The Truth #25

Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the twenty-fifth and final installment of a weekly article I’ve been writing all season long in which I try to determine the truth about puzzling players. I pull suggestions for which players to write about for these articles from the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon members. Be sure you check out those spots to catch up with me and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Kevin Fiala, Connor McDavid, or any other players capable of scoring 2 points per game in a ten game stretch (*psst* there aren’t many). Let’s get it!

Elias Pettersson, LW – VAN

Pettersson has been on a righteous tear since the start of February, racking up 41 points in his last 30 games. Over his last five games Pettersson ranks 33rd in shots/60 and 41st in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60) while skating a very healthy 20:05 per game. Ironically it’s taken this tremendous hot streak for Pettersson to approximate his historical numbers, but now his numbers look more or less in line with his averages over the past couple of seasons. It’s not exactly what we wanted to see from Pettersson in his fourth season, but this Vancouver team has obviously undergone a bit of a transformation with the Bruce Boudreau hiring and I for one will be weighting Pettersson’s last half stats more heavily than his first half when projecting him for next season.

Verdict: Pettersson’s season-long stats now fall in line with career averages, but this extended late season surge has me thinking there’s another level for him to reach in 2022/23

David Perron, RW – STL

Perron has run hot and cold all season long, racking up six points in five games before going pointless in his last two. Perron’s iSCF numbers have certainly fallen off of late, and if you’re looking ahead to next week St. Louis only has two game and they are both on heavy nights. Perron isn’t hot enough anymore for me to justify holding him for two heavy night games if there are solid waiver wire options available. On the season, Perron is showing some of the best advanced stats of his career, and while his shooting percentage (S%) and on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) are on the high side, they’re not so outlandish as to make me think that his current 70-point pace is not a level he can’t sustain in 2022/23.

Verdict: An up and down season for Perron but the season-long stats look solid; probably a drop for next week if you need a stream though

Matthew Beniers, C – SEA

Beniers has been a terrific story since joining the Kraken for the last five games, scoring a point in each of those five games and generally giving life to a listless squad. I can’t say that his advanced stats back up his scoring thus far – the 30% S% sticks out along with the 100% IPP – but given Seattle’s terrific schedule next week you could do worse than giving Beniers the old college try. The deployment is all there (PP1 and L1), so you could certainly stream Beniers if you’re unsatisfied with Perron and need more off-nights for next week.

Verdict: Red hot to start his NHL career, I don’t anticipate he’ll keep up the PPG pace but certainly a viable stream

Ryan O’Reilly, C – STL

O’Reilly falls into the same category as Perron for me given he has the same schedule: droppable if you need a better stream for next week. O’Reilly has reverted back to career average S% numbers and has probably gotten a tad unlucky in terms of IPP this year, but most concerning to me is the 1:35 of average ice time he’s given up this year after six straight seasons above 20:30 ATOI. It’s clear that St. Louis is content to run a very even ice time distribution among its top three lines and two power play units, and this has taken the edge off ROR’s fantasy output. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of the Blues’ forward corps this offseason, but at age 31 it’s hard to envision O’Reilly gaining ground again next season unless the ice time trends back up.

Verdict: ROR is a drop for next week and potentially not even worth drafting in shallower leagues next season depending on what the Blues do this offseason

Kevin Fiala, RW – MIN

Feels fitting to end my in-season content for this 2021-22 season with a guy that I’ve been all over for a long time. Fiala ranks 22nd in shots/60 and 38th in iSCF/60 on the season, and has done all that while spending half the season scuffling around the Minnesota middle six and second power play unit. Mark my words, Fiala is a stud. The most interesting aspect of Fiala for me is not whether or not he’s good because he’s clearly a star in this league, but whether we should put any stock into the “starts slow but finishes strong” narrative. Frankly, I don’t buy it. Fiala was not receiving optimal deployment or linemates for much of the first half of the year and while his individual rate stats remained strong, pucks were not going in. Once he found chemistry with Frederick Gaudreau and callup Matthew Boldy, his production started to match up with his advanced stats a little more and when he got the promotion to the top power play unit he reached the stratosphere in which he currently resides (nine-game point streak with twenty-one points in those nine). Replace Gaudreau with playmaking center Marco Rossi next season, and Fiala could go for 90+ points. I can already assure you that I will be drafting Fiala ahead of his average draft position next year.

Verdict: Man’s a stud, can’t wait to have even more shares next season

Before you go, I want to let you know there will be offseason content coming at you from Apples & Ginos from May all the way til we’re drafting teams again next season. If you need some time to disconnect from fantasy I won’t blame you, but when you come back there will be plenty of articles and podcasts to catch up with.

That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter and join the free Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have. If you want to learn more about any of the advanced stats I mentioned in this article, be sure to check out my article on applying advanced stats to fantasy hockey, or Natural Stat Trick’s advanced stats glossary.

Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!


Soundtrack to my writing: the Leafs losing to the Panthers in OT yet again

Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick

Published by Apples & Ginos

Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey Advice

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