The James Reimer vs. Jonathan Bernier debate rages on. Just a couple of days after my die-hard Leafs fan again vents about how Ben Scrivens is better than Reimer (spurred by the Scrivens "First Star of the week" announcement), my brother-in-law (independently) tells me how Reimer is not only better than Scrivens - but he's better than Bernier. That's life living in Leafs Nation. Every friend and family member discusses the team and weighs in with a strong opinion. Reimer is leading the NHL in save percentage right now (and stopped 49 of 50 Saturday). Scrivens is second. And Reimer's numbers overall? From Mirtle:

Minus his concussion year, Reimer's save percentage is .926 in the remaining 80 games he's played.

That's a pretty strong stat over a reasonably accurate sample size. But I like the words of my father the best, when answering the Bernier vs. Reimer question: "I like Reimer best when he's fighting for his job."

This is going to continue into next season, folks. Wish there was a fast and easy answer. I'll tell you right now that Bernier is more skilled and he is Toronto's Golden Boy. But Reimer does step up his play when the odds are against him.

Meanwhile, Scrivens hasn't lost in regulation in six starts (4-0-2) and has allowed just seven goals in those games. He has the Kings' net until Christmas or so, which is another 14 games.

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A case for Jonas Hiller, who has taken a lot of heat in fantasy circles (on this very site by Laidlaw a few days ago, and again couple of weeks ago, though in fairness he did say that Hiller made a great buy-low option) - two games, two goals allowed, two wins and .973 save percentage. I'm just not on board with the notion that he's sucking. Is it un-Hiller-like? Yes. Are other Anaheim goalies impressing more? Yes. Does that make Hiller terrible in either real or fantasy hockey? Nope.

His stats have always been around where they are now, or a tad better. He's starting with the same frequency as always. And he's the goalie in Anaheim I would prefer to own by a wide margin. Next on the list would be Frederik Andersen. After that, I have little desire to own Fasth and modest desire to own Gibson. Fasth is now firmly in the Band-Aid Boy category. Gibson was firmly in that category a year ago but is starting to climb out of it (not there yet). If we're talking pure talent, then that's another story. But in fantasy hockey we need to factor in everything. And injury proneness is very important.

And from a real hockey standpoint - the Ducks can't trade Hiller. What, and ride the inexperienced Andersen? Ask Leafs' brass how that goes over with the fans. Can't ride Fasth, he's hurt too often. Gibson isn't ready and given his injury history, I would rather he stayed in the AHL throughout next season as well (and stay healthy).

Fasth is an expensive backup ($3.4 million next year, $2.9 cap hit) but until he can stay healthy, Hiller goes nowhere. And I'm starting to think that Hiller gets 60 starts, too. Could Fasth be traded? If the Ducks eat some salary, sure. And only to a team with a goalie who misses a month or so, such as the Kings if Scrivens struggled (which he hasn't, so that's out) or the Hurricanes if Ward is hurt again, or the Wild if they lose both Backstrom and Harding for a couple of months (could happen).

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And just like that, my brief thought exploded into me just rambling on. I think I'll call it "the ramblings". - Dobber, November 5, 2005.

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Interesting tidbit in the Studs and Duds in the forum yesterday. I did not know this, but Crosby was just six for 27 at the faceoff circle Saturday.

Another tidbit - Frans Nielsen is coming down to Earth. To take the forum piece further - he has one point in his last five games and is minus-4 in that span.

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The Forum, while still has a couple of bugs (still working on the 'new registered user' thing, and avatar size), but most are fixed now and ready for you. I've opened up a Q&A thread for today here. Ask me your fantasy hockey question!

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Jimmy Howard has a losing record and now being given every second game to fix it as opposed to forcing him out there game in and game out to work this through. It's a troubling sign, but he hasn't won in eight starts so it's not like he doesn't have it coming. He's 2-5-6 in his last 13 starts. Meanwhile, Jonas Gustavsson has yet to lose a regulation game. It's a year later than we figured, but he's making himself a pretty good dark horse. Health, or lack thereof, will catch up with him soon enough and then Howard will get all the starts he needs to shake this funk.

But the big news in Detroit's Sunday game was the return of Daniel Alfredsson (and subsequent impact on DobberHockey favorite Gustav Nyquist) - and the absence of Pavel Datsyuk (concussion, indefinite).

Nyquist remained on the Zetterberg line while Alffy lined up with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. BUT. Alfredsson saw almost all the available PP time while Nyquist was down to just 38 seconds. Line combos yesterday:

#1

25%

ANDERSSON,JOAKIM - MILLER,ANDREW - TATAR,TOMAS

#2

23.5%

ABDELKADER,JUSTIN - ALFREDSSON,DANIEL - HELM,DARREN

#3

17.2%

FRANZEN,JOHAN - NYQUIST,GUSTAV - ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

#4

17.2%

CLEARY,DANIEL - SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL - WEISS,STEPHEN

And the power play:

#1

55.6%

ABDELKADER,JUSTIN - ALFREDSSON,DANIEL - FRANZEN,JOHAN - ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

#2

22.2%

ALFREDSSON,DANIEL - FRANZEN,JOHAN - WEISS,STEPHEN - ZETTERBERG,HENRIK

#3

11.1%

HELM,DARREN - NYQUIST,GUSTAV - SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL - TATAR,TOMAS

As you can see, it's not just Alffy taking the PP time from Gus, but Weiss as well. Troubling? Only if the Wings keep winning. They need to lose before Mike Babcock starts looking to the kids to help with the offense on the power play. They may have won yesterday but they only scored twice (third goal was empty netter).

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I wish I could say something about the Sabres, but man…doesn't seem to be any hope. They called up Brayden McNabb and playing him over Jamie McBain. But the team is doing so poorly that McBain wouldn't do anything productive even had he been in the lineup. They've lost four in a row after winning Ted Nolan's debut. The Sabres have scored eight goals in the five games that he's coached. Learning a new system? Tread carefully when looking to 'buy low' here. Stick to Ennis or Hodgson.

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Everyone is telling me, and has been telling me for a couple of years now, about how Justin Faulk is an elite two-way player with underrated offense. I've never seen the offensive upside, but to be safe I've figured it to be in the mid-40s. Instinct keeps screaming high-30s though, like a shorter Brent Seabrook. He got two assists and was plus-3 yesterday, which helps give his brutal stats a market correction. Another game like that and the stats will be bang on what we figured they should be. He has seven points this year and besides the two Sunday, he had four points in four games to start the season. If he scores in bunches, then I guess we're looking at the start of a run?

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Look at this save by Cam Ward!

 

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Jiri Tlusty has now gone seven games without a point and is minus-7 in that span. He'll continue to be on and off the Eric Staal line until they catch fire again. Staal tends to heat up in the second half. I make it a habit of trying to acquire Staal in early December each year. Works like a charm.

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Another guy I'm targeting as a 'buy low' is John Carlson. He seems to have the reins when it comes to the power play for Washington now, over Mike Green.

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Kyle Turris has just two points in his last seven games. Just your basic market correction. He'll get closer to 60 points this year, not 70-plus that his pace was indicating.

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Need a podcast to listen to this morning? Dobber Nation is out!

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I noted in my section of the Forum last week that Malkin was on a mission after feeling dumb about a mistake he made. And here is part of that mission - coast to coast with a beauty:

 


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Comments (8)add comment

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
thanks for the ramblings Dobber A great read as always.
November 25, 2013
Votes: +0

JoshTheSquash said:

November 25, 2013
Votes: +0

JoshTheSquash said:

JoshTheSquash
... Here's a link to the Cam Ward I presume you eluded to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6sWi-pgf1U

Pretty sweet!
November 25, 2013
Votes: +0

penguins87 said:

penguins87
Kucherov Dobber - What do you think of Kucherov's call up by TB?
November 25, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Sorry man, noted now
November 25, 2013
Votes: -1

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
Hiller You'll note I did say Hiller was a solid buy low option.
November 25, 2013
Votes: +0

Ed. said:

Ed.
... Faulk is interesting. When I first read about him (Pronman I think) the suggestion was that there were holes in his game, but if he ended up on an NHL power play, the numbers would be there. Then he cracks the NHL and he's this solid two-way, big minutes guy, but only modest points.

He does have the numbers at lower levels though. With Minnesota-Duluth he had 33 points in 39 games, which is pretty impressive for an 18-year-old in college hockey. During the lockout he had 24 points in 31 NHL games, which also seems pretty impressive. So often the high-scoring AHL d men have some tragic flaw in their skating, or chronic brain cramps every time they find themselves in their own zone, and thus they don't stick in the NHL. Faulk doesn't seem to have those problems, and yet the numbers just aren't translating. Weird. I am tempted to give him more time though. Carolina is a silly place, where nothing seems to go the way that it seems it should on paper. Hopefully another year or two will get Faulk up into the 40s. He is a modest filler of secondary categories, so with 40 points he'd be a pretty solid guy to own.
November 25, 2013
Votes: +0

Axeman33 said:

Axeman33
... That's a pretty strong stat over a reasonably accurate sample size. But I like the words of my father the best, when answering the Bernier vs. Reimer question: "I like Reimer best when he's fighting for his job."

I think the same way about Dubnyk.

November 25, 2013
Votes: +1
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