Ramblings: What About Buch?

by steve laidlaw on November 9, 2017 | (5 Comments)

Brad Marchand did not travel with the Bruins on their two-game road trip. At the earliest he’ll be back on Saturday for the back half of their home-and-home against the Leafs.

In the mean time, you’ve got Anders Bjork in Marchand’s spot on the top line, but you also have Jake DeBrusk skating Marchand’s PP minutes. I typically lean towards PP opportunity but you’re looking at a short-term pickup here if you make one at all. There are still way snazzier options available on waiver wires, like how about Pavel Buchnevich?

After another multi-point effort (his fourth in the past seven games), the sophomore is up to 14 points in 17 games. Somehow, Buchnevich remains unowned in most leagues. His ownership sits at 33% on Yahoo, 63% on Fantrax and 30% on ESPN. I don’t know what to do other than to spell this out:

S T U D

The kid is a stud. We are looking at the convergence of talent and opportunity. Jump on him now or be left wanting.

*

For a team with 16 regular skaters carried over from last season, the Rangers roster is wildly in flux. Check out the differences in ice time for those 16 skaters from last year to this:

     

2016-17

2017-18

Difference

Player

Pos

GP

PPTOI

TOI

PPTOI

TOI

PPTOI

TOI

KAMPFER, STEVEN

D

7

0:01

12:54

0:03

14:44

0:02

1:50

BUCHNEVICH, PAVEL

R

17

1:52

13:16

3:37

14:42

1:45

1:26

SKJEI, BRADY

D

17

1:23

17:28

0:19

18:50

-1:04

1:22

ZIBANEJAD, MIKA

C

17

2:23

17:04

3:46

18:21

1:23

1:17

FAST, JESPER

R

12

0:06

13:48

0:04

14:10

-0:02

0:22

VESEY, JIMMY

L

17

1:33

13:38

0:46

13:46

-0:47

0:08

ZUCCARELLO, MATS

R

17

2:44

18:50

3:34

18:55

0:50

0:05

NASH, RICK

R

17

2:01

16:28

2:19

16:29

0:18

0:01

MILLER, J.T.

L

17

1:27

16:22

2:23

16:07

0:56

-0:15

HAYES, KEVIN

C

17

1:28

16:34

0:20

16:18

-1:08

-0:16

KREIDER, CHRIS

L

17

2:36

17:00

3:32

16:02

0:56

-0:58

GRABNER, MICHAEL

R

17

0:05

14:06

0:01

12:54

-0:04

-1:12

MCDONAGH, RYAN

D

17

3:06

24:21

2:06

22:41

-1:00

-1:40

STAAL, MARC

D

17

0:03

19:06

0:01

17:11

-0:02

-1:55

SMITH, BRENDAN

D

11

0:02

20:10

0:04

16:22

0:02

-3:48

HOLDEN, NICK

D

12

0:37

20:37

0:01

16:24

-0:36

-4:13

 

Looking at this, it’s no surprise that Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad have emerged. Nor is it shocking that last season’s rabbits: Kevin Hayes and Michael Grabner have also slowed. Not only are their minutes down but their shooting percentages have slumped as well.

You can also see the impact of the Kevin Shattenkirk addition in Ryan McDonagh’s minutes. Also, while Brady Skjei is seeing a bigger role, his power play usage has been clipped to near nothing. Nick Holden may have fallen off the face of the earth.

*

The Leafs were without Auston Matthews for last night’s game. That’s the first game he has missed in his young career and he is generally considered day-to-day. Not much concern here.

Nazem Kadri stepped into the top centerman spot with Matthews out and scored a goal. His high-event play is relevant in most every league regardless of Matthews’ health.

*

Alex Stalock was slated to start for Minnesota last night but left for the birth of his child. Devan Dubnyk got the start instead allowing three goals on 18 shots. That’s not great, Bob but as discussed on Tuesday, we’re too early for panic.

The Wild also called up Niklas Svedberg to backup in Stalock’s stead. I’m interested to see if he sees action tonight given the back-to-back situation for Minnesota. Svedberg had a decent run as the Bruins’ backup a few years ago but his numbers across his various professional stops leave something to be desired. Still, any goalie can pop up and produce, just look at Charlie Lindgren.

By the way, Carey Price owners should be so thankful for Lindgren and hoping he continues to produce. Lindgren is buying the Habs time to get Price healthy. If Lindgren keeps rolling, it will buy them time for Price to get in some valuable practice reps as well. A healthy/fresh Price could beast in the second half. Buying low is ALWAYS relative but I would (am) kick the tires and see if you can shake him loose.

*

Back to the Wild, Jason Zucker scored both goals for Minnesota. He was bounced from top line with Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund to the second line with Eric Staal and Chris Stewart.

There’s a decent argument to be made that the Staal line is a better spot in the short-term; Granlund is locked in PDO jail with a horrific 905 thus far. Granlund has but four points through nine games. Safe to say that will correct at some point but if you were arguing for Granlund being a shooting-percentage driver after a season with a 10.5% on-ice shooting percentage at 5-on-5 that argument is holding little water. It’s one of the reasons I projected Granlund to regress to 58 points.

Zucker, by the way, is off to a nice start with 10 points through 14 games. He has already set a career high with three power-play points! No guarantee he keeps seeing PP time once the lineup is fully healthy, but he should have some relevance if he continues to see even minimal PP chances. He put up a 47-point season while averaging 15 seconds of PP time last year. He’s seeing 2:36 per game thus far. Serious potential to upgrade, although the Wild are one of those teams that could boast a half-dozen 50-point forwards and no 60-pointers. They spread it out.

*

The Stamkov line is unfair:

That trio is the hockey embodiment of Emperor Palpatine’s force lightning.

None of those three is available at this point, but the Lightning second line is still a potential source of offense. Most available of that secondary group is Yanni Gourde (13% owned on Yahoo) who should fit into your lineup pretty well to close out the week, as the Lightning play tonight and Sunday, two light days on the schedule. But be forewarned, once their West coast trip ends on Sunday the Lightning don’t play until Thursday, so this is a short-term play. Still, it could be fruitful, Gourde notched a pair of assists last night.

*

Joonas Donskoi scored his fifth goal in the past nine games. He’s intriguing, especially now that he is grabbing top line minutes following the demotion of Kevin Labanc. I’d be more interested if he were grabbing top PP minutes as well but that would come at the expense of Tim Heed, which I can’t abide.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic returned to the lineup, skating 20 minutes but he’s not fantasy relevant so I’m merely bringing him up in the hope’s that one of the 38% of Yahoo managers still holding onto him might read this. To those folks: it’s time to give up! Vlasic is not even remotely a good fantasy option.

*

Potential addition for folks in very deep leagues:

I suspect that this call-up indicates Ondrej Kase is questionable to play although there isn’t much information available on his status. Kase has been seeing some top PP minutes for Anaheim and it would be interesting to see the offensively capable Roy see some quality minutes.

Mind you, Derek Grant is available in virtually every league and he is currently operating as the Ducks’ #1 C and has nine points through 15 games, so you’d probably go with him over Roy.

By the way, with Ryan Getzlaf now out for a couple of months:

That said, I would much prefer Rakell and Perry if Getzlaf were in the lineup, but this is worth looking into. We’re about to get a much larger sample of data on how they do without the big centerman.

*

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.

 

  • Billy

    Standard Points League… Out of Barzal, MacKinnon, and Namesntikov, who should I drop? (I’m leaning either Barzal or MacKinnon)

    • MD33

      Nah man drop Namestnikov ………..

    • fmedleg13

      Barzal

    • Mathieu

      Who the hell are you loading on to even think about dropping one of these? I would hang onto MacKinnon first. Last season was horrible for the Avalanche. Yet, MacKinnon had a say in 50% of the team’s goals! Look at his IPP. He’s gold. If that team could support him better, he could be a point per game player.

      If you’re in a keeper league: MacKinnon > Barzal > Namestnikov. If you’re in a 1 year league: MacKinnon > Namestnikov > Barzal.

    • thevoiceofreason

      Literally any guy in the league could coattail Stamkos and Kucherov the way they’re playing right now. Namestnikov is basically relevant until Cooper juggles his lines. If you want to play with that fire, maybe drop someone else, but otherwise, I think Namestnikov is clearly the riskiest option among those 3 players.