Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - Blood only Bleeds on the Ice (or How Everything You Think You Know About Playoff Hockey Will Sink Your Fantasy Team)

  • Blood only Bleeds on the Ice

    (or How Everything You Think You Know About Playoff Hockey Will Sink Your Fantasy Team)

    By Matthew Perry

    The NHL is one of the passionate and emotional times in all of sports. On the ice heart wins out over statistics every single time. However, there is a difference in fantasy hockey. In the world of fantasy hockey, yes even in playoff pools, statistics rule over gut-feelings.

    Now a gut feeling is always, without a doubt, the best way to make settle tie-breaker between two available players with similar stats. Most veteran playoff poolies will tell you they already know this, but the question is do they really? Emotions are sneaky and they work their way into the back of your mind without even the most hardened skeptic knowing it. Here are a few examples.


    Barry Pederson: Why do you know this players name? Is it because he was the centrepiece of the Cam Neely trade? Probably. However, did you know he ranks third all time in playoff points per game? He has only five points less than Pavel Bure all time and has played in 30 less games. He sits behind Gretzky, Lemieux.

    Steve Smith: Why do you know his name? Was it scoring in his own net against the Flames in Game 7 of the 1986 playoffs? Yes, that is why you know him. However, he sits third all time for playoff plus/minus. His +49 in 134 playoff games is better than Chelios, Pronger and Rafalski. Only Forsberg and Lidstrom were better since they started tracking the stat in 1983. Once Gretzky, Coffey, Messier and Lemieux have their stats updated this honour will belong to Steve Smith. Most notable for scoring in his own net.


    Playoff goaltending: Two interesting charts to look at. Among active NHL goalies the “stars” are not leading in win %.
    NAME
    GP
    W
    L
    W%
    J.S. Giguere
    52
    33
    17
    .635
    T. Thomas
    43
    26
    17
    .605
    A. Niemi
    40
    24
    15
    .600
    M-A. Fleury
    69
    41
    28
    .594
    C. Ward
    41
    23
    18
    .561
    D. Roloson
    50
    28
    18
    .560
    R. Emery
    36
    20
    15
    .556
    M. Brodeur
    181
    99
    82
    .547
    R. Luongo
    59
    32
    27
    .542
    N. Khabibulin
    72
    39
    31
    .542

    Also among active NHL 10 Leaders in wins there is only one goalie (Tim Thomas) has a record of .600 or higher. This means even the best goalies of today are prone to losing almost as much as they win.

    NAME
    GP
    W
    L
    W%
    M. Brodeur
    181
    99
    82
    .547
    M-A. Fleury
    69
    41
    28
    .594
    E. Nabokov
    80
    40
    38
    .500
    N. Khabibulin
    72
    39
    31
    .542
    J.S. Giguere
    52
    33
    17
    .635
    R. Luongo
    59
    32
    27
    .542
    D. Roloson
    50
    28
    18
    .560
    T. Thomas
    43
    26
    17
    .605
    M. Kiprusoff
    56
    25
    28
    .446

    Patrick Elias: In his many years with the Devils Elias has netted 19 playoff power-play goals. With just one more he will crack the Top 20 all time for power-play goals.

    Alexander Ovechkin: Alex the Great is probably seen in most circles as a playoff dud. However, his 25 goals in 37 career games is good for second on the All Time list of playoff goals per game. His .679 playoff goals per game is just behind Mario Lemieux’s .710 and ahead of Mike Bossy’s .659.

    Ben Eager: This year Ben Eager will be watching the playoffs from his living room. However, he is the only active NHL player to crack the top 50 for playoff PIMs per game. Interestingly Chris Pronger is the only Active NHL player to crack the top 150 all time for total playoff PIMs and he won’t be playing this year either. Prongers 326 PIMs double his nearest competition among active players found with Tomas Holmstrom 160 PIMs that rank 167th all time. Has the game changed that much? It appears so.

    So keep in mind that you should trust your stats and projections when making your selections for your playoff pool. You can still end up with players you want from teams you like and you may even end up winning as well.
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