Some of the best glove saves of all time - the Nabokov save on Richards from 2008 is still the best save I have ever seen in live action.


Saturday ramblings up early – I’ll have some more stuff added throughout the course of the day.


I’m knee deep in my writing for the DobberHockey Fantasy Guide (out in just over a week). I don’t do any of the number projections for this one, but I’ll have a ton of my own content in the guide (my Prime Cuts selection for each team – basically my sleeper pick, a handful of PIM players to watch for, as well as some sleepers with one-way contracts).


I’ll also have a few other published pieces – one on residual fantasy value, which has been interesting to research.


Doing the research required for my writing and guide contributions helps me immensely in my own pools, and it also helps me notice some interesting situations around the league that I don’t get regular access to.


Since there is so little news trickling in today, I am going to start the ramblings with 10 thoughts/questions, and I’d love your answers.


1) Rank Washington’s top three defensemen in terms of production. How much does Wideman hurt Carlson (or vice versa)? All three of their offensive blue liners are right handed shots.


2) It is game 41 tomorrow. Assuming everyone is healthy, what does Pittsburgh’s top six look like? Mine: Malkin-Crosby-Neal, Jeffrey-Staal-Sullivan.


3) Christian Ehrhoff created a lot of offense for the Canucks with his skating and shooting ability. He also benefitted a lot from playing a ton of his shifts with fantastic players (he also had very easy zone starts, which means the majority of his shifts started in the offensive zone). Does him leaving affect the Sedins much? Who fills the void?


4) Who is LA’s highest scoring winger in 2011-12? Penner? Williams? Brown? Gagne? Parse?


5) Who leads Winnipeg in scoring? I am looking for a big season from the top line center, Brian Little. Not sure Evander Kane is ready to become “the guy” yet. Is Zach Bogosian traded? (OK, this is two questions in one).


6) Is there a team better set up to win for a long time than Boston? Goaltending, check. Defense, check (save for Joe Corvo). Forwards ready now, check. Prospects ready soon, check. The Bruins are fully stocked with every kind of player at every position.


7) Points only – Getzlaf or Kopitar next season? Why?


8) I don’t think many poolies understand the significance Mark Streit will have on the production from the likes of Tavares, Okposo, Moulson, Hamonic, etc. Streit is one of a handful of truly elite, pure puck movers who can also wire the puck from anywhere on the ice. Streit has AVERAGED 57 in his past three seasons. That being said, does Tavares hit 40 goals this season?


9) If their youngsters on defense can play reasonably well, I see no reason why the Rangers can’t contend for the Eastern Conference title. From a fantasy perspective, Richards is going to help Gaborik tremendously. One of Anisimov/Boyle/Stepan will lose out, as there is only so much ice time to go around. Who would you put alongside Gaborik and Richards? Can the Rangers really go with a defense featuring six youngsters: Staal/Girardi/ Erixon/McDonagh/ Sauer/Del Zotto?


10) Does Evgeni Malkin still hold the edge over Stamkos in keeper league drafts? If you are in a standard keeper and have the third overall pick, who do you take?


Looking forward to reading some answers!


Philly could have a new nut in the lineup this year:

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Comments (24)add comment

Sanstanya said:

... 1) Green, Wideman, Carlson.

2) PIT is so jacked up about playing Malkin with Staal AND Neal and Kunitz with Sid that the only way this isn't still happening after 41 is if 1 or both totally fails. Which is kind of hard to imagine for me, so:

But...I could see Sullivan and Neal trading spots and, far more tragically, somehow I do expect to see more of Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis than I am prepared for.

3) Sedins will be fine, though I kind of expect a small, Ehrhoff-irrelevant drop-off (maybe to 95 points). This will be critically (and erroneously) attributed to the loss of Ehrhoff by fans and "journalists" alike.

4) I've got a gut-shot on Gagne. He looked inspired late last year and I think being with LA will keep him inspired. Also, Penner is a plug.

5) Ladd again. They really shouldn't trade Bogosian, despite the potential pool benefit of him moving, and I think they will do whatever they can not to at this point. That said, if they can't figure out how to get him on the right development track then I hope he does get traded. Hate to see guys wasted.

6) Boston is absolutely stocked but I'm still kind of stunned they won the cup. It was a real throwback to old school goaltender dominance. Without Thomas playing at that level they aren't even there at the end (and quite possibly go out in round 1 to Montreal). And without Vancouver flailing out and literally showing up for maybe 4.5 periods after going up 2 games, even Thomas maybe wouldn't have been enough. So I guess I don't think they are in an elite class of their own (more like a class of 5 or so), but they definitely have full-ish cupboards.

7) Getzlaf, without hesitation. His injuries the past 2 years have been freak in nature and not chronic. I would pencil him in for 75+ games. The past 4 years he has not finished a season at less than 1.00 pt per game, and last year was his highest pt/gm to date despite missing several games, which often leads to staggered production. His linemates and pp mates are superior to Kopitar's. Kopitar has yet to end a season above 1.00 pts per game. Aside from just "playing a hunch" (which I do like to do) there is no systematic way I can conceive of to logically conclude Kopitar should outpoint Getzlaf next season.

smilies/cool.gif I sure understand the significance and can't wait. I'm caling Tavares for just shy of 40 though - maybe 38. Possibly even limited due to missing a handful of games.

9) Dubinsky. Somebody has to go get the puck so Richards and Gabby can make fancy with it. I think they can run with that young D and do reasonably well but I don't think they can get deep with it yet.

10) If all continues as one would expect, Malkin holds the edge for me personally until Stamkos shows what he will do without St Louis. That said I think Malkin lost the edge from the masses a while back. I draftd Malkin in one inaugral keeper draft starting in 2010-11. I picked 6th.

11) BONUS wildcard feedback: the poll. I am shocked (perhaps even horrified) by the current results of the latest poll. Not so much that Green/Wideman are the leading vote getters (and rightly so), but that they have just shy of 48% of the votes. To me this means that if in some strange parallel universe where players had to be drafted as pre-defined pairs, 52% of people here would not take Green and Wideman as their top D pairing. Seriously?! 52%? How many would really take Liles/Dion? Edler/Bieksa? I have to assume it's just bold speculating but if it came time to draft the #'s would be very different.

July 24, 2011
Votes: +1

Austin said:

Angus What are your opinions/answers to your own questions?
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Buck Fush said:

Buck Fush
Getz vs Anze Getzlaf. Only 2 centers in the league have been ppg+ in each of the last 4 seasons: Crosby, and Getzky. His injuries are of the freak variety, I think he'll be healthy this year and post 90+ pts, with an outside shot of hitting the century mark for the first time.

Getzlafs 82 game pace output over the last 4 seasons: 87, 91, 86, 92. And he's still only 26. SICK. He's elite.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

10 1. Green, Wideman, Carlson.
2. Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis. Neal-Staal-Malkin.
3. Edler 50pts. Sedins, 95pts. Easy transition.
4. Dustin Brown. Break-out season, 60-65pts & healthy.
5. Tobias Enstrom - the most talented player on the team.
6. If healthy, Pittsburgh is still the best team in the NHL for the long-term. Best long-term group of contracts.
7. Getzlaf. This is the 90+ pt season. Also, I named one of my fantasy team's Queens Mercury because Getzy looks like Freedie. Dig it.
8. Tavares, 40 goals... yes.
9. I said it an an Atlantic Division preview thread... the Rangers will be nipping at the Flyers heals and NYR is the best Vegas bet for the money at 30-1.
10. Yes, advantage Malkin. He will have wing eligibility in Yahoo by Dec. 1st.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Trevor Czerwinski said:

Flying Polak
... 1) green (no brainer for me), wideman,carlson, Darkhorse he will get cups of coffee Dimitri Orlov

2) Kunitz Crosby Neal
Malkin Staal Sullivan
Jeffery Letestu Tangradi
( 3 pretty scary lines )

3) Void filled by committee. Vans D is very deep But the next Ehr apparrent is probably Connauton 2-3 yrs away

4) Tough one. In points only if gagne is healthy and inspired he has slight edge, any other scenario edge to brown.

5)There was so much hype put on Bogs in Atlanta, I think in a true hockey setting he will settle down and have a real breakout year offensively and improve defensively. Winni will regret trading him if they do.

6) Conference or cup? Boston has a great playoff team but i expect them to finish in the conference about the same as last year if not a couple places lower. With that said expect them to challenge for the cup again next year. Phil,Wash,Van,Det,LA, DarkHorse STL and NYI

7)Kopitar because Getzlaf will only play 67 games

smilies/cool.gif my prediction Isles explode offensively. Tavares 40+,50+ = 95 points

9) going off the board and saying Zuccarella ( love this kid )

10) Tough one but a decision every poolie would love to have.

If Malkin and Crosby stay healthy and play a good percentage togethor Malkin wins. 45%

If Stamkos plays with St Louis and keeps up stellar play he wins. 55%

slight edge to Stamkos
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

bigmamadog317 said:

... Kunitz-Staal-Malkin will be the 2nd line next season. I'll put a hundred bucks on it. But since I'm poor it has to be $100 of monopoly money.
July 23, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

bigmamadog317 said:

_____ 2) It is game 41 tomorrow. Assuming everyone is healthy, what does Pittsburgh’s top six look like? Mine: Malkin-Crosby-Neal, Jeffrey-Staal-Sullivan.


Pens really wanted to put Staal and Malkin together, unfortunately that line was pretty much only together for one game. In that one game they score a goal 7 seconds into their first shift and 7 seconds into the game.

Who is LA’s highest scoring winger in 2011-12? Penner? Williams? Brown? Gagne? Parse?

10) Does Evgeni Malkin still hold the edge over Stamkos in keeper league drafts? If you are in a standard keeper and have the third overall pick, who do you take?
IMO, no, it's not only the knee injury, in the season it seemed like this was just a job to him, he seemed unhappy, but from what we've been hearing this summer it makes me feel better about him. I hope that he does end up turning things around this season. I had 3rd overall pick last season in my one year league and I picked Backstrom over Malkin, I should have taken Stamkos.
July 23, 2011
Votes: -1

Carcillo said:

... Letestu played pretty all of last season as center. I can't recall him spending much if at all time on wing. When he played with Malkin it was Geno who played winger.

The previous year Letestu centered the 1st line AHL while Jeffrey played on his wing.

When has Letestu been used plenty at wing? I have no such knowlegde.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +1

sentium said:

... Both Letestu and Adams have been used plenty at wing.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Carcillo said:

Mark it down, he'll center his own line. If that's the third or fourth line, that's up to Malkin/Staal as the second line center, but Jeffrey just will not be a winger. The Pens don't have the depth at center to afford that.

I wouldn't be so sure, sentium. He'll have to leapfrog one of Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Letestu and Adams to play a C with this team. Adams is very good 4th liner who can play either C or wing so he could very well move to wing. Still that leaves four other centers. Letestu is a pure center and right now is ahead of Jeffrey in the depth charts and in line to be the 3rd line C if Staal plays on top-6 or the 4th line C if Pens use the 3C model.

So Pens have plenty of C depth and it's far from sure thing that Jeffrey will be a center. He'll compete with Letestu with one of the C spots and Jeffrey is more versatile and spent more time on wing so he's the more likely of the two to play winger.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Austin said:

3 And to add... Ballard and Edler fill the void. Edler gets 50 and Ballard gets 30.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Austin said:

Points to consider 1)Green, Wideman, Carlson in that order but if Green misses time I think Carlson will fill the void better than Wideman.

2) I think that for game 41 there will be injuries. To be honest I have no idea who will have chemistry with who but it could be Kunitz-Crosby-Sullivan, Neal-Staal-Malkin. I think the lines will be mixed up often though.

3) It will not affect the Sedins but I could see them "regressing" a bit to the 95 point range and put a bit more effort into backchecking and their defence. Like Crosby they seem to improve in one facet every single year. This year is likely defence after the Finals.

4) Whoever stays healthy! Bad answer but I don't think any of the point rates are going to be incredibly higher than one another. If I had to hazard a guess it would be Gagne, Williams, Penner, Brown, Parse.

5) Ladd will get the most points by a good amount. I think there could be a market for Bogosian. Good start=traded. Bad or amazing start=stays.

6) The Canucks. According to the goalie guild; 2nd best goalie depth (Luongo, Schneider, Lack is by far the best 1-2-3 punch in the NHL).
They have the deepest defence in the league by a mile. Bieksa, Hamuis, Edler, Salo, Ballard, Tanev, Alberts, Rome, Sultzer, Sauve and someone else I am forgetting are all NHL D-men and they have 8 top-6ers.
Up front they have the Sedins and Kesler as stars and have Rodin, Hodgson Schroeder coming up very soon and the Sedins are their oldest core players at 30. They also have one of the top defensive centers (Malhotra's vision is basically back to 100%) and arguably the best defensive forward in the game in Hansen.
GIllis has made Vancouver an extremely attractive place for free agents and has some of the best specialists in sports. If he can get drafting figured out (he hasn't done great so far but it is a bit too early to definitively judge him) the Canucks could win for a long long time.

7) I have to decide who I like better and by how much for a Multi-cat league. (Standerd keeper except with hits instead of Pims). I honestly dont know yet. Any advice would be helpful!

8 ) 35-40 with a relatively healthy season. I like how NYI is heading and he is the centerpiece for the best young team in the league.

9) There is no definitive answer... I think that many options will be used and Wolski will be there if he clicks even somewhat as it deepens the scoring depth for the rest of the team. I think that they will give the reins to the young guns and if they are out of the playoffs 2 months in they can add. Mccabe cannot be discounted either.

10) Yes I like Malkin better by a hair in keepers. I think he is fully healed from injury and should light it up this season and beyond. So should Stamkos but it remains to be seen how many more years St. Louis can keep it up.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +1

derek said:

... 1. Green, Wideman, Carlson
2. Kunitz-Crosby-Neal, Malkin-Staal-Sullivan
3. It doesnt hurt the Sedins much...they have enough offense with Bieksa(if he can stay healthy).
4. Gagne
5. Byfuglien and Bogo doesnt go anywhere.
6. Other than Boston...the NY islanders
7. Kopitar. Gut
8. Tavares gets 39
9. No they cannot
10. would be tough though.
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

derek said:

Best Live Save I was at game 1 of the Penguins Capitals series in 09. The Varlamov stick save....I was out of my seat to cheer with my arms up before I knew he saved it. I was livid...haha
July 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Jerry said:

In my humble opinion... 1 Green Wideman Carlsson
2 Crosby Neal Kunitz – Staal Malkin Sullivan
3 Salo’s numbers will go up; Sedins will miss Ehrhoff as much as they missed Anson Carter
4 Gagne
5 I’m going off the board – Antropov. At 100% he was the top scorer the previous year.
6 I like the Canucks better than Boston – now & long term.
7 Getzlaf – better powerplay, way better
8 Sure
9 Avery with Richards & Gabby; No to the kiddy core on D.
10 Stamkos all the way
July 22, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

... 3. Edler fills the void. Only logical, since he's the best puckmover they have now that Ehrhoff is gone. Edler fills the void admirably, I might add. How the other guys fills Edler's former role, THAT'S another question entirely.

4. If we talk points only, I think it'll be decided by a hair between Gagne and Brown. If we talk point per game ratio, Brown easily. If we talk multicat studness, Brown even more easily.

5. Little and Ladd will be neck and neck in scoring (and I own both, booyaa) and Bogo won't be traded. He'll be meaner than before and will thrive in the lower-pressure-role that comes with playing behind Enstrom and Buffy.

6. The Wings will always be up there, ready and willing at every position. But yeah, the Bruins are scary now AND in the future (don't forget about Hamilton on the back-end). The big question mark for the Bruins, as with pretty much every contender, is general team toughness. Are they ready to pay the price physically?

7. Kopitar. Better supporting cast to take the heat off, giving him more opportunities. Anze is also way more durable. Lastly, he actually has hair on his head. If you want the truth about the power in the hair, just look at Mario, Wayne and Stevie Y before they cut their mullets. Look at Jagr and Palffy before they cut their mullets. Kopi actually has a shot at getting a mullet. Getz has no hair, ergo no shot at getting a mullet, ergo will not score more. Hair logic.

8. 33-38 goals this year. I think he'll be more of a playmaker to Moulson, who'll get equally close to 40.

9. Stepan and Animisov will alternate as 2nd/3rd line center. Boyle is their 4th line center, no two ways about it. Rupp is better on the wing anyway and can step in if any of the other guys get hurt. I think Stepan will be better on the 2nd line because of his setup vision and passing, but he is largely interchangeable with Anisimov.

10. I take Stamkos if I have the third pick overall. Malkin has not only the injury question mark, but also the motivation question mark now that he might be sulking a bit from playing wing or whatever. Stamkos is 100% all the time, no questions asked. He never dogs the play. If Malkin played balls to the wall hockey all the time, he'd be so much better than everyone else it's not even funny. Crosby included. However, he doesn't. He checks in when he feels like it. When he starts playing consistently and doesn't try to do everything by himself, I'll consider him for the third overall spot.
July 22, 2011
Votes: +1

paul said:

... 4. My wager is on Penner
5. Ladd has most poinsts, but Wheeler will be the goal leader and Bogosian stays
6. I think the NYR are ready are they better than Boston ? no but they were very competitive against them last season.
7. Kopitar due to Getzlaf's bandaid boy status
8. The icelanders are a great dark horse candidate to make the playoffs
9. Del Zotto was a turnover machine last season so many NYR fans believe that Erixon and Valentenko will be the 3rd pairing next season. Yet another reason to be thankful to MTL for the Gomez trade smilies/cheesy.gif
July 22, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

... Oh, and it's beyond laughable, completely fucking hilarious to suggest that Mike Green, the most dynamic offensive defenseman (who is also actually responsible in his own end) since Coffey, take a backseat to a second year guy and Dennis goddamn Wideman. Wake up, people. There is just NO WAY that happens. Not a snowball's chance in hell.

Green is top dog. That's just the way it is. If nothing else, just look at his icetime when he was healthy last year. Exactly. Now stop talking smack. He's #1 in Washington and anyone suggesting anything even remotely different, frankly, doesn't know shit about hockey. Excuuuuuse me for slapping some truth on your daydreaming.
July 22, 2011
Votes: -1

sentium said:

... Why do you persist on shutting out Chris Kunitz from Pittsburgh's top six? There is just no way that Crosby's most consistent linemate gets shut out like you suggest.

Kunitz - Crosby - X

Malkin - Staal - X (They were planned to play together last year before Staal went down again in preseason)

Insert Sullivan and Neal into those X slots. Jeffrey is built to take over the third center role for the Pens, not to play a winger role? Why? Process of elimination, they simply don't have anyone better now that they want to use Staal as L2 center.

Either way, you won't see Jeffrey in the top six. Look at how Bylsma works. If Malkin is in the top six as a winger, Jeffrey's out because Sullivan, Kunitz and Neal have the other slots. If Malkin plays center, he'll have Sullivan and Neal while Kunitz (everlasting Crosby linemate since he was acquired, how can you be blind to this?) and Dupuis plays with Crosby. Dupuis plays there because of sheer familiarity and, more than anything else, grittiness and speed. The three of them just work together. At the same time, Jeffrey has proven to be able to carry his own line. Mark it down, he'll center his own line. If that's the third or fourth line, that's up to Malkin/Staal as the second line center, but Jeffrey just will not be a winger. The Pens don't have the depth at center to afford that.
July 22, 2011
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

points to consider 1. Carlson, Wideman and Green in order. Green gets Matt Cooked.
2.Game 41? Neal-Crosby-Jeffery. Kunitz-Staal-Malkin.
3.I don't think Ehrhoff will be missed much. No change for the Sedins.
5. Little is ready. Bogo stays.
6.If the Panthers figure out DNA melding - I dunno the Canucks and St Louis shouldn't be dismissed, and the Kings don't seem to have many holes.
7.Coin flip for me - hope it's Getzlaf as an owner.
8.Well yeah.
9.I think they will take the heat off Stepan and let him play up on the wing for a while.
10.Pretty boy Malkin is going to slice and dice.

This was fun - nicely done.
July 22, 2011
Votes: +1

mick said:

... 1. Green Wideman Carlsob
2. Same as Praba until Xmas when 3 of those will end up on IR
3. Edler, i think putting Kesler on the Pp was huge
4. Gagne if he stays healthy, otherwise Brown
5. Ladd
6. Washington. If they get their system down
7. Getz. Because ..... Ryan, Perry, Fowler, Visnovsky
8. Yes
9. They try it for a month readjust if necessary
10. I take Perry third in a league with pim.
July 22, 2011
Votes: +2

Claudio said:

... Wow this is going to be an awesome “ramblings” if everyone responds.

I’ll give it a go.

1.Green, Wideman and Carlson in that order. I feel as if Wideman and Carlson will both be close with a slight edge to Wideman due to maturity and a tad more ice time.
2.Pittsburgh top 6 if healthy. Yours would be a dream for Neal owners but I see it a bit more conservative on their front. Neal-Crosby-Sullivan. Malkin-Staal-Jeffrey.
3.The Sedins are the Sedins. I think Edler fills the void perfectly if healthy.
4.Brown and Williams seem to be the easy choices. Penner doesn’t seem to be a great fit for me and Gagne is an injury concern. If Gagne is healthy he leads the wingers especially playing with former teammate Richards.
5.Andrew Ladd. Little will be up there but I still think he’ll rank 4 in points. Ladd, Enstrom, Byfuglien. Bogosian may get traded but if so more closer to the deadline.
6.The only team who seems to have depth at every position besides Boston is probably the Kings. Bernier as a back-up, lots of great rookies and great overall team.
7.Very tough one but I will say Getzlaf. Kopitar has elite talent but I see Getzlaf out-pointing him 8/10 times in the next 10 years. Also helps he has he reigning Hart Trophy winner as his line-mate.
8.Couldn’t agree more with that statement. I still can’t believe Montreal made this guy walk for free. Tavares will net 40 goals playing with this guy all season.
9.Dubinsky or Stepan seem the most likely. I DO NOT want to see Prospal re-signed and put there nor do I want to see a Wolski or Christiensen. Dubinsky would fit nicely as he is good at both ends of the ice. As for defence well they have 11M in cap space so a trade or signing is likely.
10.Gut says to take Malkin. But I’d probably go with Stamkos because I like to play it safe. I’m the guy who always took the safe choice instead of taking a Nash hoping he “finally breaks out”.
July 22, 2011
Votes: +0

praba said:

... 1) Green, Wideman, Carlson
2) Kunitz - Crosby - Neal, Malkin - Staal - Sullivan
3) Sedins don't hit 100
4) Brown
5) Ladd, Bogosian re-signs
6) Toronto
7) Getzlaf - Much less competition for scoring role. Kings can roll two pp lines, Ducks cant.
smilies/cool.gif I understand
9) Lundqvist was losing games 1-0, 2-1 etc. Richards should be able to change that (by adding offense himself and getting gaborik rolling)
10) Malkin over Stamkos any day. Let me see Stamkos play a full season without St.Louis and then we'll see if this is even a debate.
July 22, 2011
Votes: +0
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