Ramblings: Fiala; Chabot; Ovie’s Goal Title Chase & Production of Other Older Players (Feb 23)

Alexander MacLean

2022-02-23

It makes no sense for the Wild to be trading Kevin Fiala, who scored his 13th goal last night… in his last 19 games. Fiala is on fire, and is finally on pace for a 70-point season after a slow start. All of his underlying numbers are extremely consistent with previous years. On top of that, some players on the shorter side don't fully hit their stride until game 400, Fiala just hit game 385, and may be looking at hitting career highs in the next season or two.

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If you want a cheap piece of the powerhouse that is the Florida Panthers' offence, Maxim Mamin has been playing his even strength shifts alongside Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe. If Mason Marchment can start potting six points in a game, we can definitely see a few extra points trickle over Mamin's way. He has two points in his last four games.

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With the St. Louis Blues chugging along, carried by their offence (and I guess Ville Husso as well), no one has really looked under the hood at a couple of the worrying marks for the team. Specifically, David Perron and Ryan O'Reilly have been disappointing this season to say the least. The two are on pace for their worst seasons in the last five years (eight for O'Reilly), and they aren't getting any younger. I have found for centres, you can tell when their offence is going to drop off (or if it is going to stay depressed) by looking at their faceoff percentage. ROR is a historically dominant faceoff man, and this year he has still been good, but his win percentage at the dot is also lower, the lowest it has been in… eight years. Coincidence?

I think moving forward we need to look at the 31-year-old O'Reilly as a 55 point forward, without exceptional peripherals, though he still wins 900+ faceoffs, for those of you who count those. Perron is a free agent this summer, and where he signs will affect his value, but conservatively we need to look at him as a soon-to-be 34-year-old who saw his point totals crater from an 85-point-pace to a 53-point-pace. Fortunately, he gets to pick his own situation, and if he goes back up above 18:30 minutes per game (where he has been the last two years) then his scoring could rebound. On the Blues, he's currently playing third line minutes (under 17 per game), and seeing fewer starts in the offensive zone.

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I had a friend ask me to dive into Alex Ovechkin's race towards the goal scoring crown. It's very interesting trying to compare Ovechkin to Gretzky, as there are just so many differences between them, despite the fact they are two of the greatest goal scorers of all time. Gretzky was a big volume scorer (both goals and assists) in his prime years, but