|Post Olympic Postulations, Part 3 of 3||Tweet|
|Written by Russ Miller|
|Wednesday, 03 March 2010 23:40|
Welcome to the final of three parts looking at Eastern Conference teams games remaining and subsequent fantasy breakdown.
At the Olympic break, all NHL teams had between 19 and 22 games remaining in the regular season. But not all games are created equal. In the Eastern Conference, one team (Atlanta) had 14 home games remaining, while another had only seven (Ottawa). One team had ten games remaining against teams that have 75 points or more, while another had only four left against the top teams.
All statistics below are as of the Olympic break. Here are the final five teams:
Philadelphia has had an up and down season and now it looks like Emery will be out for the remainder of the season. The Flyers have 22 games remaining and 14 of them are against teams worse in the standings than themselves. They only have five games left against teams with 75 points or better.
3 Games – NYR
2 Games – ATL, NYI, TOR
1 Game – BOS, BUF, CHI, DAL, DET, FLA, MIN, MTL, NSH, NJ, OTT, PIT, TB
Once the calendar turned to 2010, Chris Pronger's offense took off with 18 points in 21 games (a 70 point pace). It's not that he was doing poorly before that, recording 24 points in 39 games (a 50 point pace). Overall, Pronger is on pace to finish with 56 points. His career high is 62 points. He has five points in five games against the Rangers and Maple Leafs this season.
Jeff Carter entered the break on a four game, five point scoring streak. From Boxing Day until January 23, Carter recorded 19 points in 15 games. Overall, he is on pace for 36 goals and 70 points, but after scoring 46 goals and 84 points last season, that is a little disappointing. He has ten points in nine games versus the Rangers, Isles and Maple Leafs. Carter had 40 points in the final 42 games last season.
Mike Richards scored at a 69 point pace over the first three months of the season. In the next month and a half, he scored at a 51 point pace. Overall, he is on pace to finish with 62 points, not exactly great after recording 80 and 75 points in the previous two years. Richards had four points in his first game back from the Olympics.
It's sad to see a talented player such as Simon Gagne not get a chance to showcase his goal scoring skills due to injuries. Gagne has six points in seven February games and is on pace to finish with 41 POINTS. That must be hard for the two time 40 GOAL scorer to accept. Gagne has five points in three games against the Rangers so far this season.
Kimmo Timonen has averaged 48 points a season over each of the last four years. This season, he is on pace for 42 points. A couple of good games and he'll be back on track. Timonen has a streak of seven straight 40 point seasons.
What rookie season would be complete without some ups and downs? James van Riemsdyk had 19 points in his first 21 games, then one point in the next 15. Following that he had 11 points in 14 games and more recently one point in his last seven. He'll eventually get the inconsistency evened out, but for the balance of this season, consider him a wildcard. The 20-year-old is on pace for 44 points this year.
The oft-injured Danny Briere entered the break with a three game, five point streak. He has recorded nine points in eight games versus the two New York teams and Toronto. Briere is on pace for 55 points, but recent seasons of 72 and 95 points mean that he is capable of ripping off a point per game pace the rest of the way.
In November and December, Claude Giroux scored 22 points in 28 games (a 64 point pace). In January and February, he's scored nine points in 21 games (a 35 point pace). Giroux has eight points in nine games against the Thrashers, Islanders and Rangers.
Scott Hartnell was riding a four game, six point streak heading into the break and is on pace for 16 goals and 47 points. A little underwhelming considering his 30 goals and 60 points last year. Hartnell has six points in four games versus the Islanders, but no points in six games against the Rangers, Thrashers and Maple Leafs.
Something happened to Arron Asham in January. He had ten points in 14 games during the month. In all the other months of this season combined, Asham has nine points (in 39 games). So has Asham magically transformed into a scorer? Definitely not, but he may be worthy of a flyer in leagues that value penalty minutes.
Matt Carle started the season with 12 points in 11 games. It took him another 42 games to score his next 12 points. He has one point in 11 combined games against the Rangers, Islanders, Thrashers and Maple Leafers.
Braydon Coburn has three points in his last five games, but is on pace for only 22 points. In the last two seasons, he has finished with 28 and 36 points. He receives top four ice time and second unit power play time. There is a chance that he continues his recent scoring prowess, but I wouldn't bet the house on it. Prior to the coaching change, Coburn had 11 points in 25 games. Since the change, he has six points in 34 games, only a 15 point pace.
Odd Stat: Ian Laperriere had seven points in 14 games in January. In the other 46 games this season, he has seven points.
Pittsburgh is tied with Washington for the most road wins in the Eastern Conference. Of their remaining 20 games, they only play four teams that are better than them in the standings.
2 Games – ATL, BOS, CAR, NJ, NYI, TB, WSH
1 Game – BUF, DAL, DET, NYR, PHI, TOR
Fresh off scoring the winning goal in overtime against the Americans for Olympic gold and glory, Sidney Crosby is on pace for a career best 55 goals and 300 shots on goal. His 102 point pace is familiar territory, he's finished two of his four NHL seasons with 102 and 103 points. He has been underwhelming against Atlanta, Carolina and New Jersey, scoring only four points in eight games. He has had much more success this year versus Bruins, Isles, Bolts and Caps with 16 points in ten games. Crosby had 52 points in 36 second half points last season.
Yes Evgeni Malkin is having a poor season by his standards, but he was on a 13 game 22 point streak at the break. That is a 139 point pace! If he can continue scoring at that rate, he’ll still only hit 99 points. He has 113, 106, 85 points in his three NHL seasons. Last years Art Ross trophy winner had 63 points over the first 41 games last season. If Malkin can manage to salvage a 100 point season, I’m sure many of us will forgive him!
Overall it may look like Sergei Gonchar is on pace for 52 points, but over his last 34 games, he has 29 points. That’s a 70 point pace and on that power play, he can certainly maintain that pace. In his 306 games as a Penguin, Gonchar has 246 points. That translates to 66 points for every 82 games played. He has zero points in seven combined games against Atlanta, Carolina, New Jersey and Washington and seven points in five matches versus the Lightning and Islanders.
Marc-Andre Fleury has had success against Atlanta, Boston and Tampa Bay this year, in five games played, he’s only allowed two goals against in each game. He especially likes the Islanders where he is 2-0 with a 1.92 goals-against-average and 0.939 save percentage. Fleury has not done well against the Devils (0-3, 4.42, 0.833) and the Caps (0-0-1, 4.78, 0.853) this season.
Jordan Staal had five points in six February games. He particularly enjoys playing Atlanta and Washington and has six points in four games against those two teams. Staal has a single point in ten contests against the Devils, Isles and Hurricanes. He is on pace for a career best 51 points (49 is career high).
Veteran winger Bill Guerin has had problems scoring against Atlanta, New Jersey and Washington, registering zero points in eight contests. Conversely, he has five points in six games against the Islanders and Lightning. He does have three points in his last five games played, but his second half scoring has dropped each of the last three seasons.
Pending restricted free agent Kris Letang has five points in eight games against the Thrashers, Hurricanes, Islanders and Capitals. Twenty of his 33 points last season came in the second half.
Newly added Alexei Ponikarovsky has eight points in his last eight games. He has no points in nine games versus the Bruins, Islanders and Lightning, while he has 15 points in 12 contests against Atlanta, Carolina, New Jersey and Washington.
Pascal Dupuis has ten points in last 16 games played, but has registered only 15 points in his previous 45 games. He has four points in four games versus Boston and Carolina. Over the last ten games, Dupuis has logged just over fifty per cent of his ice time with either Malkin or Crosby. The acquisition of Ponikarovsky will definitely bump Dupuis down the depth chart.
Ruslan Fedotenko has nine points in ten games against the Trashers, Bruins, Islanders and Capitals. He is on pace for 28 points, but has averaged 37 points over each of his last five seasons. Fedotenko may step it up, but don’t bet on it.
Tyler Kennedy may not be the best choice down the stretch. Against team that the Pens have two games against, he has a combined three points in 13 games played and two of those came in one game against Atlanta.
At the break, Tampa Bay was only one point out of playoff contention. The problem is that they have nine games remaining against teams with 75 points or more. They do however have seven games left against teams with .500 records or worse.
3 Games – FLA, WSH
2 Games – BUF, CAR, PIT
1 Game – ATL, BOS, CLB, MTL, NYR, OTT, PHI, PHX, TOR
On a team that has given up 29 more goals than they've scored, Steve Downie's plus-17 is staggeringly good, especially when you consider that the next best on the team is a plus-4 (Steven Stamkos). In only seven of Downie's 59 games this season has he been a minus player. He had a seven game, ten point streak heading into the break. Downie is on pace for 48 points and 220 penalty minutes! How great is that?
With 16 points in his last ten games, Martin St. Louis is on pace to tie his second best season points-wise with 94. He receives the ninth most average power play ice time in the NHL. St. Louis has 16 points in 14 combined games against Florida, Washington, Buffalo, Carolina and Pittsburgh.
"Even" Steven Stamkos now has 35 goals and 35 assists on the season. He is on pace to end the year with 47 goals, 47 assists and 94 points. Last season he finished with 23 goals and 23 assists. This year, Stamkos has 15 goals and 15 assists on the power play. Last season, he had nine goals and eight assists with the man advantage. Incredibly enough, over his two OHL seasons, he had 100 goals and 97 assists in 124 games. Whoa! Even Steven indeed! Maybe his goal/assist ratio shouldn't have come as much of a surprise after all?
In Antero Niittymaki's last ten games played, he is 7-2-1 and has allowed more than two goals against in only two of those games. Unfortunately, they were the last two games he's played. Niittymaki is good against Carolina (2-0, 2.00, 0.917) and bad versus both Florida (1-2, 3.80, 0.875) and Pittsburgh (0-1, 4.15, 0.879).
Over December/January, Vincent Lecavalier recorded 31 points in 29 games, but is pointless in his last five games. He is on pace to score 73 points, but only 20 goals. In his last six seasons, the former Rocket Richard winner (2006-07) has averaged 37 goals per year. That's quite a drop off. Lecavalier especially likes playing Florida; he has five points in three games. He has done well versus Washington, Buffalo, Carolina and Pittsburgh, recording nine points in 11 games this year.
Ryan Malone had a great first 40 games, scoring 35 points. In his last 21 games though, he only has eight points. He had a decent Olympic tournament for team USA, recording five points in six games. Maybe that will spark a return of his earlier scoring success. Malone is on pace for career high 57 points (51 previous high). He has five points (all goals) in four games against Carolina and is pointless in five games versus the Capitals and Penguins.
Kurtis Foster had 20 points in 28 games in December/January, but he only has three points in seven contests in February. That may signify a decline in production, but Foster is still on pace for 38 points. He has zero points in six games against the Sabres, Panthers and Penguins and six points in five contests versus Washington and Carolina.
Much more was expected from Alex Tanguay this season. His 44 point pace this season would be his second worst ever, only his 41 points (in 50 games) last season were worse. He did have five points in seven games during the month of February. Tanguay has four points in six games against Florida and Washington, but no points in eight games versus Buffalo, Carolina and Pittsburgh. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent upon completion of this season.
Rookie defender Victor Hedman logs the third most ice time on team (second amongst defensemen) with 21:39 per game, but only 1:35 of that is spent on the power play. The second overall pick in last year's NHL entry draft is on pace for only 24 points. He has three points in eight games versus Florida, Washington and Buffalo and no points in six games against the Hurricanes and Penguins.
A big part of the reason Mattias Ohlund was brought in was to mentor Hedman, but Ohlund is on pace for only 15 points. That's at least ten points shy of the minimum expected when he signed with the Bolts. Ohlund has four points in five games against Carolina and Pittsburgh.
The acquisition of Teddy Purcell could turn out to be a good one for the Lightning. He only has 25 points in 91 NHL games, but has ripped up the AHL scoring 121 points in 105 games. I don't see Purcell cracking the top six this season, but with another year of experience, next year may be a different story for the 24-year-old winger.
When Toronto made the deal for Phil Kessel, I'm certain they didn't envision themselves where they currently reside in the standings. The team sits dead last in the Eastern Conference, only five points up on the sad sack Oilers and are eight points back of the 27th place team (Carolina). Unless the Maple Leafs have a stellar final 20 games, they will indeed gift wrap a plum lottery pick to Boston.
3 Games – BOS
2 Games – ATL, MTL, NYR, OTT, PHI
1 Game – BUF, CAR, EDM, FLA, NJ, NYI, PIT, TB
Since coming over in a 31 January trade, Dion Phaneuf has two points in six games. He is on pace for only 31 points, which would be his worst season by 16 points. Phaneuf has averaged 51.5 points over his first four NHL seasons. Without question, he'll pick it up over the remainder of the season.
Phil Kessel has ten points over his last six games and is on pace to finish with 30 goals and 58 points. He had 21 points in his first 22 games as a Leaf. Kessel has had trouble scoring against his old squad, recording no points in three games, but has 11 points in nine games versus Atlanta, Montreal, Ottawa and Philadelphia.
Tomas Kaberle got off to a smoking hot start with 17 points in 12 games, but if you take away a five game stretch at the end of October where he scored 13 points, he has 33 points in 56 games (48 point pace). Kaberle has three points in his last four contests and is on pace for 61 points. He has seven points in 11 games against Boston, Atlanta, Ottawa and Philadelphia, but he saves his best for Montreal, recording six points in four games. Not including last season's injury ravaged season, Kaberle averaged 59 points a year over each of the three previous seasons.
During his last three games, Tyler Bozek has played over 70 per cent of the time with Phil Kessel. Bozek had five points in five February contests. He gets over 17 minutes of ice time per game, including first unit power play time. Bozek has four points in two games against Ottawa and Philadelphia.
Mikhail Grabovski recorded 20 goals and 48 points last season. This season, although he has been injured for part of it, he is scoring at a 49 point clip. He had ten points in 12 games to start the season. Grabovski hasn’t played since January 2, but should be back from fractured wrist very soon. He has seven points in eight games against Boston, Atlanta and Montreal.
While Jean-Sebastien Giguere only has a 2-2 record with the Maple Leafs, his goals-against-average (1.76) and save percentage (0.941) are excellent. Although the trend that he needs to get a shutout in order to record a win should be a concern! Giguere has done well against Ottawa this season with a 1-0-1 record, 1.44 goals-against-average, 0.949 save percentage and one shutout.
Francois Beauchemin had ten points in 16 games in December. He is on pace for 30 points and has three points in his last seven games. The acquisition of Phaneuf has pushed Beauchemin to the second power play unit, but he still logs over 25 minutes per contest. He has two points in three games versus Boston and six points in a dozen games against Atlanta, Montreal, Ottawa and Philadelphia.
Washington is the best team in the league. Sure they have some question marks, especially in goal, but they have no problem scoring goals, that's for sure. At the break they had outscored their opponents by a combined 70 goals. Only five of the remaining 20 games are against teams with 75 points or better.
3 Games – CAR, TB
2 Games – ATL, BOS, PIT
1 Game – BUF, CGY, CHI, CLB, DAL, FLA, NYR, OTT
If you take away the eight games and seven points (he also missed eight games to a shoulder injury and suspension) he recorded in November, Alexander Ovechkin is scoring at a 146 point pace. Only ten of his 54 games has he been held pointless. Ovechkin has 11 points in six games against Carolina and Tampa Bay. He has 17 points in eight games versus Atlanta, Boston and Pittsburgh (seven points in only two games against the Pens).
Nicklas Backstrom has scored 20 points in his last 11 games. He has eight points against Carolina and Tampa Bay in six games and 11 points in eight contests versus Atlanta, Boston and Pittsburgh. Too bad Washington doesn’t play the Flyers again this season, Backstrom has 12 points in four games. He had 43 second half points last year. His three year progression has him going from 69 points to 88 to a projected 100 this season.
Mike Green has been a model of consistency this year, at least in the scoring department. In each of the first four months of the season, he has played 13 games and recorded 12, 13, 13 and 14 points. In February, Green had eight points in five games. Against Carolina and Tampa Bay, Green has a point-per-game in five contests. He has six points in five games versus Atlanta and Pittsburgh. He had 47 points in 40 second half games last year.
Alexander Semin has 31 points in his last 19 games (a 134 point pace). Overall, he is on pace for 41 goals and 89 points. Semin is hit or miss this season. He has 23 multi-point efforts and 20 games without registering a point. Semin has seven points in five games versus Carolina and Tampa Bay and eight points in five games against Atlanta and Boston. Over the final 39 games last season, he scored 45 points.
In his seven games since returning (missed 28 games) from a serious cut to his leg, Joe Corvo has logged close to his regular amount of ice time (over 25 minutes per game). While he had no points to show for his efforts, the Hurricanes were 6-1 over that stretch. The pending unrestricted free agent will get his timing back and start putting up some points. A 40 point pace isn’t unreasonable.
In Mike Knuble’s last 20 games, he has 23 points playing mostly with Ovechkin and Backstrom. He has eight points in six games against the Thrashers and Penguins. Knuble is on pace for 32 goals and 58 points. Buyer beware though, if he is taken off the top line his production will falter.
Brooks Laich started the season with 25 points in 29 games and then recorded 13 points over his next 26 games. He had eight points in seven games in February. Laich is on pace for 60 points which would surpass his career high (set last season) by seven points. For the most part, he lines up with Semin and Fleischmann. Laich has nine points in six games against Atlanta and Boston.
Already surpassing his career high in points, Tomas Fleischmann is on pace to finish with 25 goals and 59 points. He had a point per game in 15 January contests. Flash has seven points in six games against Carolina and Tampa Bay. In his last two AHL seasons, Fleischmann had 114 points in 102 games. The 25-year-old Czech is just coming into his own this season.
Jose Theodore has nine wins and one overtime loss in his last ten starts. He is 2-1 versus Carolina (3.33, 0.881), 1-1 against Tampa Bay (3.00, 0.896), 2-0 against Boston (1.00, 0.968) and 2-0 versus Pittsburgh (3.42, 0.904).
Semyon Varlamov is healthy again and that only reinforces the fact that there is an ongoing goalie controversy in Washington. On the season, Varlamov is 12-2-2 with a 2.44 goals-against-average, 0.916 save percentage and two shutouts. He is 1-0 versus Tampa Bay with a 26 save shutout and is 2-0 against Atlanta (3.50, 0.896).
Already eclipsing his career high, Eric Fehr is on pace for 20 goals and 39 points. He had ten points in 11 games in November. Fehr followed that up with 17 points in 24 games over December/January. He had one point in seven games in February. Fehr has five points in six games versus Carolina and Tampa Bay and four points in five games against the Thrashers and Pens.
During the first two months of the season, Brendan Morrison had 19 points in 27 games. He followed that up with 15 points in his next 35 games. Morrison has three points in the last four games, but is not a lock to continue putting up points. He does play well against Atlanta and Pittsburgh however, recording six points in five games this season. The acquisition of Eric Belanger may alter Morrison's role on the team.
Tom Poti has four points in his last five games and 14 points in his last 21 games. The acquisition of Corvo will blunt Poti's offensive production from here on out. Poti has seven points in eight games versus Atlanta, Boston and Pittsburgh.
Jason Chimera has ten points in 20 games as a Capital. He had 17 points in 39 games with Columbus. He enjoys playing Atlanta and has four points in three games this year.
|Last Updated on Friday, 05 March 2010 14:24|