Eastern Conference 2014-15 Review

by Eric Daoust on April 21, 2015 | (0 Comments)

Justin.Faulk

 

2014-15 Fanasy All Stars from the Eastern Conference.

 

 

With the NHL playoffs well underway and the draft lottery recently completed, now is a good time to look back on the NHL regular season. In particular, today we will cover the players in the Eastern Conference with the greatest fantasy impact at each position.  Unfortunately, trying to determine which player has been most fantasy-relevant is extremely difficult. After all, league size and scoring categories make your league’s value scale unique to your setting. In some leagues, agitators carry great value while in others they are avoided at all costs.

 

In order to attempt to get around the problem, we will simplify things by using goals, assists, shots on goal and hits. The goal is to cover a wide array of formats and try to determine which players stood out as cross-platform superstars.

 

Of course, position eligibility is always going to come into question, especially with providers like Yahoo being so generous in assigning extra positions to just about everyone. In this instance players were only considered at one position and judgment calls had to be made. Otherwise the same player could potentially end up on the list at two different positions. Nobody would ever allow something that absurd to happen, right?

 

As usual, credit goes to Fantasy Hockey Geek for providing league rankings for this multi-category setup.

 

 

 

Forwards

 

POS

NAME

GP

G

A

SOG

HITS

LW

Alex Ovechkin

81

53

28

395

259

C

John Tavares

82

38

48

278

48

RW

Jakub Voracek

82

22

59

221

55

 

 

Alex Ovechkin – Ovechkin sits atop most fantasy leagues this year primarily due to his elite-level goals, points, power play points, hits and shots. The Russian winger obviously took well to the Capitals’ latest coaching change by posting numbers that are virtually identical while receiving some praise for improved all-around play. Most amazing is that his 53 goals were 23-percent better than his closest adversary, Steven Stamkos (43 goals).

 

John Tavares – Tavares just completed a remarkable campaign that saw him finish just one point shy of winning the Art Ross Trophy. Surprisingly, he achieved this total despite a shockingly-slow start that received much chatter as a trend that was about to change. Also worth noting is that Tavares’ 86 points was in fact 35 better than his closest teammate.

 

Jakub Voracek – One of the most surprising performances of the year was Voracek’s breakout campaign, as he finally took the next step and realized his potential. He benefited from a red-hot start, where he was producing at a rate that was somewhat unsustainable. Then he faded for the most part down the stretch but still finished with an outstanding 81-point campaign. As long as he and linemate Claude Giroux remain the top dogs in Philadelphia it is reasonable to think that Voracek will continue producing similar numbers. And with a name value that is not equal to Giroux, among other superstars, Voracek could make a great value pick at your draft next fall.

 

 

Defensemen

 

POS

NAME

GP

G

A

SOG

HITS

D

Erik Karlsson

82

21

45

292

93

D

Justin Faulk

82

15

34

238

157

 

Erik Karlsson – Karlsson remains the king among defensemen in fantasy hockey even though he finished eight points short of last year’s 74. The Senators’ blueliner set career-highs in goals (21), power play goals (6), shots on goal (292) and average ice time (27:15) this year. Even though Brent Burns and PK Subban finished just six points back, Karlsson’s consistency playing at this level leaves him at the top of the mountain until further notice.

 

Justin Faulk – Faulk’s inclusion in this list may surprise some, but his overall contributions this year have been one of the sole positive stories in Carolina this year. In addition to his 49 points, Faulk finished fourth among all defensemen in shots on goal and none of the 11 defensemen to finish with more points than Faulk had more hits than his 157.

 

 

Goalie

 

POS

NAME

GP

W

SO

SV%

G

Carey Price

66

44

9

0.933

 

Nobody should be surprised to see Price’s name here as the Canadiens’ netminder led the league with 44 wins. His all-around numbers put him at the top of the goalie rankings in just about every format. He may get similar recognition at the NHL awards, as Price is a heavy favorite for both the Vezina and Hart trophies.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions - F

 

POS

NAME

GP

G

A

SOG

HITS

LW

Nick Foligno

79

31

42

182

193

C

Claude Giroux

81

25

48

279

110

RW

Ryan Callahan

77

24

30

191

184

 

Nick Foligno – In past years, Foligno never received the credit he deserved as a multi-category stud. Already a respectable point producer, he was also a great collector of PIM and hits. This year he took his offensive game to a new level, beating his previous career-high by more than 50 percent. In fact, his 73 points led the entire Blue Jackets’ roster, even besting golden boy Ryan Johansen.

 

Claude Giroux – Posting elite numbers is nothing new for Giroux, as this is the fourth time he has posted 70 or more points. Beyond that, his 279 shots on goal beat his previous high by more than 50. Even more impressive was his excellence in the faceoff circle where his 1063 faceoff wins were second only to Patrice Bergeron, and his faceoff efficiency ranked in the top-10 among full-time centers.

 

Ryan Callahan – Right wing is the shallowest position in terms of star power, allowing a multi-category player like Callahan to shine, and he is a fringe fantasy star.  His 54 points are not among the league’s best but his peripheral categories help form a well-balanced player. However, there is a pattern worth noting. After a fast start out of the gate producing at an unsustainable rate, Callahan slowed down significantly as the season progressed. It appears that his style of play causes him to wear down over the course of a long campaign which can also be seen in his postseason numbers which fail to match up to his production during the regular season.

 

 

Honorable Mentions - D

 

POS

NAME

GP

G

A

SOG

HITS

D

Kris Letang

69

11

43

197

131

D

PK Subban

82

15

45

170

97

 

Kris Letang – Letang was able to play a reasonable amount of games this year for a change. His 69 appearances were his highest since 2011. As a result, he posted a career-high 54 points and his 117 blocks were also a personal-best. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit Letang once again late in the year as he is currently out with a concussion and unlikely to return this postseason. Who knows what the future holds for Letang?

 

PK Subban – The Canadiens’ defenseman has developed into a top defenseman but from a multi-category perspective his production across the board has been a bit puzzling. While he has set career-highs in goals (15), assists (45), points (60), plus/minus (21) and blocked shots (142), he has also experienced significant drops in both hits and shots on goal. 

 

 

Honorable Mention - G

 

POS

NAME

GP

W

SO

SV%

G

Braden Holtby

73

41

9

0.923

 

Holtby bounced back very well under new head coach Barry Trotz to have a career season. In particular, his 41 wins nearly doubled his previous best of 23 and his nine shutouts nearly matched the amount he had in his entire career prior to this year. No doubt, the poor play of backup Justin Peters played a role in Holtby’s 73 appearances which helped maximize his numbers.

 

 

*

 

2014-15 Fun Facts

 

Alex Ovechkin – This year, Ovechkin became just the sixth player in NHL history to score 50 or more goals in a season on six different occasions. The other five – Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Marcel Dionne and Guy Lafleur – all had the benefit of playing around the 1980s era that featureD goals much more frequently. The fact that Ovechkin is the only other player to have accomplished the feat during an age of tough defensive hockey is simply amazing.

 

Workhorse goaltenders – One of the staples in fantasy hockey is workhorse goalies. That is, there are certain guys that play almost every game on the schedule. They are especially valuable in leagues that favor the accumulation of bulk stats such as wins, shutouts and saves. Last year, we did not see any workhorses with Kari Lehtonen topping the league at 65 appearances in the crease. This year, three goaltenders (Holtby, Jonathan Quick, Tuukka Rask) topped 70 games played. This is equal to the amount of 70-plus-game netminders that we saw in 2010-11 and 2011-12, the two years prior to the most recent lockout.

 

*

 

Follow me on Twitter @DH_EricDaoust.

 

 

Eastern Conference 2014-15 Review

All-Star Teams Created out of Playoff Teams

Playoff Prep - Eastern Conference Part Two

 

Comments are closed.