Sunday, April 30, 2006

Even Strength Scoring

The playoffs have been filled by special teams play. An increasing percentage of scoring has been special teams scoring. The top scorer in the playoffs so far is Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils who has 11 points in only four games. Only four of his points have come at even strength. His seven power play points are more than the top scorer on some of the playoff teams has for his entire point total.

So who is scoring at even strength? I tend to view these points as more "dependable" for fantasy purposes as they will not reduce if the refereeing standards change over time and because players scoring at even strength may tend to get more power play time in the future. Its still early in the playoffs (4 or 5 games played per player), but the leaders in even strength scoring are Peter Forsberg of the Philadelphia Flyers and Brad Richards of the now eliminated Tampa Bay Lightning who have 6 even strength points each.

I think this means that Forsberg has been dangerous and will continue to be so for the Flyers. Unless Buffalo can stop him, they will have trouble with the Flyers. I think Tampa did not have a particularly good playoff, but none of that blame falls on Brad Richards. If a few more Lightning players could have played as well as he did, they would still be alive.

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