Hey guys, hope your weekend went well! I'm back to get you through the top 100 of my rankings. After this, the player pool is going to thin out pretty quick, especially at goaltender, so this is the range where you should be getting your second goalie if possible. I'd also make sure to get out of the top 100 with at least one defenseman as the dropoff after the top 13 is pretty steep. At this point of your draft, the core of your team is starting to form so you don't have to be strict in the rankings and go best player available. If you still need a goalie, don't be afraid to take them a round higher than where I have him. If you need PIM badly, get one of the PIM guys on the list because after the top 100, there's only a couple guys who can good offensive contributors while being strong in PIM, etc. Let's get to it!
When you think of the Sabres lately one name generally comes to mind and he isn’t even in the league yet, yes I’m talking about McJesus himself, Connor McDavid. The Sabres are well on their way to winning the McDavid sweepstakes by bungling their way through the 2014-15 season looking like hot garbage from top to bottom, save one bright spot; Zemgus Girgensons. Girgs was the Sabres’ second first round pick in 2012 and he’s paying off pretty quickly for a team that desperately needs someone to do something positive. I mean the fact that the Sabres had two first round picks should say something in-and-of it self, but I digress, the 20 year old Latvian pivot works his butt off out there from whistle to whistle. He’s hard to knock off the puck, isn’t afraid to fight for position in traffic and while he isn’t a traditional dangler, he definitely has solid hands and fore-checks like whoa. He’s now the Sabres top line center and spends time on their top power play unit as well. Given that it’s the Sabres you can’t expect him to score a ton, but he’s posted a respectable season line so far with 8 G, 6 A, +3 (on the Sabres!), 48 SOG and 9 PIM to date. Wait, that doesn’t look as sexy as I made it sound, does it? Well! That’s because his real value comes from his ability to win faceoffs (161), deliver hits (57) and even block shots (24). There’s basically not much this guy doesn’t do and in roto leagues that’s pure gold. In deep category H2H leagues he has value too. ROS I expect him to end up with around 50-55 points, he has tremendous upside over the long term and it’s clear that the Sabres envision him as a team leader moving forward. Those in keeper leagues would do well to grab him and hold on tight. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Pekka Rinne is headed to the AHL for a rehab assignment and should be back in the crease for the Preds sometime over the next two weeks. That’s great news for fantasy owners and Preds fans alike, but what can Rinne give you when he returns? Frankly I’d expect every ounce of what he normally would give you if he hadn’t been hurt. When asked about how he was doing Rinne said “So far I feel really comfortable, I'm happy how things have gone in practice and how things have gone so far. I think I'm actually a little bit surprised it's been going so well. But like I said, it's still a process but for sure I feel like I'm really close to game shape and now it's just a final couple of games before I jump on the ice with the Nashville team." You have to love the sound of that if you’re a Rinne owner. With Devan Dubnyk keeping the bench warm for de facto starter Carter Hutton (2 GA, 14 SV, W) you’d think that Hutton would get the backup job once Rinne returned, but Hutton’s two-way deal and Dubnyk’s one way deal say otherwise, so expect Hutton to be sent back down to the AHL so Dubnyk can continue to collect a salary on the bench. While most Rinne owners held him, IR slot or not, he is only owned in 75% of ESPN leagues and 84% of Yahoo leagues, so there’s a slim chance he’s out there for you to grab, so go scope out your wire and if he is? Grab him now, now, yesterday! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey yesterday:
Eddie Lack (1 GA, 15 SV, W) has a great gangster name, doesn't he? Sounds like someone coming to whack you instead of ‘tend net peaceably. Eddie doesn’t lack for talent and he continues to provide exemplary play backing up Roberto Luongo who remains firmly entrenched as the team’s no. 1 annnd then he went and got clipped by Dustin Byfuglien, which is of course similar to being clipped by a dump truck. He left yesterday’s game in the first and that’s when Eddie came in. Canucks coach John Tortorella said after the game that Robbie had suffered a dreaded lower-body injury and should be considered day-to-day for now. If he does miss significant time Lack should be able to do a lot with his time as the team’s de facto starter. In two pro-seasons in the AHL Lack has shown himself to be a steady, confident goaltender capable of carrying a team with his play. In 2010-11 he sported a season line of 28-25/2.26/.926%/5 with a stellar showing in the playoffs as well. He followed that year with last season’s line of 21-23/2.31/.925%/4 in 46 games. He’s big and fills the net, but he’s a bit lanky at 6’4” and just 190lbs. Still, he’s quick, agile and stays in good position. All this earned him a 2-year deal with the Canucks and here he sits, ready to shine should the Canucks need him. We’ll keep a close eye on Robbie’s injury stats because if he goes down, Lack is worth owning everywhere. Anyway, here’s what else I saw on a very short nice o’ fantasy hockey:
Johnathan Toews had a hat trick and The Blackhawks needed all of it as Chicago escaped with a wild 6-5 win over Ottawa. Marian Hossa looked sharp with a goal and two assists. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jason Pominville‘s power play goal with 10 seconds left in the second period proved to the game winner as his new team, the Minnesota Wild, knocked off his old team, the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown each scored twice as the Los Angeles Kings needed overtime to knock off the Ottawa Senators 4-3 last night. Brown scored twice in the first period while Carter was the overtime hero. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I went to sleep a little early last night and decided to do the post this morning. Having a two-week old baby messes with your sleep schedule so you gotta take it when you can. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Rangers looked like they were going to make a serious run at contending for a Stanley Cup until they ran into Boston in the Eastern semis. Henrik Lundqvist led the team from between the pipes but a lack of offense and a poor power play kept the Rangers from going deeper into the playoffs. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sidney Crosby dished out five assists to help Chris Kunitz net a hat trick and Pascal Dupuis score twice as the Penguins thumped the Islanders 6-1.
SPIN: Kunitz has goals in seven of his last nine games and is an absolute dynamo for Pittsburgh this season. Please, blog, may I have some more?