Real or Imagined: Forwards Part Four – SJS, STL, VAN, WIN (2016)

by Doran Libin on December 27, 2016
  • The Wild West
  • Real or Imagined: Forwards Part Four – SJS, STL, VAN, WIN (2016)

Digging deep on forwards from SJS, STL, VAN and WIN. Are the trends for real?

The column this week will focus once again on forwards, and will be the final edition of the Real or Imagined series for this year. In the interest of expediency here is a brief list of the factors that go into the evaluation of the forwards in this column: shot quantity and quality, primary points, IPP, ice time, in general as well as on the power play and linemates. For more information on the criteria look at last week’s column.

 

The recommendations below are for this season only.

 

San Jose

Player

GP

TOI/G

PP TOI %

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Joe Pavelski

34

19.80

63.2

12

20

12

10.34

10.24

3.5

1.79

Hold

Logan Couture

34

18.50

59.4

11

11

7

11.46

8.78

2.9

1.26

Hold/Soft Buy

Patrick Marleau

34

17.45

58.4

9

4

5

12.35

8.11

2.4

1.09

Hold/Soft Sell

Chris Tierney

34

14.00

7.0

3

7

0

8.11

6.90

1.1

0.59

Hold

Mikkel Boedker

34

14.67

34.0

2

4

1

5.00

5.56

1.2

0.76

Very Soft Buy

Joe Thornton

34

19.05

64.4

2

21

9

5.71

9.02

1.0

0.29

Hold

Joonas Donskoi

33

14.58

30.2

4

8

4

7.02

7.55

1.7

1.06

Hold

Joel Ward

32

15.83

12.5

2

7

0

5.00

6.96

1.3

0.78

Hold

Tommy Wingels

29

9.70

1.3

4

2

0

11.76

7.03

1.2

0.48

Hold

Melker Karlsson

27

11.95

2.2

3

4

0

13.64

7.50

0.8

0.44

Hold

Kevin Labanc

21

12.95

15.3

6

2

0

20.00

8.44

1.4

0.57

Gamble

Micheal Haley

21

7.95

0.8

0

3

0

0.00

7.04

0.6

0.29

Sell

Tomas Hertl

17

16.45

35.1

4

5

2

10.26

8.97

2.3

1.18

Buy

Matt Nieto

16

12.20

2.0

0

2

0

0.00

4.88

1.5

0.38

Sell

 

Joe Thornton’s shot rate is unusually low this year. It is almost two shots per 60 lower than it has been in any of the previous nine years. Similarly the Sharks’ expected goal rate is the lowest it has been in the last decade with him on the ice and the goal rate is almost as low. The good news is that it does not look to be effecting Joe Pavelski in any meaningful way. The bigger effect will be on the third member of the line, Tomas Hertl when healthy, as Thornton’s current severe aversion to shooting this year allows the opposition to sit on his passes even more than they otherwise would have. Pass-first is but fine pass-only is a problem. Yes, he still shoots more than Ribeiro but they each found a balance that worked for them and Thornton’s balance is askew.

The rest of the Sharks lineup is basically one big struggle to score. Mikkel Boedker is seemingly out to prove that he needs five minutes of power play time each game in order to make an impact in fantasy, there is not a lot to like there. Patrick Marleau is getting some serious power play time, as well as time with Thornton and Pavelski. He has not been able to produce. While he has looked better as of late, it probably stops when/if Hertl returns. Logan Couture is one of three Shark forwards who produces points on the power play. His even strength numbers are stellar and suggest a player capable of producing much closer to a point per game than he does currently. Joel Ward and Joonas Donskoi basically have the same rate stats that they did last year but have been bitten by the shooting percentage bug. They would get a better recommendation but with Ward having lost his power play time and both having been taken off of Couture’s line it is questionable how much some regression will help either of them. Watch Kevin Labanc as he is currently being given another shot with Couture, and has already had a shot along Thornton and Pavelski, if he sticks he could pay off to the tune of half a point per game. One last thing on the Sharks, Tommy Wingels is not nearly the multi-category beast he used to be

 

St Louis

Player

GP

TOI/G

PP TOI %

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Vladimir Tarasenko

35

18.25

58.1

16

22

14

11.99

12.74

3.6

1.17

Hold

David Perron

35

18.17

46.1

9

10

5

13.64

9.45

1.9

0.60

Hold

Patrik Berglund

35

15.20

21.9

5

6

1

8.47

6.50

1.7

0.71

Hold

Kyle Brodziak

34

10.15

0.1

5

3

0

16.67

9.57

0.9

0.24

Sell

Paul Stastny

34

19.95

51.3

7

10

6

13.21

8.50

1.6

0.82

Hold

Robby Fabbri

34

16.05

46.9

8

12

6

14.04

11.15

1.7

0.76

Hold

Ryan Reaves

33

7.70

0.6

2

4

0

8.00

9.65

0.8

0.30

Hold

Scottie Upshall

32

10.25

1.0

3

3

0

10.00

9.32

0.9

0.19

Sell

Jaden Schwartz

31

19.33

50.4

12

9

4

16.00

9.52

2.4

1.29

Hold

Jori Lehtera

30

15.45

30.7

4

6

1

12.12

10.89

1.1

0.63

Hold

Dmitrij Jaskin

29

11.60

7.8

1

6

0

3.12

7.55

1.1

0.41

Hold

Alex Steen

29

19.60

57.7

3

14

7

6.82

10.04

1.5

0.59

Hold

Nail Yakupov

21

10.30

4.1

3

3

0

17.65

8.18

0.8

0.43

Sell

Vladimir Tarasenko is a stud, his scoring rate as well as his shot and scoring chance rate are all where they were the last few seasons, including his individual shooting percentage. No more need be written about him. Reaves is the only member of the fourth line worth owning, but only in multi-cat leagues. The rest of the lineup is exceedingly deep even though Yakupov has almost played himself in to Hitchcock’s doghouse. Dmitrij Jaskin provides multi-category value when he is in the lineup but that can be a little spotty and he does not get the usage to be truly useful in traditional leagues.

Alex Steen has been a volume shooter the last four years but has been halved this season. That means that regression will not be as helpful as it would have been in past years. The Blues as a whole have not produced much in the way off offense whenever Steen has been on the ice, that is partially because of low shooting percentages but neither the shots or the scoring chances have been there at all this season. Other than the Tarasenko line the Blues have produced little in the way of offense at even strength. The Blues have been saved to a large extent by their power play clicking to the tune of 6.12 goals per 60. While that is not as good as it has been in past seasons it is still a top-10 goal rate in the league on the power play. That means that other than Steen the best Blues to own are those that get the preponderance of the power play time. Finally, Berglund has been an unusually good multi-category value this year, which makes him a decent option. 

 

Vancouver

Player

GP

TOI/G

PP TOI %

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Henrik Sedin

35

19.55

63.3

7

15

7

17.50

9.17

1.1

0.57

Soft Sell

Bo Horvat

35

17.40

36.2

10

11

2

16.95

10.37

1.7

0.83

Soft Sell

Brandon Sutter

35

19.50

58.4

9

9

5

11.69

7.38

2.2

1.03

Soft Buy

Loui Eriksson

35

18.67

49.2

6

9

4

9.09

7.25

1.9

1.06

Soft Buy

Markus Granlund

35

16.75

35.3

7

7

3

12.07

7.61

1.7

0.77

Soft Buy

Daniel Sedin

35

18.70

61.5

10

12

7

10.75

9.17

2.7

1.06

Soft Sell

Sven Baertschi

32

15.08

32.5

7

10

2

12.07

9.69

1.8

0.84

Hold

Alex Burrows

31

14.65

7.2

6

8

0

9.68

8.33

2.0

0.52

Soft Sell

Brendan Gaunce

30

8.45

1.1

0

4

0

0.00

6.25

0.7

0.17

Hold

Jack Skille

28

8.70

1.4

3

2

0

9.09

6.60

1.2

0.50

Hold

Michael Chaput

23

10.30

1.7

0

3

0

0.00

6.86

0.7

0.43

Waive

Jannik Hansen

18

16.20

0.8

5

4

0

16.67

8.73

1.7

0.89

Hold

Jayson Megna

18

9.70

13.1

3

0

0

16.67

7.04

1.0

0.44

Waive

Derek Dorsett

14

9.95

0.2

1

3

0

4.17

7.25

1.7

0.50

Waive

Jake Virtanen

10

10.15

2.9

0

1

0

0.00

3.12

1.3

0.10

Waive

The Canucks are basically a bottom-five team in the league, which is unusually good at generating scoring chances. In fact they generate scoring chances at a higher rate than the Minnesota Wild. That somewhat explains why their offense is actually a little better than many of their numbers would suggest. It also explains their high individual shooting percentages and their middle of the pack individual shooting percentages. The Canucks shoot very infrequently, so their ability to generate scoring chances means that their ratio of scoring chances to shots is a tier below the better offenses in the league. In that respect only is the Canucks offense any good, the other aspects of their offense more than offset that strength.

 

In two of the last three years the Sedins’ scoring rate has fallen in the second half of the season after pretty good starts to those seasons. The Sedins’ offense has started to fall off noticeably the last few seasons as a whole as their shot rate is down by four and their scoring chance rate down by one per 60 over the last four years. With the Sedins offense beginning to falter it means that they are not nearly the boost to their linemates that they once were. For example Jannik Hansen’s numbers this year were better with Brandon Sutter and Markus Granlund than they have been with the Sedins. The Sedins still form one of the better lines the Canucks have to offer but that is more about the inability to create offense of many of the other Canucks’ line options. Keep an eye on the Sutter-Granlund-Eriksson line as they average nearly three goals per 60 minutes and are not riding a completely crazy shooting percentage. All three are regulars on the Canucks’ power play, but only Sutter sees top unit minutes making him the prime target on the team. Conversely the Horvat-Baertschi-Burrows line has a similar goal rate but does not have the same likelihood of success as almost all their rate stats are much worse than the Sutter line. Baertschi makes for a decent option off that line as he sees time on the top power play unit. The boost he sees is limited though as the power play has been dismal thus far. Derek Dorsett, if he were not done for the season, Jack Skille and Brendan Gaunce provide some peripheral value but little else whereas Michael Chaput and Jayson Megna just provide little in general.

 

Winnipeg

Player

GP

TOI/G

PP TOI %

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Nikolaj Ehlers

36

17.70

51.0

9

20

5

10.98

10.63

2.3

0.78

Hold

Blake Wheeler

36

20.25

56.2

10

16

7

10.10

9.14

2.8

1.08

Hold

Adam Lowry

36

15.80

33.1

7

2

3

14.58

7.26

1.3

1.17

Hold

Patrik Laine

36

18.40

54.6

19

11

9

19.79

12.82

2.7

0.47

Hold/Soft Sell

Brandon Tanev

35

11.99

0.2

2

2

0

4.65

5.69

1.2

0.34

Hold

Mark Scheifele

33

20.40

59.1

14

17

6

17.72

11.62

2.4

1.42

Hold/Soft Sell

Chris Thorburn

29

7.99

1.4

3

0

0

15.79

5.06

0.7

0.17

Hold

Marko Dano

26

11.85

28.8

3

6

2

10.00

8.45

1.2

0.69

Gamble

Andrew Copp

25

12.2

2.1

4

3

0

13.33

8.18

1.2

0.40

Hold

Alex Burmistrov

23

11.05

2.7

0

2

0

0.00

3.66

0.6

0.04

Sell

Mathieu Perreault

22

16.15

47.1

2

5

1

4.44

6.93

2.0

0.86

Hard Buy

Drew Stafford

21

14.45

23.3

1

3

0

3.03

5.80

1.6

0.29

Sell

Kyle Connor

19

12.30

22.6

1

3

2

4.76

5.83

1.1

0.42

Sell

Nic Petan

15

14.95

40.0

1

7

5

4.55

11.50

1.5

0.60

Gamble

Bryan Little

13

16.70

38.2

5

5

2

15.62

10.08

2.5

1.62

Hold

Joel Armia

11

14.50

24.8

1

3

0

5.26

7.59

1.7

1.00

Hold

Shawn Matthias

11

12.17

1.8

2

1

0

16.67

10.64

1.1

0.55

Sell

With the return of Mathieu Perreault to the lineup the Jets now have two killer lines in Perreault-Bryan LittleBlake Wheeler and Mark ScheifelePatrik LaineNikolaj Ehlers. The Little line has been dominant in limited action putting up 40 shots and 15 scoring chances per 60, thus their 3.37 goals per 60 actually means their shooting percentage has been lower than expected. For that reason Little’s 10 points in 13 games is not as crazy as it might be otherwise. The Scheifele line on the other hand is a massive defensive liability, and as such has seen some sheltered minutes. That line does much less in terms of bulk shooting, but a large percentage of their shots are scoring chances or relatively high danger shots. The problem is their current success is reliant on an on-ice shooting percentage of 22%. With the Jets largely going with two four forwards the power play units all six get power play time as well as Marko Dano and Nic Petan, when he is in the lineup. The Jets power play has yet to really click though so they are not necessarily seeing the rewards as of yet. Adam Lowry, Brandon Tanev and Chris Thorburn are multi-category depth options in the bottom six as opposed to Shawn Matthias and Drew Stafford who have generally needed better linemates to provide much value.

 

Check out Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

 

The statistics in this column came from Dobberhockey.com and Corsica.hockey

 

Finally, the plan was for this to be my last Wild West column before moving to another column but as it turns out this will be my last column on Dobberhockey as I am no longer able to devote the time that it needs and deserves. I started writing this column to learn more about analytics in hockey and get my foot in the door somewhere in the hockey community, and have succeeded to varying degrees in both respects. Hopefully, I have been able to provide some insight that helped with your hockey pools over the last two years. 

 

2 responses to “Real or Imagined: Forwards Part Four – SJS, STL, VAN, WIN (2016)”

  1. Grak says:

    Thanks for the posts Doran, best of luck in your next endeavor!

  2. Alex MacLean says:

    it was great to have you around Doran! Thanks for everything, and best of luck in all your endeavours moving forward.