|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 01 March 2011 16:04|
In order to be successful in fantasy hockey one key strategy that will help tremendously is being able to identify past historical trends and utilize them to your advantage. Much like the column a month ago, this week we’ll showcase a few of the players out West that have had either positive or negative career trend during the month of March. Obviously these players aren’t going to be bargain bin material, so hopefully you can hone your sharp bartering skills to net you a few of these players for the stretch run of the fantasy season.
But first here’s the table of results from February’s list.
With goose eggs to finish off the last five contests of February, Raymond will probably look forward to the calendar rolling over to March. The downside is that he has a pretty lowly career 0.31 point-per-game average (11 in 36), so things might not actually turn for the better. With the recent additions, especially Chris Higgins, on deadline day, the competition in Vancouver has become much stiffer. If Raymond continues to slump, the Nucks coaching staff could turn to other alternatives, which would leave Raymond out in the cold.
February is typically Kronwall’s best statistical month, which is followed by March as his worst. He bucked the trend this past month by putting up just five points in 13 contests, which falls closely in line with his 27 points in 70 career March contest numbers. With Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski in the center of the ring for points from the blue-line, Kronwall will be hard pressed to get in on the action.
Much like the trend with Kronwall above, Morrow also typically has a dip in production in the third month of the calendar year. He’s registered just 75 points in 123 career March contests (0.61 point-per-game average). Last month I introduced the idea of how Morrow generally puts up better numbers in the months after a break, but tended to slump as the season wears on, expect this similar trend to continue.
With Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook hogging most of the quality ice-time in the windy city, that won’t leave much room for Campbell to be productive during the stretch run of this fantasy season. Since joining the Hawks in 2008-09, he has posted just seven points in 21 March contests while firing a lowly 34 SOG (1.62 SOG/game average) against the opposition’s goalie. Add in the fact that the Hawks added Chris Campoli at the trade deadline into the mix as well, that won’t leave much room for Campbell to produce huge fantasy numbers this month.
Eight years into his NHL career and we’re still waiting for JBo to really shock us. Maybe the scouts got it wrong, in his draft year, when they classified him as the next coming of Chris Pronger, or maybe he’s a late bloomer and ready to explode at any time now. With that said, since 2007-08 JBo has registered just 19 points in 42 March contests, which doesn’t bode well for the fantasy poolies who are still waiting for him to turn it around. If you are part of the 55 percent of Yahoo! players that own JBo, now might be a good time to cut bait.
Robidas is one of the major players who probably saw their fantasy value take a huge dive following the trade folly that occurred during the last two weeks. To make matters worse, his career March numbers aren’t exactly all the appealing (22 in 59 since lockout). If you take out the 2007-08 season where he tallied seven points in 11 contests, the numbers are even worse (15 in 48). With Alex Goligoski pretty much walking into Dallas and snatching the number one PP QB gig away, that leaves Robidas-owners with a sour taste left in their mouths. If you happen to own Robidas in your pool, I’d use his strong early season stats to parlay a safer option for the stretch run.
Much like Robidas, since the lockout Brown has also struggled mightily during the month of March where he’s registered just 34 points in 73 March contests (0.47 points-per-game). If you knock out the 2006-07 season (14 points in 15 games), the numbers (20 in 58) look even worse. Granted the Kings’ offense looks much better, especially after the trade deadline, but if you are a “historical numbers” type of guy, you might not want to gamble with Brown’s production. If there’s a solid offer on the table, I’d hit the accept button right away.
Statistically speaking, March is the worst month for Quick as he has a career 9-14 record, along with a 2.70 GAA and an underachieving .902 SP. If he falters again this campaign, it might open the door for Jon Bernier to creep in and run away with the number one gig in LA. If I were a Quick owner, I’d quietly shop him around to see what type of return I can get. If the price is right pull the trigger, if not just stand pat.
He’s on Fire...
Much like Henrik Zetterberg last month, this time the March honours belong to his teammate Datsyuk as he has 124 points in 107 career (1.16 points-per-game) March contests. This seems to be the section of the season, where he cranks it up a notch prior to the post-season. It’s going to be a hard task to get your hands on him, but you’ll definitely be well rewarded if you can manage to pull off that feat.
Following along his teammate’s footsteps, Franzen typically has an elevated March production rate. Since 2007-08, the Swede has registered 47 points in 41 contests while getting prepped up for the post-season. His early season stats aren’t exactly mind-boggling, which might just help open the door to acquire him on the cheap during your trade discussions.
A third Red Wing makes the list of highly sought after acquisitions. The ageless wonder, Lidstrom, is still churning out favourable fantasy numbers at the ripe old age of 40. What is mind boggling is the fact that since the lockout, he’s averaged close to 0.82 points-per-game during the month of March (56 in 68). If you take out the 2006-07 debacle, it’s closer towards the point-per-game mark. Definitely shoot the Lidstrom owner an offer to see if you can snag him for the stretch run.
During the last two seasons, Kesler has registered 31 points in 30 March contests. The Nucks are rolling offensively at the moment (tops in GFA, second in PP percentage, second in 5on5 ratio, and ninth in SOG/game), which is due largely in part of Kesler’s solid two-way play. Expect much of the same (point-per-game) production from Kesler moving forward.
One thing that Eriksson must be jumping for joy about is the fact that line mate Brad Richards remained with Dallas post-trade deadline. The two have shown some awesome chemistry since Richards joined the Stars four seasons ago, which kind of explains why Eriksson has 30 points in 32 March contests since 2008-09. The good news is that Richards has started skating again (concussion), which means that he should be back in the line up within a couple of weeks and reuniting with Eriksson once again.
Spending 66.5 percent of your overall ice-time alongside the reigning Art Ross trophy winner and the current leader for the trophy this year should generally result in some pretty remarkable production, which certainly explains why Burrows’ registered 28 points in 30 March contests during the last two seasons in Vancouver. Look for much of the same from Burrows this March.
Ribeiro has also had a great track record of excellent March production with a better than point-per-game pace since 2006-07 (62 in 61). With Richards out of the line up, Ribeiro’s averaging 20:30 per contest (3:49 of which is on the PP), if he can continue to garner that large amount of ice-time look for him to continue on another point-per-game pace this month.
Despite all of the negative press surrounding Jokinen and how he’s “washed up”, “past his prime”, or “not a top line player”, March is statistically his best month since the lockout (66 in 68). It appears that he’s been a great fit alongside David Moss and Curtis Glencross during the last couple of weeks. If he can manage to maintain the stats that he posted last month, another point-per-game month should be expected.
Besides a bit of a down March last campaign (six points in 15 contests), Shane Doan typically produces a pretty decent March haul with 65 points in 71 contests since the lockout. The Coyotes are locked in a tight Western Conference battle and will lean heavily on Doan to repeat those numbers if they are to maintain a post-season berth come April.
Erat is probably the least recognized name of this list, but he does have a strong history of putting up decent numbers during March. For the last three seasons, Erat has maintained a 0.81 point-per-game average in March (34 in 42), which is probably something that coach Barry Trotz will welcome with open arms since the Preds have slid offensively (11 goals in last seven contests) during the last two weeks. Erat might just be the sparkplug to help ignite the Preds’ offense as well as your fantasy squad in March.
For Threeeee(other notables)...
According to the FrozenPool goalie big board, Backstrom has been ranked the top backstop during the span of the last month, which will make it hard to get your hands on him at the current moment. Toss in the fact that his best career month is in March where he has posted numbers of 23-10-12, 2.27 GAA and .922 SP, since 2006-07, it’ll make a hard task pretty darn near impossible. With that said if you are lucky enough to find your Backstrom-owner ready and willing to deal, it’d be a huge roster bolstering move to pick him up for the stretch run of the season.
Lehtonen is another strong goalie candidate for the month of March. He sports a career March record of 31-19-3, along with a respectable 2.68 GAA and .920 SP. The Stars will desperately need solid goaltending for the stretch run if they are going to compete for a post-season berth in April, so a lot of their success will hang in the balance of the play of Lehtonen. Go ahead and make a safe pitch to the Lehtonen owner in your league.
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|Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2011 12:40|