You can pick up the Fantasy Guide for $9.99. It’s an online pdf that you can download along with an excel spreadsheet. It is updated frequently until the season begins – the last update was September 17th.

 

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Brian Gionta’s rehab is ahead of schedule. Gionta doesn’t carry a ton of fantasy value any more but in deeper leagues that count shots on goal he is a really great sleeper to consider. Could be good for 45 points and nearly 200 SOG, which is certainly better than a kick in the head with a frozen boot.

 

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Joffrey Lupul is back in camp, as well. Two words for you: Band-Aid Boy!

 

 

 

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Cal Clutterbuck will miss extended time after being cut by a skate. This all but eliminates whatever sleeper value Clutterbuck held as he was a long shot to crack the top six. What this does do is open up room for the Islanders to invite Brad Boyes back OR to simply give one of their youngsters a shot. Any of Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson or Anders Lee could open the season with the Islanders.

 

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Take from that what you will. Personally, I think Brodeur stunk last year, helping to drag down what was one of the best possession teams in the league last season. 

 

In fact, Brodeur has probably stunk for the past few years. He’s a fierce competitor and he won’t go down easy but Brodeur’s time is up. Cory Schneider is a better goalie and if the Devils care about winning they will give Schneider the lion’s share of starts next season, no matter how their legend feels about playing second fiddle.

 

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32 players remain at Flyers training camp including Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl. It would appear one of those two will make the team as a third-liner.

 

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The Moose was cut loose yesterday, as the Rangers cut veteran goaltender Johan Hedberg from his tryout contract. This is probably the end of the road for one of the league’s foremost backup goaltenders.

 

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A look at the Capitals’ second line from Japers’ Rink:


It looks good, but there is a lot of unknown as well. Troy Brouwer is a possession sinkhole. Mikhail Grabovski had the worst year of his career last season. Martin Erat only played nine regular season games in a Capitals' sweater last year, and suffered a season-ending injury before he really found his stride in the nation's capital last year. So how are these three, heading into the season with no rapport to speak of, supposed to comprise the second most responsibility-laden (as measured by ice time) line on the squad?

I am extremely optimistic about the potential of this line. Not so much that they will score a lot but they are three solid veterans who if the chemistry is there can play effectively against just about anyone in the league, which will give Adam Oates the freedom to match lines and open up room for the Caps’ best players.

 

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A really great read from Copper&Blue on the “Mythical Power Forward”:


Even the players that just flirt with the list now and again, Clarkson and Lucic, are landing enormous contracts. These types of seasons have a very low rate of repeatability. The players that aren't named Ovechkin (and now maybe Benn and Callahan) depend on high shooting percentages to accumulate goals. When those percentages regress, those forwards drop from the list. Put simply, the traditional "power forward" is almost a myth.

It is very important not to overrate a power forward following a breakout season because the regression monster will often strike.

 

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Bob McKenzie released his 2014 pre-season draft rankings yesterday, which are always a good read.

 

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New Year’s Resolutions for the NHL Fan from DownGoesBrown.


Let’s stop telling advanced stats guys to “watch the games”

We touched on this during the summer, but it’s worth repeating. It’s time to stop using “watch the games” as some sort of catchall dismissal of advanced stats. Advanced stat proponents are already watching the games, and they’re doing it way, way more closely than you are.

 

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Elliotte Friedmann’s latest 30 Thoughts:


2. Equal time. In my interview with Ovechkin from Kraft Hockeyville this past weekend, he said about Dale Hunter: "My last coach before Adam [Oates], I don't have that kind of support, I don't have that kind of trust. Sometimes, when you don't have it, you just don't want to play hockey. You just want to sit and that's it." Hunter declined to comment about Ovechkin. But a friend of Hunter's said the former Capitals head coach judged that playing it carefully was the best way for Washington to win. And winning is Hunter's sole motivation.

I’m taking that as a real vote of confidence for the next season of Adam Oates in Washington. Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom and on down the line could all be in for big years.


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A great story for the growth of the game: Australian Nathan Walker impressing at Capitals training camp.


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The New Normal for Chris Pronger – a great read on the continued struggles of the former superstar defenseman. He may have been one of the most divisive players of his generation but he was also one of the best and a hometown hero of mine.


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Tribute to Johan Hedberg:



Write comment
Comments (9)add comment

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Good ramblings dude. Just an FYI (even though this is late and you might not see it) Boyes is on a PTO with the Panthers and will likely sign there. And I agree, Clarkson isn't a 30 goal player. And even as a 30 goal player, he was a 46 point player. Not worth 5.25 million dollars.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +0

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
... Clarkson may have another 30-goal season in him but that would still make it an outlier rather than the norm, which is kind of the point. Just because a player achieves a certain level of success once does not mean he will do so again. The point is that these power forwards are capable of putting together great seasons but they rarely make a career of them.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +0

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
... How did Philly make it to the Cup Final with their goaltenders back in '09? Team success is one of the least effective ways of assessing the skill of a goaltender. Fact, Brodeur's save percentage has slipped below .910 for three straight seasons now. That's mediocre at best.

He was able to elevate his game during the Devils' post season run in 2012 but the reality is he was still a very mediocre goalie during the run of the regular season. Brodeur is a legend but he is not beyond reproach for how his game has fallen off these past few years. Schneider is better, period. Brodeur will make a very solid backup because at this stage in his career he doesn't have what it takes for the night to night grind of an NHL regular season.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... If Brodeur has stunk for years then how did the Devils get to the Stanley Cup Finals just 15 months ago? Also, in 2013 the Devils were in playoff position when Brodeur went on IR. He isn't what he was 10-20 years ago, but Brodeur is still a pretty good NHL goalie when healthy.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +0

Spleentastic said:

Spleentastic
... I understand why people might not think Clarkson's 30 goal season is not repeatable, but there's one thing people overlook about him: he was 4th in the league in shots last season. Clarkson is a high volume shooter, especially when playing with good linemates - a ton of his shots come from within 10 feet on redirects and rebounds and loose pucks. If he plays 18 mpg on a top-6 line with power play time, he should manage upwards of 270 shots which, with an average shooting % of, say, 9% (right around his career number), translates to about 25 goals. If his 300+ shot pace from last season wasn't a fluke, then 30 goals is well within his reach.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... Stats are a source of info. Not THE source.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Moose He was a major fan favourite here in Atlanta.
Sort of a minor face-of-the-franchise...

Now I have to go cut him from my salary cap dynasty team... ah well.
September 19, 2013
Votes: +1

Grognard said:

Grognard
Moose Nice tribute to a solid goalie, miss you Moose!
September 19, 2013
Votes: +1

Axeman33 said:

Axeman33
... I still think Pierre-Marc Bouchard starts on that top line with Tavares and Moulson. I dont think Clutterbuck was going to skate there anyways, that is until PMB goes down with an injury, which I am sure we will all agree is simply a matter of time...
September 19, 2013
Votes: +2
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