Plus/minus as a fantasy category is fading to black as far as fantasy hockey popularity but enough leagues use it to make this post more an interlude to other categories. I know people were looking for a fantasy upside as far as draft picks but that will be saved until closer to training camp. That is to get more of an idea of what is going on with some of the top picks.
As the quest to lead into other stats becomes apparent, please forgive if there is a little hinting at them. While +/- is not a true indication of how effective a player is (Jeff Schultz was once a +51), it can give a few hints. Are you ready for our three best. Yes, I thought so!
Fantasy Hockey Rewind — +/- Time
Third Place — Brad Marchand — Boston Bruins
It is crazy to think that Brad Marchand could possibly be traded but yet here we are. Rumors are flying all over the place because of discipline and maybe attitude reasons. However, on the ice, Marchand had 53 points with 25 goals and a whopping +36. He did just have two power play points and his attempts on the man advantage did not exactly go all that well. Boston was just a juggernaut when it came to even strength play (whether it was 5 on 5 or 4 on 4). This is a theme throughout this post.
Second Place — Patrice Bergeron — Boston Bruins
The Selke Trophy award winner finished second in plus/minus with a +38. Patrice Bergeron had a nice even strength shooting percentage but not as good as Brad Marchand’s. Bergeron finished with a 12.3% shooting percentage on the year and was a 30-30 player. However, only 11 of his 62 points came on the man advantage. Simply he was more dominant when the playing field was leveled. Again, it was a theme that characterized the Boston season. When the ice was not as restricted, this helped the Boston Bruins and players like Patrice Bergeron thrive.
First Place — David Krejci — Boston Bruins
Anyone who knows, knows that David Krejci became rather small in the playoffs. However, he was this year’s +/- leader at a whopping +39. His 50 assists and 69 points were quite impressive but again he only had three power play goals and 16 at even strength. Again, the shooting percentage went up a good bit even though he was more pass first on the power play as hard as that is to believe. Even Krejci has been the subject of trade rumors because of not so good special teams play but for almost the entire season watching the Boston first line was truly a treat at 5 on 5.
Honorable Mention — Jarome Iginla — Boston Bruins
Yes again there is still a theme here. Boston! Boston! Boston! Boston! Jarome Iginla had a +34 in a season most did not expect. By the way, he was also a 30-30 player with low power play point goal totals. His shooting percentage was a robust 14.4% on just 209 shots, good for 30 goals. Will he play in Boston next season? If he does, expect around the same numbers but if he does not then those become a question mark.
The next categories start to explore special teams and no we will not touch goals, assists, or points as that will come in time. Thanks again for reading.