Ramblings: Some numbers on Hanifin, McAvoy, Hyman, and Toffoli – April 14

Michael Clifford

2020-04-14

There was a good read on our site a couple days ago from Mike Halbany, one of our newest writers. He was discussing Dominik Kubalik and what we could expect from him next year, given his incredible success and lack of track record.

One thing Mike brought up that I think is very important: Kubalik was earning a ton of PP time as the year wore on. I have concerns for Kubalik as well – namely his shooting percentage – but if he can play 3:30 a night on the PP, well, suddenly a lot of my concerns disappear. It'll be interesting to see how they use him in 2020-21.

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Expected goals are a metric that shows us the value of a player – both offensively and defensively – based on shots taken by their team, or allowed by their team, and the value of each of those shots; a wrist shot from the slot does not have the same odds of turning into a goal as a wrist shot from the blue line. There are going to be issues with any kind of predictive models like this, given the future is inherently murky. All the same, it's one of the best measures we currently have for figuring out who is good at helping their team score and who is good at helping their team prevent scoring by the opposition.

Not all players are created equal, that's where individual player talent matters. When looking at expected goal differentials, players like Nathan MacKinnon and Elias Pettersson ranked lower in 2019-20 on a per-minute basis at even strength than names like Phillip Danault and Andrew Mangiapane. Despite the latter two names ranking higher than the former two, I'm not sure anyone would make that swap in fantasy leagues or in real life.

Over the last two seasons, per