Taking a look at Face-off Win % and Power-Play Points
In last week's column I highlighted the "Category Killers" (players who drag your team down by doing major damage in at least one category) for Hits and Blocked Shots. This week I shift to two other secondary categories – faceoff percentage and power play points – where it is just as hard (if not harder) to notice the effects of a category killer but where the effects can be just as bad (if not worse) to your team. Once again I examine the full season results from 2011-12, and then see if any of the players are on pace for improvement based on their 2012-13 numbers so far.
The Faceoff Percentage Killers
In this category, fantasy teams run into the most trouble with two types of players whose poor performance might not be easy to notice – (1) guys who have a percentage that isn't that terrible but is made all the worse because they take more faceoffs than most other forwards, or (2) guys who might not take too many faceoffs but have a downright horrible percentage.
To help put things in perspective, among the 90 players who took more than 550 faceoffs in 2011-12, only 55 finished with a win percentage above 50% and only 25 others had a percentage between 47% and 50%.
For the first type, in 2011-12 there was:
· Patrik Elias (16th most faceoffs taken, but a pretty bad 44.1%)
· Steven Stamkos (27th most faceoffs, winning only 45.5%)
· Frans Nielsen (40th most faceoffs, winning a mere 45.2%)
· Mike Ribeiro (71st most faceoffs, but a truly dreadful 42.2%)
As for players who were just plain terrible but fortunately didn't take as many faceoffs, they included:
· Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (a dismal 37.5%, but only the 96th most faceoffs taken)
· Matt Read (41.0%, but only 136th most faceoffs)
· Patrick Kane (42.2% but only the 101st most faceoffs)
It's interesting that Kane is on this list, since in last week's column we saw that he also does quite poorly in hits. Seeing RNH and Read here is not too surprising, since young players often struggle with faceoff percentage more than veterans. Elias' numbers were really bad – the closest thing to a "double whammy" in this category since