Wild West: Power-Play Potential

by chriskane on October 28, 2019

 

This week we are taking a quick trip down Power Play Lane. To start I took a look at the expected goals per 60 min numbers for teams on the power play (courtesy Evolving Wild). In a rather fortuitous coincidence, the top four teams were all western teams (see table below). In order to round out the sample, we scroll down to the 8th seeded LA Kings to give us a top five.

 

Rank

Team

xG/60

1

Golden Knights

8.45

2

Sharks

8.33

3

Oilers

7.59

4

Canucks

7.58

8

Kings

6.92

 

 

The reason for looking at these numbers in the first place may be obvious, but essentially it comes down to wanting to own players who are on strong power plays. A strong power play means more goals, which means more points for those players on it.

 

When we look at these units we start to see some really interesting things. Here are the top five players in power-play time on ice.

 

Player

Team

TOI

Shea Theodore

VGK

53.85

Brock Boeser

VAN

50.37

Elias Pettersson

VAN

48.53

J.T. Miller

VAN

47.05

Bo Horvat

VAN

45.23

 

Is J.T Miller available in your league? May want to consider adding him as his deployment certainly looks great. The rest are definitely owned. Shea Theodore is getting significant time (and sometimes with both units) for the team with the highest expected goals per 60 min numbers. Again something to consider for a potential trade target.

 

In straight-up expected goals (which is influenced by time on ice stats) here are the top five.

 

Player

Team

xGF

Shea Theodore

VGK

8.08

Tomas Hertl

S.J

7.9

Logan Couture

S.J

7.56

Brock Boeser

VAN

6.75

Elias Pettersson

VAN

6.67

Theodore again reigns king. Not on this list? The league leader in power-play points, Connor McDavid. Also not listed here, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, James Neal, and Evander Kane who are the next top west coast power-play producers. 

 

Next, we can pull up the difference between expected goals and the total actually scored while a player was on the ice. On the positive side we see:

 

Player

Team

 

Brandon Pirri

VGK

3.69

Adrian Kempe

L.A

3.65

William Karlsson

VGK

3.48

Tyler Toffoli

L.A

3.4

Alex Iafallo

L.A

3.37

(Not listed, Reilly Smith, Anze Kopitar, Jonothan Marchessault.)

 

And on the negative side:

 

Player

Team

 

Max Pacioretty

VGK

-5.62

Paul Stastny

VGK

-5.52

James Neal

EDM

-5.21

Mark Stone

VGK

-4.91

Connor McDavid

EDM

-4.71

Unsurprisingly we see almost all of the players we listed above as missing from the top expected goal numbers.

 

So what does this all mean? Well if I am looking to target for future power-play success I can certainly look at these five teams. Vegas looks ripe for the plucking with Theodore seeing a ton of time and Marchessault, Karlsson, and Smith all underperforming so far. All of those guys could be considered trade targets as they are likely owned in most leagues. LA and Vancouver likely have the most players available in free agency. There are positive signs for both teams. For Vancouver, they are getting a ton of time on ice as the only real option for the team. In LA, there appear to be some goals to be had a no one is really cashing in on them. That could bode well for future investment. Keep an eye on them though as LA has had a few rough offensive years and we want to make sure this one is for real before investing too heavily.

 

Edmonton is an interesting case as well. McDavid and Draisaitl seem to be overperforming, but you aren’t selling them. Neal seems to be the obvious sell choice here, but given his current deployment make sure you are getting a decent haul for him.

 

 

Wild West Weekly Streamers:

 

Mikael Backlund: It seems like it is time for the recurring recommendation of Backlund. He has the dubious distinction of almost always being available to stream as most of the time he has fairly steady but unexciting production, particularly for a center. However this week he is on one of the two teams slated to play four times. He doesn’t have a point in three games, but he has been shooting and getting a good amount of power-play time. It would be the perfect time for a pattened point stream.

 

Nick Ritchie: In deep streaming territory, consider Nick Ritchie. He has a great schedule this week and has been lining up with Ryan Getzlaf at even strength and on the power play. He has also been shooting with 11 shots over his last four games.

 

 

Last Week’s Streamers

 

Jakob Silfverberg: Silfverberg was a resounding “eh” this week. He scored a goal and put up 13 shots. He didn’t knock it out of the park, but he wasn’t a complete bust.

 

Tyler Toffoli: Burned again by Toffoli. He was a complete bust putting up just three shots. It is the first time this season where he went four games without a point and he even appears to have lost time on ice during this stretch, down to just 13 minutes in his most recent game. Not great.

 

 

Drop or Not?

Timo Meier:

Coming into this season, Meier had a fair amount of hype behind him. He was coming off of a career-high 66 points, and with the departure of Joe Pavelski, there seemed to be a spot ripe for the picking on the top line and power play. 12 games into the season Meier has four points to his name and is not seeing time on the top power-play. His shooting has also been a bit of a concern as he just came off of a four-game streak where he didn’t put three shots on net.

 

On the positive side, he is seeing a career-high time on ice. He is up over 18 minutes a night on average, an increase of two minutes from his 2018-19 season.  He is still seeing time on the power-play (over four minutes last game). He is also on what seems to be a strong line with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane. Both of them are red hot right now, but that has not translated to their even-strength linemate.

 

Perhaps the best news comes from his personal percentages. His team five-on-five shooting percentage sits at 3.23%. That is criminally low. We generally expect somewhere between 8 and 9%. His personal shooting percentage is also off. Sitting at 6.5% it is about half of where it was in 2017-18. Both of these numbers should rebound in a relatively big way.

 

Overall the biggest downer is that he isn’t on that top power-play unit. If he can still get over four minutes on a unit that has Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and one of either Brent Burns or Erik Karlsson though he will likely be just fine. It looks like the buy window is open if you don’t have him, but if you do you may just have to suffer a little longer until the ship can right itself.

 

Thanks for reading, see you next week.