Observations at the start of the season; Update from Evander Kane; Kucherov injury – October 19 – DobberHockey – .

Observations at the start of the season; Update from Evander Kane; Kucherov injury – October 19 – DobberHockey – .

We’re a full week into the NHL season and it’s still far too early to make any real decisions. Other than injuries or demotions, the fantasy rosters shouldn’t have changed too much at this point. That’s not to say that there aren’t some signals we can look for, hopefully this could lead to some positive development for our rosters down the road. Anyway, I just wanted to comment on the first week of play in the NHL.

Buffalo ain’t gonna be awful

One idea that comes back to me more and more over the past five years or so is that it is not necessarily the attackers who are responsible for the offense. This is not a new idea, and the concept of the defender jumping into the game is nothing new. But my general theory is that when a team is completely devoid of puck movers on the blue line outside of one or two options, it leaves the forwards too much leverage. Every defenseman, to some extent, needs to be able to carry the puck and make the first pass.

When I look at the Buffalo blue line, I see a lot of puck players. Dahlin, Miller, Jokiharju, Butcher, and Pysyk are all good at transitioning, creating play, or both. So while the Sabers will struggle to score this year due to a simple lack of top-end talent, that doesn’t mean they’ll be an abomination of a team like in the past. In my eyes, and the statistics, they don’t give up luck after chance like they have in recent seasons, and I think part of that is because they have players who can move the game effectively. washer without turning it over. It is an underestimated and valuable skill.

Buffalo won’t be a good team or a playoff team this year. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be the 52-point team 6-7 years ago, either. People should remember that Zemgus Girgensons – pre-Eichel – was often the 1C. He’s now on their fourth row. There have been improvements, they just need a lot more talent to get into the roster, especially up front.

Montreal puck movers on D

The Habs have lost a lot during the offseason: two-thirds of their best line, Shea Weber, Carey Price and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. With the loss of very good transition players like Kotkaniemi (yes, he had other flaws) and Danault, there would be additional pressure on the Montreal blue line to recoup some slack to move the puck. The problem is, Ben Chiarot and David Savard aren’t puck players while Alex Romanov and Brett Kulak were healthy scratches back then last year. It’s not a playoff blue line without Weber and it showed at the very start of the season.

Jeff Petry is there, but like the Buffalo teams in recent memory, having one or two puck movers on the blue line isn’t enough. Every player, as mentioned, needs to have basic transition skills, and a lot of them don’t.

Losing Danault / Tatar was an underrated loss as they could generate offense and play good defense almost regardless of their surroundings. So far this season, most of the team have not proven that they are capable of doing the same. It’s still very early and things can change quickly, but it was a deserved and deserved start for the Habs.

Seattle looks like who we thought they were

This is probably the one that is most obvious to most hockey fans who have looked through the league so far this season. At the start of the campaign, Seattle looks like a hard-working defensive team that might struggle to score goals. Things are going as planned.

What interests me about Seattle is how they allocate ice time. The first row usually plays 19-20 minutes with the second row around 18. In other words, they don’t make the Montreal approach, which is to spread the ice time more or less. It would have made sense from a team that largely picked second and third liners in the expansion draft.

This means there could be some guys outside the front row with fantastic value this year. It will depend on the league and settings, but keep an eye out for using guys like Wennberg and Donskoi. Any player gaining 18 minutes a night is at least worth watching.

Columbus will be a threat

Before the season, I didn’t think Columbus would necessarily be a good team, but I didn’t think they would be horrible. Everyone laughed at the signing of Seth Jones, but it was the team’s biggest loss last season, they added Jakub Voracek up front, and Adam Boqvist and Jake Bean on the line. blue. The two defensemen, both good with the puck, make the difference, I think.

There is also the range. Presumably, if Cole Sillinger, Yegor Chinakhov, Boone Jenner and Max Domi – the latter of whom is now on the IR, by the way – can maintain a solid game for the season, the Jackets can run at least three decent lines. That might just be slight praise, but being able to consistently deploy lines that score threats, even marginally, isn’t something all teams in the East can do.

Minnesota seems to be very strong

My big concern, with Joel Eriksson Ek moving to the front row, would be how their second row would perform. Kevin Fiala has shown he can carry a deep line in terms of scoring and the top line would be loaded. Could their second row maintain their defensive excellence without Eriksson Ek, which gives them a very good top-9?

Sure, with the caveat that it’s only two games, but the Hartman line has arguably been their best 5v5 line. Each of their lines has been good, honestly, but Hartman et al. . were very good at both ends of the rink. If they can keep playing 80 more games, this Minnesota team looks really deep up front.

Beyond that, they still have Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi in the AHL. What if these guys can bring their development early in the year and make an impact on the NHL as spring approaches? Well that looks like a very dangerous team.

If the defense and goalies hold up, it could be a much better Minnesota team than we imagined a week ago.

Chicago’s lack of defense

I think Chicago has realized its problem. Like Montreal, the lack of puck movers is a problem, and that’s probably why they came out and signed Erik Gustafsson despite his many defensive issues. They’re willing to sacrifice even more defense -om a team that were horrible defensively last year – just to put the puck on the ice. This does not bode well for great things.

I wonder if Adam Boqvist and Duncan Keith aren’t a big deal here. Yes, they had their defensive issues, and they were well documented by myself and many others. But all of their best wingers over the past two years – Kane, DeBrincat, Kubalik – were all on the ice with a higher goal rate with Keith / Boqvist on the ice than without. If that puck move isn’t replaced – and Seth Jones is an open question in that regard – it’s no big surprise that they are struggling to generate both offense (last in 5v5 and xGF , by the way).

There are too many talented forwards not to turn the tide, but it also feels like years of blue line mismanagement gone awry. Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell and Nicolas Beaudin were meant to be the pillars of the future. Mitchell and Beaudin are now 22 and out of the NHL roster while Boqvist is in Columbus. These are both first and second round picks that have no impact on the current NHL roster other than Boqvist who is a commercial chip for Seth Jones, and we see how that goes.

If things don’t improve soon, Chicago is in trouble as Kane / Toews / Jones gobble up over $ 30 million in capitalization space next year and there aren’t many high-end prospects. on the way. The panic button has to be constantly pressed because this team looks like what we thought Buffalo should.


Igor Shesterkin stole a victory from the New York Rangers as his side were outscored 41-23, but they won 2-1 in overtime thanks to his 40 saves. Congratulations to the winner of extra time Artemi Panarin, a nasty shot during the face-off.


As I praised the Kraken earlier, they allowed six goals in a 6-1 loss to the Flyers. Derick Brassard had one goal and two assists while Travis Konecny ​​and Joel Farabee each had 1 + 1. For Konecny, he’s had four shots, two PIMs and three hits, in what is a taste of his fancy to come if the Flyers can maintain a certain score.


Nikita Kucherov’s situation doesn’t look great:

We are still waiting for more information. Any long absence here could be a big deal as their entire third line is gone and they don’t have the depth they had last year to put up with Kuch being out for the long haul.


The Florida Panthers did well early in the season, but nonetheless, Joel Quenneville is still the coach. This means that the line changes:

Owen Tippett has had his day off, so it’s unclear what the roster will look like for tonight’s game against Tampa Bay. Anthony Duclair has already been excellent in the front row, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him stay there, with Sam Reinhart in the third row.


An update from Ty Smith

He needs a lot more time to train but that he is wearing a contactless jersey is a very good sign for the young blue liner.


Lots of news from Evander Kane:

To sum up: he’s out for 21 games for a COVID violation and the NHL’s domestic violence investigation is over. He will be out until at least early December, and it’s up to the team to decide what to do after that. We certainly haven’t heard the end of this story.


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