Excuse us while we go through some site upgrades over the next three weeks. Funky things like that annoying, weird 'A' between lines, the RSS feed, sporadic (but thankfully short) downtimes will happen. I'm hoping all sites upgraded before November.

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Jacob Markstrom keeps getting starts for Florida, but he keeps piling up losses. He's not getting shelled the way Roberto Luongo used to. He's facing an average amount of shots. So his save percentage isn't helping anybody. Remember when you could count on Luongo for the league lead in saves every year? He was losing, but helping you with saves. Markstrom has been okay, but has pretty much been no help at all.

Thomas was in practice Tuesday, and is questionable for Thursday. Sounds like he's getting close.

Nick Bjugstad played 9:48 in his first game of the season. Here were Florida's line combos, courtesy of Frozen Pool:

 

24.3%

EV

23 GOMEZ,SCOTT - 11 HUBERDEAU,JONATHAN - 32 VERSTEEG,KRIS

22.43%

EV

16 BARKOV,ALEKSANDER - 24 BOYES,BRAD - 14 FLEISCHMANN,TOMAS

17.76%

EV

57 GOC,MARCEL - 18 MATTHIAS,SHAWN - 17 WINCHESTER,JESSE

8.41%

EV

21 BARCH,KRYSTOFER - 27 BJUGSTAD,NICK - 82 KOPECKY,TOMAS

4.21%

EV

57 GOC,MARCEL - 82 KOPECKY,TOMAS - 18 MATTHIAS,SHAWN

Gomez has four points in seven games, and given his linemates, you almost have to take him seriously again, in terms of depth fantasy hockey options. I said 'almost'.

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Craig Smith tallied two points and was star of the game for Nashville. His ice time is still low, but his four points have come in the last five games. His 18 shots on goal are second on the team behind Horny (21).

Filip Forsberg picked up his second point last night, but is minus-5 on the season and I just don't see the coach having patience with that for very long. But beggars can't be choosers, and he's one of the most talented forwards in the organization.

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Dan Boyle was taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting hit from behind by Max Lapierre. He hit his jaw on the top of the boards on the way down, so to me that's a concussion and possibly a broken jaw. You can see the injury here:

 

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Justin Braun gobbled up Boyle's ice time, but Jason Demers ate up his PP time, which is more important in fantasy hockey. Demers picked up an assist, three shots and four PIM. Demers is up to four points now, in six games. And this long-term injury makes him a very attractive waiver wire option.

Just like last year, Patrick Marleau is off to a blazing start with points in each of his first six games. Last season he was on pace for 90 goals after five games.

With an assist and 17 penalty minutes last night, Andrew Desjardins pleased his fantasy owner. That fantasy owner, whoever you are but I'm sure you're out there, has enjoyed three points and 21 PIM from this guy so far.

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Max Pacioretty looked like he did the splits too far and was helped off the ice:

 

Injury always finds Pacioretty. David Desharnais picked up a point just before the injury took place. If Pacioretty is hurt again, Desharnais will struggle - he can't seem to do anything with the scoresheet without Max around.

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Jacob Trouba played 4:41 on the penalty kill, to lead the Jets in shorthanded ice time. It gives you an idea of how things are shaping up in terms of his first couple of seasons as long as Enstrom and Byfuglien are around.

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It's good to see Slava Voynov get on the board finally. Unless you were hoping to 'buy low' on him, and scoop him off of a panicky owner. He saw 25:47 of ice time and 6:30 on the PP as the Kings' coach gives up on the Alec Martinez experiment (for some reason he keeps giving Martinez a ton of PP time).

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Ondrej Palat has four points in his last four games, with two last night. He's plus-4 in that span, with eight shots. But he's only seeing around 11 or 12 minutes per game. He had 78 points in 74 regular season and playoff AHL games last year.

The big story for Tampa has been Ben Bishop, who is 4-0-0, 1.71 and 0.939. He's the guy and if he can get 60 starts (certainly possible), he'll be a Top 10 goalie own.

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Marian Gaborik got into the Jackets game last night, he has been questionable. Nick Foligno did not play and of course Matt Calvert is out "long term". As far as wingers go, the team will really be leaning on Gaborik and Cam Atkinson, who scored one hell of a goal last night.

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Justin Goldman gave Goalie Post email subscribers (just $4.99 for the season) a great lowdown on Cam Talbot, who is probably on tap to be the next Rangers backup with Martin Biron clearing waivers.

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After a busy Tuesday night, Brendan Ross has jotted down his thoughts on several NHL youngsters in his Prospect Ramblings over at DobberProspects. Have a look folks!

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My THN article yesterday explores Josh Bailey and the Islanders second line, buying low on the Flyers and Mathieu Perreault. Read it here.

And here is Laidlaw's piece for Puck Daddy, the Fantasy MVP and LVP. He and Amato will be taking turns with that one every week.

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I was at the ACC last night watching the Leafs and the Wild. The Wild came as advertized, clogging up the middle of their zone and making clear shots impossible. After two periods, the Leafs only had eight shots (but three goals and the lead). Throughout the season, I would definitely be taking the 'under' in Wild games. Their game plan is pretty clear.

Darcy Kuemper got the start, but was chased after giving up three goals on seven shots. One goal was not his fault at all.

Mikael Granlund was very noticeable, but you can tell that he was falling short of putting up big points by two things - size and experience. With confidence and strength, he'll finish a lot more of those moves and the points will come. Breakout in two years - mark it down!

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Because James van Riemsdyk was injured (he was a game-time decision), the Leafs moved Mason Raymond to the top line rather than disrupt the Kadri-Lupul thing. Raymond looked like he wanted to stay there, and his production will continue at this pretty good pace as long as JVR is sidelined.

Cody Franson. What was Ron Wilson thinking? Very smart with the puck, huge size…who cares if he's slow? His smarts more than make up for that. He's up to six points now already and is looking at a big payday next summer.

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Daniel Alfredsson scored his first goal as a Red Wing. He now has six points in seven games, with ice time holding steady in that 16 to 17 minute range.

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To further the Cam Ward debate in the comments section yesterday - he's Carolina's starter, undisputed. Full Golden Boy status, even if he loses his first 20 games. And he showed it last night with 36 saves and the second star of the game, though he took the loss (again).

Jiri Tlusty was off the power play completely last night. Uh oh. Meanwhile, Drayson Bowman saw 3:03 on the PP?

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Chicago line combos:

 

19.94%

EV

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

17.41%

EV

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

15.82%

EV

42 NORDSTROM,JOAKIM - 20 SAAD,BRANDON - 65 SHAW,ANDREW

12.34%

EV

52 BOLLIG,BRANDON - 16 KRUGER,MARCUS - 28 SMITH,BEN

3.16%

EV

16 KRUGER,MARCUS - 20 SAAD,BRANDON - 65 SHAW,ANDREW

Yes, I just had to double-check that Bickell is still playing with Kane and Toews. His contract says this will continue for 10 games…but if his skid lasts any longer, not even a fat contract could keep his lofty status on that top line. Needs to produce soon.

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Well that didn't take long at all. Sid the Kid is leading the NHL scoring parade thanks to three assists last night and four points Saturday. Seven points in two games will usually do it. He has points in each of his six games so far.

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With an assist last night, Nathan MacKinnon has points in five of his last six games. Sorry, five of his only six games. I'll take consistency over spurts in my rookies, which is why I still give MacKinnon the Calder for this year over the likes of Monahan or Hertl.

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Matt Read has been demoted to the third line, while Tye McGinn enjoyed time on the Claude Giroux line. McGinn scored twice there, and makes a nice short-term pickup. Get all the Philly line combos here.

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Here are highlights from the Detroit - Columbus game. You will see Alfredsson's first goal (near the beginning) and Cam Atkinson's beauty goal (starts around 2 minute mark):

 

 


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Comments (10)add comment

bballplyr321 said:

bballplyr321
... Not sure if the new design calls for the larger video windows but I for one am in favor of them. Fits in well.
October 16, 2013
Votes: +1

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Hey no worries Dobbs, I should have started off saying they were awesome ramblings and then threw in a comment. They were very, very good as usual. Thanks for the great work!
October 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Savvy1982 said:

Savvy1982
... With Tarasenko sitting at 5 points in 5 games, 4 of them being goals; are you changing your opinion of him from being a "Victim of Hitchcock"? You were REALLY down on him in the off-season and I'm wondering if your opinion is changing/softening.

Great rambling as always!
October 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... It's starting to look that way newf, but then again - he's had 1.5 impressive seasons out of 2.7. I'm not 100% ready to write him off because of a weak 55 games. But as the games roll by, my opinion starts to shift.
October 16, 2013
Votes: +1

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... "David Desharnais picked up a point just before the injury took place. If Pacioretty is hurt again, Desharnais will struggle - he can't seem to do anything with the scoresheet without Max around."

He struggles a lot with MaxPac around too. Only one point this year, despite playing with MaxPac frequently. Only 28 points last year (48-point pace), despite playing with MaxPac a crazy amount. And only one point in the playoffs last year, despite playing with MaxPac the most.

It may be time to start looking at DD and admitting he's not that good an offensive NHL player. He had one good season, and that's been about it. Maybe if Pacioretty had a better centre, he could get a lot more points.
October 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... rataylor - Thanks for taking the high road man, and overlooking my snarkiness. I was exhausted and ready for bed, happy with a solid ramblings, and wasn't prepared for criticism so quickly. Those were great points though, no question, and I should have included them.
October 16, 2013
Votes: +2

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Fair. I apologize Dobber, I think a bit of Calgary homerism caught up with me on that one for Monahan. I agree that MacKinnon is going to be the best of the rookies this year.
October 16, 2013
Votes: +2

Dobber said:

Dobber
Not Early Enough Thanks rataylor, great points. I wasn't going by statistics present here and now, just stating that this will be the reason that MacKinnon stands tall. If I struggle to word things in a way to paint the picture that I want, can you once in awhile just let it slide? You and I both know that MacKinnon is the best of those three, why argue for the sake of arguing?
October 15, 2013
Votes: -2

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Little Early? MacKinnon has 6 points in 6 games. He has scored those 6 points in 5 games. 1 game without a point
Monahan has 6 points in 5 games. He has scored those 6 points in 5 games. 0 games without a point
Hertl has 9 points in 6 games. He has scored those 9 points in 5 games. 1 game without a point

I don't see any statistic where you can say that MacKinnon is going to be more consistent than Monahan or Hertl. He might prove to be over the course of the year, but it's not like any of them have all of their points in one game, and talent aside Hertl clearly has the most opportunity (due to linemates) than Monahan (lots of ice time available), then MacKinnon (buried behind depth).
October 15, 2013
Votes: +2

habsrule said:

habsrule
... Ward is definitely the starter, I think the dispute was whether Khudobin was going to be stealing starts from him this year. Clearly, he was going to do so, in fact, in Wards last 4 healthy seasons (out of the last 6 overall) he played in 68, 68 , 69 and 74 and I think it was entirely reasonable to believe that this wasn't going to be the case this year with Khudobin there, hence the injury is fantasy relevant, not for Khudobin, but for Ward owners... If I had Ward I would be very relieved that the pressure is off, not to lose his job, but to lose 10 more starts than usual... And Cam Ward, starting 60 games for a so-so Carolina team, is no where near as valuable as a Cam Ward starting 70 games for them...
October 15, 2013
Votes: +0
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