Stastny

 

Continuing the series I started last week of the break down each of the Western Conference teams. This week we’ll take a deeper look into the Avs, Blue Jackets and Stars.

 

As many of the Dobber writers have alluded to, it all boils down to opportunity. A top-line player will receive every possible chance to succeed, while a top-six player will receive decent even strength/second unit power-play ice-time for production. A bottom feeder will most likely receive checking line time and definitely won’t receive ample optimal scoring time. Their big break will only come if there are injuries or sudden collapses of young players from their team’s top-six. We all like to be optimistic with our projections, but there really isn’t a point in projection 80 points for a player who won’t even crack a team’s top-line let alone top-six.

 

If you haven’t read my projections article, definitely go and take a gander. I know I had an eye-opening experience when digging up all the stats. 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 player X had chemistry with player Y, therefore they’ll be on a line together during the season.

 

The following table was the same from last week’s column, so make sure you pay attention to the numbers.

 

Offensive Player’s scoring position on team

West

East

League

Median

Range

Top

74.6

74.1

74.3

70

61

2nd

62.8

64.5

63.7

61

60

3rd

55.1

54.5

54.8

53

47

4th

47.7

45.1

46.4

47

34

5th

42.7

38.2

40.5

38.5

21

6th

36

34

35

34

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough of the stats, now onto the good stuff.

 

Colorado – Fairly Locked faces shallow competition from bottom-six

Top Six
Peter Mueller – Paul Stastny – Chris Stewart
Brandon Yip – Matt Duchene – Milan Hejduk

 

Cavalry

T.J. Galiardi, Ryan O’Reilly, David Jones, and Ryan Stoa

Bottom Feeders

Cody McLeod, David Koci, Kevin Porter and David Winnik

What a difference 12 months makes! Last year I had no clue who the top-six on the Avs was going to be, but now it seems all of the dust has settled. Mueller, Stastny and Stewart could form a very productive under-the-radar top-line for fantasy purposes. Hejduk picked up 61.35 percent of his total points last season playing alongside youngster Duchene, so I think they’ll keep the duo together. Yip seems to be a perfect energy type guy to complement the duo, so look for the Avs to keep them together during the season. The cavalry of Galiardi, O’Reilly and Jones could pose some complications but the top-six should be strong enough to ward off any sustained competition from the trio. After picking up 40 points in 54 contests with Lake Erie last season, Stoa has proven to be NHL ready. If Stastny or Duchene succumb to an injury, Stoa’s fantasy value could skyrocket. On the flip side, if an injury doesn’t occur, he could also see a full season in the minors, which would negate any fantasy value he would have in 2010-11. His status definitely makes him a high-risk/high-reward player for next campaign.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Wojtek Wolski, Stastny, Hejduk, Tucker, Duchene, and Svatos.

 

End of year finish:

Stastny

79

Stewart

64

Duchene

55

Wolski

47

Galiardi

39

O'Reilly

26

 

 

Columbus – Top nine fairly set, stiff competition from Filatov

Top Six

Kristian Huselius – R.J. Umberger – Rick Nash

Antoine Vermette – Derick Brassard – Jakub Voracek

Cavalry

Nikita Filatov*

Bottom Feeders

Ethan Moreau, Sammy Pahlsson, Chris Clark, Andrew Murray, and Derek Dorsett

All the pieces are pretty much in place in Columbus with a big asterisk lingering next to the name of Filatov. Voracek started the season with 28 points in the first 56 contests, but vamped it up to the next gear to finish the season with 22 in the final 25. He has an outside shot at out-pointing Nash this campaign in my opinion. Last season my comments on Filatov were, “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.” 12 months later, and things remain status quo. Take out Torres, Chimera and Modin and replace them with Moreau and Clark, but everything else is pretty much identical.

 

Yes, I understand that the wicked “Hitch” of the west is dead, but if you read Brett Lemon’s article last week, it doesn’t appear that new coach Scott Arniel is all too flash on the offense either. For those of you who are hanging on the hope that they’ll shift Umberger or Vermette lower on the depth charts to “make room” for Filatov, you probably might want to revisit that thought. Vermette and Umberger finished second and fourth in team scoring with 65 and 55 points respectively. Those numbers plus their combined experience, 458 and 392 games, would certainly surpass anything that Filatov could bring to the Jackets this campaign. Compounded by the fact that Columbus’ top-six was actually ranked eighth overall, in terms of scoring as a unit, will only make it more difficult for the Russian to be productive fantasy-wise this campaign. The only hope that I could see Filatov garnering a top-six role in Columbus is if they decide to move Huselius. The Canucks have a plethora of d-men, and an open roster position for a top-six role, while the Jackets are in need of an offensive d-man and have an extra piece in Huselius. I dunno, seems like a match made in heaven to me...

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Nash, Umberger, Huselius, Vermette, Brassard, and Voracek.

 

End of year finish:

Nash

67

Vermette

65

Huselius

63

Umberger

55

Voracek

50

Brassard

36

 

Dallas- Top-six murky faces stiff competition from bottom-six

 

Top Six
Loui Eriksson – Brad Richards – James Neal*

Brendan Morrow – Mike Ribeiro – Jamie Benn*

Cavalry

Steve Ott, Fabian Brunnstrom*

Bottom Feeders
Brian Sutherby, Tom Wandell, Toby Petersen, and Brian Segal

Nothing really has changed too much in Big D from last season. The separation between the top-six and bottom-six isn’t as distinct as many of the other teams in the league. The trio of Richards, Eriksson and Neal accounted for 22.2 percent of the entire Stars’ offense last campaign, so I envision Marc Crawford going back to the well once again to attempt a repeat performance. I temporarily placed Neal and Benn in the top-six but they’re still negotiating new contracts for next season and wilder things could still happen. As of right now they only have $43 mil committed to their current roster, so they still have plenty of cap space to re-sign their RFAs before October. It appears that both Ott and Brunnstrom will get handcuffed once again, so don’t invest too highly on the pair come draft day. With the Stars depth at forward, Scott Glennie will spend another year in Brandon honing his offensive skills. Les Jackson, the Stars’ director of scouting and player development, wants him to dominate the junior ranks and play a major role at the World Juniors this upcoming year, so don’t expect him in a Stars uniform in 2010-11.

 

Last year’s pre-season top-six:

Eriksson, Ribeiro, Morrow, Neal, Richards, and Ott

 

End of year finish:

Richards

91

Eriksson

71

Neal

55

Ribeiro

53

Morrow

46

Benn

41

 

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

 

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

 


Write comment
Comments (9)add comment

Nigel said:

chimp82x
re: table Hey Ryan,

For part 3 of the series can you add 2 columns to the table at the top: minimum & maxiumum? I think those would be more interesting to see than the range.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Dallas

Those players in the Cavalry I think could be more productive than you think. Ott did register 272 points in 209 contests in juniors. I know junior numbers vs NHL numbers are a completely different ballpark, but with those numbers he does show offensive upside.

Brunnstrom I think is more talented than his numbers show. I mean how productive can you really be when you've averaged 10:40 and 11:37 in the past 2 seasons, plus the fact that every 2nd game you were a healthy scratch... I actually want to see him used productively before labeling him as a bust. I personally think he could easily replace Neal's production if given the opportunity. Maybe Neal walks and opens the door for Brunnstrom. Or Brunnstrom walks and goes to a team who'll use him properly.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Vancouver

The thing is Raymond might have priced himself out of Van... 53 points last year, I could see him asking into the $3 or $3.5 range or going into arbitration (I dunno if he has elected to take that route already). Huse at $4.75 doesn't seem that much more expensive than Raymond especially if they move Bieksa's $3.75 back the other way too.

My top-six as of right now would see
Sedin-Sedin-Samuelsson
Huse-Kesler-Burrows
which would be able to compete against all of the teams in the NHL to be honest.
July 13, 2010
Votes: -1

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Benn

Correct Benn is signed, my mistake.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Winger positions

As stated at the start of the column, the line combos are arbitrary. They're fluid. Mueller and Stewart might be listed as a RW to start the season, but most pool providers will either add dual eligibility or keep status quo during the season and constantly change. So even though I might have some players listed on their "off wings", players change their positions all the time.

Use the info just for reference got top-six vs bottom-six, don't worry too much about where they're going to play.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

steve said:

WestCoastSteez
Canucks open roster spot That roster spot is open only until Raymond gets signed, since he is a restricted free agent one should assume this will get done.

Sedin/Sedin/Burrows
Raymond/Kesler/Samuellson
Malhotra/Hodgson/XXXXXXXXX (I have a feeling it will be schroeder
Rypian/XXXXXXX/Orescevich

-cheers
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Andre said:

DuklaNation
... some of these wing positions are wrong.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Martin said:

mapletreemarty
Benn under contract Benn is under contract for this season and next.
Brunnstrom is the one who's an RFA this season along with Neal.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
... wow- how quickly things have improved for the Avs versus fallen for the Stars. Dallas' top 2 lines look ok, but there isnt much on the bottom two other than grit/sandpaper- any injury or holdout on their top2 lines is gonna hurt. Throw in their lacklustre D-core and the fact their new goalie is the often injured Lehtonen...im thinking its gonna be a long year for Dallas. they could easily be in the lottery next year.
July 13, 2010
Votes: +0
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