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Behind The Numbers

Rielly, Letang, Giordano among deserving Last Men In for All-Star Game

Notable advanced stats of players eligible for vote

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

Behind the Numbers is a weekly series where NHL.com examines both player and team trends with an emphasis being placed on advanced statistics. This week we look at the Last Men In vote for the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game. Voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m., so before the final selections are made, we highlight the candidate from each division who has notable advanced stats to be deserving of the honor. Vote here:

 

Atlantic Division candidates

Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron (F)

Buffalo Sabres: Jeff Skinner (F)

Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin (F)

Florida Panthers: Aleksander Barkov (F)

Montreal Canadiens: Shea Weber (D)

Ottawa Senators: Mark Stone (F)

Tampa Bay Lightning: Brayden Point (F)

Toronto Maple Leafs: Morgan Rielly (D)

Perhaps the starkest competition lies in the Atlantic, the top-scoring division in the NHL with 1,099 goals. Rielly emerges from the pack based on position scarcity (two defensemen selected per division). He leads NHL defensemen with 13 goals and 2.86 points per 60 minutes (minimum 30 games). In the division, Rielly ranks first among defensemen with 113 shots on goal, 45 points (13 goals, 32 assists), 31 even-strength points and a plus-26 rating, impressive considering he was a minus player in each of his first five seasons. He also plays an integral role on the first unit of the Maple Leafs' eighth-ranked (22.3 percent) power play, where he has 14 points (fourth among Atlantic defensemen). Rielly leads the Maple Leafs in total ice time (942:50) and average power-play ice time (2:39) among defensemen per game. Although there are many offensively deserving candidates in the Atlantic, Rielly's Norris Trophy-caliber season and advanced stats give him the edge.

Video: DET@TOR: Rielly finishes Tavares' sweet feed

 

Metropolitan Division candidates

Carolina Hurricanes: Teuvo Teravainen (F)

Columbus Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno (F)

New Jersey Devils: Kyle Palmieri (F)

New York Islanders: Anders Lee (F)

New York Rangers: Mats Zuccarello (F)

Philadelphia Flyers: Jakub Voracek (F)

Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang (D)

Washington Capitals: Nicklas Backstrom (F)

Letang is second among Metropolitan Division defensemen in time on ice per game (26:02) behind all-star selection Seth Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets (26:10). Letang's 128 shots on goal are second behind Dougie Hamilton (135) of the Carolina Hurricanes, and his 16 power-play points are second behind all-star selection John Carlson of the Washington Capitals (18) in the division and are tied for sixth at the position. His 5-on-5 SAT percent of 53.79 is sixth among divisional defensemen (minimum 30 games), and his points per 60 (2.08) is second behind Carlson (2.36) with the same qualifiers.

Video: PIT@CAR: Letang, Crosby combine to open the scoring

 

Central Division candidates

Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews (F)

Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog (F)

Dallas Stars: Tyler Seguin (F)

Minnesota Wild: Zach Parise (F)

Nashville Predators: Filip Forsberg (F)

St. Louis Blues: Vladimir Tarasenko (F)

Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine (F)

All of the Central Division candidates are forwards, and Landeskog stands out statistically against the rest of the pack. His average ice time of 21:23 per game is tied for fourth among Central forwards behind all-star selections Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets (22:41), Colorado Avalanche teammate Nathan MacKinnon (22:09) and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (21:53). Landeskog's plus-18 rating is tied with MacKinnon for second among Central forwards. Though Landeskog's possession numbers are 21st among Central forwards (52.30 SAT percentage), Colorado's offense is top-heavy; the first line accounts for 45 percent of its production. He's also able to differentiate himself against the other forward candidates with a physical edge (56 hits in 44 games; 19th in Central).

Video: COL@WPG: Landeskog nets PPG with nifty deflection

 

Pacific Division candidates

Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf (F)

Arizona Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D)

Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano (D)

Edmonton Oilers: Leon Draisaitl (F)

Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar (F)

San Jose Sharks: Logan Couture (F)

Vancouver Canucks: Brock Boeser (F)

Vegas Golden Knights: Jonathan Marchessault (F)

Giordano ranks second among Pacific defensemen with 43 points (six goals, 37 assists) behind all-star selection Brent Burns (49) of the San Jose Sharks. His 15 power-play points are third among defensemen in the division behind Burns (20) and Erik Karlsson (17) of the Sharks. Giordano differentiates himself by leading Pacific defensemen with two shorthanded goals and an NHL-high plus-31 rating. He's also among the best in advanced stats with a plus-149 SAT (10th at the position). Part of Giordano's statistical case is that he plays the fourth-most minutes per game (24:48) among division defensemen behind Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings (26:38), Hampus Lindholm of the Anaheim Ducks (25:23) and Karlsson (24:52). If voted in, Giordano would join teammate Johnny Gaudreau.

Video: CGY@STL: Giordano hammers home slapper for PPG

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