Ramblings: What I would like to see in 2020-21

Michael Clifford

2020-05-19

We're all greedy fantasy owners. We all want the players on our fantasy rosters to be the ones that get increased ice time, increased power-play exposure, overtime opportunities, and so on. And when they don't, we often try to justify to ourselves why it might happen in the future.

I'm a fan of the Star Wars franchise and that even extends to 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'. While others' enjoyment of the movie may vary, I enjoyed it a lot. Regardless, there's an online movement to get a second 'Solo' movie in the works, and that got me thinking: what are things I've wanted to see in the NHL that haven't happened, or things I want to see again?

Sometimes, wishes do come true. Things I had wanted to see for years finally came to fruition in 2019-20, like Dougie Hamilton being PP1 before his injury, Tyler Toffoli finally getting prime minutes with a top centre again (with PPTOI as well), and Kevin Fiala receiving the ice time he deserves, as he averaged over 18 minutes a game in his final 15 games before play was suspended. These are all things I've clamoured for in these Ramblings in the past, and they happened.

In that sense, what else would I like to see happen with certain players and situations across the league if we get a normal 2020-21 regular season? Well, let's look at that. Stats from Natural Stat Trick or Frozen Tools.

 

Jakob Chychrun takes over the Arizona power play

Evaluating power-play prowess isn't really an easy thing to do. Like most events in hockey, the desired end result (a goal for your team) involves most, if not all, players on the ice to some degree, and how much a good power play can be attributed to one player isn't always clear.

That's why having the attitude that Chychrun should run the top PP unit over Oliver Ekman-Larsson isn't necessarily one borne from stats. Because there are some stats that say Chychrun should run it – the team scores more with him on the ice without OEL than the other way around – but there are others that say OEL should run it – the team generates more shots with him on the ice with Chychrun than the other way around. On top of that, we're dealing with small samples, as Chychrun has just 191 minutes on the PP over the last three years without OEL, which works out to be about two-thirds of a season's worth of PPTOI. Not a lot.

The other issue is that there are some other