|Written by Russ Miller|
|Thursday, 25 March 2010 02:14|
In fantasy hockey, it's really all about the numbers. This week we'll take a look at some key statistical categories over the past month and who is doing well in these areas. All statistics do not include last night's games.
Top Eastern Conference Point Scorers Since the Break:
The top Eastern Conference scorer placed only seventh overall for the month. The best point producers over the last month were Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart of Colorado with 18 points. The Sedin twins were next with 17 (Daniel) and 16 (Henrik) points respectively. Brad Richards (16) and Henrik Zetterberg (15) followed those two pairs. Interestingly, Peter Mueller and Alex Steen both had the same number of points (14) as Patrick Kane, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.
Derek Roy has crept up onto fantasy radars of late with 18 points in his last 18 games.
Nikolai Kulemin had as many points during the month as Ilya Kovalchuk? The line of Kulemin-Phil-Kessel-Tyler Bozak has shown some very good chemistry of late.
Alexander Ovechkin had eight points and Sidney Crosby ten points over the same period. Crosby only has five points in his last eight games. Whenever these guys are "slumping", it just means that they are due to breakout shortly.
Bryan McCabe was tied for first in defense scoring over the last month with Chicago's Duncan Keith. Yes that is the same McCabe that was run out of Toronto before the 2008 season.
Uber-Rookie Tyler Myers broke out of an 11 game stretch where he had only one point, with a fine four point game. He has nine points in his last seven games and seems to have found his second wind.
The top goal scoring forwards from the Eastern Conference since the break have been Simon Gagne, Nik Antropov and Steven Stamkos with eight goals apiece. Phil Kessel, Vincent Lecavalier and Zach Parise have seven. Jeff Carter, David Booth, Brian Gionta, Jochen Hecht and Colby Armstrong have recorded six goals each and Steve Downie and Michael Frolik have each potted five goals since the break.
Top Eastern Conference Time on Ice per Game Since the Break:
The only real surprise on the forward side of the house is Tyler Bozak getting the third most average ice time in the Eastern Conference. Take a look at all the names that received less ice time per game and maybe, just maybe this means Bozak is destined for good things as early as next season.
Joni Pitkanen has really stepped it up this year. He leads all NHL players in average time on ice, ahead of such notables as Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer, Dan Boyle, Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Pronger and Nicklas Lidstrom. That's pretty heady company for the 26-year-old Finn. Pitkanen is on pace for 50 points this season.
Top Eastern Conference Power Play Time on Ice per Game Since the Break:
Power Play Time on Ice is one of my favourite statistics to monitor. It's what separates the men from the boys for the forwards and I wouldn't take a defenseman in a fantasy league if he doesn't get prime power play ice time.
Jussi Jokinen has cooled off of late with only two points in his last seven contests (those two points came in the same game). At least the coach is still giving him opportunities to shake his scoring slump by playing him with the man advantage.
Dmitry Kulikov is getting an extended look on the power play, but he has met with little success so far. Kulikov's prospects still remains excellent, he's only 19-years-old and made the leap from the QMJHL directly to the NHL. In his only year of major junior hockey, Kulikov recorded 62 points in 57 games. He's still learning how to play at the NHL level, but it won't take him long to adjust and when that happens, he'll start putting up some decent points.
Paul Martin has three points in his four games since returning from his broken arm. He's just getting back into the swing of things and we can expect a decent finish over the final ten games.
It's simply a case of addition by subtraction in Carolina. With Joe Corvo traded, the Hurricanes open up a prime power play spot for Jamie McBain and he has done nothing but impress so far in his short five game NHL career. In his last year of college hockey (2008-09), McBain scored 37 points in 40 games for Wisconsin and was named WCHA Player of the Year. He finished the season with the Canes AHL franchise, recording two points in ten games. This season, prior to be called up, he had 40 points in 68 AHL games with Albany. He now has five points in five games to start his NHL career.
Top Eastern Conference Players in Shots on Goal Since the Break:
The top goal scorers also tend to record the most shots on goal, that's not much of a surprise really.
It's very odd to see Alexander Ovechkin in the middle of the pack in any shots on goals standings. Sure he's missed a couple of games, but doesn't he usually lead this category by leaps and bounds? To see guys like Viktor Stalberg, Niclas Bergfors and even his own team mate Brooks Laich ahead of him this month has to tell us that something is up with the Caps leader. Ovechkin is on pace for a career low 372 shots on goal, but that is due to his missing ten games. If he were able to play all 82 games this season, he would have 425 shots on goal, still far off his total of 528 from last season.
I find it very promising that Erik Karlsson is on this list. The kid is only going to get better as he matures and learns how to play at the NHL level.
Toni Lydman's newfound scoring prowess (seven points) can be attributed to an increase in shots on goal, but this will turn out to be just a blip on the radar because he is averaging only 0:31 of power play time on ice this season.
Dion Phaneuf is the top defenseman in shots on goal since the break.
Eastern Conference Penalty Minute Leaders Since the Break:
Eight of the top ten penalty minutes producers are from the Eastern Conference. Lots of hate to go around in the Conference.
Zenon Konopka has only played five games and received 39 minutes in penalties. If you are looking for some guaranteed penalty minutes, this is the guy to own.
Half of Ruslan Fedotenko's 24 penalty minutes came in one game against New Jersey.
If you are seeking penalty minutes, don't look to Simon Gagne, 19 of his 21 minutes came against Ottawa on Tuesday night. Prior to this season, Gagne has never had more than 42 minutes in penalties in a season.
Plus/Minus Leaders in the Eastern Conference Since the Break:
Even though Richard Park was a plus-7 over the last month, he's still minus-13 on the season. At least he's turning it around.
Carl Gunnarsson has been getting top four ice time on the second worst team in the league and he's still in the top five in plus/minus over the past month? Outstanding.
Jochen Hecht has been reaping the benefits of playing mostly with Jason Pominville and Tim Connolly.
Atlanta is 4-1 in their last five games which goes a long ways in explaining why there are five Thrashers on this list.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 25 March 2010 18:48|