In some cases around the league there are players who are better actual hockey players than DFS players (think of a guy like Ryan Suter), meanwhile there are guys who are actually good hockey players and actually good DFS players, but for the decisions of their coaches, we don’t play them as often as we want. Ususally it’s because of constant line changes (NYI, STL, NSH) or because they are left off the top power-play unit. Here are some of the guys I’d like to play more if their coaches would oblige and you know; let these guys get the ice time we want them to get.
Hey Paul Maurice: Leave Ehlers in the top six!
When Nikolaj Ehlers got promoted to the top line yesterday he was the first guy I put into all of my lineups yesterday. Ehlers, the highly touted Danish rookie got off to a blazing hot start on the Jets 2nd line. After nine points in his first 11 games, Ehlers was relegated to 3rd line duty with the plugs. With an injury riddled group of forwards in front of him Ehlers got the nod on the left-wing last night with the good guys and responded with his first NHL hat-trick. He’s too good to shuffle down the lineup. He can help you now Paul!
Hey Jon Cooper: Stralman over Hedman on the power-play? Come on man!
Anyone who watched Lightning hockey last year marveled at the talents of Victor Hedman, even if you just watched the Stanley Cup Finals, you saw a guy who was clearly one of the top defensemen in the game. On the season he has 28 points which puts him 3rd on the team. Eight of those points have come on the power-play; but he’s been seeing consistent time with the second power-play unit. Anton Stralman, who has been tremendous in his own end has 30 more minutes of power-play ice time this year than Hedman. Put Vic with the 1’s and let him roll!
Hey Alain Vigneault: Unleash the Yandle!
Yandle is 4th in the Rangers in points on the season with 26 through 49 games. The problem I have here is he’s 6th on the team in ice time among defensemen. Yandle and OEL were seen as a 1A and 1B situation when both were chewing up ice-time in Arizona. Yandle was traded for a nice return including Anthony Duclair, yet Vigneault has basically relegated Yandle to bottom pairing ice-time and constantly changes his power-play deployment, which doesn’t let anyone get into a rhythm. Yandle can lead this d-corps in scoring by a country mile. Give him more ice time!
Hey Claude Julien: Give Marchand some first unit power-play time!
Brad Marchand’s career high in points is 55. He’s on pace to surpass that total this year. He’s become a very nice play along side Patrice Bergeron, especially on FD where he’s a +12. He’s sneaky dangerous while short-handed but he’s seen just 55 minutes of power-play time this season. The top three forwards (Bergeron-Spooner-Eriksson) each have over 130 minutes of time with the man-advantage. How much more valuable would Marchand be with more power-play minutes? I know I’d roster him much more often.
Hey Michele Therrien: You really think Desharnais is better than Galchenyuk?
Newsflash, the Montreal Canadiens aren’t making the playoffs. The revelation for the front-office might just be; when Carey Price isn’t in, there are some serious holes in this roster that were covered up by the otherworldly play of Price.
Drafted 3rd overall in 2012, Galchenyuk has been a potential #1 center for the Habs since draft day. Now in his 4th full season in the NHL he’s never really been given that chance. We know Desharnais isn’t a #1, Plekanec isn’t either, but we don’t yet know if Galchenyuk is. Now is the time to put him between Pacioretty and Gallagher to see what you have. Playing him on the wing with Desharnais is a losers game that isn’t going anywhere. Missing the playoffs might be a blessing in disguise. Re-tool this lineup in the offseason. For now give Galchenyuk first line time. Remember this?
Hey Bob Hartley: There is a reason Treliving traded for Dougie Hamilton.
The Dougie Hamilton saga/trade was one of the most interesting news stories last off-season. His acquisition by Calgary led many to believe the Flames might be able to hold off the analytics Gods and return to the playoffs.
The 22-year old blue liner was on the brink of turning into the next great offensive defenseman last year with the Bruins. He finished the season with 42 points, 15 on the power-play, to go along with 188 shots.
A contractual impasse led to him being traded to Alberta where it was assumed he’d be getting a healthy share of ice time in all situations, especially the power-play. At just past the half-way point of the season Hamilton is 5th among Calgary blue-liners in ice time at just over 19 minutes per game. He’s 7th on the time in ice time on the power-play totaling 50 minutes less than Dennis Wideman. Do the right think Hartley. Let us play Dougie!
Hey Barry Trotz: We want to see Kuzy on the top power-play unit!
Ok the last one I have here is Evgeny Kuznetsov. The Family Feud watching Russian has dazzled us so far this season with his creativity and behind the net passes. The Capitals power-play has been stellar for years and this year is no different, but wouldn’t it be that much more fun/better with Kuzy instead of Johnasson? Both of the Caps lines have been fantastic this year, but sometimes you end up on the wrong one. Putting Kuzy on the first power-play unit makes rostering Caps a bit easier.
Those are mine. What are your’s? Hit me up on Twitter @LedgerSko