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I love creating polls that are pretty equal - check out today's (right side of the home page) - pick a young forward for a keeper league. Interested to see where this one goes.

 

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The latest Free Roll from Draft Street happens on Saturday at 2pm - Free to enter your team, takes about five minutes to pick your 10 players - and then pit them against the rest of Dobber Nation to win your share of $300. Details Here!

 

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The injuries continue to mount in Tampa – Victor Hedman left the game last night after receiving a dirty hit from Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul. Hedman did return later in the game, but it is a situation to keep an eye on.

 

Hedman’s offensive game isn’t quite there yet, but he has quietly developed into a rock-solid two-way guy. The points will come.

 

Sticking with Lupul – he continues his strong play after coming back from the injury – he had a goal and a helper for the Leafs last night.

 

Nazem Kadri was simply magical – he had three helpers and could have had a few more. What a season for him in 2013.

 

Dion Phaneuf scored a goal – he will definitely make my top 10 list of fantasy defensemen (out next week). It is amazing to me that the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs can be underrated by so many people.

 

He logs crazy tough minutes and still finds a way to chip in offensively.

 

Lupul hit - your thoughts?

 

 

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Jamie Benn led the Stars with five shots on goal last night, but he didn’t record any points. The puck luck isn’t going his way right now.

 

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Can we give Jonas Brodin the Calder yet? He is an absolute rock on the Minnesota back end.

 

Devin Setoguchi scored a pair and continues to feast on the Wings, regardless of what team he is on.

 

PM Bouchard had a pair of helpers – he now has points in four straight games (seven points in that contest).

 

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I unfortunately missed the Chicago/Anaheim game – it was the first time in NHL history that featured two teams with winning percentages above .800 playing each other later than 25 games into the season.

 

Patrick Kane was an ugly minus-4.

 

Marian Hossa remains out with an upper body injury. Not much is coming from either him or the team right now. Related to his past concussion(s)?

 

Anaheim made some quietly effective signings last summer – Sheldon Souray and Daniel Winnik have both been phenomenal.

 

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Pick up Patrick Wiercioch, now. One year, keeper, dynasty, salary cap, it doesn’t matter your league type. Wiercioch is playing phenomenal hockey and I could see him finding a spot alongside Erik Karlsson on Ottawa’s PP unit for the next decade.

 

The biggest thing from his game I have liked this season – confidence. Often times young defensemen with offensive ability will make the safe play and focus on being defensively reliable. Wiercioch is fine defensively (prone to the usual mistakes), but he is unafraid to make plays with the puck.

 

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A quick buy-low option (probably only if your competitor is a panicky GM) – Brayden Schenn. Zero points and minus-9 in his last seven games.

 

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There have been a few rumblings that Brandon Dubinsky could be available – my look at why he makes a lot of sense for Vancouver (and several other teams, too).

 

Dubinsky offers a lot. He is versatile, having succeeded in the NHL as both a center and a left winger. He is physical and tough, and he is able to play a variety of roles, depending on what the team asks of him. I am of the mindset that Ryan Kesler’s best long-term fit is on the right wing (he can still take faceoffs, much like Jarome Iginla does in Calgary), but playing on the wing would allow Kesler to shoot the puck as often as he would like. He simply isn’t a natural puck distributor, in my view.


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Tobias Enstrom is inching closer to a return to the Winnipeg lineup. He is set to face contact for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury earlier this season.

 

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Zack Kassian’s wonky back has acted up again – it has been a reoccurring issue for him this season, and explains in part his struggles after a quick start to the season. Still a lot of value in keeper leagues with the way he plays, but his one-year value is next to nil at this point.

 

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The Flyers have signed St. Lawrence forward Kyle Flanagan to a one-year rookie deal. Flanagan turns 24 soon, which explains why his rookie contract doesn’t need to be the usual three years in length.

 

Flanagan is only 5-9… but that doesn’t stop him from doing stuff like this:

 

 

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Mike Babcock is advocating for bigger nets, and I agree with him. More than any other measure, this would increase the number of goals without taking away from the integrity of the game. Not a monumental increase, obviously.

 

“My general manager used to be a goalie, have you seen the size of him?” Babcock told ESPN’s Craig Custance recently. “No really. Have you seen the size of the goalies?”


Babcock’s point: something has to be done to get goal-scoring back to the levels the NHL experienced in the days of the small goalie. Whether it’s shrinking the size of equipment or — gasp — increasing the size of the net.


“If the goalies [are] getting bigger then the net is getting smaller,” Babcock said. “By refusing to change you are changing. Purists would say you can’t do it because you’re changing the game but by not changing you are changing the game.”


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Is Philipp Grubauer the best goalie in the AHL?

 

He’s turned out to be arguably the AHL’s best goalie, posting an insane 1.93 goals against average and .933 save percentage in 17 games. But due to his lack of minutes (996), he can’t contend for the top goalie in the league numbers wise, according to the AHL website. His closest competitor is Abbotsford Heat net minder Danny Taylor, who holds a 1.96 goals against average and .924 save percentage along with two shutouts on the year.


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What should Joe Nieuwendyk do at the deadline this year?

 

Unless a team steps up to the plate with an incredible trade offer, I'd hold on to Robidas. You need to have some veterans, and Robidas is a terrific mentor for the young defensemen on the roster. He's a physical right-shooting defenseman, and there aren't many of those in the league. He is also signed through 2014, so the Stars could look to move him at the deadline next year (assuming they aren't in playoff contention at that time).


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Are we far off from seeing a $14 million cap hit player in the NHL? Puck Daddy doesn’t think so.

 

Granted, the cap would have to go sky-high for anyone to approach that number. Which, according to James Mirtle’s projections, it very well could, hitting $90 million by 2020.


Combine that with contracts that can’t “back dive” to reduce cap hits, and whose truncated term compared to the ones under the previous CBA beg for high annual salaries, and we’re headed to $14 million annual cap hits – with players like Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and especially Steven Stamkos pushing the numbers even higher in their next contracts.


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Marc Methot doesn’t have a ton of fantasy value himself, but he has made life a lot easier for his goaltenders and teammates. And now that he is out with a sprained knee, who replaces his minutes?

 

Chris Phillips and Eric Gryba are obvious candidates for increased minutes with Methot out, as they play similar defensive styles. Yesterday I outlined how Gryba was already playing more minutes than Paul MacLean would like. Gryba is already averaging more than two minutes on the PK per game and has been getting shredded at even strength against difficult competition.


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My latest nutrition post – what is intermittent fasting, and does it work?

 

Fasting increases insulin sensitivity along with mitochondrial energy efficiency, and thereby retards aging and disease, which are typically associated with loss of insulin sensitivity and declined mitochondrial energy.


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Ryan Ma and I have written a 2013 Midseason Guide, which you can download as a PDF here. We were hoping to get the Guide out on our App, but we experienced some delays with getting approval from Apple. So instead of waiting another week, we decided to release it for free.


You can download the Guide here.

 

 

 

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Write comment
Comments (9)add comment

Kenzan Kanzaki said:

Kenzan Kanzaki
Lupul According to TSN, Lupul was suspended 2 games for the hit on Hedman. There's already some "discussion" from people who absolutely hate the Leafs are fans of one of the other twenty-nine teams in the NHL regarding Lupul getting a "Leaf discount." I'm not and probably never will be a citizen of Leaf Nation ... but I think that 2 games is fair for that hit. It didn't really look like much - yes, Lupul should have dug down instead of just skating straight ahead but the contact itself didn't appear to be great. Lupul has no priors, either. What would have been more fair? Not more than 3 games, for certain. But, I guess some people were born to absolutely hate the Leafs love the Shanaban so much that they want to see it used every time someone gets hit to the head.
March 21, 2013
Votes: +0

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
draft street curious whether Dobber is getting recruitment royalties in return for the promotional stuff?
March 21, 2013
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
Brodin i'm one of his biggest fans but he won't have the points needed to win the Calder. Nobody will Barret Jackman the award anymore.
March 21, 2013
Votes: +1

shawty said:

shortcuttomoncton
... "Change how they score?" Last I checked, the puck still has to go between the pipes and cross the line. There's a big difference between a goalie that takes up 50% of that space and one that takes up 75% of it.
March 21, 2013
Votes: +0

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
i don't see how anyone can say that equipment changes haven't elevated skater's games composite sticks have radically changed how scorers score.
March 21, 2013
Votes: +1

MikeTSchmidt said:

MikeTSchmidt
... Way to point out Brodin. I'm simply stunned by his poise and maturity out on the ice. The Suter-Brodin pairing has been unbelievable as of late.
March 21, 2013
Votes: +0

Guy Incognito said:

Guy Incognito
@jimywho1 Skaters have had equipment changes in the only area you could really help them out in terms of scoring. The composite sticks are lighter and more flexible than the old wooden counterparts, allowing both a faster shot and quicker release. Too bad that doesn't help when there's less net to shoot at. Also, they have done plenty to help them score more - just compare the training regimen of a modern player with one from the 70s or 80s. The athleticism today is incredible. Unfortunately, it's not only the large goalies with bigger equipment, but also defensive coaching systems conspiring together against offensive players.

Short of bionic enhancements with ocular implant targeting systems, or 'smart pucks' that seek the gaps, enlarging the nets a little is the way to go.
March 21, 2013
Votes: +1

Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
... Great ramblin'! A little bit of everything.

Go Brodin!
March 21, 2013
Votes: +0

jimywho1 said:

jimywho1
nets maybe players should just change how they score? goalies adjusted by changing how they play, thanks to the butterfly, and equipment has changed to suit these changes. Skaters havent done anything to score more nor have had equipment changes that elevate their game. skaters just have to get on the level of the goalies and adjust their game.
March 21, 2013
Votes: -1
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