Perry's scoring slump, Mantha projections, Yandle Lingering, and more.
I wanted to see Brian Elliott beat a good team before buying his recent hot streak. He couldn’t even best the Canucks for a second straight time. Mind you, the Canucks have won six straight since they were bested by the Elliott and the Flames. Either way, the ball is back in Chad Johnson’s court but at this rate, I do not think anyone has a firm grasp on the starting gig.
At least the Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, Matthew Tkachuk trio stayed hot combining for a pair of goals. Backlund has an astounding 11 points in his last six games. He never used to be able to get this hot but in the past couple of seasons when he has gotten rolling he has been as good as anyone. The problem has been when he hasn’t been productive, like the 15-game run in November when he scored just three points.
Of course, that’s the way it goes for 50-point guys. And that’s assuming that Backlund is even a 50-point guy. Last season’s 47 points made for a career high. With how strong he is playing with Tkachuk and Frolik, this emergence feels legitimate.
Ryan Miller, meanwhile, has grabbed a hold of the Canucks starting gig. He has made five straight quality starts and has seven in his last 10 games. That’s a hot run. He’s been middling for what feels like a decade now, however so I don’t count this as anything but a hot run.
More interesting to me is Bo Horvat extending his scoring streak to six games. He has 12 points in his last 12 games. I don’t think this is a full-on breakout but he is laying the groundwork for such a breakout next season. He just needs a running-mate to help him get there and I’m not sure Sven Baertschi (as intriguing as he is) is the guy to get him there.
It would also help if Horvat got top power play minutes but that’s still the Sedins’ gig, for now. They are on pace for just 16 PPP each, which is mediocre considering what they would swing in their prime. That’s not to say they are incapable of magic but it’s starting to run out. Daniel Sedin has just one point in the last eight games, while Henrik Sedin has four. This what slowing down looks like. I’m not ready to burry the Sedins yet but it’s clear Horvat is the Canucks’ best player.
Vladislav Kamenev was called up to fill in for Arvidsson. He was held scoreless in 10:21, skating on the third line seeing no power play time. Kamenev probably isn’t ready to make a permanent leap anyhow. He’s put up good numbers in the AHL but not the kind of numbers that show mastery.
Greg McKegg now has goals in two straight games but they are only using him on the fourth line so he isn’t at the stage where he’d be interesting. More interesting is Jared McCann, called up recently to center Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith. Decent spot, although Smith and Jokinen are ice cold.
Folks are concerned about the production of Keith Yandle but he’s got five points in his last 10 games and has managed to be modestly productive despite how miserable the Panthers have been. He’s on pace for 37 points and 203 SOG despite an on-ice shooting percentage of just 4.7%. Just wait until he gets some healthy teammates and some puck luck.
Yandle is one to buy for sure. I’ve gone over the math a million times but even a 50-point defenseman is going to be held off the board in at least 32 games. He’s had a disproportionate amount of bad luck in the first half but that doesn’t mean it will continue in the second half. I could easily see 25 points in 42 games to close out the season.
Yandle is a great guy to bet on because he has been so dependable healthwise. He’s one of the genuine ironmen of the NHL.
Cory Schneider was coming off two straight quality starts so naturally he did this:
Connor Brown strips Cory Schneider of the puck and scores a 2-0 shorthanded goal for the Leafs. Not Schneider's finest moment of his career. pic.twitter.com/X8C1GqgV8x— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 7, 2017
Schneider gave up three goals on five shots before the mercy pull. He should be better but wowzers.
The Devils were without Andy Greene last night, who is missing time with a wrist injury. That doesn’t help. Also, for some reason they refuse to utilize the effective Yohann Auvitu.
Keith Kinkaid came on in relief and wound up allowing his first power-play goal against of the season. It was a good run. I wonder if this is where his bubble starts to burst as well.
Not to be outdone, Mike Smith spiced things up in overtime:
Anthony Duclair has four points in his last five games. Does that mean he’s back? Maybe but I can’t advise grabbing him in one-year settings. The Coyotes play the Islanders tonight and then have their bye week so now is the wrong time to be in on any Coyotes. In fact, I’d dump anyone not named Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
On the plus side, that bye week is a chance for Martin Hanzal to recoop from the lower-body injury he suffered last night. No word on his timeline but I hope the Coyotes haven't missed their window to sell.
#Blackhawks assign Gustav Forsling and Spencer Abbott to the Rockford IceHogs. That was quick on the latter.— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) January 6, 2017
That took entirely no time at all for Abbott. The real story is Forsling getting sent down, which will help to clear up the Blackhawks’ logjam on defense. Now they have only seven capable options, instead of eight.
Brian Campbell should get back to regular play, not that he has been fantasy relevant. He skated 19:55 last night.
Every time I think about the possibility of a Landeskog trade I am reminded of the Taylor Hall/Adam Larsson swap, which still frustrates me to no end. The Avalanche could be patient with this and still make out poorly.
Have you guys heard the rumour that the Bruins turned down a Landeskog for Brandon Carlo swap? It doesn’t check out since the Bruins don’t have the cap space without some added salaries included but it’s an interesting concept. Of course, the Avalanche would be losing such a deal and should just embrace the tank.
I did stumble upon this yesterday:
I like Landeskog as a player. He's always been good at driving play. But there's something weird going on with his own shot rate.. pic.twitter.com/O0mBc80qFx— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 6, 2017
That certainly doesn’t help Landeskog’s cause or his fantasy owners. Keep an eye on his shot rate going forward.
It turns out Brendan Gallagher’s injury is as bad as we thought:
Medical update: B. Gallagher underwent surgery last night in Montreal. Fractured left hand. His recovery is expected to be minimum 8 weeks.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 6, 2017
Jamie Benn will travel on road trip, out tomorrow and not expected to play Monday and Tuesday.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 6, 2017
Eakin could make a nice short-term acquisition with three games in four nights.
Now for the weekly Q+A!
@SteveLaidlaw Any updates to your thoughts on Corey Perry since your post on struggling forwards back in December?— Alaaddin Baskurt (@Dyinglobster) January 6, 2017
Corey Perry hasn’t scored a goal in 11 straight games and is shooting an abysmal 6.1%. That should rebound at some point but he has since been bumped off their lethal #1 power play unit, which will hurt his production further. Nearly half of his points (14 of 29) have come on the power play and he’s lost access to the best part of that.
@SteveLaidlaw Is Chychrun fantasy relevant next year? Doesn't seem to be this year, but is playing limited. Worth dealing for DeAngelo?— Aneil Manhas (@aneilmanhas) January 6, 2017
Unless your league scores hits and blocked shots, I would bet against Chychrun having fantasy relevance and it could be a long time before he does. And I felt this way even before he was lost to injury.
Anthony DeAngelo is a superior option but he doesn’t clear my bar of productivity where I’d be willing to give up any asset of significance for him.
@SteveLaidlaw would you rather have Mrazek or Markstrom beyond this season?— Bobby Brooks (@BrooksBets) January 6, 2017
I’ll be taking the 25-year-old to be with a career 0.916 save percentage who has looked like a legitimate starter for multiple stretches in his career over the 27-year-old to be with a career 0.906 save percentage who has never taken a starting gig and run with for an extended period.
To clarify, Mrazek over Markstrom and it’s not particularly close.
@SteveLaidlaw Anthony Martha: what point-pace do you expect for rest of season. Shot-rate? Trying to decide between sell-high and hold.— JPW (@pwjustin) January 6, 2017
First off, the decision to sell high is dictated by the trade market in your league, not by whatever point projection you have for a player. Mantha could be legit (and he appears to be) but you could shop him and find a price that dictates you should move him anyway. So the projection is only half the battle. The point is to improve your squad so shop him around!
As for a scoring projection. I’d bet on about 25 points the rest of the way. His current pace would see him score 30 or so but his shooting percentage is on the high end, plus the Wings stink, so I drop him down a bit. As for shot rate, think two SOG per game.
In most leagues, Mantha’s gonna be a guy who just fizzles and gets dropped back to the waiver wire and then scooped up again when his next hot streak hits.
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.
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