Here is this week's Roundtable topic:
What do you think the fantasy ramifications will be with the hiring of John Tortorella in Columbus?
Brian Rosenbaum: Tortorella has a history of hitching his wagon to a few favorite players. Although Brandon Dubinsky wasn't one of his favorites while in NY, he seems to be one now, at least after one game in Columbus. I expect Torts will lean heavily on Dubi, who had a season-high 22 minutes of ice time Thursday night. Conversely, it seems as if Tortorella is already going to war with star Ryan Johansen, benching him in the third period and calling him out of shape. That will do nothing for his fantasy value.
Michael Finewax: Yeah, I'm kind of concerned about Ryan Johansen. He was moved down the depth chart in his first game before being benched for the last six-plus minutes of the game. He then missed Saturday's game with an 'illness' but the Blue Jackets wouldn't elaborate. Johansen might come out of this smelling like a rose but the comments that he wasn't in shape have to give cause for concern.
Ryan Dadoun: For what it's worth, Tortorella did deny the report calling Johansen out of shape. His denial is to be expected, but then given the history he has with the guy who made the report, Larry Brooks, I honestly don't know what to believe. The fact that Johansen was taken off the top line is very concerning to me though.
Either way, I think that relative to what people's preseason expectations were for Columbus, they should anticipate an across the board drop in offensive production now. If Dubinsky continues to get leaned on as he has, he should be the exception to that rule, but there won't be many others. Of course, Columbus was playing nowhere near its preseason expectations prior to the Tortorella hiring and if he can salvage this season, then an argument can be made that whatever happens is a plus given that Todd Richards seemed to lose the ability to guide this team.
Corey Abbott: On the brighter side of the coaching change, I like what I've seen from Ryan Murray so far. He's skating on the top power-play unit, where he has contributed two points, and has three points in two games. Injuries will remain his biggest question mark until he can prove otherwise, but he has great potential as a big-minute, two-way defender.
Brian Rosenbaum: One player who might benefit from the change is Sergei Bobrovsky. Torts' system usually is a good one for his goaltenders. Bob could use the shot in the arm after a horrible start in which he is saddled with an .852 save percentage. I look for Bob to improve under Tortotella.
Michael Finewax: Well that's right Brian. Bobrovsky should benefit because things couldn't get much worse for him. I'm a big fan of Ryan Murray and I certainly hope he is a beneficiary of the Tortorella regime.
The player I think could benefit as well is Scott Hartnell. He has to be Tortorella's type of player. He loves to play tough, go into the corners and he can score. Hartnell only has two goals and two assists this season in nine games so there is definite room for improvement.
Corey Abbott: Boone Jenner is a similar player to Hartnell, who I think could also fit in nicely with Tortorella. He scored a pair of goals in Columbus' first victory of the season on Saturday night. Jenner racks up plenty of hits and he has very good offensive upside. He can play wing or center and when he plays the former he tends to line up as a top-six forward.
Ryan Dadoun: I think Hartnell and Jenner are good examples of players that can succeed under Tortorella, but the one I'm most interested in is Bobrovsky. I agree that Tortorella's system should benefit their goaltending, but I'm not sure if it will be enough for him. The sample size is still small, but Bobrovsky's first two games under Tortorella haven't been that great for him. They weren't him at his worst, but he's set the bar so low that that no longer means anything. He's got seven starts under his belt now and he still hasn't allowed less than three goals in a single game. I wouldn't advise giving up on him, but that is extremely troubling.