Eastern Edge: The Montreal Canadiens

by Cam Metz on July 3, 2018


I’ve sufficiently exhausted most of the advanced stat metrics I could throw at you this summer, but don’t worry, we’ll keep revisiting them and hopefully as promised wrap everything up come draft time with ADP values.  Now it’s time to switch gears and start looking at each team in the East, we’ll take a look at the undervalued and overvalued players on each team.  I hope to combine this commentary with some of my previous analysis on why a specific stat is relevant and what it could mean for the player this coming season.

To align with the Wild West column (Go check out Chris Kane’s piece on Arizona) I will also preface with the technical details:

Like the Wild West series, the ranks are based on a 12 team, head-to-head league, using the categories of goals, assists, power-play points, shots, hits, and blocks for forwards/defensemen, and wins, saves, save percentage, and goals against average for goalies. Player eligibility for this series is based on Yahoo, and draft ranks are based on average draft positions compiled from Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS by FantasyPros.   Once we can flip the switch and start getting 2018 ADPs we’ll be sure to cover you on the value plays for this season.


This week I’ll cover the Montreal Canadiens #GoHabsGo.  

Boy what an absolute disaster of a season up in la belle province.   How many teams did Carey Price sink from the very beginning this season?  Brendan Gallagher showed up this year – more to come on him in the coming weeks.  Shea Weber was injured for most of the season, so I’m sure there will be some value with him at this year’s draft table.



Jeff Petry excelled in place of the aforementioned Shea Weber.  Raise your hand if you knew Petry busted through the 40-point barrier for the first time?  Unfortunately, this value play should disappear this year provided Weber can stay healthy.  Petry went undrafted last year and from a position of scarcity was able to take advantage of the opportunity.   This is probably a lesson to not keep handcuff guys on your roster after the draft. Move quickly when depth charts change due to injury, have expendable players near the end that you feel comfortable moving on from when the time comes.


Brendan Gallagher certainly was undervalued, he was able to produce a value rating of 26 compared to a league average rating with these settings of 42.  He did this while virtually going undrafted in most formats.  I touched on him earlier in this article, but for now you’ll need to wait a couple weeks for the Dobber team to breakdown our expectations for Gallagher this year.



Jonathan Drouin – selected, on average, with the 80th overall pick and only able to produce 46 points last year – was virtually unrosterable in most formats.  The biggest concern moving forward with Drouin is that his TOI around 17:30 isn’t likely to increase significantly.  With that time on ice he was not showing an upward trend in shots taken.  He did see a significant dip in shooting percentage so hopefully he’ll rebound in the goal category and provide some more value.  Unfortunately his other advanced stats are not showing an ability to improve themselves, and for most poolies that’s enough reason to stay away at this year’s draft table.



Carey Price – Last week, I touched on what to expect from Carey Price next year.  I’d still like to know more about what the team will look like without Max Pacioretty if he is traded.  Price had his worst season as an NHL netminder last year and for that reason, given his age, I expect we’ll see a rebound in his shorthanded and 5v5 high danger save percentage.  His 5v5 adjusted save percentage was also worse than the league average, given his skill set this unlikely to be repeated.  If Price is somehow making his way into the third or fourth rounds this year you’ll find a lot of value.


Shea Weber – Weber was useful when he was heathy last year scoring 16 points in 26 games played.  His draft position of 42 resulted in a lot of lost draft capital.  Imagine taking Carey Price in the first round and snagging Weber in the third or fourth?  Yikes.  Weber surprisingly saw almost a 30 second increase on the power play compared to his career average; at 3:36 PP TOI Weber would have ranked in the top 15 players. His shooting percentage fell within his career average.  It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up with PP TOI this year since it’s likely that a first quarter increase in penalties called allowed his volume to increase.


Max Pacioretty –  First and foremost let’s not sandbag Patches too badly, sure he tanked a couple teams but this year his ADP value will move him up to the undervalued list.  I wrote about Pacioretty in the ixGF columns.   He’ll rebound but his draft position of spot 35 last year certainly did not prove fruitful with his value ranking of 9 and overall season ending ranking of 197.   As long as his shot rates stay the same or increase he’ll be the too easy to add value play, so much so that it might get baked into his ADP regardless.(remember 200 shots isn’t that amazing anymore, read here and here).  Hopefully he’ll be in Montreal this year so wise poolies can grab value easily.