Greetings fantasy enthusiasts.

 

Before we get to the ramblings, a brief introduction is in order. My name is Kent Wilson and I've been writing about hockey since roughly 2005. I started off ranting exclusively about the Flames in my own little corner of the web, but later branched out to things like fantasy and advanced stats. My work has appeeared on Puck Daddy, the Score and Hockey Prospectus as well as the now defuct Fanball. My day job these days is to run the Nations Network (including nhlnumbers.com, oilersnation.com and others) and be the main voice at FlamesNation.

 

And because that just isn't enough work, my weekend fantasy hockey thoughts will now show up here at Dobber every Saturday/Sunday. Expect some snark and a lot of references to stats you may not have heard of before.

 

*

 

I am currently competing in an annual writers invitational pool headed by the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle. The trade deadline for Mirtle's pool recently came and went, during which I was able to flip Mikael Backlund and Jakob Silfverberg (I picked the former in the last round of the draft and plucked the latter off the waiver wire) for a package including Mikko Koivu and Anders Lindback (I was sorely lacking in the goaltender department thanks to an injury to Cam Ward).

 

It seemed like a no-brainer at the time, but since the trade the Senators rookie has been on fire. Last night Silfverberg scored a goal and an assist in the Senators 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning giving him four goals and five points in his last four contests. The 22-year old only has 13 points in 32 games this year, but figures to be a key piece for the Sens moving forward. A big scorer in the Elitersen and playoff MVP for Brynas in 2011-12, Silfverberg has a strong two-way game and already looks to be comfortable on North American ice. Which, of course, was the reason I was happy to grab him for nothing from the waiver wire, but the youngster ironically didn't really start putting up numbers until I moved him. To make matters worse, Lindback played all of four periods for my team before going down with a high-ankle sprain.

 

Sometimes the hockey gods are cruel. 

 

*

 

Speaking of the Lightning and cruel hockey gods, this momrning Tampa Bay announced the firing of head coach Guy Boucher. Hailed as something of a genius during his first year in Tampa thanks to his unorthodox defensive system and the Bolt's unlikely success, Boucher joins the ever growing scrap head of NHL coaches who apparently fell from brilliant to incompetent when the results turned. Perhaps the Avs Joe Sacco is soon to join him...

 

*

 

The Leafs finally managed to get back into the win column last night, which keeps their playoff hopes alive. The red hot Nazem Kadri scored his 14th of the season and has an eye-popping nine points in just his last four games. Toronto hasn't had a rookie this exciting since, uh...

 

Kadri's success this year is a mix of good play and good fortune. He currently boasts the best relative corsi rate (that is, the best relative offensive puck possession rate) on the Leafs, which is a rare feat for a young forward. However, the primary reason for his better than point-per-game pace is the percentages: the Leafs are scoring on more than 15% of their shots at even strength when Kadri is on the ice this year, which is almost double the league mean rate of about 8%. In addition, Kardi boasts a personal shooting percentage of 19.4%, which is also abnormally high.

 

Over time, his on-ice SH% will inexorably drift towards the league average of 8%, while Kadri's SH% will regress towards his true talent level. We can't be sure what that is given his youth and relative lack of experience in the league, but most high-end forwards in the NHL settle around 10-14% so somewhere in that range is a good working assumption.

 

Kadri's hot streak is goosing his output and his fantasy value right now, but it's unlikely to continue indefinitely. The good news for Leafs fans is the youngster looks like he's already a fairly complete player so his value to the club doesn't merely rest in the counting stats.

 

*

 

Nicklas Lidstrom and Teemu Selanne are the two guys most fans think of when it comes to unnaturally good longevity in the modern game. Another player who should be added to that short list is Patrik Elias. The Devils' captain scored his 10th of the season in New Jersey's 2-1 win last night and now leads the team with 29 points in 32 games played. Elias will turn 37 on April 13, but nevertheless remains one of the Devil's best players and indeed one of the most complete forwards in the league: Elias also sports a double digit corsi rate (+19.75/60), the second best amongst regular forwards on his club (behind the surprising David Clarkson).

 

*

 

They didn't play last night, but the Flames already meagre playoff hopes took a fatal blow on Friday night when they fell 5-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flames have been fecklessly battling the inevitable for the last four years in their stubborn refusal to engage in any kind of meaningful rebuild, but with the club falling to the bottom of the Western Conference and the truncated season meaning little time to turn things around, Feaster and company are left with few options heading into the trade deadline.

 

Calgary faces the St. Louis Blues tonight, but the outcome for the Flames is all but academic. The question now is will the club finally start dealing major pieces like Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester in an effort to re-stock the cupboards and change the downward trajectory of the franchise. Fantasy-wise, current Flames players don't have a great deal of value, although that can change in an instant if they are dealt to a contender on April 3. Pending free agent and long-time captain Jarome Iginla is the most obvious rental target, with teams like Pittsburgh, Boston and Chicago rumored to be interested in his services. If Iginla is dealt for a package of futures and lands on the wing of, say, Jonathan Toews or Sidney Crosby, his fantasy value shifts from just okay to exceptional. Plan your own fantasy acquisitions accordingly - with the proviso that it's still entirely possible the Flames organization decides not to trade the 35-year old given their reluctance to move from the Iginla era to this point. 

 

*

 

Three hours north of Calgary, the Edmonton Oilers are at the other end of the spectrum with their roster peppered with kids and high-end draft picks. They fell to the Blues 3-0 saturday night, meaning their hopes of finally making it back to the post-season are now only marginally better than the Flames. Edmonton has been "rebuilding" in earnest for at least three seasons (longer, if you count their bumbling for a few seasons before that as unwitting start to the "rebuild") but are learning it can be tough to get over the hump even with a collection of high-end youngsters like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz. GM Steve Tambellini has been great at announcing first overall picks at the podium every June at the NHL entry draft, but has utterly failed to fill in the blanks around his collection of first rounders. As such, Edmonton's roster remains top heavy and overly reliant on players who are still finding their legs at the NHL level and likely at least a few seasons away from their peak.

 

Jordan Eberle is one such player in Edmonton. A 76-point getter in his sophomore season, Eberle was a subject of great debate amongst Oilers fans/writers and advanced stats buffs in the off-season. Like Kadri this season, Eberle "ran hot" in 2011-12, scoring on 18.9% of his shots and boasting an on-ice shooting percentage at even strength of 12.84%. Many fans declared these numbers to be indications of Eberle's scoring prowess. Others, like Tyler Dellow, argued that Eberle was rather fortunate to pile up the points in such a fashion and is probably closer to a 50-60 point guy in reality.

 

So far this year, Dellow and advanced stats guys have been vindicated: Eberle's personal shooting percentage has fallen to just 8.8% in 2013 and his on-ice shooting percentage at 5on5 is just 5.91%. As a result he has just 20 points in 30 games played, or a 55 point pace over the course of an 82 game season.

 

Which isn't to say Eberle's fantasy value is poor or that he's going to struggle at these levels forever - like his unntural high percentages last year, his current rates will regress towards his true talent level (which is undoubtedly higher) and he'll start putting up better numbers. The good news for Oilers fans and Eberle fantasy owners is that his shot and possession rates have improved this year, meaning he won't need above average percentages in the future to put up better than average results. For those of you in a keeper league, Eberle is therefore a strong "buy low" candidate; either now or during your dealings in the summer.

 

*

 

Find Kent's daily work at Flamesnation.ca.


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Write comment
Comments (34)add comment

acfurino said:

acfurino
... So what happened to chris nichols??
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... great initial post Kent. Well written, informative and most importantly interesting to read.

As an "owner" of Eberle in my simulation league I was expecting a reversion this season and hoping for a breakout the following one.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Disco Stu said:

Disco Stu
... Rumors flying hot and heavy here in Pittsburgh that the Pens have traded Joe Morrow to Dallas for Brendan Morrow and they're just waiting for Brendan to waive his NTC
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

cat87 said:

cat87
... Great stuff.
Feedback: Less paragraph, more tidbits.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

bball said:

bballplyr321
... Welcome Kent
What you have started out with is great here. I like the in depth looks that seem very well thought out and supported. You can also see that you are very knowledgable about what you are writing about. I also personally very much enjoy you adding in your personal fantasy trade. Brings some credibility and some understanding of how you value your assets and gives us a peak into your thought process.

That being said, this seemed more like a column that should have been labeled Canada's Corner. With a full slate of games last night, there was just not enough substance about what happened in the league yesterday and what effect it had on the fantasy landscape. Instead you focused mainly on Canadian teams and sort of the overall state of affairs. You talk about Kadri and give some great analysis as to why he's doing what he's doing but that's it. What happened yesterday to support this? Same with your comments on Elias. What happened yesterday? Boucher got fired. I can read that on TSN. I come to DH for a fantasy analysis. Your thoughts on Calgary, spot on. But not for daily rambling.

When I come to DH personally, I am looking for little tidbits that are overlooked for the most part. Panik brought up and responds with an apple, 2pim and 4 hits while getting a sniff of pp time. Methot came back after missing a game and turned in a solid effort with 2 assists, 5 pim and 6 hits. The points are not something to expect from him long term but he is a hits machine and good for around a block per game in deeper leagues that count those. Maybe I'm in the minority but on a day when there are 9 games in the NHL, you have to at least touch on two or three games in the rambling or all you have done is written a well thought out column

Best of luck sir. Hope this helps a bit.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
you are right KK Salvador was named Captain this year in January.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Kudelskis Krushers said:

Kudelskis Krushers
Small Nit I don't think that Elias is the NJ captain - isn't that Salvador?
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

JHM said:

JHM
Good thinking I like the column.It initiated thinking for the reader. The best Fantasy managers, are the best thinkers, so this was helpful.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

PrairieDog said:

PrairieDog
Welcome Aboard! Looking forward to reading more of your stuff!
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
Regarding the grammar Kent had some difficulties with this site's system, versus the ones that he is accustomed to. As such, he 'published' these ramblings and did not mean to. And then, once posted, he thought that editing his work was done a different way - he actually put in a fresh article, that was edited. So this current, unedited piece remained published and prominent on the site...and I was out for a few hours and unable to provide guidance.

Grammar is mostly fixed now, and he's learned a few more of the ins and outs. Hang in there fellas. Thanks

March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Dakkster said:

Dakkster
... I stopped counting after ten pretty embarrassing and different errors for a supposed professional writer. But fuck it, that should be easily fixed by doing a bit of proofreading. Perhaps this was just done in a hurry. Let's let bygones be bygones. Aside from the basic grammar and spelling mistakes, I loved it. New perspectives are always welcome here!

A few suggestions to Kent:

Go back and plow through a few weeks of ramblings. Don't read every single thing, but enough to get a feel for how the readers here expect the material to be presented.

Feel free to link to interesting articles or videos from around the internet. That's always an interesting spice to the ramblings.

Feel free to go off the board with presenting your hunches. That's what the ramblings are all about. Stand out a bit, like Dobber does.

Play to your strengths, but don't forget the rest. We're used to Angus giving us more than we really need about Vancouver and Dallas, so keep giving us that deep Flames perspective. Give us something about the East too, though. It's a big league smilies/smiley.gif

But please, for the love of all that's holy, proofread your stuff and get the players' names right. We see them thousands of times every year, so for a hockey writer they should come as automatic. Nicklas Lidstrom spent 20 years in the NHL. As a Wings fan I expect his name to be spelled correctly on a site that pays its bills with its writing. Basic grammatical errors are disruptive for readers, regardless of what C.J. thinks.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +3

Leumas said:

Leumas
... If Kent wants to be a writer he's going to face far worse criticism regarding spelling and grammar. Hopefully he'll take it with a grain of salt and get better.

For a debut article on a new site this piece was indeed sloppy. I was trying to figure out how many different ways one could spell Kadri in a single paragraph for a moment there. A few moments of editing and all would be fixed.

In regards to content the criticism should be expected as well. If you go to your favourite restaurant all the time to eat your favourite dish and suddenly the menu has changed you won't be very happy. I would suggest that Sunday ramblings might be THE most important of the week so not the right time to be switching up the recipe.

Keep at it Kent.

Good luck!
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

MGW said:

MGW
Thanks Kent I'm gonna chime in here for all the wrong reasons.
1- I do appreciate your work Kent and I definitely don't mind a different take on the ramblings every once in a while. It would be nice if you could point out some of the stat lines you've noticed considering at least some of us don't have time to scour every boxscore at nhl.com.
2- A bit of spellcheck isn't out of order here I don't think. I don't consider myself a grammar nazi but it's more difficult (for me) to read if I'm having to interpret some of the words.
3- Long paragraphs are fine, but maybe consider sticking with the aforementioned style to make em a bit easier to digest. I for one often skip over a point here and there especially if I read the first line and it doesn't do it for me for one reason or another...that's just for time's sake some days. Less is more sometimes (I'm more inclined to skip over a long paragraph than a two liner). Wait, maybe that's more to do with my add haha
That's it for me, thanks again and welcome aboard!
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Tcheliabinsk said:

Tcheliabinsk
Daily ramblings Good work Kent, but for my part, it could be written with a lighter touch ! I come here every morning and most of all on sundays, was used to the excellent articles of Chris Nichols. I'd appreciate more of all the teams, not only the ones from the west. And I do miss the perks about the players performing well. Tyler Johnson from Tampa could have earned a line with his streak an two goals yesterday. Please do expend your text, it's a bit difficult to read cauze too packed in huge paragraphs.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +2

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
CJ Kent is a professional writer, he does it for a living, its not like he is just writing on the forums here. Some readers find grammar mistakes disruptive when they read, you have to accept that and move on. I am sure as a PRO Kent will appreciate the feedback and use it constructively.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

5hole said:

5hole
And in other news... 4 goalies were pulled last night while the other 3 had shutouts!!!
March 24, 2013
Votes: -1

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... I agree with most of the others. It was a fine read, but I feel like most of it was written yesterday afternoon, and just had to be updated here and there with certain numbers. Even the section on the Oilers had nothing on last night's game. I like the site for one-stop shopping of the ramblings, if you will.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
False assumptions Expecting a high level of writing - which is what I normally get here - is not even close to being the same as coming somewhere to proofread someone's work. Why would I proofread someone else's work unless I was being paid to do so?

As for having a dull life, I'm not the one who's spent a Sunday morning posting five times about the same thing on the same website.

But hey - C.J.'s decided that if we don't think exactly like he does, then we are somehow 'wrong,' and he is going to tell us how 'wrong' we are over and over again. I don't care - I've been reading this site and supporting it financially since before C.J. came along, and I suspect I will be doing the same thing long after he has lost interest and moved on to hen-peck someone else's readership.
March 24, 2013
Votes: -1

C.J said:

C.J
... @repenttokyo

1. This isn't Kent's job.....

2. If you come here (or anywhere else on the net) to proof read someone else's work you have serious issues my friend.

3. If you are finding small grammar mistakes truly affecting your ability to read and take in a pretty good article, again, you have issues.

Bottom line...you must have a dull life if grammar on the net bugs you so much.

Asking for more information or different formatting is one thing, but ripping someone for grammar is just lame...IMO

March 24, 2013
Votes: -5

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
i prefer the traditional ramblings format too so a few guys offer dissenting opinions and get jumped on?

C.J. you need to relax. People think differently than you, and also have higher quality expectations when it comes to their online writing. I write for a living, I don't turn in work without proofreading it, because if I did, I would no longer have a job.

We expect a high level of writing from this site, because that is the standard it has long held itself to. Most of your comments on today's ramblings have been to attack other posters - do you really think that adds to the quality of this site?

Chris wasn't perfect, but I learned more about what was happening in the league from his weekend posts than I did from today's post.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +3

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
@ C.J yeap, C.J, I am lazy and I don't mind admitting it, at least when it comes to getting my fantasy hockey news, especially on a Sunday morning when I need to set my roster for the upcoming week in my H2H league. Traditionally, Saturdays are busy nights and so the Sunday morning ramblings are probably the most important for me. I am lazy and don't have the time on Sunday mornings to go to multiple websites. I've been coming to this site for over 5 years because Dobber and company have found a niche. They summarize all the previous night's games, with fantasy opinions and implications thrown into the mix. It is what has made this site successful. I'm not trying to be too critical of Kent. I'm only suggesting that maybe a bit more about last night's games, along with his fresh writing style and fantasy opinion, would satisfy everyone.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +2
..., Low-rated comment [Show]

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
@pbhockey4 Good points, pbhockey4. I do like fresh opinions, but I really value the "one-stop-shopping" for the daily ramblings. I don't have time to read through numerous boxscores and go to different websites. Maybe what we need is just a bit more info on last night's games, with some of the fantasy opinions thrown in. Did anyone know that Enstrom is scheduled to return to the lineup today? Or that Kovalchuk or Landeskog got injured last night? What impact will Halak's shutout have on Jake Allen, who was supposed to start today for the Blues, even though Hitchcock has a history of rewarding shutouts.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
... Cory Schneider earned his 6th career NHL shutout as the Canucks managed to grind out their 3rd straight win against the defending stanley cup champs. Apparently the Canucks have taken a page out the Ottawa Senators playbook as they are managing to pull out wins with a depleted roster. The Canucks PP continues to sputter as do the Sedins - which has killed my dobber yahoo entry level league. With only 13 shots registered yesterday and 1 goal scored the only Canucks with any hint of fantasy value were Raymond, Hanson and Schneider. Being only slightly better than the Kings who haven't scored a goal in 2 straight games.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

wendelclark17 said:

wendelclark17
... @C.J. Sorry, I expect a writer to actually proof read or spell check before posting his work. If that makes me a clown so be it. Thanks for posting that definition though, it was so enlightening ....
March 24, 2013
Votes: +2

C.J said:

C.J
... @SeaDawg

I come to this site for something different, some fresh information and perspective. If I wanted box scores and recaps I go to yahoo. If "combing" through the recaps of the games last night is difficult for you you have issues my friend.

Great job by the way Kent, dont mind the negative comments. Its good to have a variety of ramblings, different styles while always providing excellent info that this site is known for.

Guys like SeaDawg are just lazy.....and the grammar nazi's are... well...just pathetic.
March 24, 2013
Votes: -1

shovelguy said:

shovelguy
... The way you typed this out, I figure you must have a hand injury similar to the one Eberle is pllaying through.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
... Wow, tough crowd.

I, for one, really enjoyed the fresh writing style and content. I am sure it is not the easiest situation to step into such a dedicated and committed community of puck heads. Great first rambling. Welcome aboard!


In the past few months a formatting change was incorporated into the daily ramblings. It is the use of an asterisk to separate topics. For instance:

Topic 1

*

Topic 2

*

Topic 3 etc


If that could be adopted for your ramblings it would be greatly appreciated


All the best,
Ross
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

pbhockey4 said:

pbhockey4
love the new ramblings As a guy who looks forward to the daily ramblings every morning, I have to say I loved these. While I love the works of Angus, Dobber, and co, sometimes ramblings can be too laden with stat sheets from the previous night. So while someone like Seadawg would like more news from the previous night's games, I would say that I very much enjoyed reading stuff that I can't get out a box score or game recap. Is it great to hear who scored 3 points, was plus-5 and had 8 SOG, or to hear about the guy who re-injured his groin? Sure. But you can just as easily find that kind of stuff on NHL.com or sometimes even through Yahoo's fantasy hockey system (for those that use Yahoo). Love the ramblings where fresh opinions, and harder to find facts and arguments are presented. Keep up the good work!
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

soothy69 said:

soothy69
Nice I think that was a pretty good write up. Ignore anyone who claims it was too long. Sorry acfurino, but I'd rather have a little too much information than not enough. Look forward to next weekends write ups.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +0

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
interesting but not really a daily rambling Welcome aboard, Kent. I'm not familiar with your work, but I am interested in any new fantasy perspectives...that said, your debut was not really a daily ramblings (in the same sense as the others on this site). This was more of an article, as you didn't really talk much about last night's games nor talk about any of the potential injuries, fantasy repercussions, etc. from last night's games. I don't get to watch a lot of the games and instead of combing through box scores and game summaries, I like to get a summary of the games on this site each morning.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

C.J said:

C.J
... @wendelclark17

Dont be such a clown bud, nobody likes a pathetic Grammar Nazi:

An elitist who gets off on correcting others' grammar and spelling because it makes him feel superior.

grammar nazis often misidentify grammar as the primary determinant of one's intelligence and the most important element of expression.

this belief stems from the grammar nazi's insecurity, which leads him to learn the simplest thing in the whole fucking world to learn and impose it on others, earning self-gratification in the process. realizing how easy but effective it is, the nazi continues this ego masturbation until he can no longer separate the truth from the lie: grammar's not that important, no one gives a shit, and no one likes you.

grammar nazis don't realize that in actuality, grammar is too ambiguous to have a rigid standard, and that though basic grammar is necessary, most grammar rules are not, and can restrict good expression.
Shakespeare: What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!

grammar nazi: Speak in complete sentences.

Shakespeare: the ability to communicate both colorfully and effectively is way more admirable then perfect grammar so stop sucking Webster's dick, you grammar nazi.
March 24, 2013
Votes: -2

acfurino said:

acfurino
... Nice writeup... Those paragraphs are wayyy too long... What happened to the last guy who wrote on sundays? I think his name was chris?
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1

wendelclark17 said:

wendelclark17
... Spell check would have been a good idea.
March 24, 2013
Votes: +1
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