Ramblings: Duchene and Turris; Oilers Blanked; Decision Time for Certain Players – November 6

by Michael Clifford on November 6, 2017 | (7 Comments)
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Duchene and Turris; Oilers Blanked; Decision Time for Certain Players – November 6

Edmonton was embarrassed at home losing 4-0 to Detroit on Sunday afternoon (depending on where you were watching). Petr Mrazek made just his fourth start of the year and managed a 36-save shutout. At the other end of the ice, Cam Talbot saved 31 of 35 in the loss.

Before getting to the stats from the game, some pretty important injury information:

That’s Gustav Nyquist taking a knee-on-knee from Eric Gryba. Nyquist left at the end of the first period and he did not return. He had four goals in 14 games going into Sunday, scored once in this game before the injury, and was skating on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Anthony Mantha. This was the update an hour or so after the game:

After the injury, a few different players joined Mantha/Zetterberg on the top line like Scott Wilson, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tomas Tatar. We will probably have to wait until their next practice to know who will actually get a chance to stick up there.

Mantha did score his seventh of the season while adding an assist. He now has 26 goals in 85 career games and has found his way to the top line. It’s nice when teams let their good prospects finally get a chance, including Martin Frk, who also had a goal and assist. 

Dylan Larkin had 10 (!) shots on goal. He must have read my Saturday Ramblings.

Just as a small aside, for Edmonton to reach 95 points, they need 86 points over their final 69 games. That works out to a 102-point pace over a full season. It’s doable (they had 103 last year), but regardless of their shot differentials, they need to start winning games. You hate to say time is running out in the first week of November, but if this slide continues much longer, it may be too much to overcome.

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The Islanders beat the Avalanche in Brooklyn on Sunday night, but the game itself was secondary to what happened off the ice as Matt Duchene was finally traded. Though it took some time for all the details to emerge, this is what we got:

I’ll have a full breakdown later today.

For now, this doesn’t really change much for the Sens from a fantasy perspective. Duchene, I think, is a bit of a better offensive player, but does it drastically alter the prospects of players like Bobby Ryan (when healthy) or Mark Stone? Probably not. Anything can happen, but I’m not changing my projections for Ottawa line mates just yet.

I do think this helps the Predators a lot right now, though. They need help with depth scoring; Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson have 13 goals between them, and every other Predators forward has 14 combined. Adding Turris on the second line, depending how they arrange their lineups, should help someone like Kevin Fiala get on the scoresheet. It also bumps Nick Bonino down a line, giving this team more forward depth. It’s a nice cascading effect.

It’ll be years until the dust is settled on this one, but at least in the short-term, the Predators got exactly what they needed. It seems they do that a lot when they make trades.

There was a game, too, I guess, and the Islanders won 6-4, though that final score is a lot flattering than the way this played out for the most part because Alex Kerfoot scored two goals in the final 30 seconds of the third period (seriously). That made a good game from Thomas Greiss look a lot worse than it was (31/35 saves). Jonathan Bernier got shelled for all six goals.

Mathew Barzal did something kind of cool, becoming just the fourth rookie in the last 30 seasons to manage five assists in a single game:

It was a big day for the Islanders blue line as Nick Leddy had two goals and an assist, Johnny Boychuk had a goal and an assist, and Scott Mayfield had one and one as well. Boychuk added six shots and three blocks while Leddy had five and three.

Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist each.

Colorado now takes off for Sweden for a back-to-back set overseas against none other than the Senators. Funny how life works sometimes.

*

It was mostly a boring game between the Habs and Blackhawks, at least if you like scoring. Chicago was carrying the play, outshooting the Habs 28-18 through 40 minutes, but just couldn’t solve Charlie Lindgren. Lindgren, by the way, was making his fourth career start in goal.

Montreal broke through in the third period when Jonathan Drouin went top shelf on Corey Crawford while on a semi-break away. Joe Morrow added a goal later in the period but Drouin’s would hold up as the game-winner, and Lindgren would earn his first career shutout (and his fourth win in those four starts).

The Habs have now won four of their last five including three of four on this road trip.

Cody Franson had six shots on goal with four blocked shots for the ‘Hawks while Richard Panik chipped in five shots. Brent Seabrook had a peripheral-stuffing night with three shots, one block, four penalty minutes, and two hits. It’s worth noting, though, that he played under 19 minutes a night after playing under 21 minutes. Just something to monitor.

Montreal goes home for a six-game homestand while the Blackhawks have three days off before starting a brief Eastern Conference swing.

*

We had a good tilt in Calgary as the Flames beat the Devils 5-4 in a shootout. Mike Smith stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced to get his team to the skills competition while Keith Kinkaid blocked 30 of 34. 

Speaking of the Oilers getting shutout and now ranking 30th in the league in goals scored per game, Taylor Hall opened the scoring early in the first for New Jersey as they were in Calgary on Sunday night.  Michael Frolik answered about 10 minutes later short-handed.

The second period is where things got fun as the Flames got goals from Michael Stone and Sean Monahan a little over a minute apart, but they were bookended by goals from Ben Lovejoy and Brian Gibbons. We had a 3-3 game going into the third period.

Micheal Ferland gave Calgary the lead about seven minutes into the third period - making up for an earlier missed penalty shot - but Andy Greene tied it up at fours just five minutes later. That sent us to overtime, and eventually the shootout. 

Monahan, Ferland, and Frolik all had a goal and an assist while Johnny Gaudreau had two apples. Michael Stone had the other Flames goal, and added six shots, a block, and a hit. 

Nico Hischier had two assists in the loss, giving him 10 points in 13 games. He had five shots on goal for good measure. Hall's goal was his 17th point on the season. 

*

Dobber contributor Adam Daly-Frey has a column that comes out every Friday looking at short-term and long-term fixes, games to target or avoid, and teams with which to do the same. This was his piece last week. I recommend going through it.

I wanted to go over a few games, players, or situations I’m keeping an eye on in the upcoming seven days. By next Monday, teams will be about 20 percent of the way through the regular season, so it’s decision time for fantasy owners. Waiting much longer could mean in a lost season.

 

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin

Kuznetsov has 16 points in 14 games this year while Ovechkin has the same, but with 11 goals. In all, production-wise, a great start to the year with both guys. There is a small problem, though.

At this point of the campaign, the Capitals are shooting 12.2 percent with those two on the ice at five-on-five. For a reference on how high that is, among 133 forwards with a 1000 minutes played last year (which is where Kuzy and Ovi will finish if they stay healthy), one cracked the 12 percent mark, three cracked 11 percent, and 17 cracked 10 percent. So, yeah, maybe they maintain a rate this high. Or maybe that comes down, and perhaps a lot.

This wouldn’t normally be a big problem for a line generating a lot of shots, but they’re not, being just above the team average, and at a rate (56.4 attempts/60) commensurate with a bottom-10 team. Without volume, they’re dependent on that percentage staying stout.

They have four games this week: at home to Arizona, in Buffalo, and at home to Pittsburgh and Edmonton. With easy games and soft matchups in the tough games (Nicklas Backstrom’s line eats the tough matchups), this is a great week for this line to show they’re not relying on percentages but can actually generate offence at a high rate. We’ll see.

 

Minnesota

This team should have been expecting to play without Zach Parise for an extended period of time, so other than Charlie Coyle still missing from the lineup, this is as healthy as the team is going to get. The Wild’s upcoming schedule is four road games, but it could be worse: Boston, Toronto, Montreal, and Philadelphia. Both the Flyers and Bruins are pretty banged up themselves, and they just destroyed the Habs in Minnesota. Devan Dubnyk has seen a pretty good performance over the last week or so, and that should only continue as the team gels with their healthy roster. I’m interested to see what their play-driving stats look like at the end of this stretch because that, in conjunction with a handful of games they’ve played since Nino Niederreiter returned, will help us figure out what to do with Dubnyk over the final four and a half months.

 

Torey Krug

Boston has four games this week, and they’re against the Wild, Rangers, and Leafs (x2). Out of those three teams, none are in the top-10 for fewest shot attempts allowed at five-on-five, and only the Rangers are in the top-10 for fewest shot attempts allowed while on the penalty kill. All this is to say that offensively speaking, even with injuries to David Backes and David Krejci, these aren’t bad matchups for the Bruins (though, as mentioned above, Minnesota is getting healthier). Krug’s shot-per-game rate is abysmal this year, as his 1.36 comes in below Chad Ruhwedel and Deryk Engelland (both 1.38). His shot attempt rate per minute, unsurprisingly, is at a five-year low. There are rumours floating around he’s playing through some sort of injury, but who knows. Owners should give him this week for signs of turning things around. If not, it might be time to see if he can fetch anything on the trade market in roto leagues. 

 

  • Andy Boell

    What do we do with Cam Talbot? The Oilers look like a mess and I know McDavid getting hot could right alot of wrongs but is it time (or past time) to try and trade him off for someone like Jake Allen, Dubnyk or swing for the fences and get Price before The Habs are ‘back’?

    • Dobber

      I’m going down with the ship on this one. Barring injury, I’m riding Talbot to the end. Although in one of the two leagues I can just keep him on my bench and roll Quick/Bishop. But I’ll never trade him.

  • Striker

    I have Krug in 1 of my fantasy leagues, I have ZERO intentions of trading him. In our scoring system he has 10 FP’s in 11 games, 5 of them coming in his last 3 games. Krug betters last seasons 8 goals & 51 points this season if he plays at least 75 games. At 333 NHL regular season games played Krug is fast approaching my fully developed timeline of 400. Don’t trade this asset enjoy him.

    • Mike

      He said in roto leagues

      • Michael Clifford

        Correct. In standard ESPN roto leagues, even though he’s on pace for 52 points, he’s outside the top-100. Not 100 players, 100 defencemen. That’s how bad his peripheral stats are. He really needs that shot rate to come around.

      • stugots

        Took a chance and read the comments today. Now I remember why I stopped.

      • Dobber

        Let that be a lesson to you. Don’t take such a massive risk. Stick to your guns and steer clear of those bad ol’ comments!