Best of the Nation - 10.28.12

Jonathan Willis
October 28 2012 10:54AM

After the jump: a look at the best prospects for the 2013 Draft, discussing trade rumours, the lockout and solutions to it, following injuries around the league, and much more.

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Powerplay Time (Or Fantasy Lifeline)

Josh L.
October 27 2012 10:11AM

Image via MochaSwirl from WikiMedia Commons

Our goal in fantasy hockey is to read tea leaves to identify the players who will help us accumulate as many counting stats as possible. Checkers and grinders are undoubtedly vital to the NHL game, but those skills are worthless to us in fantasy. What we want are the guys lighting up the scoreboard.

Oddly enough, oftentimes the guys lighting up the scoreboard have done a lot of damage on the powerplay. Of the top 50 goal scorers from last season the average player netted 27% of his goals on the powerplay. It's easier to score on the powerplay given that there is one less defender so identifying players who proved to be good even strength scorers and should see a bump in powerplay time next year should yield some fantasy sleepers.

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It's All About Nathan MacKinnon In The Consensus Top 50

Derek Zona
October 26 2012 04:08PM

Halifax Mooseheads Logo

When we last checked in on the 2013 NHL Draft rankings, it was all about Nathan MacKinnon.  The October rankings...haven't changed at all.  He's still the number one player on the list and it's not close.  Copper & Blue writer Alan Hull got to view MacKinnon in person in early October and though he thought MacKinnon had an off game, he did see the skill:

"He certainly showed that he does have high-level skills, though I didn't see anything on this night that I would classify as elite. Among his biggest assets, he has the ability to be strong on the puck and hold off defenders with his strength and he has some explosive speed when he wanted to show it, which unfortunately was not often enough on this night."

Hull's biggest criticism?  A lack of attention to defense.  Something that is nearly universal in young scoring centers:

As a centre, he needed to be down below the face-off dot much more often engaging in the team's defensive zone coverage. Instead, I found him to be staying too high, and at the first appearance of an opportunity for the Mooseheads to gain possession, he was gone...out towards the blue line and frequently beyond it hoping to lead the rush.

MacKinnon is one of three Mooseheads in the top 24 in this month's Consensus Rankings.  The sources for the consensus list are Bob McKenzie, Future Considerations, ISS, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, and The Scouting Report.

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October 26 2012 03:14PM

It's funny how a protracted labour dispute in the NHL will put a damper on an NHL blogging Network. Assuming you define "funny" as brainshatteringly annoying. Who wouldn't want to read an up tempo article like that right?!

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Number Chains - October 26, 2012 Links

Josh L.
October 26 2012 11:50AM

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.

 Welcome to edition number one of the rebooted Number Chains. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

We begin today with a look at Tyler Dellow's calculations aimed at defining the real financial gap between the NHL and NHLPA. He took the time to crunch the numbers of the NHLPA's three proposals from last week in an effort to pin down how big the financial gap between the two sides is at this point. Those of you looking for hope in the wasteland that is the Lockout should take a trip to the link and focus on this statement:

When you get right down to it, the difference between the parties sure seems to be getting awfully small: even at 5% growth, the worst possible, the PA has presented an offer that appears to be about $487.4MM away from what the NHL wants financially over a six year period. That’s $81.23MM per year (and it shrinks if growth is higher!) $2.71MM per team. Do the Oilers NEED to have Kevin Lowe AND Steve Tambellini AND Craig MacTavish? They used to get by with one GM. Now they’re probably paying three guys GM money.

Less depressing non-Lockout posts after the jump...

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