AAA 2012 Division Semis: Pittsburgh Professionals vs. Eisbaren Berlin
Coach: Frank Boucher
Bep Guidolin - Robert Reichel - Earl Robinson
Lowell MacDonald - Jozef Stumpel - Shawn McEachern
Benoit Hogue - Christian Ruuttu - Ken Schinkel
Dave Hunter - Curtis Brown - Keith McCreary
Spares: Pete Horeck, Veli-Pekka Ketola
Ralph "Scotty" Bowman - Keith Brown
Tom Reid - Philippe Boucher
Dana Murzyn - Jeff Norton
Spares: Rick Lapointe and Frank Mathers
EHC Eisbären Berlin
Coach: Jimmy Skinner
Captain: Olli Jokinen
Assistant Captains: Geoff Sanderson, Rick Smith
Jeff Friesen-Olli Jokinen-Mac Colville
Geoff Sanderson-Mike Ribeiro-Doug Brown
Mark Osborne-Travis Zajac-Mark Hunter
Val Fonteyne-Chris Gratton-Shawn Horcoff
Bob Berry, Travis Green, Brian Mullen
Rick Smith-Randy Manery
Leo Lamoureux-Alex Levinsky
Nikolai Makarov-Zbynek Michalek
It's shocking how similarly these two teams are built. They both feature two top 6 centers each that are probably top 10 in the whole draft, an elite pre-expansion first line RW, a pure goalscorer at 2nd line LW, and a guy that's weak offensively for a top 6 at RW to compensate for the lack of intangibles that his center and LW bring.
I think Robinson and Sanderson are the most deadly wingers here, but agreed Colville is elite here. I think he compares to Guidolin for roles in our line and claims an advantage. Sanderson is the best second line winger with an edge over MacDonald and I think Brown is the weakest with MacEachern claiming an edge. All in all, I'm not sure either of us can claim much an edge overall between our top two lines.
Unadjusted stats / [Adjusted stats] Even-strength points (per season), Powerplay points (per season, % usage, team rating), Penalty kill usage (team rating, shorthanded points) / Best 6 70s Vs#2 Scores / Team Scoring Finishes
(Unadjusted stats, Best 6 70s vs #2 scores, team scoring finishes)
Colville was more highly regarded than Guidolin in our all-star voting and I think he's superior. Both were intangibles guys with Colville bringing especially good defense and Guidolin bringing a lot of toughness. Guidolin had better team scoring finishes with one 3rd place coming in '46 and the other in '50. Guidolin played all but the '45 season so he hit most of the war years. Colville left for WWII after the '42 season and only played during the '46 season he wasn't really affected by the war.
I think these top lines are pretty even overall, with Jokinen, Reichel, and Robinson standing out as the three best offensive players.
Again two very close lines. I do think that Brown is the weakest player here, but Sanderson is a strong player here along with the centers.
Hard to disagree with anything you've said there. I agree that McEachern is a clear step up from Brown, whose offense is definitely the worst of all the top 6 forwards. Offensively, Jokinen is a little better than Reichel, and Colville a little worse than Robinson. I think Friesen over Guidolin makes the difference on these lines. Guidolin's Vs2 scores come out to 312(is that 6 best seasons I'm guessing)? If so, Friesen's best 6 come out to 349. Their intangibles are similar, but Friesen brings defensive ability and toughness, while Guidolin brings just toughness. Offensively, the members of the first line shake out as:
They're very close. To see who's better offensively, we have to see if the advantage of Robinson over Colville is bigger than Jokinen over Reichel and Friesen over Guidolin. It's tough to call, but I think there is a slight advantage to Eisbaren here. Colville and Robinson's Vs2 numbers are close, but Robinson was better on his teams. I don't think that fact is enough to make up for Jokinen and Friesen's advantages over their Pittsburgh counterparts. Also, I think the Eisbaren group will be much better defensively. As far as I know, none of the Pittsburgh first liners have any reputation for being good defensively. Meanwhile, Colville and Friesen both have a reputation for being good defensively, and adding a little bit of toughness as well. Guidolin brings toughness, but that's it. I think this gives the advantage in 1st lines to Eisbaren. They'll definitely be better in their own zone, and about equal in the offensive zone.
I'm not so sure we can call Ribeiro and Stumpel a wash. Stumpel had seems like he was on a scoring line his entire career and turned out a bunch of consistent ~55 point seasons on pretty bad teams, with two strong seasons in 96-97 and 97-98. Ribeiro was better among his respective teammates, and a better Vs2 score. In terms of adjusted PPG, Stumpel is .765 over 957 games, and Ribeiro .813 over 737 games. In all these comparisons, we are losing sight of the fact that Ribeiro possesses a higher peak, which should give him the advantage over Stumpel. Here are their best 5 raw adjusted point totals:
Stumpel-91, 79, 65, 63, 59
Ribeiro-90, 80, 77, 75, 69
Stumpel has the best season among them, but Ribeiro has the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th best seasons. Stumpel has 1st, 4th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. I think Ribeiro gets the edge here.
That brings us to Sanderson and MacDonald, and Sanderson is the clear winner here. McEachern is also a clear step up from Brown. The advantage is 2nd lines comes down to the same as the first lines. Is Eisbaren's advantage at center and LW enough to overcome its disadvantage at RW? In this case, the gap between McEachern and Brown is bigger than between Robinson and Colville, so this one is tough to call. They're about even in intangibles with Brown and McEachern being the glue guys, and the only guys with relevant intangibles. These are about even.
Osborne was voted as one of the best bottom six wingers in this thing. He and Hogue are similar players in style. They are versatile, tough, good defensively, and can chip in offensively. I think Hogue was underrated in voting, he brings some strong offensive ability while also being good defensively and tough to play against. His offense is better than Osborne's. Osborne looks to have been a bit tougher. Two very strong bottom 6 forwards here.
Zajac was also named to the AS team, being voted 4th best overall bottom 6 player, and the 4th best center. Ruuttu was not mentioned, but he's still a strong player. Ruuttu is better offensively, and Zajac better defensively. Zajac has two relevant seasons at 61 and 56, whereas Ruuttu has 5 relevant seasons(above 40%). In the playoffs, I'd consider Ruuttu a bit of a disappointment. He made it past the first round only once, but on five different occasions when his team was ousted in the first round, he put up zero points. His PPG went from .70 in the regular season to .31 in the playoffs. Zajac's playoffs resume is nothing special, with a .60PPG in the regular season and .5 in the playoffs. Not great, but not a huge dropoff like Ruuttu. But, Zajac has a 6th and 7th place finish in Selke voting, to Ruuttu's one 12th place finish. Ruuttu's finish came with just 12 voting points(4 total votes). In Zajac's finishes, he had 21 votes each time for 89 and 73 voting points.
Hunter and Schinkel's offense is basically equal. Hunter brings a lot of toughness and some defense, whereas Schinkel brings a lot of defense.
Overall, these are two very strong 3rd lines. Both are very well built. They're tough, good defensively, and can chip in offensively as well.
Colville really is a perfect fit for Jokinen and Friesen has decent defense, but they make a line scoring line above average defensively not much more. I'm content with Robinson's unmatched place in the comparison of our top two lines, like Sanderson on the second.
There is something to be said for chemistry though where our players are pretty close, and I think you did an excellent job with your top line.
Also, I hesitate to call Friesen better than Guidolin on the basis of Vs #2 as there seems to be an era bias. I think Friesen is probably the better scoring liner while Guidolin's toughness is more significant than Friesen's defensive presence.
Let's look at only the drafted wingers to illustrate why Guidolin seems to be at a disadvantage looking at JUST the VS #2 scores. They tell us Friesen ranks lower relative to post-expansion wingers (top 10 guy) than Guidolin does to the pre-expansion guys (top 5 guy). I think Friesen's offensive advantage is more visible in his adjusted stats and team scoring placements.
Definitely very fair response and comparisons.
I think Stumpel and Ribeiro are very close, but considering your point and the team scoring I'm ok with saying Ribeiro peaked higher. Stumpel grabbed the final All-Star spot for a Top Six center in our voting, but Ribeiro definitely could have shown up on that list somewhere too.
Fonteyne vs Dave Hunter
Fonteyne is a PK extraordinaire that should have no trouble finding a home at this level. Hunter is regarded as more of an energy guy, but his defense seems to be really underrated. It seems to have been noticeably better than his brothers and Sather used Hunter and his line a lot of key situations. I think Fonteyne is probably an elite PKer here, but I think Hunter is more valuable at even-strength.
Chris Gratton vs Curtis Brown
Look out, things are about to contentious over 4th line centers. Gratton shouldn't be playing at this level and Brown should be a third liner. Brown finished 5th and 13th in Selke voting and had two more years of minor recognition. He's a physical presence as well and can play wing or center. Gratton put up decent points in a role he won't be reprising for Berlin and doesn't seem to have the defensive chops to be a meaningful presence compared to the rest of our bottom sixers. He sticks out to me like Brown does when you see the rest of the names he's being compared to.
Horcoff vs McCreary
Let me say that if Horcoff was playing his natural position this would pretty easily be him. McCreary is bottom sixer whose stock greatly went up overnight when the league expanded, and Horcoff was a legitimate top six center before getting overpaid and slipping offensively. But considering McCreary's skillset and Horcoff's I'm not sure it's open and shut. Last round it was documented why Horcoff's game is more suited for center. Considering he's not going to be generating any offensive chances with Fonteyne and Gratton I don't think it's unfair to say McCreary may end being just as effective playing the same limited minutes. He's also responsible defensively and a leader, but he's going to lay some hits which will be much needed with my relatively small-sized 3rd liners. Horcoff's biggest asset outside of those two things will be watching his passes get flubbed by inferior linemates. I'm not underselling Horcoff's physical game here am I?
It may also make sense to compare McCreary to Gratton and Horcoff to Brown as it matches the talent level rather than positions better imo. In that case, I still think Brown has more to offer a 4th line than Horcoff. And I see McCreary as a solid winger while Gratton's still more deserving of the bench.
In the interest of fairness, I'd really like to hear Mr. Farkas's thoughts on Brown re: center vs winger. Wouldn't be too fair to assail Horcoff and Gratton those grounds if I'm doing the same thing with Brown.
This series delivers, good work, guys.
I think it could be argued that since we know nothing else of Robinson and lots more about Colville, that he’s a better overall player, or certainly at least that he’s a better glue guy than Robinson is a scorer at this level.
In any case, two players I’m really high on at this level. I see no reason Robinson couldn’t take the place of a number of low-end 2nd line MLD RWs and why Colville couldn’t at least do that as a glue guy, or on an MLD 3rd/4th line.
I really don't agree with the treatment Gratton is getting here. I'd like to announce a couple lineup alterations for the first post. I'll be moving Horcoff back to center, and Gratton to right wing. Gratton is still going to take faceoffs because that's a huge strength of his, but Horcoff will then take defensive responsibilities at center for the rest of the shift, and if they change on the fly. Also, Gratton will be moved to the 2nd PP unit to replace Mark Hunter because, well, Gratton is a better offensive player.
Gratton averaged .568 adjusted PPG over 1,092 NHL games. In that time, he was a center. His game is that he'll battle in the corners and in front of the net, and score dirty goals. He has some defensive ability. I don't understand how he doesn't belong here. He's very physical, can put up some points, and is a plus player in his own zone. Since he'll be at wing and will receive less ES time, discount his offense as you wish, but his game is suited to wing more than center anyway. I can't help but think the only reason he played center was because he was so good at faceoffs. At wing, he'll be allowed to forecheck and battle in the corners, which he did well. He doesn't have the best hockey IQ, which is why his talent and size never translated to all-star results, but he's a good 4th liner here if you ask me.
Fonteyne vs. Hunter: Fonteyne is here in a specialized shutdown/PK role, Hunter is an all-purpose player. Hunter is the better player in a vacuum.
That takes us to Horcoff(now) and Brown. Brown averaged an adjusted .451PPG to Horcoff's .605. Brown scored an average of 25.9 ESP per 82 games, and Horcoff scored 29.58 ESP per 82 games. Horcoff has the advantage offensively, but Brown definitely has the advantage defensively with his strong Selke resume, as mentioned earlier. Horcoff is a good defensive player, but Brown is on another level. I'd give the overall advantage to Brown because the gap defensively is bigger than the gap offensively.
Gratton's career adjusted PPG(as mentioned earlier) is .568 over 1,092 NHL games. Find me a bottom 6 forward in this that is over .5PPG adjusted over 1,000 games that is gritty and decent defensively. He's playing out of position and will not get as much ES time as usual, but he'll still be getting some PP time. McCreary's career adjusted PPG is .436 over 532 games. It's actually a bit lower because the games played number used in the calculation is understated, but my point will stand. McCreary averaged 30.88 ESP per 82 games over his career(5.38 82 game units). Gratton averaged 31.62 ESP per 82 games over his career(13.32 82 game units). So, Gratton was slightly better offensively at ES while doing it for more than twice as long in a harder era to score. Adjust for era, and McCreary's number would go down, and Gratton's would go up. Now, Gratton is playing wing here instead of center, where he played during his career. I'll admit his offense will go down, but I'm not convinced it will be a large impact. If you look at his game, it is much better suited to playing wing. He'll be allowed to cycle in the corners and battle in front of the net, and have minimized defensive responsibilities compared to when at center. Gratton is tougher as well, and brings more size. I'd give McCreary the advantage defensively, but I still think Gratton is a better player.
Curtis Brown was good at center and left wing (he's even played a bit on the right in a pinch, but I wouldn't advise it). For some reason, I think maybe better as a LWer but I don't know where I get that from. Probably because there's less responsibility for a winger defensively and you can look better in the process...? I don't know. He was a compact little cannonball out there and is a good fit for a fourth line at this level I think. He had really good hockey sense and was a great penalty killer. He was good skater too, deceptively fast. To that point, see the video below, just the first handful of seconds. You'll see CuBro go coast to coast with taters and toast and the Leafs defense guesses wrong on the speed estimate and next thing you know...
Brown was a total team guy, extremely positive individual, a really good worker. Pretty good faceoff guy too. He could be bumped into a more offensive role at times too, but I wouldn't recommend it for long stretches. Not a naturally gifted player skill-wise, but he didn't have hands of stone necessarily either -- competent. One thing I never quite reconciled and really just don't remember despite how recent it was...why he fell off as quickly as he did? Once he left Buffalo, he really didn't do so hot for himself...and he ended up leaving the NHL at a moderate age. In 2004, he sparked a trade that involved two first round pick prospects in Jeff Jillson and Brad Boyes (a 3-way deal) which sounds a bit silly in retrospect, but they weren't sliced liver like they are now...but then just that quickly, he seemed to be less effective. I'm trying to remember if something happened, but I've got nothing...
So that's my main drawback with Brown is how suddenly he seemed to fall off the planet...
I like the lineup change by BillyShoe there, switching Gratton to his off-wing...just get him out of the way. And I don't say that because he's bad (he belongs at this level I think) but because that's just what you do. Take one "problem" and keep at one "problem" contain the fire and it'll put itself out...don't spread it all over the place (i.e. moving Horcoff out of position).
I use overpass's adjusted numbers rather than HR's so bear with me here. I looked at the drafted players' per game figures and put everyone bottom sixer or spare who averaged 50 PP+ES points per season.
Gratton's most impressive figure in that group is the fact he maintained his pace for a much longer time. Maybe benching him is taking it too far, but I don't think a 4th liner's solid scoring paces are nearly as valuable as the contributions we're getting from the rest of our bottom sixers. I'm just not sure Gratton's defense and physicality are on the same level as some of these guys with comparable offensive games.
Great read as always, thanks for that.
I like Gratton too but the line might be built a bit troublesome to utilize him in an effective manner. But he did play with defensive minded forwards at his side liek Zamuner and Burr. The thing is I would have wanted grittier people with him. A tough guy line of sort. Tbh unless you need his muscles on the PP, Green might be the better choice if you want your 4th line to provide offense... just a thought.
No sweat, BBS.
@Hobnobs: Ya know, that did kind of click something for me...I thought I remembered CuBro getting really slow at the end...maybe he did blow a tire for good...
I realize Gratton looks good "on paper" and seems to "check the boxes" but we all remember him. He was maddeningly inconsistent.
What I'm trying to come to grips with now is, does that horribly inconsistent play actually mean he's not a AAA player, or is it causing us to compare "what he did" to "what he should have done" instead of simply just judging him by the former?
The other thing I'm trying to come to grips with is, if he is a AAA player (and that's still an IF), where do you put him? This comes back to me not really being a big fan of picks like Hogue and Cleary. Maybe I'm old fashioned but down at this level I want a guy I pick to be the best at something among the available guys. Offensively, defensively, physically, etc. But I don't see Gratton anywhere close to that range except "sort of" (for a couple years) offensively. But only sort of. Because it's not like there aren't guys out there with two or more 50+ point seasons, right?
Here's the estimated TOI figures for our top pairing defenders, they're now each player's career TOI average weighted by games played. I used every game of their career even though I didn't list the detailed numbers for years a player saw less than 40 games.
The final single-digit numbers note the player's ES TOI rank on their team which required a 40 game minimum with that team.
'69 BOS 48 GP - 14.852, 0.415 PK - 5
'70 BOS 69 GP - 20.124, 0.133 PP, 1.708 PK - 4
'71 BOS 67 GP - 16.986, 2.232 PK - 5
'72 BOS 61 GP - 22.826, 0.150 PP, 2.984 PK - 3
'73 CFS 64 GP - 28.528, 3.708 PP, 2.697 PK - 1
'77 BOS 46 GP - 21.331, 0.147 PP, 1.989 PK - 2
'78 BOS 79 GP - 21.151, 0.756 PP, 2.749 PK - 3
'79 BOS 65 GP - 20.219, 1.271 PK - 2/3
'80 BOS 78 GP - 17.129, 2.370 PK - 5
'81 WSH 40 GP - 20.672, 1.358 PP, 1.641 PK - 3
Weighted TOI Average: 14293.284 / 687 = 20.805 minutes per game
ES Team TOI Ranks: 1, 2, 2/3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5
'73 ATL 78 GP - 26.065, 4.339 PP, 3.192 PK - 2
'74 ATL 78 GP - 28.648, 3.639 PP, 2.704 PK - 1
'75 ATL 68 GP - 23.301, 1.896 PP, 2.207 PK - 1
'76 ATL 80 GP - 20.524, 2.695 PP, 0.645 PK - 4/5
'77 ATL 73 GP - 20.622, 1.479 PP, 1.019 PK - 4
'78 LAK 79 GP - 25.339, 2.057 PP, 1.584 PK - 2
'79 LAK 71 GP - 25.740, 3.034 PP, 2.190 PK - 2/3
'80 LAK 52 GP - 17.192, 1.935 PP, 1.102 PK - 5
Weighted TOI Average: 13752.075 / 582 = 23.629 minutes per game
ES Team TOI Ranks: 1, 1, 2, 2, 2/3, 4, 4/5, 5
'80 CHI 76 GP - 16.776, 0.239 PP, 1.680 PK - 5
'81 CHI 80 GP - 21.378, 0.581 PP, 2.490 PK - 2
'83 CHI 50 GP - 24.374, 2.637 PP, 2.865 PK - 1
'84 CHI 74 GP - 22.253, 1.815 PP, 2.579 PK - 3
'85 CHI 56 GP - 21.514, 1.777 PP, 2.296 PK - 3/4
'86 CHI 70 GP - 19.417, 2.880 PP, 2.100 PK - 3
'87 CHI 73 GP - 20.907, 1.009 PP, 2.976 PK - 3
'89 CHI 74 GP - 19.169, 0.917 PP, 3.069 PK - 5
'90 CGI 67 GP - 23.485, 1.501 PP, 3.598 PK - 2
'91 CHI 45 GP - 14.983, 1.842 PP, 1.679 PK - 7
'92 CHI 57 GP - 19.715, 2.471 PP, 2.756 PK - 4
'94 FLA 51 GP - 21.743, 1.330 PP, 3.493 PK - 4
Weighted TOI Average: 18041.661 / 876 = 20.596 minutes per game
ES Team TOI Ranks: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3/4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7
Bowman was voted to our top first team all-stars and Brown was one of the spares on the first team. Smith made the second team and Manery didn't show up. I think Manery is a solid choice for a top pairing guy here, but he's not on the elite level the other three are.
Bowman's a defensive stalwart who got one season of solid all-star votes. Keith Brown got a single vote one year, and Smith and Manery never received any votes.
Both pairs seem to be slanted more towards defense. Manery sounds a lot like Paul Martin (before he started to suck) as a passive puck-mover with good defense. Smith brings the much needed physicality and allows Manery to take some chances offensively. Manery's work on the powerplay was better than the rest of the group as well.
Bowman is a pure stay-at-home guy and Brown brings good defense to go with his solid puck-moving skills. Both are physical players and this is a pair I feel comfortable matching against opponent's top lines.
I see an advantage for Pittsburgh between these duos. Bowman is a small but meaningful step up from Smith and I think the group preferred Brown to Manery for good reason as well.
BBS, the TOI sheet has a column on the far right with their total TOI added up doesn't it? (TOI X GP).
If so, just highlight all that, take the sum, and divide by total GP, then you have a "true" TOI average and not an estimation like you're doing (which weights a 50 game season the same way it does an 80-game season)
Belleville: Dave Schultz, Chris Nilan, Manny Malhotra
Pittsburgh: Dave Hunter, Curtis Brown, Keith McCreary
Macon: Matt Cooke, Wes Walz, Matthew Barnaby
Sheffield: Chris Simon, Yanic Perreault, Eddie Kullman
St. John's: Ryan Malone, Claude Lapointe, Ronnie Stern
Regina: Bob Kelly, Archie Hooper, Howie Meeker
Buffalo: Erroll Thompson, Mark Johnson, Nelson Emerson
Utah: Randy Burridge, Tom Fergus, Lucien DeBlois
St. John's: Greg Gilbert, Randy Wood, Gary Howatt
Fort Saskatchewan: Adam Brown, Jim McFadden, Ran McDonald
Barracudas: Frederik Modin, Mike Sillinger, Dustin Byfuglien
Those are all the 4th liners in this draft. Of them, I could say without question that he is better than Schultz, Malhotra, Nilan, Simon, Barnaby, Malone, Stern, Byfuglien, Howatt, and Modin. Then, an argument could be made for many of the guys mentioned above.
By contrast, here is how Brown looks
When Manery was a top pairing ES defenseman, his teams finished 6th and 7th out of 16 teams, and 5th and 8th out of 18 teams. When Brown was a top pairing ES defenseman, his teams finished 4th, 14th, 18th, 19th out of 21 teams. Other than that impressive 82-83 season where Brown played 50 games but led his team in ESTOI, those results are rather unimpressive. On the other hand, when Manery was a top pairing defenseman his teams always finished in the top half of the league in goals against. Brown played for a longer period of time, but Manery was more effective. When their respective teams relied upon these two guys to play heavy minutes, Manery's teams were more successful defensively than Brown's. Brown seems to be much more comfortable in a 2nd pairing role.
He's definitely not better than Modin (look at Modin compared to wingers and Gratton compared to centers, Modin should get taken a couple hundred picks earlier, at least*). Byfuglien has more usefulness than just at forward (where he was a good secondary contributor to a cup win and has already played as many playoff games as Gratton ever played), and has two 50+ point seasons, just like Gratton, except they were at defense. Malone is debatable. And obviously not Malhotra, who has proven to be among the very best at something - Gratton never approached such a level.
Back to that above list of players Gratton is "better" than. Is he a better 4th liner though? Is he going to make a bigger impact on a team than they will? Maybe a couple, because I don't believe in players who do nothing but fight, but we're far enough down that even Schultz, Stern and Nilan can be argued to be semi-useful.
After elimnating Modin, Byfuglien, Malone and Malhotra, every guy you mentioned (and that I added) was among the very best in the league at something for a time - defensive forwards (Malhotra, Walz), fighters (Schultz, Nilan, Simon, Howatt, Kelly), agitators (Cooke, Barnaby), physical play (Stern, Kelly).** You can see them integrating into a team, playing a specific role and making a 4th line more effective. How does Gratton make a 4th line more effective? He's a better offensive player, but what does that really translate into for a 7-game series with 8-10 ES minutes a game with offensively inferior linemates?
**that's right, I didn't mention Errol Thompson, because I don't actually see what he brings to a 4th line unless I am missing something.
*note that all these players are wingers. Center is much, much deeper and standards should be stricter. We should avoid pointing out the validity of our centers by saying “look at all these wingers he’s better than!”
Brown played 33 games in 1982, he shouldn't get credit for being the team's #1 or the blame for them finishing third to last in goals against. Likewise I don't see why you rank him 3rd in 1983 behind 34 games of Mike O'Connell. My #1 that year was Miles Zaharko in only 42 games played so there could even be an argument to be made a #2 rank understates his contribution let alone #3.
You do make a good case for Manery though. I think he should have gotten more fanfare in the all-star votes and as I said before he seems fit for top pairing duty. I just don't at all see the translation into Brown being a second pairing guy. He was rated higher than Smith by our group so is there only one top pairing D in this series?
I'll post similar numbers with the 40 game criterion because I think it's a valuable way of making more sense of the TOI, but I'm interested in throwing in the other defensemen who ranked and the goalies as well.
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