clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Hockey: Last Minute Reminders

Ten things to know before (or after) your draft.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

10 Things to know for your draft (or, if it's already occurred, for after)

1. Sidney Crosby. He just had a concussion. The same injury that put him out of the game for 10 and a half months in 2010-2011. The same injury some thought he might never return to hockey again. I'm not saying panic on this but:
If you are drafting, bump him down about 15 spots or down about $12 if you are doing auction.
If you own him and someone offers more than 90 cents on the dollar, I'd take it. This might seem reactionary but concussions are kryptonite to his superman abilities on the ice.

2. Injuries. Speaking of injuries, here are some other notable ones to keep in mind: 
Jonathan Huberdeau (laceration on left leg) out until January.

Marian Gaborik (broken right foot) out until late November (and possible chance the LA Kings release him)

Nick Bjugstad (broken hand) out until November
Mikhail Grabovski (concussion) out indefinitely
Jaden Schwartz (elbow) out until November

3. Standings Fluctuations. It's not uncommon (much like most sports) to see a team absolutely tank and then come back to playoff form the next year and vice versa (looking at you Montreal, Calgary, Florida, and Colorado) all went from top 7 to bottom 7 or the other way around over the last 3 years.

Candidates I think could be on a downward spiral : St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and NY Rangers
Candidates I think could vault up the rankings: Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes

4. Young teams. They are inherently unpredictable. It's already a tumultuous task predicting a game where injuries are inherent and can really cripple a team not to mention a hot goalie making or breaking your season. Now add in talent who are hot one minute and struggling the next, trying to find their stride, their shot, their place on the team.

The youngest 5 teams: Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers

The oldest 5 Teams (in case you were curious): Detroit Red Wings, LA Kings, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks

I think the Hurricanes and Oilers will still struggle a bit, the middle three could swing violently with all of their young talent.

5. Cap Space (because I love nhlnumbers.comso much). Cap space is important not on an immediate level but on the overall future of an organization. Over the last 10 years we've seen many programs hit a wall due to cap space. First they can't spend anymore, they have old talent who no one wants and are strapped financially. Second and more important, they often mortgaged their futures getting these pricey stars so they have no young cheap talent to provide production.

5 teams with most cap space: Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres

5 teams with the least cap space: Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers

6. Preseason. How seriously to take preseason? The below graph confirms what is true with most sports, it doesn't matter. One years' worth of data would you believing that 60% of the top ten preseason teams make the playoffs and 70% of the bottom ten don't but over a 3 year mean it becomes a very thin margin.




Top Ten Made It




Top Ten Didn't




Bottom Ten Made It




Bottom Ten Didn't




7. Canadian Playoff teams. Last year, no Canadian team made the playoffs for the first time since 1970. I don't see that happening again. In fact, I think at LEAST two teams make it, if not 3 or 4. Breaking this down: I don't think Vancouver and Edmonton will make the playoffs. I think Toronto and Winnipeg are wildcards with all of their youth. This leaves me with relative confidence in Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa to make it.

8. Coaching Changes. Below are the teams that had coaching changes as well as that coaches success in the NHL
Anaheim Ducks: Randy Carlyle. Career Stats: 364 Wins; 260 Loses; 80 OTL; .574 Win %
Calgary Flames: Glen Gulutzan. Career Stats: 64 Wins; 57 Loses; 9 Ties; .527 Win %
Colorado Avalanche: Jared Bednar. (New head coach to the NHL)
Minnesota Wild: Bruce Boudreau. Career Stats: 409 Wins; 192 Loses; 80 OTL; .659 Win %
Ottawa Senators: Guy Boucher. Career Stats: 97 Wins; 78 Loses; 20 OTL; .549 Win %
The bold above is a large reason why I'm bullish on the Minnesota Wild this year. His post season record isn't the best but he is a beast during the regular season.

9. Rookie Reminders. First the 9 game limit. If a team keeps a rookie on their roster past 9 games, his year now counts against his entry level deal. Teams are reticent to utilize that unless they think he can contribute and is mature and ready for the full season. Look to see some names be dropped to the minors before 9 games. Second, as I wrote about earlier this year, the big names of Patrick Laine, Auston Matthews and Jesse Puljujarvi have a big likelihood of success but there is always another name that creeps up as the season progresses. This can be a steal, keep your eyes out for first month success from a rookie.

10. Advanced Stats. I will be writing more about these stats as the season progresses but here is the initial rankings using CORSI For % and PDO which are good predictors for a team's success.

Top 5: Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils
Bottom 5: Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators.

This is a great article breaking it all out:

Glossary of advanced stats.
CORSI = Shots on goal + blocked shots + shots off goal. Essentially what were the TOTAL shots occurring while you were out there.
CORSI For = the shots that your team did. So if you had 5 shots on goal + 2 blocked shots + 3 shots off goal you had a CORSI For of 10.
CORSI Against = the shots the opposing team had on you while you were on the ice. So if the opposing team had 4 shots on goal + 5 blocked shots + 1 shot off goal you had a CORSI Against of 9 
CORSI For % = CORSI For/ (CORSI For + CORSI Against) Essentially what was the percentage of CORSI For out of the total CORSI while you were on the ice. 
PDO = (Shooting % + Save %) *100. If your team has a 9% shooting % and a 92% save percentage you have a 101 PDO. Anything above 100 is above average. The net of all teams in the NHL will always equal 100.
Offensive Zone % = Offensive Zone Faceoffs / (Offensive Zone Faceoff + Defensive Zone Faceoffs) essentially what percentage of the faceoffs did you take in the offensive zone.