Ramblings: Top Frozen Tools Searches – Price, DeBrincat, Point
In case you missed it, the Capitals have terminated the contract of Brendan Leipsic, who made numerous inappropriate and disgusting remarks on Instagram. Leipsic was scheduled to be an RFA at season's end, but considering that some of his comments were made toward NHL players, I would think that he's burned a lot of bridges that would normally help him continue his NHL career. I'd expect the 25-year-old forward to land in the KHL or somewhere else in Europe if he is to continue playing hockey. Leipsic's status as a fourth liner likely made the Capitals' decision easy, as I wonder what would have happened if this were a higher-profile player.
Since Leipsic claimed his account was hacked, there is an issue of privacy here. Having said that, direct messages on any social media should NOT be considered private. I remember a similar debate occurring about a decade ago in a class that I taught about email not being private, even though the perception might be that email should be private. Emails can be forwarded and screenshotted, and written messages are difficult to refute once viewed. Same goes with the DMs, even if the intent by the sender is for the message to remain private. And if the comments were meant to be joking or kidding, then that's up to the recipient to decide.
Leipsic's comments speak to an issue larger than so-called “hockey culture”, which is the underlying issue of society tolerating misogynistic and inappropriate behavior. Think of it this way: With Mother's Day being upon us, would your mother be proud of you making those types of remarks? Would she find them even remotely acceptable? Would you be comfortable if she found out about these remarks? Make your mom proud and just don’t say that stuff. By the way, early Happy Mother's Day wishes to all the moms out there.
The Canadiens have signed prospect defenseman Alexander Romanov to a three-year, entry-level contract. Under the current rules, Romanov wouldn't be able to play if/when the season resumes, but there's always the possibility that could change. For scouting observations on Romanov, you can check out his Dobber Prospects profile.
I'm not a prospects writer, and I don't pretend to be one either. So I didn’t know much about Romanov when I saw him play at the 2019 World Juniors in Vancouver. I came away extremely impressed with his hard work and two-way play, as he definitely seemed noticeable on the ice. I read the comparison on Romanov to Drew Doughty, which has more to do with style of play than suggesting that Romanov will be the next Doughty. Still, Habs fans should be looking forward to what Romanov will bring to their defense.
In what I’m hoping will be a weekly feature, here are the top Frozen Tools searches from the past week:
There were only three new names from last week: Carey Price, Alex DeBrincat, and Brayden Point. All three are practically universally owned in fantasy leagues, so I'm not as surprised that they are among the top searches as Luke Kunin, Christian Djoos, Jesper Bratt, and Jake Virtanen were. For more on why the latter four might be such popular searches, see my Ramblings from last week.
In fact, Price, DeBrincat, and Point are in the Top 100 Roto Rankings, so I'll also use this opportunity to determine whether they are too high, too low, or just about right in the rankings. Feel free to leave your feedback on the rankings as well.
Here's an opportunity to use the new GSAA (goals saved above average) stat from Frozen Tools. It's used to determine the goalie's save percentage versus league average to determine how many goals (positive or negative) were saved. Price's GSAA this past season was -1.31, which was 33rd among the 57 goalies who played at least 20 games (click the Quality Starts button for GSAA). That GSAA places Price slightly below average in that category, assuming that a GSAA of zero would be about average.
Price might still be widely viewed as an elite goalie, but his overall numbers haven't been elite for about three seasons. His GSAA over those three seasons has been -3.92, which places him just below onetime workhorses Devan Dubnyk and Henrik Lundqvist; but just above Jake Allen and James Reimer, two goalies who have had their share of struggles.
If I remove the crummy 2017-18 season and just go by the last two seasons, Price jumps to a more respectable 13.63 GSAA. No goalie with a higher GSAA over that span has either played more games than Price's 124 GP or has more quality starts than Price's 71 QS. The quality might be slipping, but Price gets by on volume. If your league counts wins, Price is tied for fourth in wins over that span. Wins might be a misleading fantasy category, but you'll still need to care about them if they're counted in your league.
Price is still hanging onto a spot in the Top 100 Roto Rankings. The fact that he is not on any kind of goalie hot seat and didn't have a disastrous season (like Sergei Bobrovsky or Pekka Rinne) keeps him there.
Geek of the Week writer Mike Halbany broke down DeBrincat's struggles this season and whether he's a candidate to rebound next season. Halbany dives into analytics for numbers like shot attempts per 60 and expected goals per 60, which show a player who has been snakebitten this season (18 goals and 45 points) as opposed to lucky last season (41 goals and 76 points).
If you look at simple shooting percentage, DeBrincat currently sits at 8.7 percent, which is less than half of what it was in 2018-19. If a shooter is struggling, one question I ask is whether the player is still shooting the puck. That has been the case with DeBrincat, who is actually shooting at a higher rate this season (2.96 SOG/GP) than last season (2.68 SOG/GP). For much of this season, DeBrincat was also lined up with Kirby Dach, who will only improve from a rookie season that saw him struggle for long stretches.
DeBrincat was drafted on average at 40th overall in Yahoo leagues. That number is sure to drop in 2020-21 drafts. If your leaguemates are also regulars at Dobber Hockey, then he won't fall too far. If not, you might be able to let him fall a few rounds over this season and be rewarded with a player who will outproduce his draft-day value.
Point hasn't exploded the same way in 2019-20 that he did in 2018-19, yet his 0.97 PTS/GP still places him comfortably in the top 30 in that category among players that have played at least 40 games. A slow start to the season may have been expected after signing his three-year bridge deal in late September. However, his production has been fairly consistent all season.
The Lightning center has a higher shooting percentage than most players, as it has not been lower than 14% in any of his four NHL seasons. The upside is that he should have no problem scoring goals (at least 25 in each of his last three seasons), but the downside is that he's not a high-volume shooter (less than 200 shots in each of his last two seasons). In fact, Point is barely within the top 150 in shots on goal this season in spite of missing only four games this season.
A major part of the drop from 1.16 PTS/GP (92 points) to 0.97 PTS/GP (64 points) is the lack of power-play points. After finishing sixth in the NHL with 35 power-play points, Point sagged to just 13 power-play points this season. A major part of that was the overall effectiveness of the Lightning power play, which declined from a league-leading 74 power-play goals in 2018-19 to 49 power-play goals in 2019-20 (still good for fifth in the NHL). A 28.2% success rate from 2018-19 seems difficult to duplicate, so a rebound to 2018-19's success rate might be too much of an ask.
Despite that, Point seems in a great spot to be a consistent point-per-game player for a while. He should be sufficiently motivated for at least two more seasons while he chases that long-term contract. He's about where he should be in the Top 100 Roto Rankings.
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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