Welcome back to Goldipucks and the Three Skaters, a play on words of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. Instead of there being three bowls of porridge though, I cover three skaters and declare one too hot (i.e., doing unsustainably better than he should), another too cold (i.e., doing unsustainably worse), and a third “just right” (i.e., producing where he should be). In addition, I also assign each a rating of 1-10, indicating how hot (rated 7-10, where 10 is the most unsustainably hot), cold (rated 1-4, where 1 is the most unsustainably cold), or “just right” (rated 4-7, where 5.5 is the most “just right”) he is.
With the Expansion Draft and the UFA blitz now in the rearview mirror and the impending release of the Fantasy Guide (available for order here), many of you are starting to renew your focus on your fantasy teams. Thankfully Goldipucks is here to give you the read on three players, who this month are Patrick Kane, Brock Boeser, and Victor Hedman. As usual, to get the most out of this column stop here and decide which of the three was too hot, who was too cold, and who was "just right" for 2020-21, before reading on to find out whether you went three for three in your guesses.
Pop quiz – what player scored the most points in the 2010 decade? It was none other than Kane, who keeps humming along, finishing in the top ten in scoring for the fourth straight campaign in 2020-21. But here's a player who'll be turning 33 during 2021-22. As such, will his unquestionable talent age well, or should we expect him to no longer remain elite? Most likely the former, in that although his best years are likely behind him, he should be able to maintain a scoring pace in the mid 90s for at least a few more seasons.
On the surface Kane's trends are not encouraging, as in the course of two seasons he went from a 111 to 97-point scoring pace and from 4.2 to 3.4 SOG per game, all despite slightly more PPTOI per game and similar overall TOI in 2020-21 as 2018-19. Why, then, is there reason not to be discouraged? Most notably, Kane's SH% was 7.9%, marking a career worst and only the second time since 2012-13 he was in single digits, with a career mark of 12.1% coming into 2020-21. That means had he shot at his normal rate and taken the exact same number of shots he should have had eight more goals on the season; and had that occurred, it would have given him a scoring pace of 108.
Okay – so why then shouldn