Greetings fantasy enthusiasts.
Before we get to the ramblings, a brief introduction is in order. My name is Kent Wilson and I’ve been writing about hockey since roughly 2005. I started off ranting exclusively about the Flames in my own little corner of the web, but later branched out to things like fantasy and advanced stats. My work has appeeared on Puck Daddy, the Score and Hockey Prospectus as well as the now defuct Fanball. My day job these days is to run the Nations Network (including nhlnumbers.com, oilersnation.com and others) and be the main voice at FlamesNation.
And because that just isn’t enough work, my weekend fantasy hockey thoughts will now show up here at Dobber every Saturday/Sunday. Expect some snark and a lot of references to stats you may not have heard of before.
– I am currently competing in an annual writers invitational pool headed by the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle. The trade deadline for Mirtle’s pool recently came and went, during which I was able to flip Mikael Backlund and Jakob Silfverberg (I picked the former in the last round of the draft and plucked the latter off the waiver wire) for a package including Miiko Koivu and Anders Lindback (I was sorely lacking in the goaltender department thanks to an injury to Cam Ward).
It seemed like a no-brainer at the time, but since the trade the Senators rookie has been on fire. Last night Silfverberg scored a goal and an assist in the Senators 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning giving him four goals and five points in his last four contests. The 22-year old only has 13 points in 32 games this year, but figures to be a key piece for the Sens moving forward. A big scorer in the Elitersen and playoff MVP for Brynas in 2011-12, Silfverberg has a strong two-way game and already looks to be comfortable on North American ice. Which, of course, was the reason I was happy to grab him for nothing from the waiver wire, but the youngster ironically didn’t really start putting up numbers until I moved him. To make matters worse, Lindback played all of 4 periods for my team before going down with a high-ankle sprain.
Sometimes the hockey gods are cruel.
– Speaking of the Lightning and cruel hockey gods, this morning Tampa Bay announced the firing of head coach Guy Boucher. Hailed as something of a genius during his first year in Tampa thanks to his unorthodox defensive system and the Bolt’s unlikely success, Boucher joins the ever growing scrap head of NHL coaches who apparently fell from brilliant to incompetent when the results turned. Perhaps the Avs Joe Sacco is soon to join him…
– The Leafs finally managed to get back into the win column last night (despite being outshot 33-13 by the Bruins), which keeps their playoff hopes alive. The red hot Nazem Kadri scored his 14th of the season and has an eye-popping nine points in just his last four games. Toronto hasn’t had a rookie this exciting since, uh…
Kadri’s success this year is a mix of good play and good fortune. He currently boasts the best relative corsi rate (that is, the best relative offensive puck possession rate) on the Leafs, which is a rare feat for a young forward. However, the primary reason for his better than point-per-game pace is the percentages: the Leaafs are scoring on more than 15% of their shots at even strength when Kardi is on the ice this year, which is almost double the league mean rate of about 8%. In addition, Kardi boasts a personal shooting percentage of 19.4%, which is also abnormally high.
Over time, the former number will inexorably drift towards the league average of 8%, while Kadri’s SH% will regres