Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - Playoff Points From Unlikely Sources

  • Playoff Points From Unlikely Sources

    The San Jose Sharks finally figured out how to have success in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Detroit is down three games to none after carrying a lead into the third period, only to watch San Jose fight their way back to a victory for the second straight game. Perhaps all that playoff success and the Olympics are finally taking their toll on the Red Wings, as they have looked strong through two periods but fade in the third.

    Joe is leading the Sharks, but until recently it hasn't been Joe Thornton but Joe Pavelski. Thornton, who has been known to disappear in big games, is finally showing that he can be a big-game player as evident in the last two games. But it's Pavelski who has been the most dominant and exciting player in these playoffs.

    Pavelski has a six-game point streak going right now and in those six games he has eight goals and five assists. After Colorado went up 2-1 in the first round, Pavelski took the Sharks on his back and has carried them to one win away from the Western Conference finals. During the regular season Pavelski scored 51 points in 67 games, which works out to 0.76 points per game (ppg), while in the playoffs he has 15 points in nine games. That's more than double his regular season scoring pace (1.67 ppg).

    Every playoff, a good player takes his game to another level, which gets fantasy owners all excited that this player can carry that trend into the next season. If Pavelski can continue to score at this pace, he would finish next season with around 137 points, which is 25 more than this year's leading scorer. So don't be trading the farm for Pavelski, but if you own him, put out some feeler offers to see if someone has their playoff 'beer' goggles on and will overpay for him.

    Players who have fooled fantasy owners with their playoff success are:
    - Johan Franzen in the 2007-08 playoffs, where he scored 13 goals and 18 points in 16 playoff games. That translates into 67 goals and 92 points over a regular season, and he has never come close to those numbers in any regular season.
    - Fernando Pisani in the 2005-06 playoffs, where he scored 14 goals and 18 points in 24 playoff games. Over a regular season, that would give Pisani 48 goals and 62 points. His career highs are 18 goals and 37 points.
    - Finally, for all us poolies who were born before 1980, John Druce is the ultimate example of playoff success not equaling regular-season success. In the 1989-90 playoffs, Druce scored 17 points in 15 playoff games for the Washington Capitals. With your playoff goggles on, that meant during a regular season Druce could score 77 goals and 93 points. Druce duped many fantasy players with those numbers, as he never came close to matching that output.
    On the other hand, Thornton scored 89 points in 79 games this season (1.13 ppg), but is scoring at a much slower rate in the playoffs (0.89 ppg). In four previous regular seasons and playoffs, this has been Thornton's trend -- over one ppg during the regular season and then around 0.80 ppg in the playoffs.

    However, Thornton has looked pretty strong in the last two wins. He may be ready to change people's opinion about his play in big games after he scored a huge goal in Game 3 to start the comeback, then set up Patrick Marleau for the overtime winner.

    Come next season everything will be back to normal for the Joes as Big Joe will continue to be a big point producer for the Sharks and little Joe will be back to solid second line centre who provides secondary scoring. Thornton is a 90- to 105-point player, while Pavelski is a 70- to 75-point player. Remember that when talking trade in the fantasy pool so you don't get burned by playoff success.
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