
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