Frozen Tools Forensics: Play-In Peak Performers
If you have been following the Dobber feed lately, you know two things. One is that play-ins start on the first of August, and the second is that the writers here at Dobber posted their expert opinions as to will triumph in those rounds. You can check out the East picks, and the West picks at your leisure, but today we are going to focus on the consensus picks listed in each article. The idea is that these teams have a better shot at producing and advancing than their opponents, and therefore their players are set up for more success (particularly those teams that look to be winners of tough series). Playoff pools are all about opportunity and the experts have spoken.
So, first off, who are the teams picked to advance?
- Edmonton in 4
- Nashville in 4
- Vancouver in 4
- Winnipeg in 5
- Pittsburgh in 4
- NY Rangers in 5
- NY Islanders in 4
- Toronto in 5
The Dobber experts think these teams have a better shot at advancing than their opponents, which would mean an extra few playoff games – and even if your league is just using the play-ins as a round these teams are still favored to do better. Now no one needs the article telling you to check out Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but who are the later round bubble players who might be worth snagging in your playoff pools? This of course depends on the depth of the league, so we will hit a couple of different player ranges below.
We are going to use the Big Board Report again for this as it will give us the most well-rounded data for player's performance for the season. As always, we will export the data so we can mess with it a bit. We can filter the results to target just the above teams and then take some of our superstars off the top. I have it further broken down into sections based on how those players performed over the course of the season.
Below is a section for players who managed to sustain a point-per-game-ish pace through the season. These are guys that may not have had that kind of sustained success before so they may fall a little lower in value for managers, but had excellent seasons nonetheless.
Our second tier of players represent the players who put up a 65-70-ish point pace over the course of the season.
And finally, a 50-60-point pace.
Let's take a look at a player from each of these categories.
RNH was in the process of a career year when the season was cut short. Some of this increase was definitely an increase in opportunity as RNH was seeing a career high average power-play time and total time on ice. Another big part of his success though was the astronomical play of Leon Draisaitl. RNH's pace was almost a full ten points higher than his previous career high pace (2018-19 – this McDavid, Draisaitl era is clearly agreeing with him). There isn't a lot to say here really. He is sometimes overlooked because he doesn’t carry the superstar numbers of a couple of his teammates, but he has had a few very successful seasons recently. If he can keep lining up with Draisaitl at even strength and on the power play, he should be a very valuable pick.
Strome went on a run early in the season and never looked back. From the middle of October until the end of November, he put up 22 points in 21 games. He was seeing a bit of a high shooting percentage, but his deployment was seeing a huge boost. He was up over three and half minutes of power-play time on average and at 20 minutes of playing time a night.
Once the new year came around, Strome slowed somewhat, putting up 36 points over his final 45 games (which amounts to a 65-ish point pace). He lost a small bit of ice time, but was still over 20 minutes on many nights. The biggest help to Strome all season long was being stapled to Artemi Panarin's side. Panarin's incredible performance certainly helped raise Strome's ship. We haven't seen much success from Strome away from Panarin so this is certainly a lineup situation to keep an eye on. If it looks like he is going to be on that line, Strome is a guy I want to own.
Toffoli joined Vancouver later in the year and the change brought immediate dividends. He was averaging somewhere between 16 and 17 minutes a night with some limited power-play time in LA. He was on a line with Anze Kopitar for much of it, which was nice, but he wasn't really clicking.
At the end of the season with Vancouver, we were seeing a different Toffoli entirely. He played the vast majority of his shifts with Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller (who we definitely could have touched on above) and put up 14 points in his final 12 games. His shooting percentage was definitely too high, but it wasn't all luck. He was consistently seeing over two minutes of power-play time and over 18 and a half minutes of total ice time for the first time essentially ever. If he can keep that deployment, both linemates and time on ice, watch out for Toffoli.
That is all for this week. Thanks for reading.
Stay safe out there.
Want more tool talk? Check out these recent Frozen Tool Forensics Posts.
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