Crawford retires, Barzal signs, players who could disappoint … but still deliver significant value (January 10) – DobberHockey


A day after news broke that he would be taking a leave of absence from the Devils, Corey Crawford announced his retirement after ten seasons in the NHL. Despite signing with New Jersey in the offseason, Crawford will end his career after playing only for the Blackhawks.
Crawford will be best known for supporting the Hawks to two Stanley Cups (2013, 2015), while he also played in two All-Star Games (2015, 2017) and shared two Jennings Trophy wins (2013, 2015). Also check out these playoff numbers.

These are huge accomplishments, so his decision is understandable given that he has battled headaches and light sensitivity from multiple head injuries in recent years. All the best to him for his retirement.

As mentioned yesterday, Mackenzie Blackwood will be in line for many starts with Crawford’s retirement. It should be slightly improved in rankings based only on volume. Don’t be surprised if the Devils bring in another goalie via free agency, waiver request, or trade.

Another note: The Blackhawks’ decision not to re-sign Crawford in the offseason and join the inexperienced group of goaltenders suddenly doesn’t look so bad. Combine that with the absences of Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews and it looks like it will be a season for the Hawks to retool.


The Penguins canceled their Saturday practice due to “great caution” due to exposure to COVID-19. For now, it looks like they will continue as planned for their debut on Wednesday against the Flyers.

If you start to worry that your players might be missing matches, keep in mind that the schedule has allowed certain windows throughout the season for matches to be rescheduled, as well as a buffer of. a week at the end of the season to allow for makeup games. Back-to-back games similar to the baseball-type series (the same teams play multiple games in the same location) will reduce travel, as will games only within a division (more in the US than in Canada).

As I mentioned yesterday, there is going to be a lot of juggling with the schedule. Even with the promise of makeup games, there is no guarantee that the postponed games will actually be played. Expect the league to do their utmost to make up for postponed games, as they would much prefer a playoff run based on total points (teams playing the same number of games) rather than percentage of points.

Meanwhile, 18 of the 19 players who were banned from Blue Jackets training on Friday returned on Saturday. Mikko Koivu was the only Columbus player not to return.

In addition, five Kings players were deemed “unfit to participate” in Saturday practice. We’ll have to wait and see if they’re ready for opening night.

Also on the same note, the Lightning announced that they will not have fans to start the season. I don’t imagine there will be a lot of teams that will help the fans. This is why we are seeing alternative revenue streams like helmet ads and the names of sponsored divisions, which nobody really likes except maybe the sponsoring companies themselves. However, that beats the alternative of not having enough money to play a season in the NHL. I just hope there isn’t a slippery slope to European style jerseys, which have more publicity than a newspaper.


A few days before the start of the season, Mathew Barzal and the Islanders have finally agreed on a contract. This is a three-year deal with an AAV of $ 7 million. The contract tends to be a bridging deal, which might be the best thing given the current economic climate. It’s a sigh of relief for the fantasy owners who already wrote it, while the cap hit is relatively good for the salary cap leagues.


Early next week, check out our Dobber Hockey expert panel, where we’re making predictions for the upcoming season. Included will be division winners, Stanley Cup finalists, prize picks and a player to disappoint and a player to bounce back. I will not reveal my choices until the article is published.

Yesterday I discussed three players who are potential rebound candidates and why they might perform better than last season. Today I’m going to talk about three players who might disappoint, but who could still bring significant value to your team.

A common thread among the following players? Like yesterday, these three players are part of my dynasty league team. As a writer, I think owning a player improves your knowledge of what to expect from the player.

Another common thread? These three players were mentioned in one of Tom Collins’ last 10 posts, Top 10 Players Who Will Disappoint In 2021. I won’t repeat exactly what Tom said, nor will it be a direct review of his article. I’ll try to focus on what to expect from the three players, who are universally drafted into Yahoo Leagues.

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Mika Zibanejad (Yahoo ADP 17, Fantrax ADP 30)

Between the injury and the shortened season, Zibanejad’s fantasy owners had him for just 57 games last season. But man, did he make these games count. Among players who have played at least 50 games, only six players had a higher points-per-game average than Zibanejad (1.32 PTS / GP), while only David Pastrnak had a higher goals-for-60 average (2, 0 G / 60). .

The fact that Zibanejad can’t replicate that pace has a lot to do with his shooting percentage, which was 19.7% – much higher than his previous five seasons of around 11-13%. Many of its advanced settings were also higher than normal, including 5v5 shot percentage, PTS / 60, and PDO. Maybe over a full season he would have come back to earth a bit. That regression could strike this season, and it could mean the difference between Zibanejad being an elite player and just a very good player. If that means he only scores about one point per game, then fantasy owners should be able to live with that.

There is also a bit of concern about injuries. Zibanejad is a Band-Aid Boy intern, having missed at least 10 games in three of his last four seasons. He played all 82 games in 2018-19, as well as 80 and 81 games in his last two seasons in Ottawa, so staying healthy for a full season is not without precedent for Zibanejad.

Aleksander Barkov (Yahoo ADP 42, Fantrax ADP 47)

Barkov is not here because his numbers peaked in 2019-20. In fact, Barkov’s career season was 2018-19, when he came close to reaching 100 points (96 points in 82 games). In 2019-2020, Barkov fell to less than a point per game with 62 points in 66 games. To make matters worse, Barkov lost one of his regular line mates (Evgenii Dadonov) and also a key member of his power play unit (Mike Hoffman).

The Panthers’ financial situation, arguably high by COVID, meant Hoffman and Dadonov could not be re-signed while equivalent replacements could not be acquired. Between that and hiring a top goalie team (which includes Roberto Luongo), I think the Panthers are taking a page off another low budget Arizona Coyotes solar belt team by adopting a more defensive approach. It is much harder to find information on the Panthers than to say a team like the Leafs, so consider this speculation (opinion) on my part. If I’m on to something, I wonder about the long-term impact it might have on goal scorers like Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.

Even if Barkov scores at one point per game, which I think is likely, he will struggle to replicate his 2018-19 numbers. This season, three Panthers (Keith Yandle, Huberdeau and Barkov) finished with at least 30 power play points. These players will still be featured in the top power play, but only one (Huberdeau) was on track to reach 30 power play points in a full 2019-20 season. I agree with Barkov’s draft by expecting points per game numbers, but the first 10 numbers seem exaggerated.

Frederik Andersen (Yahoo ADP 51, Fantrax ADP 28)

Andersen also didn’t have a career season in 2019-20. In fact, it’s possible the Leafs will leave future UFA’s Andersen with another disappointing playoff series. Conversely, he will be within a year of contract, so the 31-year-old will have something to prove as he pursues a lucrative multi-year contract.

In general, you may need to move the North Division (I prefer to call it Canadian) goaltenders to the bottom of your standings with scorers like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Elias Pettersson all set for big numbers. That said, playing in the Canadian division could turn out to be a blessing for Andersen as well. That’s because Toronto appear to be the big favorite to win the division, which could mean a lot of wins for goalie Andersen.

Tom made a great point about how many back-to-backs the Leafs play (10, tied for fourth). However, the extra rest could also benefit his ratios against said snipers. Andersen has been overworked for the last few seasons, and I have wondered if managing the load with adequate backups (Jack Campbell, Aaron Dell) could have a positive impact on his goals against average and percentage of save. economies, both of which have moved in the wrong direction. in recent seasons.

If your league’s scoring system matters a lot (especially with wins but also saves), target Andersen more than in a league that focuses on ratios such as goals against average and save percentage. Part of owning goalies is understanding your league’s scoring system and targeting goalies that match the stats that matter. Andersen has performed well in my league over the past few seasons as he has high wins and saves totals for the number of games he plays, while this league doesn’t count goals against average and percentage of goals against. ‘saves (subtracting only authorized goals).


If you have a draft today or just before the start of the season, good luck to you! You can always purchase a Fantasy Guide before it starts if you haven’t already. I recommend giving yourself enough time to familiarize yourself with the guide so that you can use it to your advantage, and also to troubleshoot technical issues like making sure you can find the file (the Downloads section on this website) and reset your Dobber Sports password in case you forgot it.

For more fantasy hockey discussions or to contact me you can follow me on twitter @Ian_Gooding


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