Home > Fantasy Sports, NHL Playoffs > DY Trends – Out of Nowhere: Sizzle or Fizzle?

DY Trends – Out of Nowhere: Sizzle or Fizzle?

Originally published in the May Roto Exclusive featured at DobberHockey on May 15, 2011

Published at TSB on May 31, 2011

Written By:  Brendan Ross (alias ‘Dean Youngblood’)

Spring weather has arrived and with the improving weather it is time to unpack the patio furniture, invite some friends over for some playoff action and fire up those grills. The 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs have brought some unexpected young stars to the forefront and it is time to investigate what the future holds for these recent playoff heroes. Are these players a “Grade A” piece of meat that will continue to sizzle next season? Or, are they pieces of ground chuck that will fizzle away leaving us craving more? DY Trends is inviting you to our barbecue to find out who might sizzle and who might fizzle next year. Let’s take a more in-depth look at five players who have come out-of-nowhere this postseason and also happen to be playing for a new contract too. 

Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins, C (RFA)

2011-12 Outlook: “Sizzle”

2010-11 Regular Season Stats: 77 GP – 21 G – 20 A – 41 P – 42 PIM

2011 Playoff Stats: 11 GP – 5 G – 6 A – 11 P – 12 PIM

Age: 23

Brad Marchand entered the NHL as a player projected to be a third line winger but has made it his personal mission to prove EVERYBODY wrong. The undersized energetic rookie plays with a ton of passion every shift and he has been rewarded in the stats columns because of it. Marchand currently sits second in team playoff scoring with 11 points in 11 games (only trailing the currently injured Patrice Bergeron). Marchand is one of those players who seem to always overachieve as he has produced at or near a PPG pace in every league.

The Halifax-native has a trend of upping his game come playoffs as he has improved his point-per-game averages at every level (QMJHL, AHL and NHL) when the postseason rolls around. Boston will have a difficult time keeping Marchand out of its top six if he keeps this torrent pace up. As Marchand enters his sophomore season next year, it would be foolish to expect a point per game pace but expect him to remain productive and contribute in the peripheral stats as well. The upside isn’t all that high (65-70 points) but his drive and determination will improve the odds of reaching it. The best of Marchand is yet to come and the diminutive winger will likely top his 41-points sooner than later. Even if you don’t believe it, Marchand will prove us wrong, again.

 

Joel Ward – Nashville Predators, RW (UFA)

2011-12 Outlook: “Fizzle”

2010-11 Regular Season Stats: 80 GP – 10 G – 19 A – 29 P – 42 PIM

2011 Playoff Stats: 12 GP – 7 G – 6 A – 13 P – 6 PIM

Age: 30 W

Ward represents the first of two unrestricted free agents on this list and could see an increase on his $1.5 million salary because of his strong playoff campaign. The 30-year old Toronto-native has been fairly predictable over his three year NHL career averaging around 0.41 points per game. Nashville can thank Joel Ward for their playoff success as he led all Predators in scoring with 13 points in 12 games and currently only trails Kesler and Datsyuk (both 15 points) in the entire NHL. The Predators were eliminated in a difficult series against the Canucks but Nashville has to be pleased that Ward stepped up on a team desperate for offence. In the past two playoff runs, Joel has bumped his points-per-game average up and poolies should take note of this trend for their future playoff pools.

Looking towards next season it is hard to believe that Ward will continue to produce at a point-per-game pace so temper your expectations. The 2011-2012 season will be Ward’s fourth year (not counting his 11 games in 2006-07) so there is a chance that his production experiences a small spike but Ward should not be expected to carry the Predators’ as he did this postseason. You get what you see with Ward – a dependable third line grinder.

Sean Bergenheim – Tampa Bay Lightning, LW (UFA)

2011-12 Outlook: “Fizzle”

2010-11 Regular Season Stats: 80 GP – 14 G – 15 A – 29 P – 56 PIM

2011 Playoff Stats: 11 GP – 7 G – 1 A – 8 P – 8 PIM

Age: 27

Bergenheim will be chasing a full-time gig with an NHL club this offseason as he enters the market red hot. The streaky-Finn had a difficult time cracking the nightly lineup with the Islanders but the Lightning gave him a chance this past season to make his mark and he was average again. Bergenheim is excelling in his first taste of NHL playoff action by providing some solid secondary scoring. Bergenheim currently sits fifth in team playoff scoring ahead of superstar Steven Stamkos and owns an impressive 0.73 points-per-game average.

As the July 1st free agency approaches the Bergenheim situation should be an interesting scenario to monitor. Will Tampa Bay offer him a contract? Does Bergenheim seek a larger contract elsewhere? Bergenheim has proved that he can score in the playoffs but his regular season stats (0.33 points-per-game average) indicate that his playoff production is an anomaly and not the norm. NHL teams should be cautious with this streaky winger as free agency approaches understanding that Bergeheim is more likely to fizzle than sizzle.

Devin Setoguchi – San Jose Sharks, RW (RFA)

2011-12 Outlook: “Sizzle”

2010-11 Regular Season Stats: 72 GP – 22 G – 19 A – 41 P – 37 PIM

2011 Playoff Stats: 13 GP – 6 G – 2 A – 8 P – 12 PIM

Age: 24

The “Gooch” has molded himself into more of a complimentary player than an offensive catalyst and that seems to be okay with the Sharks’ brass. In 2008-09, Setoguchi posted career high numbers (65) and fantasy owners expected similar trends to follow only to be disappointed. The next season Devin scored a career low 36 points and frustrated many poolies who felt they had struck gold. Setoguchi has never posted big numbers in any level of play. His best WHL season came in his third season with the Saskatoon Blades when he managed 83 points (in 65 games) finishing seventh in league scoring. The eighth overall draft pick (2005) has the sniping abilities to complement stars like his current line mates, Thornton and Marleau, but people should never expect him to carry the offence alone. Luckily, the Sharks are deep enough that Setoguchi should never have those expectations. In September, the Albertan-native heads into his fifth NHL season and as long as people temper their expectations to 50-60 points, Setoguchi should sizzle his way into the 2011-12 season improving upon last years’ 41 points.

 

Teddy Purcell – Tampa Bay Lightning, RW (RFA)

2011-12 Outlook: “Sizzle”

2010-11 Regular season Stats: 81 GP – 17 G – 34 A – 51 P – 10 PIM

2011 Playoff Stats: 11 GP – 1 G – 10 A – 11 P – 2 PIM

Age: 25

Purcell was initially included in my “DY Trends – Spring Kings and Sleeping Giants” article as a “Sleeping Giant” but I removed him for Johan Franzen. Doh! Purcell was meshing well on a line with Gagne and Lecavalier to close out the regular season and he has found himself alongside Vinny and St. Louis in playoff action. The linemates will surely help Purcell notch some extra points but these are the exact type of players Purcell needs to play with to be most effective. Purcell has posted over a point-per-game in every league he has competed in (USHL, HE and AHL) but is looking to prove his worth in the big leagues after a slow start in Los Angeles.

Heading into next year, it is difficult to project Purcell’s future production but Purcell possesses the offensive skills to be a productive NHL player with good upside (70 points). The Lightning organization has to be thrilled with his offensive production in his first full NHL season and Purcell should be expected to repeat his 2010-11 totals. His long-term future is unknown but as long as he remains in Tampa you should expect 40-55 points with the potential for more. At this time, Purcell is “marinating” with the stars like St. Louis, Stamkos and Lecavalier and has the potential to sizzle – especially as he enters his magical fourth year. Players that experience success in playoff hockey often have the attributes to experience long NHL careers based on their hard work and determination. Identifying the red-hot playoff performers who can maintain their sizzle into the next fantasy season is crucial especially during off-season drafts. As we enter the draft, poolies often look back to their last recollection of player success to determine their selections and that is often the previous Stanley Cup playoff run. DY Trends encourages poolies to leave their short-sightedness behind and recognize the “sizzlers” leaving the “fizzlers” for your opponents to select. Enjoy the playoff barbecues!

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