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Biggest surprises (bad) in each division


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Hmmm...bad surprises?

North:
Agree its the Canucks. After seeing them beat the Blues and play the Vegas Knights tough in the playoffs last year and with a number of up n coming stars I thought they should be performing better. 
They aren't....and I see Thatcher Demko as taking a step backwards, Holtby not living up to the reason he was signed, but the biggest drawback seems to be their defensive core.

They lost veterans Chris Tanev and Troy Stetcher, and Alex Edler has been a shell of his former self. Tanev and Stetcher may not be game changers by themselves, but were still solid veterans that, when added to the Vancouver collective, made the team a bit tougher to create scoring chances on.

Departed goalie Markstrom has outperformed both Demko and Holtby playing for Calgary....and losing guys like Tyler Toffoli up front doesn't help their cause.

In short, Vancouver didn't bring in enough to offset what they lost. Holtby in goal and Nate Schmidt on defense should have helped, but thus far, it hasn't very much.
They still have some time to turn things around.


Central:
Agree on Nashville.
Feels like that team has literally fallen off a cliff. 
I suppose one could have seen that coming for the reasons Yave mentioned, but man, not even a piecemeal decline.....just a complete disappearance of competitiveness on the ice!

 


West:
I will say a mild disappointment has been the Coyotes thus far.
I know not many were high on them to begin with, but to me, they play solid enough defense, have good enough goaltending (when healthy) to be able to easily compete for a playoff spot.....if only their offense were a bit better.

And that is a bit of a head scratcher because looking at their skaters, on paper, it looks like they SHOULD be more powerful offensively than they've shown.
They are just now looking like they are creeping up the standings, so perhaps they can turn things around, start scoring more while maintaining their structure and keep their standing.

EAST:
For me, probably a tie between the Penguins and Sabres.

Rangers? I never did buy into the hype that "they are ready".  Still too young, still too green, still LOTS of guys unproven on that team.
If the Rangers played out of St. Paul, Raleigh, or Nashville, people would be like, "yea, they got talent, but not ready".
But because they play out of New York City, big media, big magnifying glass, the talent simply MUST be ready now!

It isn't. They are where they should be, IMO.

But the Pens, although I can see some decline there, shouldn't be THIS bad. Jarry and DeSmith have shown themselves to be quite capable in the past....they don't even need to be spectacular....just competent. They haven't been. And even with a sub par defense, the offense usually offsets that....it hasn't either.

Sabres?
Absolutely SHOULD be much better, much like the Coyotes, looking at this team on paper, the acquisitions they made......they should not be at the bottom of the standings.

They may not be ready for primetime at the top, but they should be in the mix for at least the fourth spot in the division and from the looks of things, with the disappearance of Jeff Skinner, the continued Invisible Man parody of Kyle Okposo, Taylor Hall being just "ok", Eric Staal looking older and slower than he did in Minnesota, and both Rasmuses being mostly non factors, and Carter Hutton not being able to hold up his end of the goalie tandem, bottom feeder is where they likely stay.

 

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33 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

EAST:
For me, probably a tie between the Penguins and Sabres.

Rangers? I never did buy into the hype that "they are ready".  Still too young, still too green, still LOTS of guys unproven on that team.
If the Rangers played out of St. Paul, Raleigh, or Nashville, people would be like, "yea, they got talent, but not ready".
But because they play out of New York City, big media, big magnifying glass, the talent simply MUST be ready now!

It isn't. They are where they should be, IMO.

But the Pens, although I can see some decline there, shouldn't be THIS bad. Jarry and DeSmith have shown themselves to be quite capable in the past....they don't even need to be spectacular....just competent. They haven't been. And even with a sub par defense, the offense usually offsets that....it hasn't either.

Sabres?
Absolutely SHOULD be much better, much like the Coyotes, looking at this team on paper, the acquisitions they made......they should not be at the bottom of the standings.

They may not be ready for primetime at the top, but they should be in the mix for at least the fourth spot in the division and from the looks of things, with the disappearance of Jeff Skinner, the continued Invisible Man parody of Kyle Okposo, Taylor Hall being just "ok", Eric Staal looking older and slower than he did in Minnesota, and both Rasmuses being mostly non factors, and Carter Hutton not being able to hold up his end of the goalie tandem, bottom feeder is where they likely stay.

 

Really good post all around.   Can't really disagree with much of it (though I was in the camp that expected little from Arizona).      But yes on the East.   It sounds like I was a bit more bullish on the Rangers than you were, but really, yours is the realistic take on them.    None of that really explains Zibby and even other players like Lee and Bailey.   But yeah, just not enough around them.   They'll get there.

 

I am starting to wonder about Kakko a little bit, though.   i wonder that they didn't bring him up too soon.

 

I think probably I'd put the Pens as biggest followed by Sabres but it's neck and neck.

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@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

I can get behind the Sabres as a dissapointment, but the long layoff from Covid seems to have messed them up big time and I wasnt as high on them as a lot of folks.

 

 As far as Arizona, really I think they are doing about what could be expected, 7-6-2 4th place, 2 points up on the Sharks/Kings 3 points ahead of the Wild. They are only minus 2 in goal differential and I would probably rank them as the favorite to get the 4th playoff spot although i picked the Kings to start the year and think that last spot could go to the wire.

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1 hour ago, yave1964 said:

EAST Rangers 4-7-3, much was expected they are flat almost every night. Zibenajad has followed his career monster year by pulling a Claude Raines with a measly 3 points.

 

Actually I'm not surprised at all. He had a career year much like Giroux had a few years ago.  Looking at his career stats vs. last year this is what I have com up with and also read about.   Mika Zibanejad scored 75 points in 2019-2020 but was on pace to reach 108. Prior to 2019-2020, Zibanejad’s best season was 74 points in 82 games. A 34 point jump is monumental and one should not trust it to be natural.

 

If we run some basic FHL usual tests, we find the following issues:

• an anomalously high SH% last year vs his career (19% vs. 12%)

• a high IPP last year vs career. (80 vs 71) A metric that one can take advantage of in fantasy hockey is that of Individual Points Percentage (IPP). IPP measures how often a player earns a point while he is on the ice. The calculation for IPP is rather simple; you take the number of points awarded to Player X and divide it by the number of goals scored by Player X’s team while he was on the
ice. Multiply that fraction by 100 and you have your IPP value.

 

From Left Wing Lock; "If Player X scores a goal or assists on a goal, he earns a contribution toward his IPP. Since goal scoring and
playmaking are considered talents in the NHL, then the IPP serves, on some level, as a metric for player talent. But, since goal scoring and assist generation are both processes that are subject to random fluctuations (luck), the overall IPP of a player is also subject to random fluctuations. And it is these random fluctuations that we will use to our advantage when drafting in fantasy hockey leagues."

 

Therefore since I mentioned his SH% last year was much higher that what it is for his career then it is to be expected his IPP will also drop.

 

• a high tEVSH%;

• inflated primary assists

 

Again from Left Wing Lock .....

All of these factors conspired together to pump up Zibanejad’s point production last season. He is not a 108-point forward and you should be careful not to draft him as one. Zibanejad was a 9th round pick on average in fantasy drafts last season. He will surely go earlier this year and managers may get burned depending on just how early they pull the trigger. We project Zibanejad to see a drop of 28 points off his 2019-20 offensive output.

 

Factoring all that in I am not surprised he is struggling so far this year.  I expected a drop but to this degree is even more than what I thought would happen.

 

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2 hours ago, yave1964 said:

Looking at each Division, passing the quarter turn here are the biggest disappointments from each division

 

NORTH Gotta be the Canucks with an 8-11-1 record and a minus 10 goal differential, giving up nearly four goals a game as the defense is putrid in front of Demko/Holtby. Pettersson hasn't approached the level expected. Calgary isnt far behind.

 

CENTRAL Nashville. Stick a fork in them, 6-9 record, but minus 18 they cannot score Rinne is aging poorly and Saros doesnt appear to be the answer. Fire sale expected soon.

 

EAST Rangers 4-7-3, much was expected they are flat almost every night. Zibenajad has followed his career monster year by pulling a Claude Raines with a measly 3 points. The GM and coach are feeling the heat.

 

WEST none. Seriously, the top three have as expected pulled away, the bottom five are hanging around .500 and all within a few points of a playoff spot. Everyone is performing exactly as expected.

 

 

Great post BTW  ...will post more thoughts later .....

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Canucks. What a disappointment. I wish they were on our division so we could feed off of their misery.

 

Kakko should have played in Finland at least for two, maybe three years.

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4 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

What about Montreal?  😮


What about MTL? They are right where they should be . They have only played 15 games.  They have 3 games in hand vs. the Leafs. Technically if they win those 3 that puts them 2 pts behind the Leafs....

They have a good goaltending tandem in Price and Allen and they have proven they can score goals. I’m not considering them a surprise disappointment.

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2 minutes ago, pilldoc said:


What about MTL? They are right where they should be . They have only played 15 games.  They have 3 games in hand vs. the Leafs. Technically if they win those 3 that puts them 2 pts behind the Leafs....

They have a good goaltending tandem in Price and Allen and they have proven they can score goals. I’m not considering them a surprise disappointment.

 

I see you caught my joke in the post above just after posting.  😃👍

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8 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

I see you caught my joke in the post above just after posting.  😃👍

Yup... it’s called hitting the post button too soon .. 😉

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10 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

@TropicalFruitGirl26 Montreal's rise to prominence has been a "BAD" surprise for Leafs fans lol.  🤣

 

(Sorry, I thought it was funny.)  

 

Yes, yes, I 'get it'....
But I can't say I feel concerned for the Leafs in any way.

Look at it this way:
Toronto is in the North division where their only real competition ARE the Montreal Canadiens....and the Leafs are looking good by comparison.

Had the divisions been normal, the Leafs would have had to contend, within the division, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Boston, and even the Florida Panthers this year who have turned it up a notch or three.
So dealing with just one of those contenders is preferable to dealing with FOUR, no? :) 

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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Yes, yes, I 'get it'....
But I can't say I feel concerned for the Leafs in any way.

 

So far so good.  :) 

 

1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Look at it this way:
Toronto is in the North division where their only real competition ARE the Montreal Canadiens....and the Leafs are looking good by comparison.

 

30 points now! #1 in the league. There is no competition mwah ha ha ha.  (Flexing furiously in mirror lol.)  :showingguns:

 

1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Had the divisions been normal, the Leafs would have had to contend, within the division, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Boston, and even the Florida Panthers this year who have turned it up a notch or three.

 

That is true. Although the western teams (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton) are usually quite a challenge. It's possible that Toronto is the best team in a weak division, but it's also possible that Toronto is the new Boston/Tampa/Colorado. Since none of the teams are playing against the other divisions this season, there's no way to know which division is strongest or weakest.  :) 

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