Deep Dive into the Numbers.
In lieu of a Breakaways and Benders article, I will pass along some stat trend lines to keep in mind for the last month of the season.
1. The Trade Deadline will likely be a snoozer. A great article was written on the trends of the deadline over the last 6 years and Dan sums it up well "more hype then anything"
The names i've heard of so far potentially moving aren't too exciting: Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Miller, Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal, Thomas Vanek, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Sharp etc...
2. Rookie CORSI For/60. (as a reminder, essentially are you on the ice for more shots for than against per 60 minutes played)
Timo Meier has the best CORSI For/60 at 22.6. He had an up and down first stint in the NHL with a bit of a learning curve but the fundamentals look good. He's playing two way hockey, not afraid to shoot the puck and using his speed. His shooting percentage was 4.84 which is VERY low. Have faith, he will be a long term solid player.
Frank Vatrano (3% owned) is doing a great job with Boston on their third line. His CORSI For/60 is 19.92 good enough for 4th in the NHL, he has 9 goals and 6 assists across 27 games. Not bad.
Others high on the CORSI for/60 (you will notice a trend of solid players)
Victor Arvidsson (I'm ecstatic to see his ownership % going up)
3. First Assist /60. (First Assist per 60 minutes played)
Any beer league player knows when a ref shouts out "who got the second assist" everyone is going to toss their number into the ring (even if you were on the Bench). I feel the same way with the NHL at times. Sure it counts and they can argue they set up the whole play but to me the First Assist always tells more of who the integral pass was in the goal. Leading the league currently in First Assist/60 is Josh Leivo (3% owned) who has played just 10 games but has 7 points and is on the top line alongside Leo Komorov and Nazem Kadri currently. Stephen Gionta (0% owned) is second with 4 assists in 10 games as he sits on the Islanders fourth line with Bracken Kearns (great name) and Nikolay Kulemin. Both of these are small sample sizes and probably inflated but I'm inclined to believe mostly in Josh Leivo given playing time and to a less degree Stephen Gionta's point production through the last month.
4. PDO (Shooting % for less SV% against)
There are valid critiques of this stat, first I will mention that The top 14 players in this stat all come from three teams. Those three teams have arguably the best three goalies in the NHL right now: Minnesota, Washinton and New York Rangers. So dive Inception style another layer (or just scroll down that list) and you see this:
Brett Ritchie is the top player not from those three teams: +12
Brian Campbell +19
Patrick Laine +9
Arten Anisimov +11
The last two obviously have solid point production too (54 and 42 points respectively) and one doesn't come without the other. I like to use PDO to anticipate what +/- stats are valid vs. a bit of luck.
5. SF%RelTM (Shots for % Relative to Team Mates)
What I like about this stat is to me it shows the players that are really caring a certain line or production situation by themselves. In other words, who might be producing more if they had line mates who were doing more to help the cause.
Matthew Tkachuk 9.9 SF%RelTM - Highest in NHL of any player over 500 minutes played. Current linemates: Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik
Brandon Saad 9.7% - Alexander Wennberg and Oliver Bjorkstrand
Patrice Bergeron 9.6% -Brad Marchand and David Backes
Anthony Mantha 9.4% - Tomas Tatar and Henrik Zetterberg