Fantasy Chatter: TTMI’s Top 50 Under 25 Keeper/Dynasty League Player Rankings Revisited

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By Lane Myer

As promised, here is the revised Top 50 Under 25 list that we initially published back in early January for Keeper/Dynasty leagues. Since we don’t cover much here in this column dealing with keeper or dynasty leagues, we figured this would be the most beneficial manner to toss something out there in a fairly simple manner.   Also I’m told everyone loves a list. Not that you were anyway, because you’re much smarter than that, but don’t pay too much attention to the ranking number. It’s a highly convoluted process with attempting to mix current production with future projection along with other factors such as basic stat categories, age in relation to similar value players, and future playing time and line-mates for the younger less established players.   Tie-breakers were awarded to players with an age advantage and/or those who are more likely to hold multi-positional eligibility.

As a reminder, as with almost everything we do here, these are penned with standard stat category leagues in mind. That means 6×4 or 5×4 fantasy hockey leagues that use the basic stat categories that usually include Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus, PPP and either (or both) PIMs or Shorthanded Points on the offensive side and Wins, GAA, SV% and Shutouts on the goalie side.

*Revised Top 50 Under 25 after the jump…

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Hawks take 2-1 series lead over Weber-less Preds

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came back to the United Center Sunday afternoon and took a 2-1 series lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal with the Nashville Predators. Three second period tallies and a stronger defensive effort paved the way for a 4-2 Blackhawks triumph.

First Period-Nashville went to the power play in the opening minute when Kimmo Timonen held the stick of Taylor Beck. Marian Hossa led a shorthanded charge that was stopped by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The Blackhawks killed the penalty fairly easily.

Nashville’s first shot came off the stick of Beck in the fifth minute but the attempt was covered by Hawks goalie Scott Darling. The action was back and forth and the pace was brisk to say the least. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Darlin’ Corey

Lindbloom_Top_20150418On Gorging Ourselves and Sad Country Songs

“Oh where have you gone darlin’ Cory
With a dram glass in your hand
She’s a drinking away all her troubles
And a courtin’ some other man..”  Doc Watson

By Rich Lindbloom

Before I get into the actual meat of this piece, I wanted to describe an image that came to me while getting ready for the two games per night, every night, during Round One of the NHL Playoffs. I love this round the most, because it is basically non-stop, balls out, hockey for almost two weeks. Getting to watch the third period of the Blues vs. Wild on Saturday afternoon almost made me forget about Friday night’s debacle. Damn the Wild look formidable. The Rangers/Penguins game is turning out to be a good old fashioned barn burner as I type this. Lundqvist just let in his fourth goal – is it time for a goalie controversy in New York? Anybody see the line dance in Vancouver last night? As I finish this up I’m watching taking periodic glances at the Jets/Ducks game, which closer resembles a bowling game. Read more »

Be My Darling Please: Clobbered in Smashville

By Michael Calvert

I hadn’t intended to write an anti- Crow story as I consider myself a Crawford fan, but there’s not enough time for him to “figure it out.”

Whatever IT is, Crow doesn’t have it now. He’s been so bad in fact that if given the Preds were to be held to only 10 shots in a game the Hawks would need to score 3 to win. Read more »

Darling’s 42 saves in relief carry rallying Hawks to 4-3 win in double-OT of Game 1

By Chris Block

Opening night of the 2015 playoffs in Nashville had everything you might ask for an NHL postseason game: Double overtime, the return of a mega star, huge momentum shifts, trading scoring chances in end-to-end sequences, a dramatic game-winning goal, a blown 3-0 lead, a goalie yanking, an incredible goaltending performance, bad ice, dramatic scoring chances as a result of bad ice, bad penalty calls, bad non-penalty calls, heroes, goats and finally – one now huge goaltending controversy.

And that was just Game One.

The return of Patrick Kane just seven weeks after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone suffered on February 24 against the Florida Panthers was the big story coming into Wednesday’s playoff opener. Kane wasn’t in top form, but 75 percent or so was enough to make a big difference.

But the story coming out of the Hawks come-from-behind 4-3, double overtime victory in Game 1 is who will be the starter in Game 2.

Corey Crawford was victimized for 3 first period goals. The middle of those three was result of a Crawford turnover behind his net, but that was in part due to some bad luck in that the momentum of the puck as it approached the trapezoid slowed down as Crawford waited to play it. Read more »

Rockford IceHogs look to make franchise history

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By Chris Block

The IceHogs return home on Wednesday night from last week’s 2-1 road trip when they host the Charlotte Checkers at the BMO Harris Bank Center in downtown Rockford.

Rockford closes out its regular season this week with three home games. They’ll welcome the Chicago Wolves on Friday, and the Toronto Marlies on Saturday night to wrap the season with 3 games in 4 nights.

Ted Dent’s team has solidified a playoff spot and now eyes a chance to win the Midwest division, currently led by the Grand Rapids Griffins, the affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. The IceHogs failed to qualify for postseason the past four years. They haven’t won a playoff game since Game 5 of the Conference semi-final series with the Chicago Wolves in 2008. Rockford is 0-10 in AHL playoff contests since that Game 5 in 2008. The AHL record for consecutive playoff losses is 12, set by the Buffalo Bisons in the 1950s.

Grand Rapids is one point up on Rockford. They close out the season with a 3-in-3 starting Thurday; three winnable games at Lake Erie and then home for a back-to-back set against Charlotte. Grand Rapids also currently holds the first tie-breaker, regulation wins, 42 to the IceHogs’ 41. So, Rockford will need help from Lake Erie and/or Charlotte in addition to picking up a minimum of 5 of 6 points if they’re to have a shot at jumping Grand Rapids and winning the division. Read more »

Who cleared Kane, and at what risk?

By Chris Block

Patrick Kane returns tonight for the Blackhawks, seven weeks to the day since surgery to repair his fractured left collarbone. Of course, Kane’s return coincides with Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final series in Nashville against the Predators.

Original projections for Kane’s return were pegged by Blackhawks lead medical physician Dr. Michael Terry at 10 to 12 weeks.

Kane was medically cleared to return to action on Monday, less than 7 weeks since the surgery.

But who cleared Kane?

The Blackhawks released a short, and peculiar statement on Monday that was worded quite interestingly, evidently by Terry himself.

The following statement was issued [Monday April 13th] by Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

Patrick Kane suffered a broken left clavicle on February 24, and underwent successful surgery to repair the fracture on February 25. Patrick has been working extremely diligently with his rehabilitation and has recently returned to full-contact practice without any difficulty.

After discussions with Patrick and the team, and examining Patrick today, we collectively feel it is appropriate, with minimal risk, for him to return to full participation.”

That’s an incredible final sentence, there. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Forks in the Road to Stanley

Lindbloom_ForksRoadRoads and Roads

“Walking down that lonesome road
Fly with me on fire,
Lookin’ for that windy place
Searchin’ ever higher.
High upon a mountain top
Fortress thick and bonded,
Thoughts about a brighter day together in the sun.” – Jorma Kaukonen

By Rich Lindbloom

So it is, the Blackhawks begin their assault on the Mount Stanley, on the road against the hated Nashville Predators. (Actually, there’s never been a lot of hate between these two teams – but with it being playoff season and all it’s time to ratchet up the antipathy!) The truth of the matter is there are no easy roads to eventually hoisting the Cup. That road is littered with potholes, speed bumps, detours and bad calls by the refs. As Al Michaels so brilliantly noted, get ready “to die a thousand deaths” Hawk fans.  Hell, even making the playoffs is an arduous process; seldom is that road a straight line! Whoever will be left standing, “high upon a mountain top,” at the end of the long and winding road, will not be playing on cruise control. As my dad used to say before all eleven of us would pile into the Chrysler station wagon, make sure you go to the bathroom before we leave, because we’re not stopping! (i.e. they’ll be no stopping to visit Mrs. Murphy) Read more »

TTMI 2015 All-Fantasy Team, Top 25 Over/Underachievers Revisited & Making the Grade: Back Pats Abound

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By Lane Myer

So how’d we do?

For reference, here’s what we said for our pre-season picks back in issue #1. Looks pretty good on the surface, but let’s take a closer look…

TTMI Top 10 Undervalued

* With this group we were mainly looking at mid-round ADP players, meaning those with an ADP of 90 or higher.

1. Patric Hornqvist if it weren’t for injuries would likely have been a top 25 fantasy player this year. At the All-Star break he was ranked #17 overall in standard sized leagues. Even though Hornqvist ended up missing 18 games, he still outperformed his ADP of 96 and finished the season at #66 overall. +1

2. Radim Vrbata had an ADP of 138 and with 31 goals and 63 points (23 on the PP) ended the season at #28 overall. Amazingly, he was taken off the Sedin line for the majority of the final 6 or so weeks otherwise he probably would have been a top 20 fantasy player. Big win here. +1 Read more »

Blackhawks-Predators Quarter-Final Schedule

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