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Fantasy Hockey Mid-Point Trends and Pretends 15.0 (NHL Power Rankings)

Mid season trends. What to trust, what to watch out for. Power Rankings

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

We are just over 52% into the 2015-2016 NHL season.


Stats can only take you so far. Sometimes there are immeasurable in sports. Leadership is a great immeasurable, how does one measure the leadership a Captain or savvy Vet provides for his team. Other times a player has a great style of play and opens up lanes or opportunities for teammates but that can't be quantified. This is a dedication to those players. These are players who have been showing strength in areas and this could, in time, translate to a good value pick. There are some stats to show what they can do but there is more to the story. 
1. Shayne Gostisbehere (D, Phi) 42% owned. He started out strong scoring 14 points over his first 18 games. This stopped around December 21st where he has scored 2 points in his last 5 games. This is still ok but a much less torrid pace. If you watch him, he is mobile, left to right on the point creating turmoil for forwards used to quick picks and turnovers, he is opening lanes doing this and he is ripping hard slap shots on net. He is going to finish this year in the top 10 in points.

2. Jake Muzzin (D, LA) 76% owned. Recapping his last 3 seasons: 2013 - 16pts; 2014 - 24pts; 2015 - 21pts. He has 21 points through the first half of this year. After starting the year with 0 points through first 8 games he's found his way. He has points in 4 of his last 5 games and it's not just the number it's more HOW he's doing it. If you saw his goal against the Maple Leafs, he has confidence and it's showing in his decisions and play with the puck. His SOG are up and he sees the ice well right now.

3. Sam Reinhart (C, Buff) 6% owned. The 2ndoverall pick in the 2014 draft took some time to get comfortable but it's showing on the ice. He scored his first hat trick and is showing the crafty snapshot that he excels at. His confidence is rising and with it is a shot that should be lethal in years to come. It's always fun to watch a player come into their own especially when they are as talented as Sam Reinhart is.

4. Aleksander Barkov (C, Fla) 53% owned. Another 2nd overall pick but in 2013, Aleksander is set to have a career year (after 24 points two years ago and 36 last year). He is a contributing factor to Florida's recent success. He sits at a plus 13 as he has now scored 10 points in his last 8 games. The top line alongside Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr is an entertaining mix of old and young skill. The Finnish product is showing great on ice vision and development of plays is originating from this.

5. Drew Stafford (LW/RW, Wpg) 33% owned. Let me take you back eons ago to a time when he was scoring 50 points per year. Now fast forward past 5 consecutive years not eclipsing 35 points and bring us to this season where Drew has 23 points through the first half of the season. Will he eclipse 50 points again? I'm inclined to say no BUT it's not for near future production. He is a player who gets streaky and has a lethal wrist shot when he's confident and he is definitely on fire right now. His next month should be solid in points and shots.

6. Loui Eriksson (LW, Bos) 72% owned. Similar situation. He had 3 consecutive 70+ point seasons with the Stars but has not been able to replicate this success with the Bruins. This might be the season, as he is flourishing with Ryan Spooner as the two have been great at finding each other on the ice. Furthermore, Loui has been crucial to the Bruins power play success. When he is thriving his hands are quicker and he is stick handling around players with ease. When he's not on  his game he's much more skittish.

7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C, Edm) 76% owned. On pace for a career year, Ryan, alongside Taylor Hall are showing glimpses of the amazing skills that make them 1st overall picks. This is not to say they have never shown it before but the two of them have taken their respective lines and are commanding them moving the puck around and quarterbacking the efforts. To me it's become clear that these are two franchise players until Connor takes the reins a year or two down the line.

8. Barret Jackman (D, Nash) 1% owned. Ok so the fantasy stats aren't overwhelming with Barret but here is what he does have. He's sitting as the third line defensemen but has been showing flashes of a previous form of himself. With Seth Jones gone he might see an additional minute in playing time but he is playing very well blocking shots and playing sound defensive position. He used to fight a lot but seems more poised out there now playing good physical hockey. 

9. Tyler Toffoli (C, LA) 90% owned. The last two are quasi-stat reinforced but need to be discussed. The first, Tyler is a year or two late showing what people have expected but he is in full form this year. He leads the league in plus minus right now, almost eclipsed his career mark in goals in just half a year and he fits in perfectly with his Anze Kopitar and Milan Lucic line. He has a great on ice vision for the open spot that the goalie leaves and is very accurate with his shots. His reflexes are pristine allowing him to quickly turn shots.

10. Louis Domingue (G, Ari) 37% owned. Ok I'm not sure how long this will last; however, he has a few short term things very strongly entrenched on his side. 1. He catches right handed throwing shooters off as the opposite side. 2. There is no shortage of players who came to Arizona and had very strong success (albeit in short stretches) behind them: Brian Boucher, Curtis Joseph, Ilya Bryzgalov, Mike Smith, Devan Dubnyk and now Louis Domingue. He is now 6-0-2 in eight starts with a 1.73 GAA and .947 Sv %.

NHL Power Rankings:

Week 1/11/2016

Bleacher Report

ESPN

Fox Sports

CBS Sports

Average

vs. last week

Anaheim Ducks

21

13

23

22

19.75

23.50

Arizona Coyotes

11

6

16

18

12.75

15.75

Boston Bruins

13

18

19

13

15.75

11.25

Buffalo Sabres

29

29

30

28

29.00

22.50

Calgary Flames

25

22

18

20

21.25

29.25

Carolina Hurricanes

22

21

17

26

21.50

25.50

Chicago Blackhawks

2

3

3

4

3.00

6.50

Colorado Avalanche

15

8

12

19

13.50

27.50

Columbus Blue Jackets

30

30

29

30

29.75

24.75

Dallas Stars

4

5

7

2

4.50

2.00

Detroit Red Wings

6

7

8

10

7.75

14.50

Edmonton Oilers

28

28

28

29

28.25

29.75

Florida Panthers

5

2

2

8

4.25

18.50

Los Angeles Kings

3

4

4

3

3.50

6.25

Minnesota Wild

8

9

6

9

8.00

12.00

Montreal Canadiens

12

14

13

7

11.50

2.25

Nashville Predators

19

24

20

12

18.75

11.50

New Jersey Devils

20

20

10

16

16.50

16.00

New York Islanders

10

17

9

6

10.50

13.25

New York Rangers

9

15

14

11

12.25

5.50

Ottawa Senators

17

19

22

14

18.00

8.50

Philadelphia Flyers

18

16

21

24

19.75

23.75

Pittsburgh Penguins

16

12

11

17

14.00

13.50

San Jose Sharks

23

25

25

21

23.50

9.00

St. Louis Blues

7

10

5

5

6.75

4.00

Tampa Bay Lightning

14

11

15

15

13.75

18.25

Toronto Maple Leafs

27

27

27

27

27.00

27.00

Vancouver Canucks

24

23

24

23

23.50

20.25

Washington Capitals

1

1

1

1

1.00

1.75

Winnipeg Jets

26

26

26

25

25.75

21.00

Some Extra Cheddar:
The fun story of Louis Domingue

http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/14548948/nhl-arizona-coyotes-louis-domingue-seizing-nhl-opportunity

Chris  Higgins on Waivers:
http://www.nucksmisconduct.com/2016/1/12/10755864/that-ends-that-chris-higgins-on-waivers

JVR is out for a bit:
https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2016/01/11/james-van-riemsdyk-out-six-to-eight-weeks-josh-leivo-recalled-from-toronto-marlies/