Frozen Pool Forensics: Fleeting or Sustainable? (Jan 6, 2017)

by Cam Robinson on January 6, 2017 | (0 Comments)

Is the current pace of Matthews, Williams, Pastrnak and Horvat fleeting or sustainable?

While the NHL season is a marathon and not a sprint, it is vitally important to be able to take small segments and assess whether what we’re seeing at this very moment is real and sustainable, or a fleeting impact that is destined to change. This can be looked at from both sides of the coin – a superstar who has fallen on tough times, or an ‘out-of-nowhere’ player who is rocketing up the points’ leaderboard.

 

This week on Frozen Pool Forensics we will take a page out of the Keeping Karlsson fellas and sit down, crunch the numbers from the past 10 days on a handful of players and decide whether their performance is sustainable or fleeting.

 

 

Auston Matthews

 

Well that sure didn’t take long. Matthews was expected to become a franchise centre and the cornerstone of the Maple Leafs’ organization, but he wasn’t expected to be that player four months into his rookie campaign.

 

In the last 10 days, Matthews has demonstrated an exceptionally high echelon of play by recording two points in each of the past four games; pumping 3.25 shots on net per contest and sitting second in the league during this span for points per 60 minutes with 6.4.

 

 

SEASON

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

+/-

PIM

Shots

SH%

HITS

PPG

PPP

SHG

BLKS

FOW

FO%

PPTOI

%PP

%SH

TOI/G

%TOI

2016-2017

37

20

14

34

0.92

4

8

134

14.9

7

4

12

0

35

195

43.5

02:49

51.9

0.2

17:50

29.1

Average

82

44

31

75

0.92

9

18

297

14.9

16

9

27

0

78

432

43.5

02:49

51.9

0.2

17:50

29.1

 

The former first overall selection’s 44-goal pace is bordering on a historic trajectory, one that would land him as the seventh most productive goal-scoring rookie of all-time. Ahead of Mario Lemieux’s 43, Eric Lindros’ 41, Sidney Crosby and Steve Yzerman’s 39…

 

But is this production sustainable or fleeting?

 

The Scottsdale native is clearly feeling it right now and is offering his fantasy owners absolute golden production. While its quite unlikely that he’ll continue to convert on 31 percent of his shots, as he has the past week and half, he is clearly a special player, one capable of producing major numbers in spurts and gaudy totals overall.

 

TOR Line Combinations – Last Game

LINES FOR 2017-01-03

EVEN STRENGTH

     

FORWARDS

     

#1

25.6%

BROWN,CONNOR - HYMAN,ZACH - MATTHEWS,AUSTON

#2

21.5%

KADRI,NAZEM - KOMAROV,LEO - NYLANDER,WILLIAM

#3

19.7%

BOZAK,TYLER - MARNER,MITCHELL - VAN RIEMSDYK,JAMES

#4

13.5%

GAUTHIER,FREDERIK - MARTIN,MATT - SOSHNIKOV,NIKITA

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even as his early season connection with William Nylander has been split up, Matthews continues to make those around him better.  However, with just two games on the schedule next week, it’s likely we see this hot streak run out as the six days off that lie ahead is a usual recipe for a streak buster.

 

Result: Long-term sustainability, with some short-term fleeting.

 

 

Justin Williams

 

It sure seemed like this would be the season that Justin Williams fully descended into the bottom-six forward group and Andre Burakovsky was the likely replacement for him. Well, things have not ended up that way.

 

First Quarter Summary

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

Pace

+/-

PIM

Shots

HITS

PPG

PPP

SHG

BLKS

PPTOI

%PP

%PK

TOI/G

%TOI

21

2

2

4

0.19

16

-3

16

42

5

1

1

0

10

.2857

43.1

12.4

.9523

26.2

 

Second Quarter Summary

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

Pace

+/-

PIM

Shots

HITS

PPG

PPP

SHG

BLKS

PPTOI

%PP

%PK

TOI/G

%TOI

17

9

7

16

0.94

77

6

12

40

8

2

4

0

13

.7058

47.2

5.3

.7058

24.7

 

 

 

After a dreadfully slow start to the season, the 35-year-old veteran is finding his groove alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alexander Ovechkin and the results have been fruitful. In the past 10 days, the three-time Cup champion has recorded four goals and nine points in six contests. That total leads the league during this span. All while seeing just an average of 1:40 of power play time.

 

Even Strength Line Combinations

Freq

Line Combination

34.9%

KUZNETSOV,EVGENY - OVECHKIN,ALEXANDER - WILLIAMS,JUSTIN

19.5%

JOHANSSON,MARCUS - KUZNETSOV,EVGENY - WILLIAMS,JUSTIN

17.5%

BACKSTROM,NICKLAS - JOHANSSON,MARCUS - WILLIAMS,JUSTIN

16.3%

BACKSTROM,NICKLAS - OVECHKIN,ALEXANDER - WILLIAMS,JUSTIN

11.8%

ELLER,LARS - SANFORD,ZACHARY - WILLIAMS,JUSTIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it should not be expected that Willams will be able to maintain such a lofty production rate, he is once again proving capable of elevating his play when surrounded by elite talent and while this remains the case, fantasy owners should ride the wave.

 

Result: Fleeting

 

 

David Pastrnak

 

Projected as a player who was set to take a nice step forward, but likely still a season away from the leap into stardom, Pastrnak took the NHL by storm early on this season. He scored 13 goals and 17 points in his first 17 games and looked like the next great goal scorer to line up in Beantown.

 

All that has gone a little sideways after suffering an elbow injury that required him to have minor surgery and miss two contests. Since returning, he’s recorded just a single assist in eight games and has reduced his pace down to 60 points in 75 games.

 

This just screams market correction. It doesn’t matter how elite a sniper you are, Pastrnak was not going to be able to continue converting on over 20 percent of his shots on goal. This goal drought has been the inevitable regression towards the mean as he’s still managed to put an average of 3.13 shots on net per contest during this segment of time without one sneaking by a goaltender.

 

NHL Stats – Last 5 Years

SEASON

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

+/-

PIM

Shots

SH%

HITS

PPG

PPP

SHG

BLKS

FOW

FO%

PPTOI

%PP

%SH

TOI/G

%TOI

2016-2017

34

19

8

27

0.79

12

12

118

16.1

27

4

5

0

16

1

50.0

02:22

45.8

0.4

17:40

29.1

2015-2016

51

15

11

26

0.51

3

20

108

13.9

52

0

1

0

15

0

0.0

00:28

9.3

0.2

13:57

23.0

2014-2015

46

11

16

27

0.59

12

8

94

11.7

20

2

3

0

11

5

29.4

01:41

34.6

0.9

13:58

22.8

Average

82

28

22

50

0.61

17

25

200

14.1

62

4

6

0

26

4

27.3

01:23

27.7

0.5

14:55

24.5

 

The 20-year-old winger is a dynamic finisher and is situated in a very productive position next to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Together, the trio is a formidable group that drives possession and shots rates like few other lines in the league. Pastrnak continues to put a healthy number of shots on goal and is seeing time on the first power play unit. These elements are good indicators that his cold streak is just a minor blip in what should be considered a fantastic breakout season.

 

Results: Fleeting.

 

 

Bo Horvat

 

Playing on the Vancouver Canucks these days is tantamount to fantasy leprosy. There are few assets on that team that get fantasy owners too excited, but Bo Horvat is attempting to butt that trend.

 

In his last five games, the 21-year-old pivot has notched two goals and six points all the while helping propel the Canucks to victories in five straight contests and pulling them within one point of a wildcard spot.

 

While rarely getting noticed with the league’s top producers, this type of production isn’t exactly new for the former ninth overall selection in 2013. During the 2016 calendar year, Horvat produced a team-high 55 points, which was good for the 56th most league wide.

 

 

 

Maybe the most impressive aspect of Horvat’s game has been his increased speed. Once considered a deficiency in his toolbox, in the span of two and a half years, he’s transformed it into a major plus.

 

Just look at this:

 

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Continuing to see less than half his team’s power play ice from the second unit is not conducive to sustained production, but his 20 even strength points on the season places him within the top 50 league wide and is a good sign when attempting to predict future outputs.

 

Horvat is clearly the best succession plan for the Sedins as the Canucks currently have, and the way he’s been playing of late should be considered a great step for both the Vancouver organization and fantasy owners.

 

Results: Somewhat sustainable

 

***

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3 where I often give unsolicited fantasy advice that I’m sure at least someone is listening to.

 

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