Frozen Pool Forensics: Players Due for a Turn in Luck (2016)

Cam Robinson

2016-11-25

]

Three players down on their luck who could use a turn in fortune.

While the battleground between old-school hockey assessment and the new-school analytics community remains a twisted and grotesque arena – one that won’t be delved into today. At no point in history, has a fantasy hockey manager been privy to such a wealth of data and information.

 

The days of sniffing out a potential hot streak purely on your gut is a thing of the past. Today, we can rely on such statistics as a player’s shot attempts and conversions versus career norms; the percentage in which a team scores at even strength while certain individuals are on the ice, PDO, offensive zone start times, snake-bitten power plays… we can use this information to logically conclude that a player is destined to return to the norm, for better or worse.

 

With that in mind, this week on Frozen Pool Forensics, we’ll look at some players whose advanced stats suggest that they’ve fallen victim to the curse of ‘If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all!”

 

 

Mikkel Boedker

 

After tying his career-high of 51 points a season ago with the Arizona Coyotes, the Danish product signed a four-year, 16-million-dollar contract with San Jose on July 1st. With it came expectations.

 

To date, Boedker has not lived up the paycheque he’s been receiving, but some poor luck hasn’t helped matters.

 

Through 20 games with his new squad, the speedy winger has scored just two goals and no assists. While he’s seeing a full two minutes a night with the man-advantage, that’s way down from the four minutes he saw a season ago. However, despite his offensive struggles, Boedker has been given a host of opportunities amongst the team’s top six forwards.

   

 

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

28.23%

EV

BOEDKER,MIKKEL – COUTURE,LOGAN – DONSKOI,JOONAS

23.19%

EV

BOEDKER,MIKKEL – PAVELSKI,JOE – THORNTON,JOE

11.37%

EV

BOEDKER,MIKKEL – NIETO,MATTHEW – TIERNEY,CHRIS

9.35%

EV

BOEDKER,MIKKEL – HERTL,TOMAS – MARLEAU,PATRICK

5.41%

EV

BOEDKER,MIKKEL – KARLSSON,MELKER – MARLEAU,PATRICK

 

 

 

For a supposed scoring threat, the former Kitchener Rangers’ star is not directing many pucks on net – just one per game, while his team mates certainly aren’t doing him any favours with their sharpshooting. When Boedker is on the ice, his mates are converting just 1.82 percent of their shots at even-strength. That paltry figure sits way down at the bottom of the list of NHL-regulars.

 

Advanced Stats

Year

PDO

5 on 5 SH%

Off. Zone Start %

PTS/60

2016-17

933

1.82

53.55

0.4

2015-16

973

7.09

51.44

2.1

2014-15

986

8.24

58.54

2.1

2013-14

1001

7.39

49.78

2.1

2012-13

1006

7.74

54.95

1.8

2011-12

1009

7.47

54.27

1.3

2010-11

1073

10.32

52.94

2.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With some renewed confidence, a few more shots and a little luck, the Sharks should start to see some dividends on their investment. For fantasy owners, keep an eye on him and once the pucks start to go in, be sure to jump on him for a hot stretch as he’s gone on quality streaks in the past.

 

 

Tomas Plekanec

 

It seems like Tomas Plekanec has been the de facto top line centre for the Montreal Canadiens forever. Well, Alex Galchenyuk has fully arrived and has pushed the 34-year-old Czech down the pecking order. With that demotion, has come some terrible, unsustainable luck.

 

Through 21 games this season, Plekanec has managed to score a single goal on 41 shots (2.4 percent) and a total of five points overall. His power play ice time is down a full 90 seconds from a season ago, yet he’s still managed to do most of his ‘damage’ with the man-advantage, recording three power play points.

 

Advanced Stats

 

Year

PDO

5 on 5 SH%

Off. Zone Start %

PTS/60

2016-17

980

2.34

38.24

0.9

2015-16

1009

8.22

47.57

2.1

2014-15

1008

7.53

44.76

2.3

2013-14

1018

7.11

38.2

1.6

2012-13

1011

7.42

47.57

2.2

2011-12

990

7.3

41.89

1.9

2010-11

1007

7.84

50.64

2.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At even-strength, things could not be going any worse. His five-on-five shooting percentage sits 546th out of the 559 players to have played in at least 10 games at a miniscule 2.34 percent. Not helping matters is that he begins just 38 percentage of his shifts in the offensive zone, but he has seen nearly 70 percent of his even-strength ice next to either Alex Radulov or Max Pacioretty – not exactly shutdown grinders.

 

Even Strength Line Combinations

Freq

Line Combination

43.8%

LEHKONEN,ARTTURI – PLEKANEC,TOMAS – RADULOV,ALEXANDER

26.3%

GALLAGHER,BRENDAN – PACIORETTY,MAX – PLEKANEC,TOMAS

11.7%

BYRON,PAUL – LEHKONEN,ARTTURI – PLEKANEC,TOMAS

9.4%

DESHARNAIS,DAVID – PLEKANEC,TOMAS – TERRY,CHRIS

8.8%

ANDRIGHETTO,SVEN – GALLAGHER,BRENDAN – PLEKANEC,TOMAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With statistics like these, it’s no wonder Plekanec ownership has dropped to 55.5 percent on ESPN on the heels of his recent six-game pointless streak. Throw him on a watch list and see if you can’t find him receiving more favourable start times, quality line mates and a little more puck luck. As we’ve seen in the past, the further away from the mean a player drifts, the more likely it is they’ll catch some good fortune to get back closer to square.

 

The five-time 60-plus point getter has shown he’s capable of pushing through.

 

 

 

Aaron Ekblad

 

Every team in the NHL wants Aaron Ekblad on their roster. He’s an ultra-complete defender that plays with a maturity that is rarely seen in a 20-year-old. He debuted two seasons ago as a freshman first overall pick and ended as the Calder trophy winner. He followed that up with a sturdy 36-point sophomore campaign and fantastic World Cup of Hockey experience. The expectations were high heading into season number three.  

 

So far, however, the results have yet to come with great ease. Through 20 games, the former Barrie Colt has recorded five goals and a minus-seven rating. His personal 8.6 percent conversion rate is right in line with his early-career numbers, but his five-on-five shooting percentage sits at a paltry three percent – down from nine percent a season ago.

 

 

SEASON

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

+/-

PIM

Shots

SH%

HITS

PPG

PPP

SHG

BLKS

FOW

FO%

PPTOI

%PP

%SH

TOI/G

%TOI

2016-2017

20

5

0

5

0.25

-7

24

58

8.6

41

2

2

0

17

0

 

03:29

56.1

23.3

23:03

37.6

2015-2016

78

15

21

36

0.46

18

41

182

8.2

87

3

9

0

59

0

 

02:50

50.7

13.6

21:41

35.6

2014-2015

81

12

27

39

0.48

12

32

170

7.1

109

6

13

0

80

0

 

02:48

54.8

8.5

21:49

35.6

Average

82

15

22

37

0.45

11

44

188

7.8

109

5

11

0

71

0

 

02:54

53.1

12.4

21:53

35.9

 

If you watch the games, you can see that despite his lack of assists, he continues to distribute the puck well. While those plays have yet to translate into production, his main weapon, the big shot from the point, is coming with regularity – just shy of three shots per night. With some patience, those too should begin to result in some further tip-in and rebound goals for his peers.

 

Seeing 3:29 of power play time per contest, on a team that, when healthy, boasts a formidable top unit, should further illustrate his potential to catch some further breaks and get producing in the right direction.

 

While it remains to be seen whether the young Canadian can score at clip that will garner the full attention from the fantasy community, he is certainly due for a rebound in his luck-based metrics. This could be a fine opportunity to buy-low on player with a lot of upside.

 

***

 

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3 where I often give unsolicited fantasy advice that I’m sure at least someone is listening to.

UPCOMING GAMES

No data found.

STARTING GOALIES

  • No data at this moment.

HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency DET Players
32.2% TYLER BERTUZZI DYLAN LARKIN ANTHONY MANTHA
17% VALTTERI FILPPULA SAM GAGNER DARREN HELM
10.5% ROBBY FABBRI LUKE GLENDENING DMYTRO TIMASHOV

FIND US ON FACEBOOK