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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rinko Mixed Bag: PP Chances, Success & Refs?

So your fantasy hockey team is just a question of just taking a look at it everyday now.  That is how most fantasy playoff pools are constructed.  You pick your guys and just hope enough advance far into the playoffs to make your investment worthwhile.  If it is just a free league, then it really is just for pride.  Either way, the officiating has to drive people at least somewhat mad in this first round of the playoffs moreso than in recent history.  I have heard it from all sides and honestly it does have a fantasy impact.

There is the positive if you are a person who has a few Kings players.  They are 7 for 12 on the PP in the playoffs and then contrast that with the 5 for 23 from New Jersey or the same from Philadelphia.  Talk about just plain bizarre.  Contrast that with the 27 PP chances combined in the Colorado-San Jose series and yes there was 11 in Game 2 but most of that series the refs have let the players play.  Often those are the best series to watch and the easiest to gauge for solid fantasy opportunities.

The series where you do not know when the penalties are coming and for what are the most difficult.  Even the Pens-Sens series only has 35 combined power play chances but the PK's have been god awful on both sides so if you have guys like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, you are cleaning up in your playoff pool.  Even Detroit players are a good bet as Detroit and Phoenix have combined for 34 PP chances (8.5 per contest).

So is is time to do a quick breakdown of PP chances and % amongst series.  Sure why not.  Does anyone have a calculator handy because I do not?
Series PP Chances PP Success
PHI-NJ 46 21.7%
PIT-OTT 35 31.4%
BOS-BUF* 18 5.6%
MTL-WSH* 26 11.5%
SJ-COL 27 18.5%
CHI-NSH* 24 8.3%
VAN-LA 23 39.1%
DET-PHX 34 23.5%

So clearly the two most series that feature the most inept PP's are the Chicago-Nashville series and the Boston-Buffalo series.  The first one is surprising.  Even Montreal and Washington is a bit perplexing given the firepower that both teams do have on the man advantage.  The points you thought you were getting from these guys are not necessarily coming but like I said if you have Malkin and Crosby in your pools, you are still likely okay.  Translating this through each pool has some pretty universal results.

For example in Rinko leagues and what we will spotlight a bit today, the chances are actually hurting play in some series.  Take Philly and New Jersey where the flow has been completely sucked out of it.  There were 16 total PP chances last night.  Players and coaches on both sides have complained that no one knows how to play because they do not really know what is going to be a penalty and what is not.  It is extremely confusing to many owners of fantasy teams as well this year.

However it helps you in a series like Vancouver and LA where the officiating has been consistent but the PK's have been consistently bad, especially for Vancouver.  Who knew the loss of Willie Mitchell and some shaky goaltending from Roberto Luongo would have this much of an impact?  Throw out the outrage from that disallowed goal in Game 3, the bottom line is if you have some players from LA, you are cleaning up on Rinko points.  Drew Doughty had a goal and 2 assists on the PP alone in Game 3 for LA.  Clearly Los Angeles has an advantage they are exploiting but LA's PK has been a little suspect as well.  They just have not been scored on nearly as much.

Even Detroit has not been victimized like they were in Game 1 when they gave up 3 goals on the PK.  What these numbers show you is simple.  When the players are allowed to play, the 5 on 5 guys thrive.  When it becomes a specialty game, then guys like Doughty and Crosby can shine.  Sometimes they do not however and this is why it becomes such a crapshoot as far as Rinko points.  There are guys to look for when the PP chances go up and hopefully when you made your choices...Ovechkin, Crosby, and Malkin were high on your list but if you tossed in a Doughty, Smyth, Knuble, or even a Jeff may just unexpectedly get rewarded in your Rinko league (at least in the first 2 rounds).  As the officials start to let them play more and it will happen as the playoffs progress, look at your 5 on 5 guys to lead your Rinko teams.  Good luck everyone.

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