Data Mining is a periodic column that will look at the stories behind the numbers. Hockey is a random game, a bounce of the puck here, or a bounce there can turn your night into glory or ruins at any moment. Simple DFS point totals, don’t tell the entire story. Lets dig into the analytics that you should make lineups selections on. We’ll look at seven numbers and what they tell us about what’s really happening on the ice!
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5 on 5 Score Adjusted Expected Goals / 60 at Home – Columbus Blue Jackets: 3.08
I’ve been on this racket for a while, and probably should have played more Leafs last night, but the Jackets solid defense has been slipping away. They are dead last in the league in 5 on 5 score adjusted xGA/60 at home. Dont fault Korpisalo for last night’s loss. Over the last five weeks the Jackets have been suspect on defense, and the simple fact that they are still winning games just goes to show how good Bobrovsky has been holding fort for the Jackets.
I’m sure Torts is about to have an aneurysm over his defense, but the Jackets do have something to play for down the stretch. If they can get to 1st in the Metro, they will capture the Presidents Trophy and avoid either the Caps or Pens in the first round. Columbus is on the road tonight in Washington *must see TV* but they follow up with home games on Saturday and Tuesday against the Flyers and Sabres respectively. If the Jackets lose tonight to Washington, which direction will Torts turn? Will he try to outscore his opponents in two games the Jackets should win, or will he turn to playoff style hockey to try to grind out the wins? Either way continue to target road skaters in Columbus.
5 on 5 Goals Allowed / 60 at Home – Florida Panthers: 3.73
This probably isn’t news to anyone but the Panthers have been a sieve in their own end recently. They’ve allowed 23 goals in their last six home games, and are now at that point in the season where a return to the playoffs is untenable. With the playoffs out of the question, don’t expect Tom Rowe to rush Roberto Luongo back into the lineup. Without that goal at the end of the tunnel, there is no reason to believe that the goals against will diminish down the stretch. In fact it might benefit the Panthers to lose a few games to improve their draft position. The Panthers are at home tonight against the Coyotes and on Saturday against the Blackhawks. Tonight is a good night to get the Desert Dogs at low ownership.
5 on 5 Score Adjusted Corsi Allowed / 60 – Ottawa Senators: 62.2
I was pretty stunned with the Bruins loss to the Sens on Tuesday. The ideal spot to finish in the Atlantic is 2nd place. That’s where the Senators find themselves with ten games to go. They have a five point lead over Toronto and a six point lead, and a game in hand, on the Bruins.
The reason I was stunned with the result is how much the Bruins have been scoring recently, most notably Brad Marchand. The shooting regression that got Claude Julien fired has finally normalized. I thought a high paced team that Boston is, desperate for points at home, against a team that struggles in shot suppression would be a relatively easy win for the Bruins, but they dropped the game 3-2.
Back to the Senators, they have a tilt tonight against the Penguins, then they go on the road for seven of their remaining nine games. They’ve been surrendering shots in bunches, and should they slip up tonight and on Saturday against the Canadiens, their hold on second place in the Atlantic will become tenuous. The Sens are 9th in the league in goals allowed, but they’ve been losing the Corsi battle like a bottom feeder for better than a month now. Target skaters against them! *This also makes Craig Anderson a really nice GPP goalie*
5 on 5 Fenwick Save Percentage – Jake Allen: 96.7%
I mentioned Jake Allen in Tuesday night’s “Starting Lineup” video and he came away with another win against the lowly Avs in Denver. There is a pack of three goaltenders who’ve really been on their game over the last five weeks. I gave a hat-tip to Bobrovsky already who sits at #1 in this stat, Brian Elliott who’se gotten his game back and the Flames into the playoffs sits third, and in second is Jake Allen from the Blues.
Ironically just two months ago it looked like the Elliott to Calgary trade worked out negatively for both the Blues and the Flames. Allen and Elliott struggled through the first half of the year. Elliott briefly lost his job to Chad Johnson and Allen saw his head coach get fired. With the league closing in on the playoffs however both goaltenders have proven their mettle.
Over the last five weeks Jake Allen has been one of the best goaltenders in the league with a Fenwick Save Percentage of 96.7%. He is 6-1 in his last seven starts and the Blues are currently sitting in 3rd place in the Central. If they finish 3rd they will meet the Minnesota Wild in the first round. If they drop below the Nashville Predators, they will have a likely first round matchup against the defending Western Conference Champion San Jose Sharks. They have a favorable schedule coming up with four of the five games coming against the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche. If you were burned by Allen earlier in the year, come back to him now. He should be popular in the coming weeks.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire