Ramblings: Primary Assists – Coyle, B. Tkachuk, Hall (Apr 4)
Hope you're doing well and staying safe.
Earlier this week when the City of Toronto placed a ban on public events until June 30, that ban did not include sporting events. However, on Friday the mayor of Calgary placed his own ban on public events, which happens to include sporting events. The feeling I've been getting is the various cities and provinces/states will ultimately decide when sports will resume. Some places are being hit harder than others (eg. New York), which could open the door for leagues to restart in certain less-affected cities only. It's difficult to look at the current situation and see a light at the end of the tunnel, though.
Now that we are well into social distancing (hopefully), Zoom has become increasingly popular for gatherings such as meetings, schooling, religious services, and family events. Unfortunately, that has resulted in Zoom-bombing attacks. Rangers prospect K'Andre Miller was targeted in the form of racist language (USA Today) during a chat session with fans. Let's hope the authorities find the perpetrator and punish to the full extent of the law on this overt hate crime.
Continuing on with the assists topic I've been diving into
lately, today I'm listing the top options for primary assists to secondary
assists. If you're getting tired of assists, I promise I won't stay on this topic
forever. A1-A2 refers to how many more primary assists to secondary assists the
player attained, while A2/A1 show how many secondary assists the player
attained for every primary assist.
As I have previously, I'll focus on three particular players.
The 6-3, 220 lb. Coyle barely met the 19-assist requirement, which I mentioned earlier was so that Alex Ovechkin could be included. (Note that Ovechkin made the top 25, though I won't be discussing his assist total specifically.) With just four secondary assists compared to 17 primary assists, Coyle was the clear leader in terms of percentage. In spite of what would seem like a bad-luck assist total, Coyle is only one assist shy of last season's total in 11 fewer games.
After a career-high 56 points with Minnesota in 2016-17, Coyle has settled in as around a 35-point player over the last three seasons. He's a solid option as a third-line center for the Bruins, but since the three top-end scorers all play on the top line, Coyle won't have much upward mobility in the Bruins' lineup unless there is an injury. Having said that, it is worth mentioning that Coyle had seven points in the nine games that Patrice Bergeron missed because of injury earlier this season.
Don't be surprised to see a slightly higher assist total from Coyle going forward, but it shouldn't swing his fantasy value in a significant way.
There is a lot to like about the younger Tkachuk for fantasy purposes. For starters, there's some growth with his assist total, which in 2019-20 has matched last season's total (23) in the exact same number of games played (71).
Let's update where we are with this. Tkachuk already reached one of these milestones, reaching the 300-hit mark during his last game. Had the season been cancelled a day earlier, we wouldn't be able to say this. Tkachuk entered the game, the last game the NHL played before its shutdown, with 295 hits. He dished eight hits on the Kings to end up with 303 hits.
As for shots, Tkachuk currently sits at 259 shots in 71 games played. With 11 games remaining, Tkachuk would be on pace for… 299 shots. Don't tell the Sens that these games don't mean anything. They have milestones to reach!
For more on Tkachuk, check out our Geek of the Week article from earlier in the season. If your multicategory league rankings don't tell you this, then I will: Tkachuk is a top-50 player in any multicategory league with any banger categories. Only Evander Kane and Brendan Lemieux recorded more penalty minutes than Tkachuk this season (106 PIM). Right now, he's a 50-point player based on current pace. Think of the kind of value that he'll have if he becomes a 60, 70, or even 80-point player, particularly when the Senators are able to surround him with stronger and more developed scoring options.
We can further break down Hall's A1/A2 ratio before and after his trade to Arizona:
New Jersey: 14 A1, 5 A2
Arizona: 14 A1, 3 A2
And in terms of overall scoring:
New Jersey: 30 GP, 6 G, 19 A, 25 PTS
Arizona: 35 GP, 10 G, 17 A, 27 PTS
Hall has experienced a slight decline in his scoring rate since being traded to Arizona, although it hasn't been significant. Perhaps you saw the number somewhere about how Arizona's record took a nosedive after the Hall trade. In my opinion, that had more to do with Darcy Kuemper's injury shortly after, as he was having a Vezina Trophy-level season at that point. For what it's worth, Hall may have been finding his groove just before the shutdown, firing 14 shots over his last two games.
As for Hall's scoring, we've already seen the best-case scenario, when he scored 93 points (39g-54a) en route to a Hart Trophy. In terms of whether an improvement next season is in the cards, we'll have to find out where Hall plays next season. New Jersey and Arizona both ranked in the bottom third in terms of goals per game, so could there be an improvement on a better team? Hall's most frequent linemates in Arizona have been Christian Dvorak and Conor Garland – talented players to be sure, but not first liners.
One way or another, Hall will look to improve on what was a 66-point pace this season, which was his lowest point-per-game pace (0.80 PTS/GP) over the last three seasons.
Since there isn't a ton happening in the hockey world right now, feel free to leave any questions or comments, and I may discuss them in a future Ramblings. For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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