PSA: Black Friday hockey kicks off today at 1:00 pm EST, so get those lineups set early!
At the Thanksgiving break no team has played more games than the Arizona Coyotes with 24. Four teams have played 23 games (Washington, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Toronto). Meanwhile, a half-dozen teams have played only 20 games (San Jose, Colorado, Vegas, Carolina, Boston, Ottawa). There isn’t much advantage to be gained here, but selling players off the teams with a high games-played total could net you a few extra games (and points) the rest of the way. Those players would have to be bonafide starters for you, however, as a bench option might not get into your lineup enough to take advantage.
A great example of a buy-low option to net you some extra games from a starter would be Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Kris Letang, John Carlson, Shea Weber or Morgan Rielly for Brent Burns. Good luck swinging any of those deals, but you get the idea.
It’s typically around this time of year that I am looking for outliers in terms of on-ice shooting percentage, and this year there are some real doozies.
The league average shooting percentage at 5-on-5 is 7.8%. 126 players with over 100 minutes played have a 5-on-5 on-ice shooting percentage of 5.8% or less. The majority of those players are stay-at-home defense types like Eric Gryba, or are enforcers like Ryan Reaves. There are some elite players who stand out, however. These are players who should be targeted for improvements.