Just before the midway point of the 2006-2007 NHL season, Dobberhockey.com staff helped contribute towards the Midseason Guide. Besides insider tips, trade rumors, prospect information and more, there was a breakdown of the players current pace as well the projected totals. Now that the 2006-2007 NHL season is over we can tally the stats and compare which players performed above or below their midseason pace.
Only three players (Patrick Sharp +4, Brent Seabrook +5, and Cam Barker +8) finished the season above their midseason current pace. That means most of the team slowed down the second half of the season thus resulting in fewer points and fewer team wins. Martin Havlat, Tuomo Ruutu and Adrian Aucoin all played under 70 games. The second half of the season for Martin Havlat was no surprise as injuries have been common in his career. Havlat finished with 57 points in 56 games, which is pretty good. At midseason however, he was on a pace to score 90 points. While Havlat has the skills to score 90, the question is will he ever stay healthy to do so. Havlat has not been the only health concern. Chicago has drafted some talented youngsters; the face of this team could change pretty quickly.
The Avalanche had a tremendous second half of the season and the numbers show it. This team was on a wicked pace to make the playoffs. Captain Joe Sackic finished with 100 points, that’s +10 over his 90-point midseason pace. Andrew Brunette finished with 83 points (+14). Brunette has for the most part flown under the radar. While he was likely not drafted at the start of last season in many fantasy leagues, he was most likely picked up at some point. Next season do not be surprised if he continues to play ay at high pace. Paul Stastny made many headlines scoring points in streaks. His great play makes up for the missing Tanguay and Forsberg. He finished with 78 points, that’s +18 over his midseason pace of 60 points. Milan Hejduk started to look like his old self. He also had a great second half finishing with 70 points (+20) over his midseason 50-point pace. While this team fell just short of the playoffs, expect them to do really well next season.
There were very few players that finished at or above their midseason point pace. This team was already playing poorly, so it should not have been that hard to make things a little positive, but unfortunately they did not. David Vyborny (-12) led this team with 64 total points. Rick Nash never quite found his scoring touch. He finished with 57 points; that is -8 off his midseason pace and -14 off his projected fantasy total.
When you look at the stats for this team they never look that spectacular, but somehow this team manages to win. Goaltending and defense has always been key for this team. Defensemen Phillipe Boucher had a breakout season, but did slow down the second half. At midseason he was on pace to score 28 goals, but finished with 19. In the end he was -9 off his midseason pace. Injuries to top forwards are evident. Modano played 59 games (-9 points off midseason pace), Eric Lindros player 49 games (-22 points off midseason pace), and Brendan Morrow played 40 games (-23 points off midseason pace).
A few weeks into the season, many fantasy owners kept waiting and waiting for Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsuk to finally start producing like they should. They finally did, as Datsuk finshed with 87 points (+25 points over his midseason pace) and Zetterberg finished with 68 points (+17 points over his midseason pace). One of the biggest surprises was rise of Tomas Holmstrom and the fall of Danny Cleary. Holmstrom had a huge second half, as he finished with 52 points, which was +20 over his midseason pace. He was an integral part of this teams turn around. At midseason, Cleary was one of the few feel good stories as this guy came out of nowhere and started scoring goals. He was picked up in many fantasy leagues only to be dropped again not too long afterwards. He was on a pace to score 62 points, but only finished with 40 points.
This team never really got things going. When Ryan Smyth and Marc-Andre Bergeron were moved at the trade deadline to the Islanders, it seems as if all hope was lost. Only two players finished above their midseason pace; Shawn Horcoff (+9 points) and Ladislav Smid (+3 points). Petr Sykora (-24 points off midseason pace), Ales Hemsky (-8 points off midseason pace), and Jared Stoll (-21 points off midseason pace) led the team in scoring.
Losing Joe Nieuwendyk and Todd Bertuzzi to injuries certainly hurt this team in the first half of the season. Unlike Chicago, Columbus, and Edmonton this team was able to turn things around the second half of the season and the numbers show it. Here is a sample of players that finished above their midseason point pace: Olli Jokinen (+7), Josef Stumpel (+4), Stephen Weiss (+7), Martin Gelinas (+21), Ville Peltonen (+21), Chris Gratton (+15), and Jay Bouwmeester (+7). Goalie Ed Belfour also had a great second half as he took the reigns from Alex Auld.
Part 3 will discuss: Kings, Wild, Canadiens, Predators, Devils, Islanders, and Rangers