This week I get carried away in an Island paradise, but catch myself to recognize the circling Sharks. For the latest injury updates and line changes, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Scoring Chances For: 35 | Scoring Chances Against: 25 | Corsi For %: 59.05
The Islanders can put the puck in the net. Averaging 3.33 goals for per game, they sit third in offensive production this season. With key injuries to members of the top-six (Andrew Ladd and Josh Bailey), Alan Quine and Anthony Beauvillier have been given opportunities to skate beside some talented players.
Anthony Beauvillier was drafted 28th overall in 2015 after totalling 79 points in 47 games for the Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL). He made his NHL debut last season, but averaged only 13:01 of ice-time in a bottom-six role. At the young age of 20, the Islanders haven’t really given Beauvillier a chance to skate with players that share his high-end skill set. Until now. I think it’s safe to say Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle possess high-end talent, right? Considering Andrew Ladd still hasn’t resumed skating, Beauvilier should hold this spot for at least the next few games, making him a good streaming option with just 12% ownership. However, as Dobber points out here, Ladd’s contract gives him a spot in the top-six when healthy. Beauvillier has four goals in his last three games, but still isn’t seeing any time on the power play.
Boy, have we been treated to some impressive rookie performances in recent years. Connor Mcdavid, Jack Eichel, and Artemi Panarin highlighted 2015-2016, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine put on a show last season, and this season Brock Boeser and Mathew Barzal continue to astound us. Both Boeser and Barzal are extremely talented, possessing their own unique tools that make them offensive threats. I praised Boeser enough last week, so we’ll give Barzal the attention he deserves this week. The Islanders’ forward has 47 points in 45 games. Sidney Crosby has 47 points in 46 games. Words don’t adequately describe his talent, you have to see it to believe it. Here’s a good example. This one too. This isn’t bad. Okay, this isn’t fair. Now revolutionizing OT with self-passes? Hopefully those highlights helped all of you visual learners, but we’ll cover the numbers for the math geeks (myself included). As I’ve mentioned before, it’s harder to interpret a rookie’s underlying stats because we have no past production to compare it with. While Barzal’s 16.3% shooting percentage appears high upon first glance, efficient shooters in the league can hover around this mark, so regression isn’t guaranteed. However, when taking a look at his assists, almost half of them are secondary assists (15/31), so maybe a 70-75-point season is more likely than the 86 points he’s on pace for.
It looks like all Eberle really needed was an escape from the negative energy in Edmonton. After putting together 36 points in 45 games, he’s on pace for a 66-point season which would be a career-high! While it’s nice to see Eberle succeeding in a new setting, I wouldn’t blame you for trying to capitalize on his value and selling high. The most concerning thing for me is the 15:54 of ice-time he’s averaging this season. When looking through players with 60+ point seasons in recent years, most of them skated for at least 17 minutes a night. By no means am I saying Eberle’s production will fall off a cliff, but you’d be wise to market the seven points he has totalled in his last three games.
Scoring Chances For: 52 | Scoring Chances Against: 27 | Corsi For %: 63.43
The Sharks are one of four teams (also including the Rangers, Flyers, and Golden Knights) with four games remaining from Tuesday to Sunday. While the team got some depth scoring in Monday’s victory over the Kings, expect their top-six to be productive for the rest of the week.
Since returning from a concussion, Logan Couture has five points in seven games, or five points in his last four games. After a couple of ‘down’ seasons in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, Couture is primed to break the 60-point barrier as he’s on pace for 64 points. One stat that might be worth monitoring is his shooting percentage, which currently sits at 17.3% despite being closer to 11.6% in the past five seasons. Perhaps a 25-30 goal season is more realistic than the 35 he’s currently on pace for.
Tomas Hertl is a good streaming option this week because of his triple position eligibility and low ownership (37%) in Yahoo! Leagues. He’s especially valuable in leagues that count face-off wins because he can contribute to that category as a winger on your roster. In his first NHL season (2013-2014), Hertl put up a promising 25 points in 37 games. He had been building on that total in following seasons until knee surgery halted his progress last year. While the point production hasn’t been ideal so far in 2017-2018, he’s being given every opportunity to succeed. The 18:16 of ice-time he’s seeing is a career-high, as is the 2:48 he’s seeing on the power-play. In previous seasons, Hertl was getting a point on around 60% of goals scored while he was on the ice, but he’s only getting a point on 46% of those goals this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if things turn around and he breaks the 50-point barrier for the first time in his career.
Kevin Labanc has shown offensive potential in the OHL, tallying 127 points in 65 games for the Barrie Colts (2015-2016). While he may be an exciting part of the future in San Jose, he still hasn’t solidified himself as part of the current top-six. Although his 4% ownership (Yahoo! Leagues) reflects a lack of fantasy relevance, that doesn’t mean he can’t chip in with a point or two this week. The boys at Dobber Prospects provide a lot more insight into Labanc here.