|Forensics – Patrik Elias||Tweet|
|Written by Michael Amato|
|Tuesday, 21 February 2012 19:42|
The Devils are enjoying a rebound season and a big reason for that is the play of left winger Patrik Elias. One of the quieter superstars in the league, Elias continues to get it done at the age of 35. With 55 points in 57 games, one could argue that this has been Elias’ most impressive season to date.
The Devils have some high powered offensive talents like Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise that Elias has the benefit of playing with on the power play. Elias is averaging 3:35 seconds of power play time per game, so it’s no surprise he has some solid production in that area.
You can see 19 of his 55 points have come with the man advantage, but he doesn’t have the luxury of playing with Kovalchuk and Parise at even strength. Instead the Czech native plays on the Devils second line to help balance out the offensive attack, as opposed to stacking a top line.
When it comes to five on five Elias typically plays with Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus, who have just 63 points between them. That’s quite a drop off compared to the 109 that Kovalchuk and Parise have. Despite that disparity Elias has been able to consistently produce at even strength recording 22 points without Kovalchuk and Parise.
I would suggest that Elias’ production has come at the hands of several point streaks, but when your streaks are so lengthy, streakiness becomes consistency. He started the year off by posting 20 points in his first 20 games, and recently had a run of 19 points in a 15 game stretch. In fact Elias has only been held pointless in 14 of his 57 games this season. That’s death and taxes consistent.
The above chart gives a better illustration of how reliable Elias has been, but how does he compare with the rest of the NHL’s elite? Here is a chart from Frozen Pool that breaks down points per game, games played with a point, and average number of games played with points.
Elias ranks second in the league behind Evgeni Malkin in percentage of games played with points at 75.4%. He ranks ahead of names like Phil Kessel, Steven Stamkos, and Henrik Sedin. This stat is really telling as far as production goes because it takes into account games players may have missed due to injury. The more games a player plays the more points they are typically going to accumulate, but the above list shows how productive a player is game in and game out. For example it would be unfair to compare production between someone that has played 60 games, to someone that has played 30.
Like a fine wine Elias is just getting better with age, and it feels like he has been 35 for the past five years. If you are lucky enough to have him on your fantasy squad you may want to consider protecting him as he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 10:05|