Ramblings: Shooting Percentage Outliers (Jan 30)

by steve laidlaw on January 29, 2018

 

If you’re like me, you desperately want to see the All-Star draft return. It’s probably never coming back as the players hated it, but considering the NBA has started to dip their toes into the water we could see it sparked up again. My fresh idea to remove some of the angst of the players is that once the All-Stars are named, you have three captains who draft three teams’ worth of players. The leftovers are the fourth team. This way, you don’t have one player singled out. You have an entire team who could then band together. I’d bet the leftovers team would win more All-Star tournaments than not.

This idea only works now that they’ve moved to the 3-on-3 tournament style, which was a brilliant wrinkle. Bringing back the draft would kick it up one extra level and really help to market the players, but maybe this is just too counter to hockey culture.

I really enjoyed the wrinkle of the consecutive saves streak replacing the shootout challenge as it flipped the narrative towards the goaltenders and took pressure off the skaters, allowing them to be more creative. I still like the idea of having mic’d up celebrities tending goal against NHL shooters in a shootout challenge and really getting them to ham it up, but I wonder how long it would take for that gimmick to get old.

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There are 12 players with at least 25 games played who are currently shooting 20% or higher. Last season six players pulled off that feat, and none of them are repeaters. In fact, since 2013-14 there have only been 14 players who have shot over 20% for a full season and only one of them shows up on that list twice: Paul Byron. The point being, these kinds of outliers don’t usually hold up over 82 games, and more scarcely do they pop up more than once. The list of players currently above 20% shooting:

 

Goals

SOG

SH%

Brett Connolly

13

43

30.2

Alexander Kerfoot

12

43

27.9

William Karlsson

27

101

26.7

Kevin Roy

6

26

23.1

Anders Lee

27

119

22.7

Sonny Milano

8

36

22.2

Mathieu Perreault

15

70

21.4

Jaden Schwartz

14

67

20.9

Matt Nieto

9

44

20.4

Yanni Gourde

17

84

20.2

Brad Marchand

21

104

20.2

Anthony Beauvillier

12

60

20

 

What the top three on this list are doing is ridiculous. You have to go back to 1994 and Cam Neely for the last time anyone with any kind of shot volume scored on over quarter of their shots. Peak Mike Ribeiro also had a 25% shooting season once, but generally this kind of shooting is a thing of the past. None of this is to say that these guys can’t continue to be productive, but a lesser version of said productivity should be expected going forward.

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On the flip side, let’s look at players with at least 50 SOG shooting less than 5%:

 

 

Goals

SOG

SH%

Joel Eriksson Ek

1

74

1.4

Artturi Lehkonen

2

78

2.6

Max Domi

3

102

2.9

Ryan Callahan

2

70

2.9

Joakim Nordstrom

2

65

3.1

Jason Chimera

2

63

3.2

Sean Kuraly

3

94

3.2

Brendan Leipsic

2

60

3.3

Logan Shaw

2

61

3.3

Magnus Paajarvi

2

58

3.4

Derek MacKenzie

2

54

3.7

Boone Jenner

4

103

3.9

Tomas Plekanec

4

98

4.1

Carl Hagelin

4

98

4.1

Alex Iafallo

4

91

4.4

Colton Sissons

3

68

4.4

Charles Hudon

6

124

4.8

Zack Smith

3

63

4.8

 

Most of that list is predictable junk, but some of these players, particularly the top three are of real interest to fantasy owners. What in the hell happened to Domi who carries a career 10.2% shooting percentage? I know Lehkonen has been banged up, but how does a shooter that good fall off so steeply? Some of the players on this list should improve in the second half.

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Filip Forsberg could be back as soon as tonight against Chicago. He practised yesterday with full contact. Make your lineup adjustments accordingly.

This could really help Ryan Johansen who has stumbled with just five points in 12 games since Christmas. I’ve discussed this before, but with Johansen’s game steering more and more towards playmaking he has become very volatile. Not only have you lost his shot volume, but he is also at the whims of his shooters, and outside of Forsberg, there aren’t too many above average shooters in this lineup.

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Jacob Trouba will miss the next 6-8 weeks with an ankle injury. The first instinct is to pray for Connor Hellebuyck, but the Jets have been quite resilient in the face of injury having already lost a good deal of center depth with Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry on the shelf. Eventually, however, you hit the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I am not sure if we are there yet as the Jets are one of the few teams with legitimate right-handed defenseman depth. Presumably, Tucker Poolman will draw in as a lineup regular. While Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien will step into bigger minutes.

This could prove particularly beneficial for Byfuglien who has taken a real step backwards after having his minutes clipped by over four per game. The entirety of his loss in minutes has come from penalty kill and 5-on-5 use so it shouldn’t have impacted him that badly, but Byfuglien has had gripes about not playing as much as he’d like. I hope he’s ready.

The Jets also have a ton of cap space, organizational depth and their full complement of draft picks to play with if they want to dip into the rental market. They have generally been resistant to making big splashes, but did pull off the Evander Kane/Myers deal, along with some low-cost rentals in Jiri Tlusty and Lee Stempniak on the road to their last playoff run.

I’d argue that promoting internally is the best method for these guys to upgrade since Jack Roslovic is on the cusp, but playoff teams can never have too much depth. They are also still giving Matt Hendricks a regular shift so there is room for upgrades. Do they risk upsetting the apple cart too much if they push him out?

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Some Avalanche updates:

 

Jonathan Bernier was the bee’s knees for a couple of weeks but has now lost two in a row. With Semyon Varlamov apparently close, you can probably jump out soon.

Tyson Barrie’s imminent return takes a bite out of Sam Girard, but the truth is that even with top PP usage Girard hasn’t been particularly relevant. He could take over full time if Barrie is trade, but remember that Cale Makar looms as the future here.

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It sounds like John Gibson is ready to go after getting banged up before the All-Star break.

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Amazingly, Victor Hedman will travel with Tampa Bay on their four-game road trip meaning he is likely to play at some point in the next week. Apparently, he has been out for three weeks already, but it seems like he has barely missed time. I suppose January was the month to miss. Between the bye week and the All-Star break he missed more games than he might have.

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Mark Stone was placed on IR retroactive to January 20th, so he could return right away, but this looks like it’s going to be a bit of a guessing game.

Stone has been the only Senator who has avoided slumping yet this season so losing him is a big hit.

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Jaromir Jagr has passed through waivers and is expected to be heading overseas.

In other Flames news, Michael Frolik appears to be back from injury. Frolik isn’t particularly fantasy relevant, but he is a massive upgrade on Troy Brouwer, which will help the shutdown line with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk tilt the ice better.

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Check out my latest fantasy hockey stock market piece.

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Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.