Eastern Edge: Matthews, Marner, and Bunting; Swayman vs. Ullmark; Jenner, Dobson, and More

Brennan Des

2022-03-01

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll discuss notable performances from the month of February. Keep in mind that as far as the schedule was concerned, it was an uneven month for most teams involved. Some played as few as six, some as many as 12.  

Toronto's Top Trio

February was a great month for Toronto's top line, with each member finishing as a frontrunner in the league's scoring race. Mitch Marner sat atop the leaderboard with 23 points in 12 outings, Auston Matthews was a close second with 19 points through 12 appearances, and Michael Bunting also managed to crack the top-10, tallying 14 points in 12 games. Through 300 minutes together this season, the trio has controlled 60% of the shot-share. Not only have they generated more shots than their opponents, they've also created more scoring chances (65%) and high danger opportunities (64%). A strong process has led to favourable results as the trio has outscored the opposition 34-17 this season. While Matthews and Marner won't be easy to acquire in your fantasy league, Michael Bunting is still available in 51% of Yahoo formats. He's shown good chemistry with Matthews and Marner and should continue seeing lots of time beside the two superstars down the stretch.

Goalie Gaffes

Heading into February, Sergei Bobrovsky had a 23-4-3 record, 2.56 GAA and .920 save percentage. His numbers over the past month don't look great as he posted a 3.08 GAA and .877 save percentage through five starts in February. Bobrovsky actually started the month with three quality starts against the Hurricanes, Wild and Blackhawks, but his stats took a hit after he surrendered five goals to Nashville and four to Edmonton in his two most recent appearances. I'm inclined to believe this is a small bump in the road, rather than a sign of what's to come down the stretch. Bob benefits from playing behind a strong team in Florida, and although the Panthers are currently caught in a three-game losing streak, they've proven to be a powerhouse over a large sample. I'm confident that both the team and Bob will bounce back from this small slump.

Jack Campbell's recent struggles have been well documented. While February wasn't a good month for Campbell, his struggles date back to the beginning of 2022. He possesses a 3.49 GAA and .887 save percentage in 15 starts since January 1st. That's a drastic drop from the 1.94 GAA and .937 save percentage he had through 23 games during the 2021 portion of this season. Since Campbell is 30 years old, it's easy to forget that this his first season as a full-fledged starting netminder. He's navigating a new role and needs to continue developing his mental fortitude. At present, he seems to be a streaky goaltender that's capable of high highs, but also falls victim to low lows. Initial struggles diminish his confidence, leading to a snowba