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The Red Wings, a month into the season, still have the same problem that they had in September. And that is too many bodies up front. Unlike seemingly most years, Detroit has been pretty healthy. And now with Darren Helm back and Johan Franzen's illness behind him, I have to think that pressure is mounting to make a roster move. The simple solution of sending Tomas Tatar to the press box is no longer simple considering he has points in each of his last three games and is a plus-4 in that span. And Gustav Nyquist is a Top 10 scorer in the AHL, where he's just wasting his time in a league that he's already conquered. So who gets benched? Probably Mikael Samuelsson again, as well as Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves (who shouldn't have been signed to begin with). I suspect that they will sneak Eaves through waivers to Grand Rapids the way they did with Cory Emmerton.

Detroit's line combos from last game, courtesy of Frozen Pool:

 

#1

23.6%

ABDELKADER,JUSTIN - ANDERSSON,JOAKIM - TATAR,TOMAS

#2

21.1%

BERTUZZI,TODD - DATSYUK,PAVEL - ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

#3

18.6%

HELM,DARREN - MILLER,ANDREW - SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL

#4

15.6%

ALFREDSSON,DANIEL - CLEARY,DANIEL - WEISS,STEPHEN

 

Here were the PP lines:

 

#1

45%

ALFREDSSON,DANIEL - BERTUZZI,TODD - DATSYUK,PAVEL - ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

#2

45%

CLEARY,DANIEL - SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL - TATAR,TOMAS - WEISS,STEPHEN

 

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Tyler Toffoli is still only owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues. You should get on that, because he'll produce and make it hard for LA to send him back down even after Jeff Carter returns in what could be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

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Really like Alex Killorn on that top line in Tampa. I gave my Twitter followers a heads up to that on Friday, so hopefully at least some of you were able to act on that Before Saturday's three points.

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That hunch that I had and mentioned last Wednesday about Mats Zuccarello sure came to pass. He's playing with the top center on the Rangers (it's not Richards, don't kid yourself) and the chemistry is undeniable. What tipped me off was how much ice time Zuccarello was getting despite not producing and not having a big contract (i.e. no "Golden Boy" status). Alain Vigneault was playing him a lot and there had to be a reason. The scoring leaderboard on the team is already starting to shift away from the established Brad Richards towards the next wave of stars - Stepan, Zuccarello and Chris Kreider. And as long as Rick Nash remains out, look for Richards to continue posting merely 'modest' points.

Nash by the way is out long term. The team has already said that November 7 is unlikely, but I question if we see him in November at all.

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Over at the Hockey News last Thursday, I posted Part 1 of my "all cap hit" fantasy team here. Look for the other half of that piece later today.

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Buy low on Ray Whitney now. Owned in just 10% of Yahoo leagues. Sure, he's 41 - that's why everyone in your league has given up on him because he only has seven points in 14 games. But I don't believe his decline will happen as sharply as this. So while he won't be the point-per-game player that he's been the last couple of seasons, I don't believe he'll be a 40-point guy either (current pace). In between the two. Which is why he is worth the cheap price you'll pay.

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Craig Anderson didn’t finish the game Sunday because of this collision with Valeri Nichushkin. Should Nichushkin be suspended? Anderson is said to have a "stiff neck" and won't play Tuesday. But I get the feeling he'll be back by next weekend. That being said, I still benched him for the week in favor of Ben Bishop, even though TB plays only twice this week. Here is the incident:

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I was among those who felt that the Sens paid a little too much for Kyle Turris (and that was the majority of the thinking on that one) - David Rundblad and a 2012 second rounder. Actually, read through some of the chatter in that link and "little too much" was putting it mildly (statements such as "yikes" and "hahahaha" and "overrated", etc). Now 23 months after that trade and things could not have turned out better for Ottawa. Turris is a true No.2 center and still has upside as a No.1 guy and he has 14 points in 14 games (Rundblad has just eight points in his entire NHL career and is a minus-20). The second round pick went to Columbus along with McElhinney and a fourth for Antoine Vermette. Then that pick went to Philadelphia along with two other picks for Sergei Bobrovsky - the Flyers took Anthony Stolarz.

It just goes to show you that you can disagree with things that GM's do. Disagree vehemently. But keep the window open a crack, to allow for that tiny chance that the GM could be right. Ditto for fantasy hockey. I know an owner who almost always makes deals that strike me as terrible. And more often than not, he looks like a genius a year or two later.

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Cory Conacher was down to 7:50 of ice time. In fact, it was his second consecutive game that saw a pretty hefty decline in ice time. From a high level perspective, he was a 14-minute player for the first seven games, a 12-minute player for the next five - and is now an eight-minute player. Next stop: press box. I expressed reservations on him preseason and in the Guide - he's not a Paul MacLean guy. I really like Conacher, but would only acquire him if he were cheap and it would be in the hopes that he gets traded. I just don't think it's gonna happen in Ottawa.

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Conacher got me thinking of other former and current TB prospects, which reminded me to jot this little tidbit down for you - Nikita Kucherov, an AHL rookie, leads the league in scoring with a whopping 20 points in just 10 games. In fact, he was pointless in his first game, so that means he has 20 in his last nine. With three four-point games out of the 10 that he's played, he's already outgrown that league. Steve Yzerman traded Cory Conacher to clear room for some forwards he saw as NHL-ready. He may have to do so again. Address a weakness by trading a Panik or a Palat, and then keep Kucherov and Brett Connolly up.

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Reto Berra got his first NHL taste Sunday and stopped 42 of 44 shots to beat the best team in the league in OT when the pressure was highest. He stole the game, plain and simple. With Joey MacDonald now in the minors, I think the Flames will ride Berra. They put a lot of effort into acquiring and signing Berra, and I noted this last summer and made him a goalie to stick on your radar. I can see he and Ramo sharing duties, but Berra could pull away quickly if he keeps this up. Just one game, but couldn't have gone any better.

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Joe Colborne continues to get lots of ice time. And for the same reason I noted with Zuccarello, I have a hunch on him. He doesn't have the upside of a Zuccarello - not even short term. But at 16-plus minutes, many of which with Mike Cammalleri, he is one to watch. I'm only cautious with him and his upside because Brian Burke recently compared him to David Steckel - and fantasy owners had…somewhat higher hopes for him than a "Steckel".

With the OT winner Sunday, Kris Russell has points in four straight and he has eight points in his last nine games. Giordano is out, Russell is getting the ice time - if you haven't acted already, it's possibly too late.

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Brandon Pirri has been shutout in five of the last six games and Sunday he saw just 10 minutes of ice time. Puck needs to go in the net soon for him or it will be another AHL stint.

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Jon Merrill left Sunday's contest with a laceration on his face. It was five minutes into his NHL debut.

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Adam Proteau has an interesting explanation/take on Ray Emery not getting suspended for assaulting Braden Holtby. He was told by an NHL insider that basically it forces the pro-fight group to live with it and face it. The pro-fight group wanted it suspended so that they can continue to tout how the system works and fighting can continue. But by not suspending Emery, because there is "no rule" for it, the pressure is mounting to make a rule. By not suspending Emery, it pretty much forces a new rule to be created which would actually be the first step towards eliminating fighting altogether. Never thought of it that way.

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Nino Niederreiter has found his confidence at the NHL level. His three points last night give him four in two games and he's plus-4 in his last four. That's much better than the last time he was in the NHL and went minus-29 with the Islanders.

Josh Harding has won four games in a row, including two shutouts. He's also averaged just 22 shots faced in those four games, which is par for the course when it comes to the Wild.

Mikael Granlund's first goal of the season after an entertaining scramble:

 


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Comments (25)add comment

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
RP I am glad you could decipher my muddled sentence, which I edited poorly, which makes me angry.
Good luck.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
Great read. as usual. RE - your comment on GMs and trades. Its so true.

I am thinking that crack should be opening for a few fans with regards to Gillis and not trading Schneider to the oilers. How would the oilers be doing right with a Schneider/Dubnyk combo.

of course thats based on hear say from draft day.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

donions said:

donions
RE: Emery If what you speculate about the Ray Emery incident is true then Shanny needs to be fired immediately. Grow a spine and call the game the way it should be. Don't use it as a political platform to further an agenda. Im not saying this was all Shanahan's doing but it's his job, resign if you're not gonna do it.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +1

RP__ said:

RP__
... Thanks mojavedesert!
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

Bender said:

baconnol
Turris I can't think of 30 centers I'd rather have than Kyle Turris.
Sincerely,
The Calgary Flames
November 04, 2013
Votes: +1

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Mantha can't be called up, and take his numbers with a grain of salt.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

darkhelmet23 said:

darkhelmet23
Red Wings Speaking of crazy good talent that's not being utilized by the wings, how long are they gonna wait to bring up Mantha? The dude is putting up Crosby-esque numbers down in the Q this year, but knowing the wings I wouldn't be surprised if they still waited a couple years to give him a roster spot.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +1

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... praba, Rundblad can't play D. If we didn't get Turris, we'd be royally screwed about now with the Captain's god awful play
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

number54 said:

number54
Gibbons, anyone? Quick question: With Neal and Bennett on the shelf, the Pens called up Megna; granted, he's been great for them, but I wonder why they didn't consider bringing in Brian Gibbons, who's currently at 15 points in 10 games with the baby Pens, Also worth noting that this guy was great for Boston College in Hockey Easy, playing with Cam Atkinson for a few years. At the very least, it says that he's capable of being a good complimentary forward when he plays with talent.

Side note: I have to agree about Nichushkin, though I think Connolly would be the guy to move if push came to shove. T-Bay hasn't given him a fair shake in their top-6, considering his biling as a high-upside prospect. That makes me think the organization doesn't have enough faith in him. Especially when so many other promising youngsters are chomping at the bit to replace him. They did the same thing with Conacher; as soon as they thought they had someone who could replace him, they traded him to address a different need.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

praba said:

praba
... i think i might have brought up this point before, but what if turris stayed in phoenix and rundblad stayed in ottawa? who knows what rundblad could have done playing with perhaps karlsson even if just on the pp. obviously the sens still won the trade considering turris is doing much better than rundblad, but sometimes the best trades are the ones you dont make
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Turris is the #1 centre in Ottawa. That was my point.
November 04, 2013
Votes: -1

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Big Ev, I'm not sure if you're hating or pumping. But there are 30 NHL centers I would take ahead of Turris. There is probably not 60 NHL centers I would take ahead of Turris. That's basically the definition of second line center
November 04, 2013
Votes: +2

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... @HockeyHitman

Conacher just isn't a good offensive player. Last year was a fluke, plain and simple.

Great deal for the Lightning to get rid of him, and whatever on Ottawa's side, they didn't need Bishop.
November 04, 2013
Votes: -2

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Turris isn't a second line centre
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
RP I would drop Downie and take Turris, who appears to be a good fit with Bobby Ryan. Ryan is on pace for 46 over 82 games goals and Turris should be involved in most of those......plus Turris is seeing alot of powerplay time.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
Emery not suspended I think the league already has a rule in place that would have seen Classless Faecal Matter suspended for his actions against Holtby. If the referee watched the fight closely, which he didn't because he had his back turned while attempting to prevent any Caps players from helping, he could have given Classless Faecal Matter a match penalty for attempting to injure Holtby since Holtby was already down and barely able to protect himself. In fact, I think it is possible that Holtby could have been given a roughing penalty instead of a fighting major. Classless Faecal Matter obviously had no regard for the safety of Holtby and clearly did not honour any rules of a hockey fight.

Match penalty for attempting to injure = automatic suspension
November 04, 2013
Votes: -2

Username said:

Username
... The THN article link doesn't work.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

Sheepdogged said:

Sheepdogged
Mikael Granlund He's starting to find a groove. He looks really strong on the puck, is throwing his body around, and has magic hands leading the Wild in assists. If he is available in your league pick him up. Him and Pominville are clicking.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

shingy said:

shingy
"Problem, Reaction, Solution"
PRS is a technique used by government and corporations forever. In this case, the NHL permits a situation to evolve, allows for the predictable reaction, and then offers a solution based on the outcome those in charge desire. Once you have this in the back of your mind, you'll notice it constantly.

Thanks for the ramblings and a couple of good recommendations.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

gfhyde said:

gfhyde
Kreider Grabbed Kreider last week as he fell to the WW after week 1. Already have Stepan and NYR plays 4 times this week. Hope it's a beauty.

Anyway, it looks like he just got LW eligibility too. So that's a bonus. I think he was only a C when I picked him up.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

TavesSoul said:

TavesSoul
Nichushkin Great ramblings. The only part I was iffy on is even the mention of "should Nichushkin be suspended?" For what? Driving the net half-heartledly. He barely touched Anderson. Any suspension talk is just Sens fan and Anderson owner dreaming.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +3

RP__ said:

RP__
... Does Downie appear to be out long-term? My league only has one IR spot and I already have Nash and Callahan hurt. I love Downie's PIMs, but could use a boost in assists and ppp. Should I drop Downie for one of Turris, Kreider, Zuccarello? Or Dillon to replace the PIMs/HITs (my current D are Subban, Edler, Seabrook, Gudas)?
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

RP__ said:

RP__
... Does Downie appear to be out long-term? My league only has one IR spot and I already have Nash and Callahan hurt. I love Downie's PIMs, but could use a boost in assists and ppp. Should I drop Downie for one of Turris, Kreider, Zuccarello? Or Dillon to replace the PIMs/HITs (my current D are Subban, Edler, Seabrook, Gudas)?
November 04, 2013
Votes: +1

The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
... Nice ramblings, per usual Dobbs.

Just wanted to say a few things...wouldn't expect Palat to be the one traded out of TB anytime soon, as I'm sure you're aware he's a jack-of-all-trades type and Cooper is a huge, huge believer in him. Panik I'd say has more of a chance to be dealt but then again, TB needs his size in the lineup. My money would be on Connolly being dealt before the trade deadline, or at the NHL Entry Draft this coming summer. Kucherov has been impressive, that's for sure!

Onto Conacher...when TB traded him to Ottawa my bet was he wouldn't last too many seasons in Ottawa. Didn't feel like the right fit to me for him and MacLean doesn't seem to use him appropriately. The Bishop for Conacher deal is looking like a steal for Yzerman and the Lightning, to date....I could only hope it continues to be that way!!

Just some thoughts that sparked in my mind.
November 04, 2013 | url
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
Proteau Thats giving the NHL alot of credit. I doubt they think that far ahead, nor do I like the chances of an outright ban on fighting getting past the NHLPA. Unfortunately it will probably take a lawsuit from an injured player before both sides put any real anti fighting rules in place.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0
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