Ryan Dadoun

Fantasy Nuggets

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Fantasy Nuggets Week 24

Thursday, March 23, 2017


With the season winding down I thought it might be interesting to look at some areas where players have had (or could have) some statistically big seasons compared to what we've otherwise seen since the cap era started with the 2005-06 campaign.

 

For example, T.J. Oshie isn't only leading all players in shooting percentage this season (minimum of 100 SOG), but he ranks second for a single season since the salary cap era began.  He currently holds a 24.6% success rate, which is behind only Mike Ribeiro's 25.2 shooting percentage from 2007-08.  After those two the next highest are Curtis Glencross in 2011-12 (23.6%), Alex Tanguay in 2005-06 (23.2%), and Petr Prucha in 2005-06 (23.1%).

 

The downside to Oshie having success in this regard is that it's very unlikely to carry over to 2017-18.  These shooting percentages rank so highly because they're typically not sustainable, especially when talking about multiple seasons.  Riberio for example went from 25.2% to 13.5% the following season while Glencross and Prucha both suffered large declines as well. Tanguay was the only one with any real staying power as he went from posting his 23.2% in 2005-06 to 20.6% in 2006-07.  The difference with Tanguay though was that his 2005-06 performance wasn't so far out of left field for him as he always enjoyed high shooting percentages.  The same isn't true with Oshie, as his previous career-high was his 14.1% in 2015-16.  This is all to say that you should temper your expectations for Oshie next season.

 

Moving on to a different aspect of the game, Matt Duchene and Antoine Vermette have been two of the best players we've seen on the draw in a long time.  Among players that have taken at least 500 faceoffs, Duchene ranks second in the salary cap era with his 2016-17 faceoff success rate of 62.8% (617 for 983) and Vermette sits at 62.7% (668 of 1,065).  The only player that finished marginally higher was Yanic Perreault in 2006-07, who finished at 62.8% (506 of 806).

 

Duchene and Vermette have both endured down seasons offensively - Duchene to a more pronounced degree - so their success in this area is a nice silver lining.  So both players their success on the draw this season represents a big step up, though it's not entirely out of nowhere as Vermette also has a rather impressive 56.3% career success rate while Duchene won 57.9% of his draws in 2015-16.

 

As an aside only mildly related to their offensive woes is the fact that you typically don't see a center rack up a lot of points and also absolutely crush the competition on the draw.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of star players that also win a lot of faceoffs, but if you want to talk about players with at least 50 points and a faceoff winning percentage of 60 or higher (still 500 faceoff minimum) in a single season, there's only been three examples during the salary cap era: Yanic Perreault in 2005-06 (57 points, 62.2%), Rod Brind'Amour in 2008-09 (51 points, 61.0%), and Patrice Bergeron in 2014-15 (55 points, 60.2%).

 

Sticking with Duchene and his overall rough season for a minute, he's also in a five-way tie for the 12th worst plus/minus rating of the salary cap era with his minus-33 mark so far this season.  Of course this is as much a reflection of Colorado's collective woes as anything, but it obviously still doesn't look good on him.  It also drops his career plus/minus rating to minus-60, which is tied for the 37th worst rating of the salary cap era (cumulative as opposed to single season).

 

If you're wondering, the player with the worst cumulative plus/minus rating over the course of the salary cap era is Jay McClement, who is minus-116 in 906 games.  He's had the misfortunate of being a lot of really bad teams from St. Louis in 2005-06 through 2010-11 when they were in a rebuilding phase, to Colorado for parts of two seasons, and then two seasons with Toronto and three with Carolina.  He's only had a plus/minus rating above neutral once and that was back in 2006-07 when he was plus-three.

 

Nail Yakupov ranks far down on that list too with his minus-94 rating in 287 games and while some of that does have to do with playing for Edmonton when they were struggling, it's also a reflection of how disappointing his career has been to this point.  He was the first overall pick in 2012, but over the summer he was dealt to St. Louis for a low-level prospect in Zach Pochiro and a 2017 third round pick and even then it looks like the Blues overpaid to get him.

 

Moving back to more positive accomplishments, Brent Burns currently leagues the league in shots with 287, putting him in the rare position of beating Alex Ovechkin in that category.  Since Ovechkin's career began in 2005-06, he's only finished below first in shots once - back in 2011-12.  If you look at the highest single season shot totals since the start of the salary cap era, the first seven all belong to Ovechkin as well as nine of the top 11.

 

This season Ovechkin currently ranks second in shots with 276 and he has been unloading lately with 18 shots in his last two games alone, so Ovechkin might still pass Burns.  They're not the only ones in the running though as Patrice Bergeron (267), Patrick Kane (267), and Tyler Seguin (264) are all still within striking distance too.

 

As an aside, Burns is on a seven-game point drought, but he still has 70 points, making him one of just 10 examples of a blueliner getting 70 or more points in the salary cap era.  Burns also accomplished that feat last season when he finished with 27 goals and 75 points in 82 games.

 

Finally let's draw some attention to a goaltender statistic and a bit of an odd one at that.  On March 18 Frederik Andersen suffered his 14th overtime loss of the campaign, giving him more single season overtime losses than any other player in the salary cap era.  Jonathan Quick twice finished with 13 overtime losses (2011-12, 2014-15) while Cam Ward (2011-12) and Tuukka Rask (2014-15) reached that mark once.

 

Toronto as a team has 15 consolation points this season, which is more than any other squad in 2016-17.  That's largely due to their abysmal 1-8 record in shootouts.  Despite failing so often in the skills competition, the Maple Leafs still currently occupy a playoff spot and of course they can take comfort in the fact that there aren't any shootouts in the postseason.



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
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