*

 

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner had himself a fine showing on Saturday. The hard-nosed former Oshawa Generals captain was credited with two goals - the first of which was a shot through traffic and sort of iffy, the second of which was spectacular - while playing the wing alongside Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik.

 

The knock on Jenner has always been his foot speed, but he flashed legitimate average at least NHL skating ability on Saturday while lined up against most of Pittsburgh's actual defense-corps. Jenner has four points in the past two postseason games, and no one would be surprised in the least to see him make the Jackets roster out of training camp.

 

*

 

Jenner is a guy to watch on the waiver wire this season, especially if you're playing in a matchup league. If Jenner's minutes spike, he could be good for points, hits and PIM this year. But it seems to me that his line-mate on Saturday, Brandon Dubinsky, is the better fantasy sleeper.

 

Dubinsky missed nearly 20 games to injury last season, but still managed 29 points. Yeah he only scored two goals, but that's why he might be available late in fantasy drafts this season. And anyway his career low 4% personal shooting percentage last season (5.1% below his career average) is bound to regress.

 

Anyway I see Dubinsky as a pretty reasonable bet to give you 120 hits from the center position, 15 goals, and 20 assists this season.

 

*

 

Marc-Andre Fleury was beat three times on the first six shots he faced. He settled down somewhat after that but boy, oh boy, if I'm a Pittsburgh fan I'm very happy the organization has Tomas Vokoun to turn too in a inch. Wait what?

 

*

 

In all seriousness, really scary situation facing Tomas Vokoun. It's especially concerning since this seems like an issue the 37 year-old Czech stalwart has dealt with in the past. Hopefully he'll be able to recover and return to playing hockey this season.

 

*

 

A couple of young defenseman stood out to me in particular on Saturday (I was in theScore newsroom on Saturday, so I was able to stream a number of games simultaneously) - Pittsburgh prospect Olli Maata and Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba. Neither turned in a flashy game, but both players were steady and composed and looked very much NHL-ready playing big minutes against NHL caliber competition.

 

*

 

Jussi Jokinen's hat-trick on Saturday included this beauty (click the link to see the .gif), which, if we're being honest was all Malkin. Malkin is so big and confident that he'll just turn his back to the defender in traffic. What a player.

 

*

 

Nathan Gerbe put in a pretty serious game on Saturday. A fighting major, a beautiful goal, and five shots. Not too bad for a 5-foot-5 flyweight.

 

*

 

Here's Brendan Gallagher versus Nathan Gerbe. I'll just leave this here for your viewing pleasure:

 

 

*

 

Carter Ashton, Jay McClement, Jamie Devane. That should be Toronto's fourth-line to start the year.

 

The Leafs obviously love Orr and McLaren. Yeah they don't think highly enough of them to play them in the latter half of decisive playoff games, but they might dress both players in 40+ games this season.

 

I don't understand the need for the one-dimensional enforcer type. Especially not with guys like David Clarkson and Dion Phaneuf on the roster - players who can fight, will protect their teammates and can also legitimately play.

 

I think that "protecting teammates" rationale becomes even more tenuous when you've got some tough fourth-line candidates like Ashton and Devane who can play heavy and maybe legitimately play too (Colton Orr: 19 career CHL goals, Jamie Devane: 53 career CHL goals).

 

*

 

Paul Ranger's foot-of-god shootout attempt gets full marks from me, even if it pissed off Jhonas Enroth.

 

*

 

Alex Pietrangelo played nearly twenty-seven minutes on Saturday night. He scored the game-tying goal with under five minutes to play, and recorded seven shots on goal in the game despite being, y'know, a defenceman. I'm expecting a Norris-calibre season from Pietrangelo at this point, I think he's getting extremely close to Chara/Weber territory.

 

*

 

If you're not reading Tyler Dellow on "open play" and its potential application for better understanding and evaluating two-way efficiency, you're missing out on some pretty extraordinary and possibly innovative hockey analysis.

 

*

 

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfgulein isn't just looking fit this preseason, he's also looking a step or two faster. That's a scary thought, or would be, if Byfuglien played in front of even an average NHL starter...

 

Let me spit-ball for a moment, if you would, because I've been thinking about this a bit in the wake of Ian White getting released from his PTO by the Jets. The Jets are in a bit of a unique spot this preseason in that they have a plethora of defenseman (four NHL caliber players at the moment) who shoot right-handed. So if Trouba is as good as I think he is, and with Bogosian ready and able to handle toughs, well I'm led to wonder if it might be time for the Jets to convert Byfuglien back into the league's most imposing power-forward.

 

Wing is a position Byfuglien played (primarily) when he was on a Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks team. Though he's talented enough that he's still a valuable contributor from the blue-line, I remain stubbornly convinced that he's misused in that spot. Then again with Ladd, Kane and Wheeler on the roster it's not like the Jets need another big, phsyical winger so maybe I'm just yelling at clouds.

 

*

 

I checked in on the Blues game here and there on Saturday but mostly avoided it because it had a dangerous lack of NICHUSHKIN!. What's that about? Hey Jim Nill, Lindy Ruff - how about giving the people what they want?

 

*

 

Final note: I wasn't a fan of them when they were first unveiled this summer, but seeing the Stars greens in HD and in photos, excellent hockey sweaters. Full marks.

 

Thomas Drance is a hockey news editor at theScore.


Write comment
Comments (10)add comment

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
umm....what? So he expects Dubinsky's shooting percentage to regress? (return to a lesser state)errr I think he ment the exact opposite.
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... I enjoy Drance's ramblings and the odd typo isn't a big concern.

Although, I do think Dubinsky is a dark horse for 50+ points, if he can make 70+ games. smilies/cool.gif
September 22, 2013
Votes: -1

jjmckenn said:

jjmckenn
Dellow-Open Play Interesting link, but not very useful. Any stat. that uses corsi as a baseline isn't useful for much. Fun little numbers though, if nothing else.
September 22, 2013
Votes: +1

Jouko-Pouko said:

Jouko-Pouko
Dubinsky At first I thought he might have meant hits as well but 120 would be pretty low for Dubinsky unless you expect him to miss 30 games. PIMs is probably more likely.

I enjoyed the content just like everyone else, so calm down Mr. beyondthewall19. smilies/smiley.gif I wouldn't have even mentioned those typos if it wasn't for that Dubinsky thing, I just figured I'd mention them as well.
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0

jsuites said:

jsuites
... Since it's the internet, as a rule the first few comments on any article will generally be nitpicking over grammar/spelling or simple oversights. The positive vibes take a little longer coming in. It's all valid enough, but yeah.

I enjoyed reading these ramblings, and if Drance had a few while he was writing them, well, it's the goddamn weekend. smilies/smiley.gif
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0

LeTrefle said:

LeTrefle
Dallas jerseys in HD I must say that new Carolina jerseys look great too in HD.
Black numbers and red shoulders.
September 22, 2013
Votes: -1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Blocked shots is wrong, I'm sure he meant PIM or hits. I edited it to read 'hits' since he is projected for 160 of them in the Fantasy Guide
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0

germant said:

germant
@beyond We've seen these debates a hundred times on these comments section but count me as one who thinks grammar and spelling are important. Whether true or not, it reflects effort and care.

Either way jouko made some salient points above and beyond the spelling mistake. The Dubinsky point is especially salient and I'd like to hear Thomas' explanation for his 120 blocks projection.
September 22, 2013
Votes: +1

beyondthewall19 said:

beyondthewall19
... Egads! He missed a 't'! Now NO ONE knows who he's talking about! Ahhh! Can't compute...cannot figure out...for myself...without telling them...they have a spelling error...i mean come on think of the people who just don't care/see it!.such a travesty.
--__--
Tanks fer teh madd rambles
AHHHHHH

So glad hockey is back in full swing
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Jouko-Pouko said:

Jouko-Pouko
Typos and brain farts Jenner has four points in two postseason games? More like preseason?

120 blocked shots from Dubinsky? What? His career-high is 36.

It's Maatta, not Maata (well, actually it's Määttä but Maatta is fine).

You also butchered Byfuglien's name at first but got it right after that. smilies/smiley.gif
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0
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