All season long, Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov has been the slam dunk favorite to win the Calder Trophy for best rookie. However, Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson has recently taken the league by storm, putting his own name up for consideration.
When it comes to point totals, the two players are neck and neck. But when you get into some #fancystats, Robertson actually has an edge:
When Robertson is on the ice for the Stars, the team’s offensive creation at five-on-five is seven percent above league average. When Robertson is not on the ice, the Stars’ five-on-five offense is 18 percent weaker than league average in terms of expected goal rate for... When Kaprizov is on the ice, the Wild’s expected goal generation is 16 percent below league average. Without Kaprizov deployed, their offensive generation actually improves to seven percent below league average.
Of course, context is important. Roope Hintz is a more impactful center than Victor Rask, not to mention that Kaprizov draws tougher competition:
The average forward Kaprizov faces has an average five-on-five game score of 0.42. The average forward Robertson faces has an average game score of 0.33, which is a very big difference. Also, maybe demonstrating how hard Kaprizov is to contain, Kaprizov is tied for ninth in the NHL with 18 penalties drawn, while Robertson has drawn just three. Kaprizov also has 19 takeaways to Robertson’s 11.
You can read more about this trophy race from Saad Yousf and Michael Russo here.
Rick Bowness talks about the loss:
Here’s Anton Khudobin, who was pulled after the first period (although Jake Oettinger didn’t fare much better):
And here’s Radek Faksa, one of the few Stars players able to score last night:
Around the League
A few other Central Division teams played last night as well:
- Thanks to the Detroit Red Wings’ win, the Columbus Blue Jackets have moved into sole possession of last place in the division thanks to a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. [The Cannon]
- Meanwhile the Carolina Hurricanes maintained their hold on first place in the division, fending off the Florida Panthers in a 4-2 win. [Canes Country]
The OHL has officially cancelled its season, leaving players heartbroken:
Many young hockey players were crushed by news earlier this week that the OHL officially cancelled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.@Dixononsports spoke to a few players about what impact the cancelled season had on them and their development.https://t.co/Cfiqo2UllV— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 23, 2021
In brighter news, this is pretty sweet:
DownGoesBrown talks about Patrick Marleua’s Hall of Fame case and more in his latest mailbag:
Mailbag: Who'd be more dominant, Patrick Marleau in the 1950s or Gordie Howe today? Plus the funniest US city a Canadian team could win a Cup in, my idea for banning coaches and lots more. https://t.co/WAcJf91T5W— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) April 23, 2021
Finally, fighting has had a resurgence this NHL season, which kind of makes sense when you think about it: