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Ah, the dog days of summer. Scraping just to find a shred of fantasy hockey-worthy news. Oops, sorry - habit.

Hockey's back. For the first time years (feels like), we can look at our team and actually see fresh statistics besides some of the player names!

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I was impressed with Lars Eller, and early on when he was wielding a hot stick, the coach leaned on him with a ton of ice time. The Habs have four great centermen, each of whom should be in the top six. But I get the feeling that whoever is hot at the time will be leaned on for a pile of ice time. The result will be streaks - and lots of them. As such, I get this feeling that all four of these guys will post between 45 and 55 points. Eller had three points and six shots.

Max Pacioretty left the game in the first and returned after the second period was underway. It looked like his arm was wrapped up though and he didn't seem to be himself.

Here were Montreal's most frequent line combinations:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

16.96%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 21 GIONTA,BRIAN - 14 PLEKANEC,TOMAS

14.84%

EV

81 ELLER,LARS - 27 GALCHENYUK,ALEX - 11 GALLAGHER,BRENDAN

11.66%

EV

48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

6.01%

EV

81 ELLER,LARS - 32 MOEN,TRAVIS - 15 PARROS,GEORGE

5.65%

EV

32 MOEN,TRAVIS - 15 PARROS,GEORGE - 8 PRUST,BRANDON

 

And remember - you can get these free, and live while the game is still happening - by clicking here. But as you can see, Eller was double-shifted. To my point about the 'riding the hot hand' thing.

Colton Orr and George Parros got into it twice. The first fight was entertaining. The second one was scary as Parros was stretchered off when he went face first into the ice. Here is the first fight:

And here is the second fight:

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It's amazing how terrible the Leafs forwards look just by replacing the word "Clarkson" with the "Bodie". But with Clarkson's name there, the lineup looks very competitive. I can't explain the psychology behind that, I just know that looking at the lines last night I caught myself thinking that.

One thing I'm not down on is Toronto's No.1 center. Not that I'm high on Tyler Bozak, I just think he gets a bad rap. The fact of the matter is, the common perception of a No.1 center is actually suitable for about 15 teams. Then you get down to the Bozaks. He can keep up with Kessel and since they are both in Toronto for the long run, I think Bozak is a great buy-low guy in keeper leagues. Barring injury, he should be a steady 50-55 guy with upside for 70. After all, he's playing with a reliable 85-point player who should be in the Top 10 in NHL scoring year in and year out. Bozak's also getting a crapload of ice time.

James Reimer was the star of the game. He really steps up his play when he needs to, which is why it will take Bernier longer than you think to take over the top job - and even still don't count out Reimer.

I have a feeling scoring is going up more than people think. Simply because of the goalie equipment. Look at the goals last night. How many would have been stopped had the goalie pads gone up several more inches? Two? Three? That's two or three more goals than normal. Now extrapolate that over a full season with all of the teams.

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 Martin St. Louis is the new captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He's signed for two more years.

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Mikhail Grabovski is making quite the impression, but keep in mind that he's always kind of been this way - streaky, and hot when he's got something to prove. After tying for the league lead in preseason points, he has the league lead in regular season points, albeit after one game. He had four points last night, including the first hat trick by a Capital in a Washington home opener ever. It was his first career hat trick too.

The key? He was fourth on the team in PP ice time. That's why I'm comfortable with him having a career season even if he never plays with Ovechkin at even strength. Three of his four points last night were on the PP.

Connor Carrick, Michael Latta and Tom Wilson played a combined 23 minutes last night. Not a number that indicates that they have a shot at sticking.

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Chicago's line combinations last night:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

17.62%

EV

29 BICKELL,BRYAN - 88 KANE,PATRICK - 19 TOEWS,JONATHAN

14.18%

EV

22 HAYES,JIMMY - 20 SAAD,BRANDON - 65 SHAW,ANDREW

13.41%

EV

52 BOLLIG,BRANDON - 16 KRUGER,MARCUS - 42 NORDSTROM,JOAKIM

13.41%

EV

26 HANDZUS,MICHAL - 81 HOSSA,MARIAN - 10 SHARP,PATRICK

 

Note that Brandon Saad - he of three points in that game - is playing with a couple of, well, non-stars. While Handzus gets Hossa and Sharp, and Bickell gets Kane and Toews, Saad gets…Shaw and Hayes.

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Mark Arcobello got on the score sheet, tallying an assist on the Jesse Joensuu power play goal. Arcobello is a great waiver pickup for the short term. But the million dollar question is - can he keep this up after Sam Gagner and RNH return?

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The more things change…Michael Frolik saw the big two seconds on the power play. Are the Jets putting the Ferrari out to plow the fields? Yet he still scored. Twice (and I went to bed with five minutes left so who knows?). I'm wondering if the move here is to shop him before he hits a slump. Because the lack of PP time raises flags.

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Speaking of raising flags, attention Martin Erat owners:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

19.92%

EV

20 BROUWER,TROY - 84 GRABOVSKI,MIKHAIL - 21 LAICH,BROOKS

18.77%

EV

25 CHIMERA,JASON - 16 FEHR,ERIC - 42 WARD,JOEL

16.86%

EV

19 BACKSTROM,NICKLAS - 90 JOHANSSON,MARCUS - 8 OVECHKIN,ALEXANDER

8.05%

EV

10 ERAT,MARTIN - 46 LATTA,MICHAEL - 43 WILSON,TOM

 

Erat saw just eight minutes. Yep, he's on the fourth line right now.

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Nice looking Frolik goal:

 


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Comments (17)add comment

MurphysxLawyer said:

MurphysxLawyer
RE: Perrault @Dobber, just saw your tweet. First one's free, big guy!
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

Daydream Nation said:

Daydream Nation
... @iamlic

Hawk Nation has asked that question so much over the last 3 years that we don't even talk about it anymore. Sharp has said he would play center if asked but Q wants to try Kane, Saad, and others at that spot BUT NOT the person they won the flippin' Stanley Cup with.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

letangerang58 said:

letangerang58
Frolik Winnipeg isn't putting the Ferrari in the plow field. They are putting the tractor in the plow field.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +2

MurphysxLawyer said:

MurphysxLawyer
RE: Angus, where art thou? And if you're questioning the importance of this trade... If you don't think Bruce Boudreau, who coached Perrault in the AHL and won championships with him, wasn't part of the push to acquire him and won't give him every opportunity to prove himself, you're not watching close enough.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

MurphysxLawyer said:

MurphysxLawyer
Angus, where art thou? So there I am, googling Silfverberg news to see if he'll be in the lineup tonight, and I see a note that Mathieu Perrault will be making his debut with the Ducks tonight. Yeah, the same Mathieu Perrault who has shown serious flashes with the Caps and he's now on a team with great talent on the wings but no C2 set in stone. When was he traded? Oh, wow. September 29th. I figured I would have seen something in the Ramblings but maybe I missed it. Go back re-read the Ramblings for the 29th and 30th and it's a full re-cap of the Leafs AHL talent. Tremendous work.

Building off my comment from yesterday, THIS is the sort of news that these readers want. I don't give a s*** about Andrew MacWilliam and his middling AHL offensive upside. I do care about an NHL center with Top-6 upside going to a team desperate for a C2.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +4

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... I thought Trouba was missing from the ramblings...

Stat line for the rookie in his first NHL game:
First Star
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 25:02
October 02, 2013
Votes: +1

pikamonk said:

pikamonk
... All people who write ramblings need to emulate how dobber does it. It covers everything you need to know without useless fluff and tangents. Just want to note that Arcobello has 0 chance of sticking when gagner & RNH comes back. It's just clear he's an AHL'er that can fill in every once in a while... him being here for the next few weeks will expose this. He has to be a top 6er because there's no way he could fill in as a 3rd or 4th liner, so with gags and RNH there he will not stick. Worth the short term pick up, but nothing more IMO.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
App Issues - Germant Email me your OS and phone type. There are 100s of different smart phone versions and each one has to be accounted for. But one by one, we are fixing the app. So if you send me this, we will fix it. And that will help others like you. Frankly, I thought we got most versions already.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

JoeyNecktie said:

JoeyNecktie
Bozak If your league includes Face-Offs, Bozak is a must. I had him last year, and snagged him late round this year. He will throw in some points here and there, but is usually good for 10 plus face-off wins a game. 15 of them last night.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +1

jacques oeuf said:

hammer2003
... I wouldn't read too much into Tom Wilson's ice time last night as an indication of whether he'll stick. The Caps spent almost 1/2 the 3rd period on the power play, with the goalie pulled or within a goal near the end of the game.. That is going to cut into the 4th line's ice time.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
Bozak great summary.

Bozak reminds of Brendan Morrison in terms of how he is an underrated first line center.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

iamlilc said:

iamlilc
Chicago lines I know Saad as center didn't work on line 2, but why doesn't Sharp center Saad and Hossa instead? Sharp is decent on the face-offs and has played there before no? I like Handzus, but he's not a top 6 player.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +1

germant said:

germant
... Very solid ramblings. It is great to be reading "meaningful" updates in the morning again. And of course, Dobber is the king of ramblings so great to be reading these!

Unfortunately, I downloaded the app that keeps getting plugged. Downloaded it - cant even open it.

I'm using the iPad 1st generation and still stuck on one of the earlier IOS systems. So, if you're like me, don't even bother.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

ultrawhiteness said:

ultrawhiteness
Hall at C I actually thought he looked OK at C. He made two bad plays that ended as goals against - a pass across the middle of the NZ that Trouba picked off and an ill-advised attempt to go 1-on-3 - but those had nothing to do with what position he lined up at.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

C-Lo said:

C-Lo
Frozen Pool Dobber you were looking for a way to market your Frozen Pool tools...the line combo info that you directly inserted into the ramblings today is a great way to show people some of the value hidden there. Keep it up and I bet you will find some more believers.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +2

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... Eller is their #1 centre right now. That coach is still in denial.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0

destructivedevil97 said:

destructivedevil97
... Watched the jets/oilers tilt last night, Both Schiefele and Trouba looked good. Also, Hall looks out of place at centre and for him to put up points he needs to be a winger.
October 02, 2013
Votes: +0
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