Geek of the Week: Blake Goalman

Ben Burnett

2020-01-19


Blake Coleman is not your prototypical fantasy stud. He doesn’t play on a top line. He’s 28 and he’s never cracked 40 points in a season. In 2019-20 he is averaging only 6 seconds of PPTOI per game, and in fact he has more shorthanded points this year than he has power-play points over the first 227 games of his NHL career. Having said all that, over the past four weeks, Coleman has become one of the most productive players in the fantasy hockey world.

Over New Jersey’s past 14 games, Coleman has amassed 10 goals on 68 shots, while adding 43 hits. Over an 82-game pace, those numbers would be 59 goals, 398 shots, and 252 hits. Obviously the goals total is inflated, but that’s on 15 percent shooting. Coleman’s career average is just north of 10 percent, so he’s been a little lucky the past few weeks, but not ridiculously so. If he maintained that shot pace and hit his career average shooting percentage over a full season, he’d pace for a very respectable 35 goals. 

From a season-long perspective, Coleman may be pacing for only 47 points, but his 33 goals would make him fantasy-relevant. Where he really makes his hay is multi-category leagues. Currently, Coleman is pacing for 255 shots and 249 hits over a full season. To put those totals in context, we haven’t seen a player come close to putting up a 250/250 season since Alex Ovechkin in 2014-15.

Given Coleman’s lack of power-play ice time, you’d be correct in assuming he’s been incredible at 5-on-5. In fact, Coleman is tied for eighth in 5-on-5 goals with Nikita Kucherov, Jack Eichel, and Dominik Kubalik. He’s one goal ahead of Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, and Patrick Kane

One factor that’s really helped Coleman is the emergence of his line with Travis Zajac and Nikita Gusev. With 284 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time together, the Devils’ resurgent second line has put up an expected-goals-for percentage of 54.2. That number would look good on any squad, but on a Devils team that is 29th in the league with 43.65 percent xGF this year that number is much-needed.