March 24 2015

by Dobber on March 24, 2015 | (0 Comments)

Dobber returns from vacation and has 10 days of fantasy hockey gold stored up that he's dying to share...

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I'm back after dragging the family down to Florida for a Disney vacation - that's four days of driving and five days there. My two princesses got to see and meet the Disney princesses. But I'm back in the saddle and now you have me for three of the next five days - so buckle up.

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It was Andrej Sekera's third point in 12 games with Los Angeles when he scored last night, but he's been logging a ton of power-play time and if the Kings can ever get that going he'll chip in plenty of secondary assists. But that's of no help to those of you in the playoffs of your fantasy league - by the time he proves himself to warrant a pickup, you'll already be in your final week.

Kings' forward Mike Richards played 11:41 in his NHL return and was minus-1. He was left off of special teams. No surprise though. He's not the player he was (but this summer a GM will still believe that he is and he will sign elsewhere if he's bought out).

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Adam Larsson is pointless in four but he's still being given rope by the coaching staff. This wouldn't have happened in prior seasons. It would seem that he has finally become an NHL regular. His ice time was second on the team among defensemen ahead of Merrill, Severson, Fraser and Gelinas. But he's not yet the go-to PP guy, which is the next step I'd like to see.

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Do you ever feel like if you're not watching over your fantasy team closely, they all collapse? I was first, second (and closing) and fifth (and closing) in my three leagues. I go on vacation and ignore looking at the standings, and the one league where I needed to set my roster I did so in advance. I return and see that I'm second, second (and fading) and fifth (and fading). The first two days I'm back, I start gaining ground again.

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Pascal Dupuis won't play again this season, per Jim Rutherford Monday. He's not going to be cleared to play until June. If you recall, he had a blood clot in his lung. Rutherford is confident that he will return next season.

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Devan Dubnyk started again. And won again. When last I rambled, I discussed his outside shot at 40 wins. Which of course would be incredible. Since then he is 4-2-0. So now he needs to go 8-1-0 in the last nine games. Still a long shot, but it really is looking like he'll be playing all nine of those games. Six games ago, we questioned that, figuring he'd sit out two. I think at worst he goes 5-4-0, which would give him 37 wins this season. That's at worst.

Look at Thomas Vanek go. He's salvaging his season with this eight-game points streak (10 points). Had he continued at the pace he was on, he would have 43 points right now (instead of 49) and 50 would be a push. Now he has a shot at 60 if his hot run continues. And we've seen Vanek have these big 20- and 30-game runs before.

Justin Fontaine has 15 points in his last 19 games. If you're looking for some depth help. And it's Vanek's hot streak that helping him (or is it the other way around?):

 

#1

19.6%

GRANLUND,MIKAEL-PARISE,ZACH-POMINVILLE,JASON

#2

19.6%

KOIVU,MIKKO-NIEDERREITER,NINO-STEWART,CHRIS

#3

18.2%

BERGENHEIM,SEAN-BRODZIAK,KYLE-HAULA,ERIK

#4

17.3%

COYLE,CHARLIE-FONTAINE,JUSTIN-VANEK,THOMAS

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Joffrey Lupul tallied his first point in 18 games. Gross. He had 85 points in 82 games between 2011-12 and 2012-13.

How can Leafs fans make their team make some changes? Stop showing up to games. Looks like they're finally catching onto that.

FYI Since January 1:

Toronto is 6-26-3

Ottawa is 22-10-4

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Dion Phaneuf takes exception here after Kyle Brodziak tells him that the Leafs are definitely not getting Connor McDavid:

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The Hamburgler strikes again! Andrew Hammond stopped 29 of 31 and is 14-0-1 in his NHL career. Patrick Lalime, anyone? Hammond led the Senators into the wildcard spot - and the Bruins are currently out.

Mike Hoffman strikes again! Man, he reminds me of Patrick Sharp. Not because of playing style. I haven't seen enough of the Sens to say. But because of expectation and likely niche, versus how things actually turned out. He has a fairly solid chance at 30 goals and 55 points this season. He's been on a 60-point pace since November 6.

The youngsters are really rolling for the Sens as well - with J-G Pageau putting up points in six of his last eight and of course Mark Stone, who has 22 points in his last 21 contests.

So does Karlsson win the Norris this year?

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Antti Niemi is 4-8-0 in his last 12. And in his last eight games, Logan Couture has three points and is minus-7. Someone should tell those fellas that it's too late to get into the McDavid race.

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In his eight games since his big four-point effort, Eric Staal has just two points. So much for my theory that the big night will propel a strong finish, yikes. His slump is also affecting Justin Faulk, who has one in his last seven. But Faulk had nine shots on goal Monday, so it's not all bad. He'll work his way out of it and continue his breakout year. I'm more confident in Faulk than I am in Staal right now, go figure.

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Antoine Vermette has just two points in nine games for Chicago.

In his last 26 games, Brad Richards has two goals and five assists.

I don't like the Blackhawks at all to go deep this year. It just seems like everything is a step below what we're used to seeing from them, and it's not just the Kane injury. Besides Anaheim and St. Louis, there are some red-hot teams in the West and Chicago could be in trouble in the first round. And I'm saying this after a 43-save Crawford win.

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Jamie Benn had three points, three hits, three blocked shots and eight shots on goal last night.

His linemate, Patrick Eaves, is still rolling along as well - six points in his last five games. I like Eaves as a sleeper for next year - not. Way too injury prone. Yes, he'll start next season on that line (because, don't kid yourself, he's re-signing with the Stars). And yes, he'll do well. But yes, he'll get injured again. Like death and taxes…

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If you need shots on goal, Brian Gionta has wielding a hot stick right now. He has five points in his last five games, but also has 20 shots on goal in that span.

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Drew Stafford has points in six consecutive contests and 10 points in his last eight games. He's clicking with Wheeler and Scheifele while the team waits for Bryan Little to return. Little won't play the next game either, but his LBI should/could be healed up by the weekend.

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Karri Ramo is coming into his own this season and is another key reason why the Flames are still in the playoff picture. He's started 12 of Calgary's last 18 games and is 7-3-1. Here is one thing he brings:

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Connor McDavid finishes his final OHL season having missed 21 games and playing 47 games. He had points in 45 of those games, but needed another one of his legendary outings on Sunday if he wanted to win the scoring title. Instead, he had a one-point game… which is also kind of rare of him. So Mitch Marner and Dylan Strome take the top two, with Strome sneaking the win with a big game on Sunday. You can get Brendan Ross's take on Marner, Strome, McDavid and all the draft eligibles for this year by accessing this page. Use DobberProspects to stay on top of your young keeper league players. More and more of your competitors are making it their go-to site for this info.

Bob McKenzie:

"In honor of Strome-Marner battle for OHL scoring race, I just did a flash poll of 8 NHL scouts to see who they have rated higher right now: Four scouts took Strome. Four scouts took Marner. So, that settles that. Well, not really."

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Speaking of DobberProspects, Austin Wallace has you covered for the past week's prospect news.

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Keeper Leaguers! Breaking News! Ilya Kovalchuk is reportedly looking to return to the NHL for the 2016-17 season. So if you have the bench space to sit on him for a year, it's worth your while. The earliest he can come back as a UFA is 2018-19, which would make him nearly 35. But if he can return for 2016-17 he would only be 33 and would still have several 70-point years ahead of him. To make an early return, he would need all 30 NHL teams to approve it - including the Devils. But given the amount of time that passes (three years - necessary because of his "retirement"), I don't foresee a problem from New Jersey. After all, he bailed them out of serious cap trouble by "retiring".

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Just $3.99 for the DobberBaseball cheat sheets - updated through Friday. Pick it up here. It's worth checking out at that price, you gotta admit! An update is planned for tomorrow morning (Thursday)

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Matthew Wuest sadly passed away last week and I didn't find out until later the next day. But I wanted to take a moment now to offer a few words to a colleague I admired. The two of us had swapped ads several years ago when he was getting started and needless to say, what he built in Cap Geek quickly left what I built in DobberHockey in the dust. And it wasn't just a matter of finding a good niche in the online hockey world and filling it. I know firsthand the kind of effort and persistence it takes to grow something like this. It's not just eating and breathing this stuff 24 hours a day for a year or two. No, if you think that once you get things rolling after a couple of years you can take a step back, but you really can't. We all know what Cap Geek offered - and that took relentless effort and consistent accuracy. And not only did Matthew do that, but he also listened to his readers and added tools that we all used. And he kept us posted on Twitter, Tweeting some CBA tidbits that we often didn't know about. Just think about how difficult this would be when you're battling cancer for over two years. And do not doubt - many of those months would have been through exhaustion and nausea, while taking time away from his family to do it. The hockey world owes him a debt that we cannot pay. Rest in peace.

 

 

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