Getzlaf

 

What it boils down to is optimal playing time. A top-line player will get the best of everything, while a top-six player will receive decent even strength/second unit power-play ice-time. A bottom feeder will most likely receive checking line ice-time and less optimal scoring ice-time, which will hamper their scoring ability during the season. Their big break will only come if there are injuries or big sophomore slumps from their team’s top-six. There really isn’t a sense in projection 80 points for a player who isn’t even on a team’s top-line let alone top-six. Note: Take the line combos with a grain of salt. They are just arbitrary and are used primarily to separate a team’s top-six from the bottom-six. I really don’t want to get into arguments about how Bobby Ryan is going to line up alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry instead of Joffrey Lupul. Anyways, onto the good stuff.

 

 

Anaheim - Locked


Top Six
Joffrey Lupul – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan – Saku Koivu – Teemu Selanne

 

Bottom Feeders
Andrew Ebbett, Todd Marchant, Erik Christensen and Ryan Carter.

 

Anaheim’s top six is set in stone, and there really isn’t too much wiggle room for the bottom six to improve barring injury. The Ducks offense looks pretty potent and should compete hard with the Sharks for the Pacific crown this season.

 

Calgary – Top-line set, second line uncertain

Top Line

Rene Bourque – Olli Jokinen – Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencoss – Daymond Langkow – David Moss


Bottom Feeders
Craig Conroy, Wayne Primeau, Freddie Sjostrom, Eric Nystrom, Mikael Backlund, Jamie Lundmark and Brandon Prust.

 

Calgary’s top six is pretty much almost the opposite of Anaheim’s, where there is plenty of room for movement amongst the top-six. Moss is an early favourite of mine, but if he falters there’s will be plenty of opportunity for Lundmark/Nystrom to jump in and take a top-six position with the Flames. The same goes for Glencross. With Moss and Glencross, you could either hit a massive walk-off homerun, or strike out swinging. Tread accordingly.

 

Chicago- Top six solid, but faces stiff competition

 

Top Six
Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane
Kris Versteeg – Dave Bolland – Marian Hossa

 

Bottom Feeders
Dustin Byfuglien, John Madden, Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer, Tomas Kopecky, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser and Adam Burish.

 

Chicago is in an enviable position as their top-nine is pretty much interchangeable. If any of their “role players” struggle they could easily be replaced with someone temporarily lower on the depth chart. Byfuglien established himself as a pest in front of the net on the power-play so look for him to assume that role once again for the Hawks on the PP. With that said, Blackhawk players are going to experience “Detroit” syndrome, where third-line players will “steal” points away from top-six players, just based on the quality of their third line. With the exception of Toews, Kane and Hossa, it’ll be near impossible for the other Blackhawk players to crack the 85 point mark this season.

 

Columbus – Pretty Certain, but faces shallow competition

 

Top Six


Rick Nash – R.J. Umberger – Kristian Huselius
Antoine Vermette – Derrick Brassard – Jakub Voracek

 

Bottom Feeders


Sammy Pahlsson, Freddie Modin, Raffi Torres, Jason Chimera, Nikita Filatov, Jared Boll, Andrew Murray, and Derek Dorsett.

Columbus’ top-six is fairly certain, but there could be a bit of movement involving the top-line center position. Torres, Chimera and Filatov would make a formidable third-line, but chances are that Columbus will probably keep Filatov down in the minors for another year of seasoning. The Blue Jackets are in a similar position as the Flames, but Columbus has the advantage of boasting a more talented second line than Calgary does, which will make it more difficult for the third line players to crack.

 

Colorado – Top-line locked, rest uncertain

 

Top Six
Wojtek Wolski – Paul Stastny – Milan Hejduk
Darcy Tucker – Matt Duchenne – Marek Svatos

 

Bottom Feeders
T.J. Hensick, Cody McLeod, Chris Stewart, Dave Koci, T.J. Galiardi, and Ryan Stoa.

 

The lack of depth in the top-six coupled with shallow competition from the bottom-six, it can be expected that there will be plenty of line up changes in Colorado throughout the season. Tucker’s temporary spot in the top-six could easily be occupied by one of Hensick, Stewart, Galiardi, Stoa or McLeod during the season. Duchenne should certainly get the green light, and probably is the front runner for the Calder Trophy entering this season. There probably isn’t too much fantasy impact in Colorado this season, but look for Wolski to finally make a push towards stardom this season.

 

Next week: the Stars, Red Wings, Oilers, Kings and Wild.

 

Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them in the comments section below.

 


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Comments (19)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Backlund/Filatov

You would want them to be in top-six roles, but expecting them to be is a bit of a reach to be honest.

If you look at CLB, they have Nash, Huselius, Vermette, Umberger, Voracek and Brassard already, now throw in Torres, Chimera, Pahlsson, and Modin. Unless he completely blows the clothes off the coaches at training camp, it'll be near impossible for him to get into the CLB lineup let alone the top-six.

As for Backlund I think he gets a shot, but he won't be given it automatically. Moss/Glencross will be options 1/2 for top-six roles, if they happen to falter, then option 3 becomes Backlund... so yes Baclund is in the mix for a top-six role, but he certainly won't be expected to be given a top-six role.
July 18, 2009
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... Jason Williams won't be re-signed by CLB, there's just too many players in CLB to resign Williams. They're looking more at an offensive defenseman like Zubov more so than Williams. That plus if you look at it further, they have Pahlsson, Modin, Torres, Chimera and Filatov already competing for third line duties, I don't think they'll need to add another player in Williams to complicate things further.
July 18, 2009
Votes: +0

Brendan Connolly said:

baconnol
... I would expect offensive players like Filatov and Backlund to be in a top 6 role with their teams, otherwise you're asking them to be a player that they are not. Not like Curtis Glencross will be anything more than a 3rd line checker that can score 15-20 goals while Backlund should be a ROY contender. Filatov may have a slightly more difficult time cracking the top 6 but will definitely be there by December.
July 16, 2009
Votes: +0

Jason Ferreira said:

dogsqb13
j williams? whats up with j williams in cmb? is he back? i havent heard him mentioned anywhere
July 16, 2009
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

bluejays
... Don't be so cheap David!!!
July 15, 2009
Votes: +0

David said:

OceanMon
who needs to buy the guide? when you've got free articles like this...who needs to spend cash on a guide?!?!
July 15, 2009
Votes: -2

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Hensick

I like him too, just that I don't know if they have full confidence in him to be a lock for a top-six role. The thing with Colorado is that they don't have much to play for, so those young kids will get the green light if they do make a top-six role, but I don't know if they're gonna be huge fantasy assets in pools though.

As for Backlund, I don't quite know that they're gonna rush him. To be honest, Moss, Glencross, Lundmark, Sjostrom, and Conroy seem capable enough to fill out the top-nine that there isn't going to be a huge rush for them to hurry him along. That plus the Flames don't have a history of rushing their rookies, but hey things definitely change from now to the start of the season, at least we have a starting point for discussion.

Great banter guys, keep it up.
July 15, 2009
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Tucker

Like I mentioned in the article, I think it's just temporary until one of Galiardi, Hensick, Stewart or Stoa claiming it later on in the season. I'm not saying he's gonna be a huge fantasy producer, but what I am trying to point out is just how weak Colorado's offense really is that, they have to resort to Tucker as a top-six player for next season.

And to justify it, if you look at frozen pond, he spent the second most time alongside Wolski and Sakic last season, which to me seems like a top-six role. Any other team he's a third liner, but on Colorado he's a temporary top-six.

I still wouldn't draft him unless it's a late round steal...
July 15, 2009
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

bluejays
... Overall not too shaby.
Cgy - If Backlund makes the squad full time as Hensick, they will be top 6 players. They do not fit the mold of bottom 6 guys and were drafted for their playmaking abilities. Glencross, Moss, and Boyd will compete for the other spot. Nystrom is not a top 6 if you've seen him play.
Col - as indicated, Hensick may have to win a final 6 spot from Stewart or a FA they may sign. Tucker is nowhere near a top 6, and from what I hear Col is trying to dump his salary.
Although Byf will probably be that 7th or 8th frwd, he will be on PP2 as you indicated (Bolland plays the point on PP).
July 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Keith Murray said:

July 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Andrew said:

Veritas0Aequitas
... Tucker to start on the top 6? Get a clue.
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

ian47 said:

ian47
... Once Dustin Boyd signs in Calgary he'd have to be factored into the top six. I believe this could be a breakout year for him.
July 14, 2009
Votes: +1

jason said:

jayz16
... Agreed about Ladd. I guess I'll have to move on to greener pastures! Thanks for the response, and great insight!
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... The only problem with Ladd is that he's buried by depth. If you look at the Chicago depth with Kane, Toews, Sharp, Bolland, Hossa, Versteeg, Byfuglien, Madden and Brouwer. You have to kind of think where Ladd belongs... That plus you look at his playoff performance (4 points in 17 games) and you would have to think he's really running out of lives in Chicago. I just don't think he'll be given a fair shot in Chicago, the second he doesn't click there'll be 3-4 players they're ready and willing to replace him with. He's been shafted so far in his career same thing happened in Carolina is happening now in Chicago, he needs to go to a completely rebuilding team like Colorado where he can play without pressure to make a fantasy presence.
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... Like I mentioned in the article, I wouldn't worry too much about line combos and what not cause they'll shift pretty much every game. I just wanted to point out who's actually in the top-six of a team and who's in the bottom six. Chances are if they are in a team with a locked top-six like Anaheim they'll all have a shot at 65+... if they are in a team with a shaky top-six or face stiff competition like Chicago/Colorado then look for 55+... if they are a bottom 6, there's probably a less than 10% shot they hit 55.
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

jason said:

jayz16
... any shot for ladd to crack the top 6? or is it only barring injury? i know he worked well with havlat, but im not sure where he would fit now...
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... Huselius was Nash's wingman all year last year. I'd say they're a lock to keep playing. Although it's the other way around. Huselius on the left wing and Nash on the right. Malhotra centered them most of last year, so it remains to be seen if Vermette or Brassard gets to be the pivot there. Vermette worked really well with Umberger.
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

loco man said:

loco man
... Great write up. This is exactly what fantasy poolies are craving these days. I know I am!

Barring any signings, is Huselius a lock to play with Nash? He can be had for cheap in our league, and I don't have a lot of faith in him. But, if he plays with Nash.......

What do you expect from him points wise? Same question for Borque in Calgary.

Thanks!
July 14, 2009
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... Note on Columbus: Brassard and Vermette are the top two centers. Umberger likes to play on the wing more. Otherwise it's another solid article for you, Ryan smilies/smiley.gif
July 14, 2009
Votes: +1
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