Draft List and Fantasy Guide updated through to yesterday. I’ll have the next one queued up for Friday night to get you as set for your weekend drafts as I can. I have two drafts myself this weekend – Saturday night is my Keeper #3 with the gentlemen from the Forecaster – keep 12, draft 13. Sunday is the Keeper #2, the one that I run – keep everyone, and five rounds of drafting (I have eight picks though).
Alessandro Seren Rosso translates a nice interview with Montreal prospect Alexander Avtsyn right here.
Quick note regarding Hockey Pool Geek and a recent column providing some insight that HPG calculates - Hockey Pool Geek offers a FREE 24-hour trial. So you can get all this info and more just by signing up and trying it out. But will that give you a full year of golden nuggets? No. It gives you 24 hours worth. Publishing this in a column isn't revealing any secrets to non-paying customers that the free trial wouldn't reveal.
We're trying something new for this month's Dobber Nation. I'm one of the guests this month and I'll be taking your questions. The questions are pre-recorded - dial (647)247-8010 and leave your name, hometown and question after the tone. Today and tomorrow you can fire in your questions!
Interesting tidbit from the Orange County Register - when Teemu Selanne scored his first NHL goal, Emerson Etem was three months old.
So far so good for Peter Mueller, who came through the exhibition game unscathed.
Dustin Byfuglien has been charged with boating while intoxicated. This will probably go down the same way it went down with Khabibulin - months and months of waiting for the final result, which may turn out to be a few days in jail during the summer.
Tomas Kubalik suffered a concussion (my word, not the official word) in last night's Jackets game. Kubalik had an outside shot at a spot, but it would appear that won't happen now.
A quick browse through the scoring summaries and names jump out at me – names of players who need to score. These are guys truly playing for their role with the team. Names like “Grachev” and “Kostitsyn” and “Bobrovsky” and “Couturier”. “Mayorov”, “Spurgeon”, “Johansen” and “Miele”… let’s delve deeper!
It was Winnipeg’s first game in a long…long time. So who scored the first goal? Nick Holden for Columbus. Evander Kane scored the first goal for the Jets. And the first goal in the other game was by Paul Postma (two games were played – one in Winnipeg and one in Columbus). So there’s your trivia. Can’t wait to see regular season action.
Then it was the Mark Scheifele show. The guy scored twice and added two assists in the second game. Postma had a goal and three assists. Poor Postma, being stuck behind Enstrom and Byfuglien…and Bogosian. D’oh!
I didn’t have Scheifele pegged as being NHL ready and didn’t have him in the NHL this year or next for that matter. A start like that certainly opened my mind up to at least the possibility.
Brassard and Clitsome were a combined minus-7 for the Blue Jackets in that second game.
Chris Mason, a little rusty, five goals allowed on 11 shots.
Meanwhile Mark Dekanich stopped all eight that he faced before leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Dekanich is noted as a dark horse by many experts. I’ll have to agree with them. But you won’t see any movement on that front until December. Think Corey Crawford from a year ago. He had, what, four wins before December? That’s because Chicago wanted Turco as their starter. So they threw out Turco every chance they could get. Well, that’s where Columbus is at right now. Even if Steve Mason doesn’t get it together, it will take a little while before the team starts doing something about it. You could see Dekanich 4-1-0 to start December, while Mason is like 12-15-3. If Mason is a .500 goalie (or worse) in mid-November, that is when I’d pounce on Dekanich and stick him on my bench for four or five weeks.
Ovechkin was playing last night and he was stymied. The Caps will be a more offensive team this season than they were last year. Not a great start though, getting skunked preseason.
Niclas Bergfors had two assists – another player who badly needs to perform. So is he Sergei Kostitsyn 2.0? Maybe, in terms of reigniting his career. But he never had S.K.’s upside.
Battle of last year’s rookie netminders – James Reimer stopped 18 of 22, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 of 27. But with what the Flyers have invested in Ilya Bryzgalov, Bobrovsky could stop 200 of 200 shots in the preseason and never let in a goal when he gets in any regular season action – and it would still take him until December before he’d get back-to-back starts!
Toronto’s PP unit: Kadri, Connolly, Kessel, Blacker and Franson
Carey Price allowed four goals on 13 shots. Panic! Oh my gawd! Oh my gawd! “Chill out, it’s just the preseason.” Whew, thanks Carey!
As I hinted above, Evgeny Grachev scored twice for the Blues. I doubt he’ll make the team, but with progress at the AHL level he could make it next year. If he takes that step this year then that better maps out his M.O. – a couple of years to get accustomed to the new competition and then he starts to roll.
Matt D’Agostini also scored. For the past year he has scored during whatever opportunity he is given. And once again he’s behind the eight ball this season. Stick with it Matt, you’re bound to move up the depth chart. You can’t be held down for long if you keep scoring (similar to what I rambled about yesterday with Gerbe). The problem is, the ceiling may be 50 points this year, thanks to what will probably be a lengthy delay in getting promoted to a scoring line.
My THN column from yesterday on Training Camp Battles – East.
Roman Josi is nursing an upper-body injury. Injuries hurt him in camp last year and cost him a spot. Looks like same ol’ same ol’ this year.
Ottawa has cut Matt Puempel, Mark Stone and Stefan Noesen, among others. Stone impressed. Lacks wheels, but has the hockey sense and hands. May not be enough, but we’ll see.
Buffalo cuts include Mark Pysyk. The Sabres still have 52 players in camp.
Nashville cuts include Austin Watson.
Florida cuts a bunch, including Bill Thomas.
Five consecutive days of practice for Sid the Kid. Not cleared for contact yet, but I figure another nine days of this and he’ll get that clearance. So says Dr. Dobbs, concussion specialist.
Congratulations to the four newest entrants into the DobberHockey Hall of Fame: Jeff Angus, Matthew Bugg, Jason Arbuthnot and Jason Collado. Thank you for helping the best damn fantasy hockey website grow and flourish!
Things I didn’t know until seeing the box scores – Niko Dimitrakos and Anders Eriksson were invited to Vancouver’s training camp. Seriously guys, publish that stuff. Fans want in the loop, no matter how small the detail!
Looks like the Canucks spent the entire third period in the box and Mark Giordano and Alex Tanguay each topped 10 minutes in PP time. Also chalk up an assist to Dobber favorite Paul Byron.
Two goals for Dobber favorite Jared Spurgeon, your darkhorse second PP QB for the Wild this season.
Edmonton PP – Barker, Gilbert, Hall, Belanger, Jones – with Omark and Paajarvi seeing significant time as well.
Patrick O’Sullivan needs this. Probably more than anyone. Else he becomes the next Gilbert Dionne. Four-point night for O’Sully. Andy Miele had three.
For the Ducks, Cogliano and Palmieri had two points each. Both are making a case – Cogs to get onto the second line, Palms to get onto the third line.
Bass vs. Cormier: