Advanced statistics in hockey are hot right now, and one of the key applications of these statistics can be in the realm of fantasy hockey. That is, if you know what stats to use and how to use them.
Arguably the most prominent statistic with fantasy applications is PDO. Short for “Percentage Driven Outcomes,” PDO is compiled by adding an individual (or team’s) on-ice save and shooting percentage together. On-ice save percentage is based on how often pucks go into a player’s own net when they’re on the ice, while on-ice shooting percentage is based upon how often pucks go into the other team’s net while they’re on the ice.
While it’s not entirely fool-proof, PDO is typically used as a measure of so-called “puck luck”: a player with a PDO above 100 is considered to be getting the bounces, while below 100 is thought to be terminally unlucky.
Over an infinite number of games, PDO is expected to regress to 100 – generally save percentages level out at around 92 or 93%, while on-ice shooting percentages tend to trend towards 7 or 8% depending on the player. While players don’t play an infinite number of games, a player with a really high (or low) PDO can be seen as a candidate for a hot or cold streak simply because of the long-term percentages evening themselves out.
COLD PLAYERS THAT COULD GET HOT
- Alexander Semin (Carolina) – 86.9 PDO; 2 points in 9 games, -7
Carolina’s glut of injuries have really left their back-end decimated. Semin’s numbers have suffered the worst; his on-ice save percentage is 79.59%, dirt-worst in the entire NHL.
- Artem Anisimov (Columbus) – 87.1 PDO; 4 points in 9 games, -4
Anisimov’s on-ice save percentage is a drab 82.98%, while the on-ice shooting percentage is a disappointing 4.08%.
- Lauri Korpikoski (Arizona) – 87.4 PDO; 3 points in 12 games, -7
Korpikoski’s on-ice save percentage is just 84.13% – a byproduct of some disappointing goaltending – while his shooting percentage is 3.28%.
- Matt Martin (NY Islanders) – 89.1 PDO; 1 point in 12 games, -5
Poor Matt Martin. Just 1.82% of shots go in on the opposite net while he’s on the ice.
- Ryan O’Reilly (Colorado) – 89.2 PDO; 8 points in 14 games, -11
One of the league’s top possession players, O’Reilly’s awful plus/minus is a combination of an ugly on-ice shooting percentage (4.82%) and an ugly on-ice save percentage (84.38%).
- Nicklas Backstrom (Washington) – 89.5 PDO; 13 points in 12 games, -3
Backstrom’s numbers are likely dragged down by his team’s defense; his on-ice save percentage is just 81.67%.
HOT PLAYERS THAT COULD GET COLD
- Filip Forsberg (Nashville) – 114.7 PDO; 12 points in 12 games, +14
Forsberg is quite possibly the biggest outlier in the league right now. His on-ice shooting percentage is 15.96%, while his on-ice save percentage is 98.7%. Both are likely to crash down to Earth in a big, big way.
- Joe Colborne (Calgary) – 112.5 PDO; 8 points in 11 games, +3
Colborne’s currently sidelined with a wrist injury, but before he went down his on-ice shooting percentage was a staggering 16.67%.
- Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary) – 110.6 PDO; 8 points in 13 games, +8
Like his teammate, Gaudreau’s numbers are driven by strong on-ice shooting percentage – his is 15.62% – and is likely to have a downward correction.
- That 70s Line (Los Angeles)
- Tanner Pearson – 111.1 PDO; 9 points in 13 games, +10
- Tyler Toffoli – 110.7 PDO; 14 points in 13 games, +11
- Jeff Carter – 109.8 PDO; 12 points in 13 games, +10
All three members of the line have shooting percentages in the mid-teens and save percentages in the mid-to-high 90s. Both are likely to correct themselves over time.
- Corey Perry (Anaheim) – 110.9 PDO; 15 points in 13 games, +11
When your goalies save 98.81% of the shots on them while you’re on the ice, it’s easy to be a strong offensive player. It’s even more impressive with the merry-go-round rotation of goalies in Anaheim lately.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.