As the NHL season heads into its unofficial second half following the All-Star break, it's worth checking out which players have performed better after the break throughout their careers.
There are several reasons that a player might be more productive late in the year and a look at the list of those who have put up more points per game after the break reveals a few opportunities.
Tom Gilbert and Sam Gagner have been productive for the Edmonton Oilers in games that have tended not to mean a whole lot down the stretch for a team out of the playoff picture and it appears that the Oilers will be playing more of those games this season. That doesn't mean just take any players from bad teams, but young players that are getting late-season opportunities are always worth consideration.
Thus, Senators, Maple Leafs, Islanders, Devils and Oilers may have some intrigue -- if there are young players set to see an increase in ice time for a team out of the playoff picture.
Throwing out some names that might fit (and aren't already included in the chart below): Nick Foligno, Tyler Bozak, Josh Bailey, Mattias Tedenby and any of the Oilers rookies (Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Linus Omark...maybe even Jeff Petry) are some guys that should get quality opportunities down the stretch for teams looking ahead to next season.
On the other hand, some players have a tendency to fade as the season goes on, which might provide reason to exercise caution when it comes to acquiring any of these players.
Keep in mind that this season's pre-All-Star numbers are included, so a player like Keith Yandle, who is enjoying a breakout season, may not necessarily see his production tail off as dramatically as the chart would suggest. But, for any player who is producing at a level unlike what he has achieved in the past, it's generally reasonable to expect production to slide towards previously established levels.
These lists require players to have played in at least 50 games before and after the All-Star game, which leaves last year's strong finishing rookies -- John Tavares (20 points in 20 games), Erik Karlsson (14 points in 19 games) and Tyler Bozak (16 points in 21 games) among them -- out of the chart.
But, again, if looking for value, finding players in similar situations to the situations in which those rookies were in 2009-2010 could be the move that gives your team a late-season push in the right direction.
Pre-and-Post-All-Star-Game - Best PPG Differential
Pre and Post-All-Star Game - Worst PPG Differential
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy Sports on Facebook.