Jamie Benn vs. Evander Kane

steve laidlaw

2011-12-21

Benn

 

Cage Match: Jamie Benn vs. Evander Kane

 

The single toughest aspect of fantasy hockey is analyzing breakouts. Obviously you want to get ahead of the game but pre-season estimates are hit and miss. You just can't know for sure until you see the product on the ice. Once you see a breakout in action you need to quickly decipher its validity and the future implications. In this week's Cage Match we look at to players in the midst of breakout seasons and analyze what these breakouts mean going forward. It's Jamie Benn vs. Evander Kane – and no, it is not a boxing match.

 

What makes breakout candidates so difficult to read is the fact that their brief NHL track record can only tell us so much about the future. Both Benn and Kane are in their third NHL season and have grown leaps and bounds since their rookie season. Looking at their rookie seasons won't tell us much if they are breaking out right now. That's why the patented Cage Match three year averages table will do us no good. Instead, let's look at a breakdown of their current statistics this season.

 

GP

Goals

Assists

Plus/Minus

PPP

PIM

SOG

Kane

32

15

10

Plus-6

5

27

124

Benn

32

8

20

Plus-6

8

39

97

 

A quick analysis scores this a tight 3-2 victory for Benn. Kane shoots more and gets more goals so that wins him two categories but they split plus/minus and the rest belong to Benn. Benn is much more of a playmaker and thus has assists. Benn's playmaking also lends itself to creating more on the power play so he has the edge there too.

 

What's puzzling is Benn's advantage in the PIM category. The PIM are close enough to draw this up to random chance but it is worth mentioning that Benn does not have any huge aberrations on his game log with regard to PIM. Both Benn and Kane play a hard brand of abrasive hockey and will get their fair share of PIM. I just hate to give away a cheap win based on PIM when it can be so variable. Tentatively let's call the numbers game a draw. With that in mind let's