Richards

 

This is the final installment of the Fantasy Indicators of Success series. This week we take a look at the all important Centre position.

 

Nearly identical to the Wingers, Centres require top six ice time and first unit power play minutes to separate the men from the boys. Some Centres are shoot first, ask questions later types, like Stamkos, Malkin, Jeff Carter, Eric Staal and the new Crosby. Others are the pass first types like Henrik Sedin, the old Crosby and Backstrom. Obviously the shots on goal statistic will not be all that relevant for those pivots that prefer passing to shooting.

 

If a player is getting significant power play time, but not producing many power play points, then that could be indicative of a problem. Maybe the team is simply slumping or the player may be in for a demotion to the second power play unit.

 

Many of you use face-off wins as a fantasy category, so I've included that as a column.

 

NOTE:  The ramblings below are geared more for one year leagues than keepers. Statistics do not include last night's games, unless indicated.

Atlanta

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Rich Peverley

21

12

5

47

186 (58.7)

17:48

3:03

Hold

Nik Antropov

20

11

7

31

75 (42.4)

14:48

2:40

Buy Low

Alexander Burmistrov

21

8

0

34

99 (40.9)

14:29

0:14

Hold

Jim Slater

16

3

0

27

83 (61.0)

11:08

0:09

WW

 

Rich Peverley receives the second most ice time amongst forwards on the team, trailing only Andrew Ladd. He also is getting top power play minutes. The Pev Dispenser is on pace for 46 points after recording 55 points last year. He also has the ninth best face-off winning percentage in the NHL. Nik Antropov scored 67 points last season. In the three preceding years, he scored at a 61 point pace, but missed 30 games over those three years. He is on pace for 44 points this season. Antropov is talented, but has also missed enough time to be cautious. Buyer beware. Rookie Alexander Burmistrov unexpectedly made the leap after only one year of junior (65 points in 62 games, plus 16 points in 17 playoff games) straight to the NHL. He's scored eight points in his last 13 games, a 50 point pace. If he starts getting regular power play time, he gets upgraded to Buy.

 

Boston

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Patrice Bergeron

19

13

6

48

186 (53.6)

18:19

3:08

Hold

David Krejci

13

10

0

36

108 (47.8)

19:52

3:34

Buy

Tyler Seguin

19

8

3

32

71 (50.0)

12:46

2:31

Hold

Brad Marchand

19

7

0

33

3 (33.3)

12:51

0:10

WW

Gregory Campbell

19

5

0

23

118 (45.9)

14:37

0:10

WW

Marc Savard

0

0

0

0

0

0:00

0:00

Buy

 

Prior to being driven head first into the boards early in the 2007-08 season, Patrice Bergeron had seasons of 70 and 73 points. Last year, he recorded 52 points in 73 games (58 point pace). He's currently scoring at a 55 point pace. It's very odd that David Krejci has no power play points in 13 games this year. He had 14 last year when he scored 52 points and two years ago when he recorded 73 points, he only had 19 points with the man advantage. He's currently on pace for 57 points, but he's going to get some power play points, so look for 65 points. Tyler Seguin doesn't turn 19 until the end of January. Last year, as a 17-year-old, he scored 106 points in 63 OHL games. Marc Savard was cleared for contact last Tuesday and could be back playing within a couple of weeks.

 

Buffalo

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Derek Roy

22

23

7

57

154 (43.1)

19:56

3:56

Hold

Tim Connolly

22

13

6

58

107 (44.0)

17:08

3:37

Buy Low

Rob Niedermayer

21

6

0

27

67 (48.9)

13:46

0:16

WW

Cody McCormick

21

6

0

23

37 (44.0)

11:00

0:08

WW

Paul Gaustad

22

5

0

33

182 (63.0)

13:14

1:21

Hold

 

Derek Roy has scored at a point-per-game pace before, but what is really surprising is that his statistics are normally stagnant in the early going and then he predictably goes nuts later in the year. This year, he's been the Sabres most productive player from the get go. The 27-year-old is on pace to better his 81 point career best by four points. Here's hoping that he still has his customary second half surge. Tim Connolly recorded a career high 65 points (in 73 games) last season. He still has me gun shy due to his penchant for suffering long term injuries. A definite high risk, high reward player. Paul Gaustad is a Hold only if you use face-off wins (second best percentage in the NHL), penalty minutes and hits, otherwise he’s WW material.

 

Carolina

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Eric Staal

20

23

8

78

184 (42.9)

21:15

4:36

Hold

Tuomo Ruutu

20

12

2

37

90 (41.7)

16:16

3:00

Hold

Brandon Sutter

20

9

2

32

120 (37.8)

16:28

1:08

Sell

Jon Matsumoto

10

2

0

11

27 (36.0)

7:44

0:09

WW

 

Prior to last season, Eric Staal had missed only one game in his entire NHL career. Staal missed 12 games last season, but history says that was an aberration. I love owning durable players in my fantasy leagues. Staal is on pace for 93 points and has hit the century mark once already in his career. In the four seasons following his 100 point year, he’s averaged 74 points. He is sixth (13th overall) in shots on goal amongst Centres. Tuomo Ruutu has the third most face-off wins on Carolina, but is listed as LW in Yahoo and was covered last week. He's still a Hold. Last season, Brandon Sutter played a ton of minutes with the dearly departed Ray Whitney. This year, he's spent the majority of his time with Patrick Dwyer, uh, that's a severe downgrade in offensive talent. He had 40 points last season and is on pace for 36 points this year. Pass.

 

Florida

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Marty Reasoner

19

11

0

27

175 (56.8)

15:58

0:20

Sell

Stephen Weiss

18

10

2

45

165 (52.7)

18:05

3:12

Buy Low

Mike Santorelli

19

8

0

39

106 (53.0)

14:25

2:10

Hold

Shawn Matthias

17

7

1

34

61 (45.5)

11:54

0:20

Sell

Steven Reinprecht

14

5

1

15

37 (46.8)

11:18

0:31

WW

 

After back-to-back seasons of 60 and 61 points, a 44 point pace this year is not encouraging for Stephen Weiss owners. The fact that Marty Reasoner has more points than Weiss at this stage of the season should be cause for concern. That said, Weiss will definitely finish with more than 44 points. Marty Reasoner has two points in his last nine games (including yesterday's game). He's on pace for 47 points, but his career high is 34 points. Last year, Reasoner had 17 points in 80 games. If you can find a buyer, git'er done. Over the last two years, Mike Santorelli has scored 129 points in 127 AHL games. The 24-year-old is on pace for 33 points and garners second unit power play time. I like Shawn Matthias' future as a power forward, but as many big men before him; it may take a few years before they deliver on that promise. The 22-year-old is on a 32 point pace, but is not receiving any quality ice time. He's a Sell in one year leagues if another owner thinks the future is now with Matthias. If you are looking at Reinprecht for your fantasy roster, you are either in a very deep league or desperate.  Look elsewhere.

 

Montreal

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Tomas Plekanec

20

20

5

50

195 (47.9)

20:19

3:22

Hold

Jeff Halpern

21

13

0

18

135 (57.2)

13:21

0:12

Sell

Scott Gomez

21

6

0

31

146 (50.0)

18:21

2:40

Buy Low

Max Lapierre

21

5

0

42

15 (48.4)

11:56

0:02

WW

Lars Eller

20

1

0

24

41 (46.6)

9:37

0:11

WW

Tom Pyatt

19

1

0

24

17 (48.6)

12:04

0:01

WW

 

Tomas Plekanec has carried over his play from last year and is on pace for 80 points, which would better last season's career high 70 points. He is 12th in the NHL for face-off wins. He is for real. Jeff Halpern is scoring at a 50 point pace after recording 19 and 16 points in the two previous seasons. To be fair, the 34-year-old has hit the 40 point mark four times over his 10 NHL seasons. He's not getting prime offensive opportunities, Sell if you can. I realize that my Buy Low tag for Scott Gomez will have some of you up in arms, but the numbers say he'll turn it around. In the four seasons following his 84 point year, Gomez has averaged 62 points per year. His shots on goal are down considerably this year and he is on pace for only 22 points, despite being given every opportunity to shake this slump.

 

New Jersey

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Jason Arnott

21

12

3

61

121 (51.7)

15:13

1:51

Hold

Dainius Zubrus

21

10

1

34

72 (54.1)

16:37

2:06

Hold

Travis Zajac

21

9

0

50

200 (56.7)

20:38

2:56

Buy Low

Rod Pelley

21

1

0

24

90 (54.9)

12:15

0:06

WW

Adam Mair

18

0

0

13

18 (46.2)

8:18

0:01

WW

 

The 36-year-old Jason Arnott is past his prime as well as an injury risk, but he's averaged 58 points over the last three seasons. He's on pace for 46 points on the offensively challenged Devils. Dainius Zubrus is scoring at a 38 point pace, which is right where he's been over the last three seasons. Travis Zajac obviously misses his buddy Zach. Zajac is on pace for 34 points after registering seasons of 67 and 62 points. A couple of positive points on Zajac; he has proven very durable, missing only two games over four NHL seasons and he is tenth in face-off wins.

 

NY Islanders

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

John Tavares

17

11

6

50

133 (53.6)

18:46

4:23

Buy

Doug Weight

18

9

5

26

57 (51.8)

17:31

4:58

Hold

Frans Nielsen

20

9

2

41

140 (49.5)

17:45

3:13

Bail

Josh Bailey

18

6

3

36

63 (45.6)

18:44

3:18

Buy Low

Zenon Konopka

20

2

0

9

201 (60.9)

10:39

0:06

 

Rob Schremp

6

2

1

7

27 (61.4)

14:32

2:58

Buy Low

 

Considering two of the Isles top scorers have been out of the line-up all year, John Tavares hasn't fared too badly. Getting Kyle Okposo back will only help Tavares improve upon last year's 54 point rookie campaign. Doug Weight sits tied for tenth in average power play time in the entire league. The 82-year-old will be lucky to maintain his current 39 point pace, no matter how much power play time he logs. Frans Nielsen is now 26-years-old and on nearly pace to repeat last year's career best 38 points. I've never been a fan and even though he's getting top six minutes and second unit power play time, I would look elsewhere for points. Josh Bailey is C/LW in Yahoo and was on pace to replicate last year's 35 points, prior to being sent down to the AHL on Wednesday. The 21-year-old started the season with six points his first five games and then went 13 straight without a point. In his last year of junior, he scored 96 points in 67 games. He'll be back, but this might not be a banner year for Beetle Bailey. Zenon Konopka is first in penalty minutes by two fighting majors, two instigators and a game misconduct and is ninth in face-off wins (fourth best percentage). Outside of those two categories, he is useless to fantasy owners.

 

NY Rangers

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Brandon Dubinsky

22

19

7

52

112 (50.2)

20:31

3:30

Sell

Artem Anisimov

22

15

5

53

107 (42.3)

16:56

2:47

Hold

Derek Stepan

22

11

2

34

88 (40.2)

14:28

2:06

Hold

Brian Boyle

22

10

2

43

107 (45.3)

13:48

0:29

Sell

Erik Christensen

21

8

1

32

127 (48.1)

14:02

2:09

WW

Chris Drury

1

0

0

0

1 (16.7)

9:11

1:18

WW

 

Brandon Dubinsky is scoring at a 70 point clip. Last year, he scored at a 52 point pace over 69 games. He's receiving over 20 minutes of ice time per game and first unit power play time. The right advice here is to list him as a Sell, but if I owned him (and I do in one league), he'd be a Hold for me. Young Artem Anisimov has spent 60 per cent of his ice time on a line with Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. He's on pace for 55 points after recording a 28 point rookie season last year. The year before that he had 81 points in his second (and final) AHL season. I almost rated Derek Stepan as a Sell, but he's been playing with Alex Frolov and Marian Gaborik and has a five game point streak on the go, including a goal and an assist last night. He's a borderline Buy, but his rookie status has me leaning to the Hold side for one year leagues. Brian Boyle is on pace for 33 goals, but the 25-year-old is not going to get the ice time necessary to produce those numbers. Chris Drury was scheduled to return around the end of November, but after the 34-year-old's 32 points last season and the emergence of several players offensively, Drury's point potential is severely limited.

 

Ottawa

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Jason Spezza

16

14

2

46

177 (57.3)

19:01

3:37

Buy

Peter Regin

21

10

1

33

65 (43.0)

14:54

1:11

Hold

Mike Fisher

21

8

3

44

143 (50.0)

18:21

2:52

Buy Low

Chris Kelly

21

6

0

34

120 (50.0)

15:06

0:02

WW

Zack Smith

10

2

1

7

15 (50.0)

7:34

0:03

WW

 

The much-maligned Jason Spezza is Ottawa's favourite whipping boy. Over his NHL career, he has averaged 84 points for every 82 games played. Even during the Clouston reign (of terror), Spezza has scored 105 points in 110 games (a 78 point pace) - I wrongly thought that his production was down dramatically over that period. He's on pace for 66 points, so he's a Buy. Peter Regin is just outside the top six in average time on the ice. The young Dane still needs to find some consistency in his game. He does have four two point games to his credit this season, but is pointless in 72.7 per cent of his games. Mike Fisher is seemingly always banged up, but has averaged 74 games and 45 points over the last five seasons. It's a good bet that he will improve on his current 30 point pace.

 

Philadelphia

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Mike Richards

22

24

8

53

158 (48.5)

19:18

3:35

Hold

Claude Giroux

22

23

7

52

152 (51.5)

19:03

3:26

Hold

Jeff Carter

22

17

6

89

95 (64.2)

18:00

3:44

Hold

Darroll Powe

22

8

0

27

12 (48.0)

14:23

0:06

WW

Blair Betts

22

7

0

18

135 (47.2)

11:09

0:02

WW

 

Mike Richards is having a rebound season after last year's 62 point effort. He is on pace for 88 points and has previously recorded seasons of 80 and 75, so this pace is not far off the mark here. Claude Giroux listed as RW in Yahoo, yet has second most face-off wins on team. Giroux is a Dobber darling and has the history to suggest that his current pace (85 points) is for real. He had 47 points last season after a 27 point NHL rookie campaign. He spent a good part of that rookie year in the AHL, recording 34 points in 33 games. Giroux lit up the QMJHL scoring 106 points in 55 games before turning pro. Jeff Carter is C/RW in Yahoo. He has the second most shots on goal as a centre and fourth overall. He is on pace for 63 points this season, pretty much in line with the 61 points he turned in the season before that. Two years ago, he hit for 46 goals and 84 points, so the potential is there to turn it up a notch.

 

Pittsburgh

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Sidney Crosby

22

35

11

86

299 (56.8)

22:23

5:59

Hold

Evgeni Malkin

21

21

7

94

24 (32.0)

20:41

6:15

Buy

Mark Letestu

22

10

3

50

125 (52.3)

14:43

1:54

Sell

Max Talbot

22

7

0

24

101 (44.3)

13:35

0:06

WW

Mike Rupp

21

5

0

17

21 (61.8)

10:26

1:04

WW

Jordan Staal

0

0

0

0

0

0:00

0:00

Buy Low

 

Sidney Crosby is on pace for his most productive season in the NHL. He has the third most (sixth overall) shots on goal and is tied with Toews for the most face-off wins in the league. Evgeni Malkin has averaged 100 points for every 82 games he has played in the NHL. He was the league's top scorer only two seasons ago. He has the most shots on goal by a Centre and the second most overall. Malkin has only taken 75 face-offs (3.6 per game) and really should be given LW status in Yahoo. It's likely too late to try and Sell High on Mark Letestu. During his last three games, he has lined up with Tyler Kennedy and Chris Connor, not the best line-mates on the team to experience offensive success with. Jordan Staal might be able to play by mid-December, so don't forget about him.

 

Tampa Bay

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Steven Stamkos

21

35

17

81

118 (46.1)

20:46

4:55

Hold

Vincent Lecavalier

14

9

7

36

116 (49.4)

18:35

4:20

Sell

Dominic Moore

16

9

2

36

101 (52.3)

15:14

1:29

Hold

Nate Thompson

21

9

0

35

107 (53.8)

14:29

0:12

WW

 

What can I say about Steven Stamkos that hasn't already been said ad nauseam already? For the league leader in goals, he only has the ninth most shots on goal. It's pretty safe to say that he won't continue at this torrid pace (78 goals, 136 points, 66 power play points), but we can dream, can't we? Vincent Lecavalier was off to another disappointing start with nine points in 14 games (53 point pace) before breaking his hand. His last two seasons, he finished with 70 and 67 points, but in the two seasons prior to that, he recorded 92 and 108 points. He is expected back mid-December. I'd Sell if I could find a buyer who thinks Vinny can be an 80 point player without Martin St. Louis on his wing. Versatile Dominic Moore scored 45 points only two seasons ago. The 30-year-old is on pace for 43 points.

 

Toronto

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Mikhail Grabovski

20

16

5

44

134 (49.4)

18:06

2:52

Sell

Tyler Bozak

20

6

3

39

181 (55.9)

19:10

3:42

Buy Low

Tim Brent

20

3

0

17

112 (48.3)

12:51

0:02

WW

John Mitchell

11

1

0

13

43 (53.8)

13:06

0:21

WW

 

If you ask me, Mikhail Grabovski has the skill to maintain his current 65 point pace. He recorded 35 points in 59 games last season, which would have seen him hit 49 points if was able to play the full 82 game slate. The problem is that I simply don't trust him to play enough games to hit that mark.  We also shouldn't expect his linemate Clarke MacArthur to record 73 points. Tyler Bozak is on pace for 24 points. Last season, he had 27 points in only 37 games. He's being given all the ice time he can handle in order to try and get him going. I've seen flashes of offensive brilliance from this guy and believe he'll turn it around this season.

 

Washington

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

FOW (%)

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Nicklas Backstrom

22

22

10

43

221 (55.0)

20:07

3:30

Buy

Matt Hendricks

21

7

1

22

24 (48.0)

11:21

0:20

WW

David Steckel

19

5

0

20

165 (63.0)

11:46

0:03

WW

Boyd Gordon

13

3

0

15

81 (50.0)

12:48

0:08

WW

 

Nicklas Backstrom is on pace for 81 points this season after putting up 101 points last year. He plays with a two-time Hart trophy winner and a guy who has averaged 57 goals and 110 points a season over the last three years. He sits fifth in face-off wins. The other guys on this list are scrubs, at least fantasy-wise. If your league counts face-offs; David Steckel leads the league in face-off percentage.

 

Thursday Trivia Time

 

Who holds the NHL record for longest consecutive goal scoring streak? How many games?

 

Hint:  It's one of the few NHL records not held by Wayne Gretzky.

 


Write comment
Comments (6)add comment

Russ Miller said:

The Comish
... Evan,

My Hold or Buy recommendations come from my gut feel as to how they are performing now and what I think they will do over the rest of the season. Malkin is scoring at an 80 point pace and didn't have the greatest year last season, so maybe his current owner starts doubting that Malkin can still hit 100 points and trades him for an 85 or 90 point player.

You will have to overpay hugely to get Crosby or Stamkos as they are performing at or over expectation. They are not a Sell because they are legitimate in my eyes. If I see that a player is scoring above what I think their ceiling is, he becomes a Sell.

I hope that makes sense. There was no science to it really, more of a gut feel on my part.
November 26, 2010
Votes: +0

Evan Cook said:

CookiesMonsters
... I'm a little confused at how you decide whether someone is a Hold or a Buy. For example, Crosby and Stamkos are Holds and Malkin is a Buy. Is it because it's perceived Malkin may be easier to acquire due to his poor performance?
November 25, 2010
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
A+ Love these. Thanks Russ.
November 25, 2010
Votes: +0

Russ Miller said:

The Comish
... Trivia - Jeremy is right. Punch Broadbent, Ottawa Senators, 1921-22, 16 games

Jaybominer - Took me a little time to research your question. Not an easy decision for you. The obvious - Roy, Pavelski and Dubinsky stay easily in your top five. That leaves two more spots. Zajac is a lesser player without Parise. I'd replace him with McDonald who gets nearly 4 mins of PPTOI. I think I'd go with Duchene as your number 5. I think he's just scraping the surface of his talent here. It was between him and Couture (believe it or not!?) Couture is getting top six minutes. The only thing he likely won't get (based on your stated needs G, SOG, PPP) is a lot of PP time, but that is your last criteria of importance.

I think if Antropov was healthy to start the year, he would have been one of my top five, but he's not himself right now and starting the year coming off injury can affect your entire year. Arnott has the numbers right now, but I just don't trust him to continue putting up points at his age.

Good luck with your decision.

Russ
November 25, 2010
Votes: +0

Jaybominer said:

Jaybominer
Centres Been waiting for this on the edge of my seat - the series is excellent, but centre is where I need help:
Roy
Pavelski - got for Franzen, per Ryan's suggestion
Dubinsky
Duchene
Zajac
Couture - short-term add for hot streak

I need goals, shots, and PP most (in that order). Had Bergfors, Weiss, Fisher (for his good Oct) previously - all still available. Krejci, Antropov, Gomez, Arnott, McDonald, J. Staal are on the waiver wire.

Eventually, I need to whittle this down to 5 centres - any thoughts?

Looking forward to the western half.

November 25, 2010
Votes: -1

Jeremy Smith said:

jjrsmith
... Punch Broadbent (16 games)!
November 25, 2010
Votes: +0
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