As the playoff race intensifies in the NHL, we start to feel the heat in our fantasy leagues. We’re entering that stretch where a single game can be the difference between winning and losing a championship, so this week we look at lines with a few extra games to play. To give you some perspective, number of games remaining currently ranges from 24 (Toronto, St. Louis) to 29 (Florida). Since we refer to CF% a fair bit throughout the article, I’ll preface with a quick refresher on what Corsi means:
Corsi is a measure for offensive zone possession. Players and teams with positive Corsi rates tend to spend more time in the offensive zone at five-on-five, something that’s predictive of success over the long-term. All things being equal, Corsi ratios tend to range between 40-60 per cent for most players and teams. An elite number is usually around 55 per cent or better while anything below 45 per cent tends to below average.
Alex Galchenyuk – Jonathan Drouin – Nikita Scherbak
# of Games Remaining: 27
Since being drafted third overall in 2012, the narrative surrounding Alex Galchenyuk’s career can be summarized in one word: mismanagement. In my eyes, he has always had the potential for greatness, an offensive awareness that just can’t be taught. Unfortunately, management used to punish him with fourth-line minutes for his defensive shortcomings, which seemed to hinder his development. Now, I may not be a fan of coach Claude Julien’s ‘throw every puck to the net’ style, but I have to admit he has played a big role in Galchenyuk’s progression this season. Julien openly praising Galchenyuk’s effort has to be a huge confidence boost for a kid who has been… well, mismanaged in the past. Considering the Habs are well out of a playoff spot, the team’s main concern has to be the future. What better way to plan for the future than to play your best young offensive talents together and evaluate how good they really are. Drouin is 22. Scherbak is 22. Galchenyuk turned 24 literally yesterday. I’m a fan of this line for the rest of the season because I think they’ll have a longer leash without any pressure of making the playoffs. Here’s a great example of some Drouin-Galchenyuk chemistry…
Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johans