Morning updates - 

Aleksander Barkov, in my opinion, will be an 80-point player in this league. Perhaps more. But that's where I have him pegged. Whereas I think a lot of pundits figure him for 70 at some point down the road and an excellent two-way player. But I also think he reaches that big step before he turns 23. The Olympics will tell us a little more, as the Finns are without Mikko Koivu and Val Filppula. That means Barkov is going to be the top center on the team. The only time you will acquire him for a lowish price is now, as he may not get even 40 points this season.

Kyle Okposo is the top scorer in the NHL not going to the Olympics - so I guess if Pacioretty couldn't have gone, they would turn to Okposo rather than sheepishly ask Ryan (referring to my blurb below).

 

*****

Men's Olympic hockey gets underway Wednesday with two games at noon (Eastern) - Czech vs. Sweden and Latvia vs. Switzerland. Odd that the games aren't spread out so we could watch both. Unfortunate that most of the games that I would want to see are played at noon - I have to leave at two to pick up my daughter from school every day. I'm trying to convince the wife to let me take her out of school at noon so I don't miss the third period. Not winning that one. Yet.

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As all eyes shift from the NHL to Olympic hockey, just know that your hockey pool interest doesn't need to end. I have an Olympics pool, free and courtesy of Office Pools, ready to roll. Just fill in your team. I'll wait.

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You can check out each of the Olympic rosters right here. Or, you can go through the list of Olympians broken down by NHL club here.

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Not going to the Olympics, from what I've compiled (and feel free to add in the comments anyone missed - and I'll update it here):

Steven Stamkos (Canada), Tampa Bay; Marian Gaborik (Slovakia), Columbus Blue Jackets; Henrik Sedin (Sweden), Vancouver Canucks, Lubomir Visnovsky (Slovakia), New York Islanders; Vladimir Sobotka (Czech), St. Louis; Mikko Koivu (Finland), Minnesota; Valtteri Filppula (Finland), Tampa Bay; Johan Franzen (Sweden), Detroit;

One player who is playing, or so he says, is Max Pacioretty. He left Saturday's game with a lower-body injury but says it was just a precaution and he will be fine for the Olympics (for Team USA). It would funny (for anyone not named Pacioretty) if he couldn't play and the Americans were forced to turn to Bobby Ryan

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Over at DobberBaseball the sixth annual Fantasy Guide is released Thursday and for a limited time it is selling for $5.99. You can pick it up here. DobberBaseball is coming off of a very successful year, with 2013 reaching 2 million page views for the first time in its history and a full, dedicated writing staff. I'm proud of what Associate Editor Fred Poulin has accomplished and look forward to what newcomer Associate Editor Mike Salerno can add as Fred's co-editor.

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My Puck Daddy piece from Thursday - here.

And if you missed it, also from Thursday, over at The Hockey News I wrote an article on five rookies who are under the radar but should be acquired at a lower price now for next season.

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Vladislav Namestnikov played 11:55 in his NHL debut Saturday for Tampa Bay. Naturally, he played with his former AHL linemate Nikita Kucherov. Here were Tampa's line combos:

 

#1

21.6%

BROWN,J.T. - KUCHEROV,NIKITA - NAMESTNIKOV,VLADISLAV

#2

19.1%

JOHNSON,TYLER - PALAT,ONDREJ - ST. LOUIS,MARTIN

#3

18.6%

CROMBEEN,BRANDON - MALONE,RYAN - THOMPSON,NATE

#4

15.2%

KILLORN,ALEX - PURCELL,EDWARD - PYATT,TOM

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Leo Komarov, who is playing for Dynamo of the KHL this season and will be an NHL unrestricted free agent in the coming summer, told TSN that he wants to return to the NHL in 2014-15. He has 31 points in 48 games for Dynamo, which is actually second on the team in scoring. Komarov was fifth in the NHL in hits with 176 in 48 games last year. He had just nine points, but I think he's a potential 35-point player, which would make him extremely valuable in fantasy leagues that reward hits. We'll see where he ends up.

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Thirteen players in the AHL averaging at least a point per game (minimum 30 games). And of those 10 players, I see only seven with an NHL future (let alone a productive one) - Ryan Strome (Islanders), Colton Sceviour (Stars), Stephane Da Costa (Senators), Thomas Jurco (Red Wings), Luke Adam (Sabres), Anton Lander (Oilers),  and Mike Hoffman (Senators). Hoffman, Lander, Adam, Sceviour will likely be third-liners. Da Costa is second line or bust, and it probably wouldn't happen in Ottawa - a team with plenty of talented pivots. Which leaves Strome and Jurco as the only sure-fire fantasy assets among the 13 AHL players at a point per game.

Other players at a point per game:

Travis Morin (Dallas - he's 30, little chance we see him other than in a Tony Hrkac or Jeff Hamilton type of appearance);

T.J. Brennan (Toronto - hockey politics seem to be keeping him out)

Spencer Abbott (Toronto - too small to get a fair shake)

Zach Boychuk (Carolina - had his chance, which is unfortunate because I think he finally "gets it")

Pascal Pelletier (Vancouver - he's 30)

Ben "Crossing The" Street (Calgary - undrafted college grad who has an outside shot, but I just don't see it happening)

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Speaking of Jurco, here is another reason why he's a sure-fire fantasy stud:

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The aforementioned Namestnikov has 30 points in 31 games - very close to making the above list and will definitely be an NHLer on a scoring line at some point. An updated fantasy breakdown on Namestnikov can be found here. And for that matter, you can find any of the above prospects over at DobberProspects. You can skim through the teams (here is Ottawa, if you want to find Da Costa or Hoffman) or just search for players.

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Carter Camper is a small (5-9) player in the Boston system who was traded to the Blue Jackets before the trade freeze Friday. At 25, he knows he's not going to get many more NHL chances (he saw three games last year, one goal). He has 31 points in 41 AHL games this campaign, and I don't see it happening in the Columbus system either. They already have a small guy in their top six in Cam Atkinson and frankly I think the 5-9 Jonathan Marchessault would graduate to Columbus before Camper would.

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I like this. Patrik Elias, when asked if the Devils need to trade for a goal scorer: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist". The problem is, they needed that rocket scientist for most of the past 20 years to tell them this!

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Top 10 faceoff Win% of the past month:

 

45

MALHOTRA, MANNY

C

CAR

122

86

208

58.7

36

STAAL, JORDAN

C

CAR

132

95

227

58.1

40

HANZAL, MARTIN

C

PHX

125

93

218

57.3

23

STOLL, JARRET

C

L.A

147

112

259

56.8

28

STAAL, ERIC

C

CAR

136

105

241

56.4

15

GORDON, BOYD

C

EDM

162

126

288

56.3

7

CROSBY, SIDNEY

C

PIT

166

132

298

55.7

14

ZETTERBERG, HENRIK

L

DET

160

128

288

55.6

17

DUBINSKY, BRANDON

C

CBJ

153

123

276

55.4

2

KESLER, RYAN

C

VAN

182

149

331

55.0

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A small note on the forum - it's not officially online yet. Although, after five days last week of being shut down, three programmers, several hundred dollars, late nights and early mornings, I got the forum at least to the 'basics'. So the bare-bones version of the forum is up as of Friday, you can use it if you need to chat or talk fantasy hockey. But when I officially re-launch it hopefully later in the week - you'll know it. I'll have a huge post on it. But right now consider it just bare bones and if you expect more, then best to just stay away until the re-launch.

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So it looks like Wednesday ramblings will be light on topics - so post questions/requests/etc in the comments below and I'll tackle them for Wednesday. Perfect for those of you who don't want to use the forum until it's ready!

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Top 10 NHL goals this season. These are fantastic. I love the one where Sharp picks Duchene's pocket and Toews scores a beauty:


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Comments (14)add comment

marsid6687 said:

marsid6687
For playoffs In order to maximize games played during the playoffs week which Duck would you pick up and which goalie would you drop or would you stay status quo with a 10 team H2H league, top 8 teams making the playoffs.

Goalies: Luongo, Thomas, Miller, Price
Ducks: Silfverberg, Selanne, Cogliano, Palmieri or Penner

Thanks.
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

toddmackay said:

toddmackay
... What do you project Kuemper and Khudobin will get win wise next year? Will Kuemper be the starter? Will Khudobin get traded?
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

Grapes said:

Grapes
... Gaborik or Moulson to pick up & stash on I/R ? Cats: G, A, +/-, PIM, SOG, PPP
cheers
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Dakster - that's an incomplete sentence. Introduce the quote first, for the sake of completion. Come on...

smilies/cool.gif
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

dubroe said:

dubroe
Need to drop someone once E. Kane comes off the IR? I've narrowed the choices down to Hodgson and Hanzal. Categories are G, A, PPP, Shots.
February 10, 2014 | url
Votes: +0

Spec7ral said:

Spec7ral
... How should we treat Stepan, silfverberg, nieto and Toffoli for point totals next year? They've all been up and down this year and it's tough for me to peg their value currently.
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

mounD said:

mounD
David Poile You might want to put David Poile in the "not coming" category ... at least until there's definitive word on whether he will be making the trip to Sochi following a run-in with a rubber disc to the face.
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

Username said:

Username
Ondrej Palat & Tyler Johnson Dobber,

How do you think Palat and Johnson will do after Stamkos and Filppula return and everyone is healthy? How many points down the stretch etc.? Worth hanging onto over a guy like Grabovski? Thanks. smilies/smiley.gif
February 10, 2014
Votes: +1

rufio.85 said:

rufio.85
... Thanks for the extensive ramblings even without games in the NHL.
These young forwards are still available in my keeper league: Nyqvist, Scheifele, Kucherov, Bonino. Realistically, what kind of output do you expect from them within two years? I have a club to win now and I'm tired of waiting for EKane to arrive.
February 10, 2014
Votes: +1

Dakkster said:

Dakkster
... "couldn't have went"? Come on...
February 10, 2014
Votes: -3

ross10019 said:

ross10019
Trouba How do you see Trouba producing points-wise for next 3 years?
February 10, 2014
Votes: +0

marsid6687 said:

marsid6687
Silfverberg Do you still see Silfverberg getting 28 points over the last 36 games as projected in the mid-season guide or do you now feel that total will be lower?
February 10, 2014
Votes: +1

rogierama said:

rogierama
Gaborik Where and how do you see Gaborik fitting in when he returns?What type of minutes can be expected ,who will be his linemates and do you expect any issues with the chemistry being affected?What are the odds he is dealt and where do you think he ends the season?
February 09, 2014
Votes: +0

The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
Namestnikov Vladdy also played with JT Brown, who was nicknamed "JT Brownov" to go with Namestnikov and Kucherov...the trio has impressive chemistry together
February 09, 2014
Votes: +0
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