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Scott Cullen

TSN.ca Analytics

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Toronto's highly-touted rookie is living up to the hype; Ryan Johansen, Steve Mason and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

William Nylander - The highly-touted Maple Leafs rookie is starting to come into his own. After a two-point game against Buffalo Saturday, Nylander had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win vs. Calgary.
Nylander had a career-high 12 shot attempts against the Flames. He's been consistently generating shots game after game (in order: 5, 6, 7, 5, 4, 6, 4, 4, 5, 9, 2, 12), and his puck possession stats (56.1 SAT%, +3.7 SATRel%) are excellent.

He's a shooter on the power play - only Alex Ovechkin and Tyler Seguin are getting shots at a higher rate with the man advantage - which leaves Nylander near the top of the league in overall shot attempts per 60 minutes.

Nylander's progress, he now has seven points in 12 NHL games after scoring 45 points in 37 AHL games to start the year, is one of several reasons to be encouraged by the Maple Leafs' recent performance.

Ryan Johansen - With a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win against Los Angeles, the Predators centre has eight points (3 G, 5 A) in the past eight games.

Steve Mason - Stopped 23 of 24 shots in Philadelphia's 4-1 win against the Islanders, and has a .921 save percentage in his past 10 games. Mason has a .936 save percentage at even strength this season, which ranks sixth among goaltenders with at least 1000 minutes. The problem for Mason this season is that, shorthanded, he has a .823 save percentage, ranking 45th out of 46 that have played at least 100 minutes.

ZEROES

Brock Nelson and Johnny Boychuk - Both Islanders were on the ice for three goals against in a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia.

Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau - Florida's first-line forwards had team-worst possession rates (7 for, 16 against, 30.4 SAT% when on the ice together) and were on the ice for two goals against in a 4-2 loss at the Rangers.

FIRSTS

Brandon Manning - The 25-year-old Flyers defenceman scored his first NHL goal, in his 66th career game, a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders.

SHORT SHIFTS

 

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James Neal has scored 28 goals, the second highest total of his career, and, for the fifth straight season, has better than 53% Corsi.

Predators RW James Neal put up a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over Los Angeles, and has 11 points (7 G, 4 A) in the past 10 games…Kings C Anze Kopitar had a pair of assists at Nashville, giving him 15 points (6 G, 9 A) in the past 11 games…Rangers D Kevin Klein earned a couple of assists in a 4-2 win against Florida, and has seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the past seven games…Predators D Roman Josi picked up a goal and an assist against Los Angeles, giving him six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past five games…Maple Leafs G Jonathan Bernier had 23 saves on 25 shots in a 5-2 win against Calgary; he has a .947 save percentage in his past five games…Predators G Pekka Rinne turned away 28 of 30 shots against Los Angeles, and has a .937 save percentage in his past 13 games.

FANTASY FOCUS

Fading fast, (non-injured) players being dropped at the highest rate in TSN leagues:

Craig Smith - The Predators winger had been on a good roll, with 10 points in a five-game stretch, but he's followed up with no goals and one assist in the past six games. Owned: 38.2%

Lee Stempniak - It's not as if opportunities haven't been presented to Stempniak in Boston - his most common linemates have been Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron - but the 33-year-old winger has no points and just eight shots on goal in the past six games. Owned: 84.7%

Cam Fowler - He's still playing big minutes for the Ducks, but the 24-year-old blueliner has no points in the past seven games. Owned: 79.3%

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.com, corsica.hockey, stats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca