Patrice Bergeron vs. David Krejci

by Rick Roos on June 17, 2015
DavidKrejci

 

Investigating Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci – and which player is the better fantasy own

 

It’s a first for me this week, as battling it out are two teammates – Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Will Bergeron’s consistency continue, or even improve; and can Krejci rebound from a season where he never hit his stride? We’ll find out who’s the best own in points-only leagues, as well as for various multi-cat set-ups. Cage Match starts now!

Career Path and Contract Status

 

Bergeron – who turns 30 in July – was selected 45th overall by Boston in 2003. Despite his draft slot, he wasted little time in making an NHL impact, playing 71 games the same season then posting 70+ point campaigns in 2005-06 and 2006-07 before concussion woes put his career briefly in jeopardy. But by 2011-12 he’d rounded back into form, starting a string of three straight seasons of 62-65 point scoring pace, before dipping a bit last season to just 55 points.

The Bs continued their draft magic in 2004 by grabbing Krejci with pick 63. Krejci – now 29 – likewise tasted 70+ points in his second season, but had a production set-back (to the tune of only 52 points) in 2009-10. And although he’s yet to achieve 70+ points again, he did post 62+ in each of the next three full campaigns, including 69 in 2013-14. But last season saw him struggle after being derailed by injuries, as he tallied only 31 points (55 point full season pace).

Krejci is inked through 2020-21 with a $7.25M annual cap hit, while Bergeron’s contract counts $6.875M against the cap and runs through 2021-22.

 

Ice Time

 

Season

Total Ice Time per game (rank among team’s forwards)

PP Ice Time per game (rank among team’s forwards)

SH Ice Time per game (rank among team’s forwards)

2014-15

18:07 (P.B.) – 1st

18:10 (D.K.) – 2nd

2:20 (P.B.) – 3rd

2:12 (D.K.) – 4th

1:44 (P.B.) – 2nd

0:34 (D.K.) – 9th

2013-14

17:59 (P.B.) – 3rd

19:07 (D.K.) – 1st

1:59 (P.B.) – 4th

2:33 (D.K.) – 1st

1:57 (P.B.) – 1st

0:38 (D.K.) – 8th

2012-13

19:17 (P.B.) – 1st

18:30 (D.K.) – 3rd

2:10 (P.B.) – 4th

2:11 (D.K.) – 2nd (tied)

2:12 (P.B.) – 2nd

0:19 (D.K.) – 8th

2011-12

18:34( P.B.) – 1st

18:25 (D.K.) – 2nd

2:31( P.B.) – 3rd

2:26 (D.K.) – 5th

1:48 (P.B.) – 1st

0:43 (D.K.) – 7th

 

Keeping in mind that in each of the past two seasons the Bs had seven forwards receive between 1:45 and 2:30 of PP Ice Time per game and nine average between 14:00 and 19:07 in Total Ice Time, it’s not surprising that only once – in 2013-14 – were these two separated by more than 1:00 in Total Ice Time or 0:30 on the PP. That’s not to say there weren’t differences – those have come in SH Ice Time, with Bergeron getting 1:00 to 1:19 more per game except in 2012-13, when the gap was nearly 2:00. And although there’s talk of a somewhat “new look” Bruins approach to the upcoming season, with the team having missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade, it’s safe to expect that Bergeron – one of the best faceoff men (more on that below) and three zone forwards in the game – will continue to be saddled with significantly more SH Ice Time than Krejci in 2015-16.

Beyond that, it’s safe to expect for both players to see their SH Ice Time creep upward next season, what with Boston having already indicated that Gregory Campbell (1:31 SH Ice Time per game in 2014-15) and Daniel Paille (1:21 per game) won’t be re-signed, and amid speculation that at least one of Chris Kelly (1:45 per game) and Loui Eriksson (1:36 per game) might be dealt this summer. Sure – the Bs figure to add players to occupy similar roles; however, that’s a lot of SH time to fill, so one has to think more SH duty will fall upon both Bergeron and Krejci.

While this is consequential to Krejci, it’s arguably more concerning for Bergeron, since he could creep back above 2:00 of SH Ice Time per game, which, for forwards, represents the closest thing to a full season sub-60 point barrier there is. Notice I said “full season,” as I realize the last time Bergeron exceeded that threshold, he scored 32 points in 42 games; and although that translated to a 62 point full season scoring rate, it likely would’ve been very difficult to maintain that pace over a full season, as Bryan Little is the only forward from the past two seasons to tally above 60 points while receiving more than 2:00 of SH Ice Time per game (he did so in 2013-14).

 

Secondary Categories

Season

PIMs

(per game)

Hits

(per game)

Blocked Shots (per game)

Shots

(per game)

PP Points

(per game)

FOW

(per game)

2014-15

0.54 (P.B.)

0.46 (D.K.)

0.70 (P.B.)

0.74 (D.K.)

0.74 (P.B.)

0.61 (D.K.)

2.89 (P.B.)

1.49 (D.K.)

0.17 (P.B.)

0.17 (D.K.)

14.50 (P.B.)

6.72 (D.K.)

2013-14

0.53 (P.B.)

0.35 (D.K.)

0.65 (P.B.)

0.93 (D.K.)

0.71 (P.B.)

0.70 (D.K.)

3.03 (P.B.)

2.11 (D.K.)

0.13 (P.B.)

0.23 (D.K.)

12.68 (P.B.)

7.72 (D.K.)

2012-13

0.43 (P.B.)

0.42 (D.K.)

0.66 (P.B.)

0.87 (D.K.)

0.59 (P.B.)

0.57 (D.K.)

2.97 (P.B.)

1.98 (D.K.)

0.09 (P.B.)

0.15 (D.K.)

13.07 (P.B.)

7.68 (D.K.)

2011-12

0.24 (P.B.)

0.45 (D.K.)

0.90 (P.B.)

0.87 (D.K.)

0.82 (P.B.)

0.58 (D.K.)

2.35 (P.B.)

1.83 (D.K.)

0.17 (P.B.)

0.14 (D.K.)

12.01 (P.B.)

6.88 (D.K.)

 

Bergeron has become the gold standard for leagues with FOW, as not only has he led the NHL for each of the past two seasons, but in 2014-15 he had 10% more FOW than second place (Claude Giroux). If we couple that with his solid Hits, PIM, and Blocked Shots numbers for a scoring forward, as well as an excellent Shots average, we see that Bergeron is a definitely a multi-cat asset.

For a scoring forward, Krejci also is also pretty solid in most of these categories; however, his FOW is fair at best for a C-only eligible player, and his Shots per game nosedived last season. But because he’s been right near two Shots per game over the previous three seasons, there’s reason to believe he’ll bounce back in 2015-16 when he’s returned to full health. If he doesn’t, then it certainly will be more difficult for Krejci to rebound to 60+ points.

 

Luck-Based Metrics

 

Season

Personal Shooting Percentage

PDO/SPSV (5×5)

IPP (5×5)

IPP (5×4)

Offensive Zone Starting % (5×5)

2014-15

9.8% (P.B.)

10.0% (D.K.)

969 (P.B.)

1029 (D.K.)

82.9% (P.B.)

67.9% (D.K.)

56.5% (P.B.)

57.1% (D.K.)

42.9% (P.B.)

52.2% (D.K.)

2013-14

12.3% (P.B.)

11.2% (D.K.)

1031 (P.B.)

1053 (D.K.)

71.4% (P.B.)

71.0% (D.K.)

55.0% (P.B.)

69.2% (D.K.)

46.0% (P.B.)

53.9% (D.K.)

2012-13

8.0% (P.B.)

10.8% (D.K.)

1037 (P.B.)

995 (D.K.)

75.0% (P.B.)

68.6% (D.K.)

66.7% (P.B.)

75.0% (D.K.)

42.4% (P.B.)

52.1% (D.K.)

2011-12

11.5% (P.B.)

15.9% (D.K.)

1023 (P.B.)

982 (D.K.)

74.1% (P.B.)

78.9% (D.K.)

68.4% (P.B.)

47.8% (D.K.)

47.6% (P.B.)

53.7% (D.K.)

 

This is somewhat reassuring data for Krejci, as in 2014-15 he posted his lowest or second lowest numbers in every category except PDO. Thus, signs point to him having suffered from unsustainably bad luck last season. That having been said, the numbers weren’t down too much, so although a return to 60+ points could be in the cards, it’s less clear if he’ll be able to jump back above 65+.

Bergeron also posted his lowest or second lowest output in all categories except for one, although in his case he had his highest output among these four seasons in 5×5 IPP, at 82.9%. Yet that actually wasn’t a huge increase from his recent past, which means if his 2014-15 5×5 IPP had been 73.5 instead (i.e., the average of his prior three seasons), then his scoring total would’ve dropped by only four points.

What’s perhaps more concerning is Bergeron’s 42.9% OZ% for 2014-15. It was 31st lowest among the 235 forwards who played in 70+ games last season, and Bergeron was one of only two forwards (David Backes being the other) who tallied even 50+ points with an OZ% lower than 43.0%. If this is Bergeron’s “new normal” for OZ%, then a return to 60+ points is almost impossible to envision, especially when factoring in the boost he received from his abnormally high 5×5 IPP.

 

Vale and likely cost for 2015-16

 

For 2014-15 Yahoo leagues, both players were C-only eligible. And despite Krejci having outscored Bergeron in two of the three previous full seasons, plus in the aggregate over those three seasons (193 points, versus 181), Bergeron was tabbed as the 23rd pivot on average in 2014-15 Yahoo drafts, compared to 33rd for Krejci. And although leagues with FOW accounted for some of this difference, a large majority of Yahoo leagues likely don’t include that as a category, so it seems strange for there to have been that wide of a gap between two players who were otherwise comparable in multi-cat output other than SOG.

Fast forward to now, and although both fell short of scoring expectations for 2014-15, Krejci will likely be looked upon as the bigger failure by poolies given his missed games. As a result, he might dip even more than Bergeron in rankings, which means he could be the better cost vs. value bargain.

 

Who Wins?

 

It would be much easier to reach a conclusion if the Bs were coming off another season of success, since we could just expect more of the same. But with the team having disappointed, it’s been said they’ll approach the 2015-16 season with a modified philosophy and, with that, at least somewhat different roles for its forwards.

Even still, it’s hard to imagine circumstances improving overall for Bergeron from a fantasy perspective, as he’s simply too valuable in his three zone role. We have to remember that no matter how much talent Bergeron possesses, and whether or not he could score 70+ points again, none of that matters if he’s not placed in circumstances making that a possibility. And even if his OZ% was to bounce back and his SH Ice Time to stay below 2:00 per game, chances are his overall situation won’t be conductive to him scoring 60+ points again, especially considering that his 55 point campaign last season actually featured some unsustainable good luck in the form of his 5×5 IPP.

That brings us to Krejci. While he did appear to be saddled by some bad luck last season, it wasn’t to a degree that would suggest a huge bounce back for 2015-16 and beyond; and that’s assuming he’s able to get his SOG total back up to two per game, which isn’t a guarantee. But if the Bs do implement a more up-tempo offense and transition game, Krejci seemingly would stand to benefit more than Bergeron. And although Ryan Spooner showed in 2014-15 he might have what it takes to be a capable scoring center, the reality is Krejci’s big contract all but guarantees him a top six spot, suggesting that Spooner will ultimately switch to wing or possibly get dealt. Beyond that, by 2016-17 Krejci might not have long time linemate Milan Lucic by his side, although given Lucic’s offensive struggles over the past season plus that might actually be a net positive for Krecji.

In points-only leagues I’ll give the edge to Krecji, based mainly on his likelihood of benefitting more from a “new look” Bs offense, plus the fact that he’s already a cost vs. value bargain compared to Bergeron, especially with poolies likely to devalue him more than Bergeron on the basis of last season. For multi-cat leagues, I think Krejci still gets the edge unless there’s a big emphasis on FOW or SOG, as you have to pay for the value Bergeron provides; and once you factor in other poolies likely continuing to value him as a 60+ point player, the cost becomes too difficult to justify. In contrast, Krejci has never been seen as a major multi-cat asset, so in turn his cost likely will be reasonable enough to still justify drafting or trading for him for 2015-16.

 

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