|Fantasy Indicators of Success: Centres of Attention||Tweet|
|Written by Russ Miller|
|Thursday, 25 November 2010 11:18|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Russ Miller said:
Evan Cook said:
Russ Miller said:
Jeremy Smith said:
|Last Updated on Friday, 26 November 2010 09:14|