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One thing I have tried to focus on in my Ramblings this off season is the importance of the power play. A little over a week ago, I wrote extensively about how Evgeni Dadonov may struggle to reach his fantasy ceiling due to a loss in power-play minutes. I also wrote about how Dylan Larkin may be ready to take that next step because of a potential uptick in PP production. I’ve covered changing shot rates and TOI allotment over the last few years. For those that haven’t read those Ramblings, those are a good place to start.
There’s a reason for the focus on PP production. Unless your name is Connor McDavid, PP production is crucial to attaining truly elite-level fantasy status. As I mentioned in that piece on Larkin, he had the most points in the league last year for any player with single-digit PPPs, and he managed 63 total points. Out of the 21 players with at least 80 points, all of them had at least 20 PPPs, and just Johnny Gaudreau, Artemi Panarin, and Brad Marchand failed to reach 25 (and Marchand missed simply due to games played). Out of the 36 players with at least 70 total points, only Leon Draisaitl and Sean Couturier had fewer than 15 PPPs.
For much of this week, I’m going to discuss not just last year’s production and underlying numbers, but from the last two years. Unless otherwise indicated, it will be five-on-four power plays only, and all data is from Corsica. The reason to focus on just five-on-four is the relative infrequency of four-on-three and five-on-three power plays. Those types of PPs often offer different personnel as well. It’s not to discount 4v3 and 5v3 power plays, it’s just to figure out who did what in the game state with the most data.
Just to get to the meat of it, the leaders in five-on-four goals over the last two years features a lot of names to expect and a handful that warrant further discussion. This is the list of players with at least 20 such goals over the last two years:
Let’s talk about a few of those names.
I remember a week ago (or so) that fellow writer Cam Robinson was on Twitter di