In the course of planning the usual Drop or Not section for this week, there were just a few too many players to talk about. So as not to exclude, this week’s article will focus on a number of those players and particularly those who have not been performing up to expectations in recent weeks (or all-season in some cases). So without further ado…


Drop or Not?


Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat:

So one of the downsides of planning on Sunday is that there are often games played on Sunday. And of course, all of the named players above put up points. Even so, adding a point or two is not enough to change the full picture yet.


Starting with Kane: His full-season pace is reasonable at 12 points in 13 games. That amounts to about a 75-point pace, which is still a significant drop from his 110 point season in 2018-19. The full season pace also masks the recent dry spell of four points in his last seven games (it was two over his last six before Sunday’s game). Kane did not have a stretch like this in all of 2018-19. A couple of other interesting notes here. His personal shooting percentage is a bit low and is team five on five shooting percentage is quite low. Those two together certainly imply that there should be more goals scored when he is on the ice. Unfortunately (and rather impressively) Kane’s IPP is at 100%, meaning he has gotten a point on every single goal that has been scored while he is on the ice. That number won’t continue. So if that falls, but more goals are scored, he evens out? That wouldn’t be great news for Kane owners since they were certainly hoping for more than a 75-point season. There is an additional worry as Kane does have a recent history of lower producing seasons, put up 76 points in 2017-18 before exploding again in 2018-19. The good news is that he is playing more than his last 76-point season, but is down a minute and a half in total ice from 2019-20 and about 30 seconds on the power play. There isn’t much advice here. I am not sure you can sell a 100-point Kane with his performance so far, and if you are buying low, there is a very real chance you aren’t buying a 100 point Kane. You are obviously not dropping him, but we have to hope that something changes for the better for him.


Toews’ five points in 13 games is definitely more alarming. That number is buoyed by his two points on Sunday, and three over his last two games. Prior to that, he had gone six games without a point. 2018-19 saw Toews put a recent high of 81 points, and seemed relatively sustainable. His time on ice has dropped a little, but not enough to account for this fall in production. The optimism here is that his personal shooting percentage is 7.4% (half of his 2018-19 number), his team five on five shooting percentage is 2.78%, which is criminal, and his IPP is 38.5%. All of those numbers should rebound in dramatic fashion. The answer is clear here; buy, buy, buy.


DeBrincat had a career 76 points in 2018-19 and expectations were high coming into 2019-20. Thus far his eight points in 13 games have underwhelmed significantly. He has pointed in just five of Chicago’s 13 games. His deployment and time on ice numbers look good, and like with Toews his personal, and team shooting percentages are low, as is his IPP. that all means he is likely to bounce back, so he is another prime buy-low candidate.


Ryan Johansen:

RyJo has 10 points in his 14 games, which is reasonable, though not great. Unfortunately, he has been killing owners over the last two weeks with three points over his last nine games. He also hasn’t been shooting much with only 16 shots over that time period. As with Toews and DeBrincat, there is room for optimism here with his underlying numbers all being lower than usual. Add to that the fact that Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene are returning and hopefully the next few weeks will be a significant improvement over the last several.


John Klingberg:

Klingberg’s three points in 16 games so far are officially terrible. He is on pace for 15 points, a far cry from the 60-65 point potential we hoped for going into the season. His time on ice, both at even strength and on the power play seems to be mostly intact, which is good. His shot pace is actually slightly improved from 2018-19 as well. As with several of the players above, the main culprit seems to be low percentage numbers that should be bouncing back any time now. Dallas, in general, is not performing up to expectations so that likely has something to do with it as well. Klingberg’s value is probably at the lowest you can expect it to go, so if you want to buy, now is the time.


Timo Meier:

Meier was featured last week and just as a quick update, he has been bounced around the lineup since then. He spent time on the third line, but in his most recent game was back on the second. Unfortunately, these changes have also coincided with a loss of almost a full minute of time on ice over his last two games. Underlying numbers are still pointing toward bounce back, but shifting linemates and losing ice time could spell danger for Meier.


Wild West Weekly Streamers:


Zack Kassian:

Edmonton has a great schedule over the upcoming week with four games on off nights. Unfortunately, most of the relevant forwards are probably owned in your league. That leaves Kassian, who is still running with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl at even strength. His true value comes in a bangers league as he is adding hits, but we are hoping for a few points through osmosis.


Conor Garland:

Garland has three points and 13 shots over his last three games. He has also been scoring in an every-other-game pattern since his third game of the season. He was lining up with Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller is his most recent game. His time on ice leaves something to be desired, but with four games up for this week, now is a good time to try.


Last Week’s Streamers

Mikael Backlund:

Backlund was a bust this week. He played over 19 minutes a night over four games, but only mustered six shots. He took 33 faceoffs if that means anything in your league, but in terms of offense – not great.


Nick Ritchie:

Ritchie had a goal and eight shots over his three games, which is fine, but given his three-game point streak prior to this week I was hoping for a little more.


Thanks for reading, see you next week.