Five games for Keith - fantasy breakdown of the suspension coming in tomorrow's ramblings. I'll leave the commenting on this one up to you guys.... I think my opinion is an obvious one.

 

Kadri is in for the Leafs tonight, as MacArthur and Frattin are both out with injuries.

 

Washington has called up Cody Eakin to replace the injury Alex Semin. Eakin has been pretty good in spot duty for the Caps - he projects as a solid second line forward - 50+ points and lots of energy.

 

Great buy for the rest of the season - Kassian is likely going to be playing a lot with Henrik Sedin while Daniel is out. He's not going to be available in keepers, but should be out there in a lot of one-year leagues, especially because of his lack of recent production.

 

The NHL has changed Keith's suspension hearing from phone to in person (or at least they gave Keith the right to an in person hearing). What this means - they can now hand him a suspension for longer than five games. Shanahan obviously changed his mind after his preliminary review of the hit and situation, something he is allowed to do.

 

Jonathan Quick received his usual goal support of zero last night, and still found a way to get the win.

 

Quick and his counterpart Brian Elliott (rare start) stopped all 72 pucks fired their way in regulation and OT.

 

Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo combined for about 60 minutes of ice time and 11 shots on goal.

 

I'm not sure if anyone has compiled an "all-crafy" NHL team... but Mike Ribeiro would definitely be on it (the team would be captained by Pavel Datsyuk, of course). He makes so many smart plays with and without the puck. So strong on it, too. He'd be mentioned as one of the better centers in the league if he played in a bigger hockey market.

 

Ramblings up early tonight – heading off to a friend’s fundraiser. The friend – former Canadian track star Gary Reed. Gary has created the Reed Athletics Fund. The Fund helps support those in the track and field world who have financial constraints holding them back. Great cause – check his site out if you get a chance.

 

Talk about riding your big guns – Purcell, Stamkos, St. Louis, Malone, and Hedman all played over 24 minutes.

 

Dwayne Roloson turned back the clock against his former team, stopping 34 of 36 shots. Great fantasy game… but does anybody still own him?

 

Penguins continue to make easy work of the NHL – Malkin scored twice and is now five away from 50, and goal scorer James Neal turned playmaker, finishing with four helpers.

 

Malkin also added a 2009-Ovechkin-like 10 shots on goal.

 

Ovechkin scored again, and he had six shots on goal. He is a night-and-day better player when he is shooting more (duh) and more involved physically.

 

Holtby got the start for Washington and was very good. I wonder if they give him a few games to run with the gig for now? He stopped 27 of 28 shots.

 

Bryzgalov continues his strong play as well – he has been lights out over the last few months. Bodes well as the Flyers head into the playoffs with a severely undermanned defensive group.

 

Putting my top 10 keeper league forward prospects list together – should be posted next Thursday. The top six were pretty straight forward, but it was interesting after that. What would be your list? 25 NHL games played is the limit I am using.

 

Radulov had a goal and was minus-2 in about 16 minutes of ice time in his debut.

 

Eddie Lack's save percentage in Chicago's last 15 games - .947. Impressive to say the least. He will 100% be in the NHL with the Canucks next year, backing up whichever one of Luongo or Schneider is moved.

 

I’ll expand on this later on, but I have a hunch the Canucks move Luongo and keep Schneider (depending a lot on how the postseason plays out). Luongo’s contract is a lot like Jeff Carter’s – very long, but with a reasonable cap hit. Luongo has choked in the playoffs but he’s an elite regular season goalie, and could help a lot of teams get back to that level of respectability. He’s also going to retire long before his deal expires.

 

Why I’d stick with Schneider – age, primarily. Luongo turns 33 this year, Schneider 26. Luongo has played a ton of hockey. Anyway, as I said above, this is very premature speculation.

 

A great read on Johnny Boychuk – a star in the AHL who waited patiently for his chance to break out at the NHL level. Boychuk played close to 350 AHL games before getting the call up – definitely an inspiration to many players toiling away in the minor leagues.

 

“Boychuk got his break when he was traded to the B’s before the 2008-09 season, though he had to ply his trade in Providence for a year. With the Baby B’s, he was allowed to play defense full-time and demonstrated he belonged on the blue line all along. He had 20 goals, 45 assists and a plus-19 rating in 78 games, and added three goals and five assists in the playoffs.


He got called up for just one game that season, but he could see the light at the end of a long tunnel.


“I knew that I was a little bit older than the prospects they wanted to develop, and they wanted to give them a chance,” Boychuk said. “But I had to keep sticking with it and stay positive, especially when you’re doing well down there, you can’t do much more. Just keep doing the same thing and eventually you’ll get your chance.”

 

Ever since returning from a concussion, Jeff Skinner has been a different player, and not for the good. His propensity for penalties has increased dramatically. Good news for poolies, in a way, but Skinner isn’t on your team for PIM. And less time on the ice means fewer goals and assists.

 

“Skinner played in 30 games before suffering the concussion on December 7 in Edmonton. In those games, he took 18 penalty minutes, none of them majors or misconducts. Of the penalties, four were "aggressive penalties" (roughing, cross-checking, slashing, etc.) and five were stick or obstruction penalties (hooking, holding, interference, and so on).


After the concussion, Skinner has suddenly turned into a latter-day Bobby Clarke. He's nearly doubled his penalty minutes, with 34 including six in Wednesday's game against Florida, and of the 13 penalties he's taken all but three have been aggression penalties.”

 

Who are the best hitting forwards in the NHL? Arctic Ice Hockey takes a look, and the answers may surprise you. The metrics they use are quite interesting. I’d recommend spending a few minutes to read this.

 

Hits are the next “big stat” in fantasy hockey, and I think this is spot on analysis.

 

“But we all know that it doesn't really matter how hard you hit somebody; it's like a slam dunk in basketball - as long as the ball goes in the hoop, it doesn't matter if you throw it down or hit a 10 foot fadeaway. The hit needs to be useful, which is hard to assess (and something I won't look at in this post), but for a preliminary look I think we also need to look at guys who can execute their hits without a potential drawback of physical play: minor penalties.”


Hits, regardless of how you characterize them, are a positive measure (unlike PIM). Their contribution towards winning is still a huge grey area, though.

 

Robin Lehner had a 41-save shutout on Wednesday night for the Binghamton Senators. Perhaps some competition wasn’t the worth thing that could happen?

 

The Caps coasted into the playoffs last year, and they got swept by the Lightning in round two. They aren’t coasting this year, and they say they are better off for it? What is your take?

 

“Added Mathieu Perreault: “If you look at the last few years, we’re just sitting there wondering who we’re going to play in the first round. When the playoffs would start, maybe we wouldn’t be as sharp as we could. This year it’s going to be a battle to the end, so when the playoffs start we’ll be in the playoff mode and that’ll be a good thing for us.””


Ryan Getzlaf has nine goals. Ouch.

 

My piece on the Canucks Army from yesterday looked at the regular season stretch runs for the past 12 Conference Finalists – turns out that coasting is pretty common.

 

“The three most recent Cup winning teams have struggled in March, as well. Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit only won a combined 21 of 45 March games.”


Linden Vey is a really good prospect, and you’ll be hearing his name a lot in the future. He was a 4th round pick from 2009, and he’s having a good season for the Kings AHL affiliate. He has 17 goals and 37 points and is the youngest player in the league – last year he led the WHL in scoring with 116 points. He could see some time with the Kings next year before making the full time leap in 2013-14. There will be lots more on him in the upcoming Prospects Report, which is being worked on as we speak.

 

You’ll notice some Fan Zoo banners on the site now. They are a Vancouver-based memorabilia site who sell quality, unique pieces. We will be doing some work with them and they will be supplying us with awesome prizes in the future. They are also running a contest to send two people to Calgary for a Canucks/Flames game. More info on their site here.

 

This reminds me of Wayne Gretzky - flying down the wing, slapper top corner:


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Comments (17)add comment

Larry said:

Rollie1967
... With Schneider needing 1more year to UFA status, Id be surprised if he signed elsewhere. The payoff could be HUGE as a UFA, and for a team to sign him to an offersheet now(that the Nucks wouldnt match) its gonna cost them a 1st round pick + others, the teams that really need a goalie: Toronto,Tampa,Columbus,Edmonton- all have very good pics coming there way and losing it for Schneider might be too high a price. Now if a middle of the pack team decides they need one (ie- Brodeur retires, Byrzgalov has himself committed) then all bets are off.
Ive heard projections that the cap could go up 4-6 million, meaning for 1 year- the Canucks could easily give Schneider a good raise to stay (seeing as only Raymond and Salo are UFA's and unlikely to see raises).
As for Luongo- if he plays have decent and they win- he's not going anywhere, if he costs them a series.... I think they start to shop him. That being said, when you look at the goalies who've won the Cup recently- they all had big ?? beside their names. Fleury? couldnt win the big one
Osgood? worst starter in the playoffs
Niemi? who? him? in his first real playoffs?
Khabby? nah- hes a russian.
even Thomas was considered washed up at the start of last season. past his prime- until Rask got hurt and lost his rythmn.
Some great goalies ability to win it all has been questioned: Hasek, Joseph,Belfour,Vernon, Moog, Cechmanek (ok im kidding with that last one).Hell even the Bruins of the 70's couldnt decide between Cheevers and Gilbert for years, and the Isles with Resch and Smith before settling on one. Lets face it Roy and Brodeur are 2 of the best of all time, the best right now- are a step below- but nothing wrong with that.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

mick said:

hawkdog
lou Florida is my bet if craps the bed in the playoffs. His wife lives there doesn't she?
so he would agree to go there. FLA has lots of prospects and an extra first rounder from Detroit they could use.
The wild card is Tallon.

Either way they better not lose Schneider to a RFA offer sheet, will Schneider wait and see what offers he might get?
What is he worth at the draft in terms of trading if he is still a RFA?
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Emanuel Sequeira said:

hockeymasters
Luongo Hi Angus,
What I say may be a bit obvious, but I believe strongly that how Luongo plays during the playoffs will determine if he remains with the Canucks.
I have always liked Luongo, with the exception of the few seasons before this one which I felt he needed to eat some humble pie and acknowledge when he didn't play well. I was thrilled when they got him from Florida. However,I'm not really sure anymore that he is capable of helping the Canucks win a Cup. I think this year is his last chance to prove that he can. I understand the length of his contract to some has been an issue, and that there is a no movement clause, but Dan Boyle had one and he was forced out of Tampa Bay. Anybody can get traded, especially if Wayne Gretzky can. There is a part of me that wants to see him get moved because I will be disappointed if they move Cory Schneider. A change of scenery might be good for Luongo anyways.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Chris said:

DoubleDion89
lol @ Pengwin7 The only way someone is going to 100% agree with ~30 observations from across the league is if they write it themselves!
If you find a tidbit you find interesting, check the facts/ stats for yourself, and make your own informed opinion. That goes for all readers!
Nothing is gospel! Question everything (except me)!
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Austin said:

austeane
Luongo vs. Schneider Luongo and Schneider are pretty close to equal at this stage of their careers with Luongo being a bit better.

Yes, he has a NMC but he may not be agreeable to being in a "earn your time" 50/50 split situation, even on a contender. Also, in two years there is an out clause. Two years from then there is another outclause. (One for management and one for Lu, can't remember which is which). If they can get rid of Luongo in two years, Schneider might be willing to stay. If not, the timing might be perfect for the next rising star in the Canucks organization, Lack. Lack has a potential equal to Schneider, at least for me.

I also think he would be highly desirable to a team like, ironically, Florida, TB, NYI or NJ. Most of those teams aren't cup contenders just yet and would be delighted with winning 10 more games every year even if they only make it to the second round of the playoffs.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

His Dudeness said:

His Dudeness
Luongo He seems to be in the driver's seat regarding his contract (although there are outs after years 5 and 7 if I recall correctly) so I think the crux of the issue is whether he'd agree to move from a Canucks team which stands to be competitive for the next few years, to another team.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Ken Landry said:

boogeypop
Repent is completely right If Hits ever become part of my league I'll be drafting gusy like Ott, Robidas, Eriksson, Benn, Ribeiro. If you haven't noticed the pattern, DALLAS has an over-awarding building.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Ken Landry said:

boogeypop
Pengwin7 has a stick stuck somewhere Seriously, I can't take you seriously at all now when you blurt out things like that. Seriously!

LOL, joking aside, Ribeiro is a great handler of the puck and unfortunately plays against the better lines night-in, night-out. It's that simple.

March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... FP - Good take

Repent - it is a far from perfect stat, but at least it is a positive measure.

Martin - my comment was mostly in jest, and referencing the entire season. Quick has been a man alone.

Pengwin - please don't tell me you think +/- is actually the best indicator of defensive play.... Ribeiro is a better defensive player than all of those listed, save for Eriksson.

And I fail to see how one rambling out of 20 or 30 that you disagree with makes me "hard to take serious."
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

frozenpools said:

frozenpools
Luongo The Canucks are in a weird spot with Luongo. If he has a great playoffs then there is no way they can move him. If he chokes, his contract makes him almost un-moveable. Somewhere in the middle, the Canucks could probably move him but Canucks fans/media are so fickle (like the rest of fans really) they will put too much blame/credit on him.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +1

Repent Tokyo said:

repenttokyo
hits are a terrible stat to use in fantasy hockey because they vary so wildly from building to building, because they are not collected by NHL personnel but by building personnel. If you want to add a completely random stat to your pool, choose hits, where you can improve your standings by drafting players from teams whose building personnel over-award them with hits.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Martin said:

mapletreemarty
Quick Goal Support Ummmm... the Kings scored 21 goals in the 5 games prior to last night. Ease up a little on the Kings offense, besides they were facing future Vezina trophy winner Brian Elliott.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Something in the Water [Ribeiro] makes so many smart plays with and without the puck. So strong on it, too. He'd be mentioned as one of the better centers in the league if he played in a bigger hockey market.

Oh my dear, Angus.
You have some very good things to say and then you go and let some baloney fall from your mouth and it's hard to take you serious.

After I read the comment I thought... "Oh, Dallas must have played Vancouver last night and Angus must have seen Ribeiro play a decent shift or two".

Let me break down some numbers for you:
+20 Eriksson, Loui
+20 Ryder, Michael
+16 Benn, Jamie
...
...
...
+5 Ribeiro, Mike (and his previous three years are -4/-5/-4... ugh)

The center is the guy most responsible for his line's +/- because he has most responsibility of taking care of defensive goals against. And I can tell you that Ribeiro is not in the top half of the league as a defensive center.

And when your #1 center is well below his own linemates in +/-... well, he doesn't get to be considered as "one of the better centers in the league".

(and along with the stats - I watch quite a bit of Dallas Stars hockey)

Mike Ribeiro... I mean, seriously... Mike Ribeiro?!?
LOL, that made my morning.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +1

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... In what way am I being optimistic? In terms of him having trade value? Look around the league at how many teams need goaltending help. Luongo's cap hit of $5 million and change would be attractive to many of them.

I'm not sure what you mean by "too smart" as well. Is it smart to have bad goaltending? I'm sure this wasn't your point.

And I'd say Steve Mason for a few million or going with a 42-year-old starter is riskier than giving $5 million to a top 10 goalie in the league.

I guess the crux of the issue is contract length, and Luongo isn't going to play his out. Like Kiprusoff, the last few years of the deal are a joke in terms of what he actually makes financially.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0

Pontus Andersson said:

crosby87
Malkin, the sniper 31 Goals in 35 games since Jan 1st.

Stamkos has 24 in 36 smilies/grin.gif
March 23, 2012
Votes: -2

Jake K. said:

Kotentie
...
"I have a hunch the Canucks move Luongo and keep Schneider (depending a lot on how the postseason plays out). Luongo’s contract is a lot like Jeff Carter’s – very long, but with a reasonable cap hit. Luongo has choked in the playoffs but he’s an elite regular season goalie, and could help a lot of teams get back to that level of respectability. He’s also going to retire long before his deal expires."

Jeff, at times I feel like you are a bit overly optimistic when it comes certain Canadian teams. No way the Canucks move Lou with his current contract. NHL teams are becoming more and more reticent when it comes to long term goalie contracts and the organizations in most dire need of goal-tending are either too smart (chicago, tampa, toronto?) or won't risk the money (Blue Jackets, NYI). My guess is that Lou will only leave Vancouver through retirement or the minors.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +1

FV said:

FV1986
Roloson I still own Roloson in a keeper league, but I started Lehtonen over him tonight smilies/sad.gif

Logical decisions don't always work out unfortunately.
March 23, 2012
Votes: +0
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