It happened again yesterday. In Scott Cullen's column, he predicted Mark Stone as a regression candidate for fantasy hockey this year. To be fair, Cullen said it was hard to put Stone on the list. Still, it joins a growing list of mainstream media members who are expecting the demise of Stone. As someone who unabashedly picked him to score more than 70 points this year, I can't help but think they're wrong.
People keep pointing out that he scored 47 points in his final 45 games, with a personal shooting percentage of 16.6% on the season. For comparison, that shooting percentage is a little worse than Steven Stamkos and a little better than Mark Messier over their careers. He led the league in 5v5 points in 2015, and it's fair to think that he's not better than guys like Sidney Crosby and Jamie Benn.
However, what these analyses seem to miss is the first half of the season. 47 points in his final 45 games means he scored 17 points in his first 35 games. I think that's beneath his standard. He will be spending a whole season on the top line with Kyle Turris, playing more than 20 minutes per game. Any losses from regression should be made up by not having to play his way onto the top line to start the year. If you average those two stretches, you get 0.76 points per game, which works out to 63 points over 82 games. Considering Stone kept up his high level of play over a longer stretch, I expect that's closer to the real Mark Stone than the first 35 games. It is also of note that from January to the end of the year, Stone played against the third-highest TOI-Competition percentage on the team. (TOI-Competition increases as the opposition players on the ice at the same time as you play a higher percentage of their team's ice time. The higher it is, the more you play against the other team's top players.) The only players higher were Colin Greening and Chris Neil, who each played only 10 games. So in short, Mark Stone was having his incredible run against other teams' top lines.
And as we all saw in the playoffs, Stone put up four assists in six games despite having a microfracture in his wrist. If he can score at 0.67 points per game without use of one arm, he should be better with use of both.
- Time for some more predictions: the staff predict if Mike Hoffman or Bobby Ryan will net more goals, and Trevor asks who will score the most goals in the weekly question [Hoffman/Ryan, Most Goals]
- The Senators cut a lot of players on Sunday [Silver Seven, SensChirp]
- The Sens also signed Ottawa-native Mark Fraser to a one-year, two-way deal [Silver Seven, SensChirp]
- Our guest writer who wrote about Curtis Lazar is back with a FanPost about how hockey fandom has helped her with mental illness [S7S FanPost]
- BigRig_GR has his own list of fantasy hockey projections at forward, defence, and goalie [S7S FanPost]
- Joe Boughner addresses the NHL's tone-deafness on the Patrick Kane situation with satire [Bonk's Mullet]
- SensChirp predicts the Atlantic Division standings. Spoiler: Ottawa is higher than I would have them [SensChirp]
- Eric Lapointe makes a series of Adnan emojis [Sens Nation]
- Nichols' thoughts on the Wikstrand saga [6th Sens]
- Josh Weissbock projects the careers of Nick Paul and Tobias Lindberg based off their CHL stats [6th Sens]
- Peter Levi with a series of thoughts on a lot of things in the Sens universe, including Mark Fraser and Mikael Wikstrand [Eye on the Sens]
- The Carleton Ravens' coach discusses the challenge of taking on the Binghamton Senators in preseason action [Citizen]
- NHL.com picks Bobby Ryan, Patrick Wiercioch, and the young guns (Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad) as the Sens' X-factors [NHL]
- We're still selling discounted tickets to the season opener! [Silver Seven]
- In Goal Mag takes a look at what allows Henrik Lundqvist to stay calm under pressure [InGoalMag]
- Julie DiCaro writes about the backlash she gets as a woman reporting on sports (warning: vulgar language, sexual assault) [Sports Illustrated]
- The CFL admitted to an officiating error at the end of Friday's game. Can you imagine if the NHL started doing this? [TSN]
- The Blue Jays clinched a playoff spot over the weekend. If you've watched even 5 minutes of their recent games, the fan noise in Toronto is deafening. As someone who mostly doesn't care about baseball, it's still fun to see. (And sorry Buffalo Bills fans that you now take over the biggest Big Four playoff drought.) [TSN]
- Tara Watchorn of the CWHL's Boston Blades tricks a men's hockey league by pretending she can't play hockey -- then suddenly turning up the skill [YouTube]
- A very touching letter by newly-retired NFLer Adrian Wilson to his younger self, about growing up with a single mother and dealing with insecurity, drugs, and murder in his teenage years [Players' Tribune]