|The Power of Numbers|
Frolik and Marchand are in similar situations, as both saw a decent 2nd quarter production given their allotted ice-time. Given how deep each of their respective teams are, look for these two to trend downwards as the season progresses.
King saw a boost in production during the 2nd quarter thanks to a Jeff Carter injury. He really used that to his advantage as he’s seen his average ice-time climb from 14:46 in the first quarter to 15:51 in the second quarter. He’s essentially cemented himself in the Kings’ top-nine. A 0.5 point-per-game rate the rest of the way is definitely achievable.
A few hits on this list. Hagelin, Kadri, Kreider, Penner, Vrbata and Backes were the most notable ones as they all took sizeable hits in terms of production in the second quarter. Backes was a career 0.61 point-per-game producer prior to this season, so his hot start of point-per-game production was always going to regress. 0.64 is probably the expected production from here on out. Same could be said for “Pancakes” Penner.
Grabovski continues to defy trends. He’s producing at a 0.79 point-per-game clip, despite averaging less than 16 minutes per contest (also only 1:37 on the PP). I’m not sold on him keeping this pace at all, but with that said Ribeiro did post point-per-game numbers last season while garnering just 17:50 per contest, so something must be could be up with that 2nd line center slot in Washington. The key difference Ribeiro appeared in 63.4 percent of the Caps PP chances last season compared to Grabovski’s 29.7 percent rating this campaign.
The Bruins duo of Soderberg and Smith are also tipping the scales. Both are seeing a decent portion of PP chances, 40.9 and 33.8 percent respectively, but the 13:37 and 14:14 TOI average will catch up with them sooner or later. Expect the point production to be closer to Soderberg’s 0.56 numbers than Smith’s 0.94 moving forward.
A couple of veterans round out our list with Roy and Alfredsson. Roy’s 27 points so far this campaign has been largely been propped up by his 13 PPP. If that Blues’ PP efficiency slumps, so will Roy’s numbers. Alfy’s production is slightly elevated, but given his responsibility, and his experience, the 0.94 point-per-game pace probably isn’t that far-fetched.
Gonchar’s slow start was always going to turn around. So his big boost in production is not surprising at all.
There’s nothing special about Kulikov, Goligoski, Timonen or Letang’s 2nd quarters, but at least it appears that the situation is on the way up. They might be building towards a stronger 2nd half.
Streit and Markov have seen a decent point production rate, but there’s still plenty more to give in my opinion. Now that the Flyers’ offense has woken up, Streit’s production is following suit. Markov is getting his points chewed up by Subban, if he can manage to reclaim that “top dog” status, his points could really skyrocket.
Garrison, Chara, Josi, Irwin and Gardner have seen some really nice increases in the 2nd quarter. Garrison has really benefited from Edler’s injury and Chara should see more responsibility with the absence of Seidenberg for the remainder of the year. Josi and Irwin both have fairly favourable schedules in the 2nd half, so they should keep pace the rest of the way.
Del Zotto and Hamonic are two players who struggled immensely in the 2nd quarter while posting just three and one point respectively. More on them in next week’s column.
Three notable hits in this grouping: Bieksa, Bouwmeester and Leddy all experienced their expected drop offs in production. Bouwmeester’s production is still propped up by the Blues’ out-of-the-ordinary offense, so that could take a tumble if St. Louis runs into scoring troubles.
Seabrook continues to rack my brain, but much like what I mentioned about Hossa above, the Hawks could be in trouble if the offense dries up. I would strongly consider moving him in “points only” leagues. His current 55-point pace would clear his career-high of 48 by a fair margin. His current 0.67 point per game rating is well above his career average of 0.41.
Hedman has recorded 20 of the Lightning’s 70 points from the blue-line, but is appearing in only 28.1 percent of their PP chances. The puck luck is bouncing his way at the moment, but it probably won’t continue.
Pretty much the entire list fell into place as a lot of these “hot starters” regressed in the 2nd quarter.
Now there’s been a lot of banter on the forums regarding the “predictable power” of data. I will be the first to accept the fact that when looking at numbers, you are looking at it from a “summative” perspective (it’s already happened) and that there’s absolutely no certainty that the situation will necessarily change for the future. What I would argue is that, numbers tend to “normalize” to some degree and the proof is in the pudding. If you look at my predicted lists above, 57 percent of the data fell in the “correct” direction with definitive margins, and 75 percent of the data falling on or in the “correct” direction. Just like everything in life, there’s always a margin for error, and for every three that I get “right” I’ll miss one. But if you ask me honestly, I’d take a 75 percent efficiency rating any day of the week. It’d certainly hold more water than a lot of the various reasons being tossed around out there.
Hopefully with this article I’ve turned you into a stronger believer into looking more deeply at the numbers and perhaps you can use my findings, to better your position in your fantasy leagues.
Want to know who the outliers are? Stay tuned for next week’s article as I go through my greens and red players for the 2nd half.
This is just some of the gold you will find to set yourself up for the second half - pick up the seventh annual Midseason Fantasy Hockey Guide here and seize victory!