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-   -   Flyers’ Meszaros Quietly Having Banner Year (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=861948)

Doyle 01-07-2011 11:48 AM

Flyers’ Meszaros Quietly Having Banner Year
 
No surprise Meszaros really stepped up when Chris Pronger went down. Dave Strehle offers his newest column on the subject:

http://nhlhotstove.com/flyers-meszar...g-banner-year/

Spongolium* 01-07-2011 11:56 AM

always said from day 1 that it was a terrific deal. Tons of people dis-agreed, but homer has been proven right this time

phillyfanatic 01-07-2011 12:06 PM

I said from day 1 it was a great trade. I live in Ottawa and watched Meszaros play for 3 years. You don't forget how to play at his age, anyone could see that Tampa was a terrible D unit with a terrible goalie. That is why you pay good money for pro-scouting. It is also why I have a hard time believing New York gave Redden that contract. Anyone living in or around Ottawa knew Redden was worth "nothing" and somehow Sather gave him a raise for long term. Crazy.

Great job of grabing a very good player from a bad team. And now that he is playing on the top 2 we don't have to listen to everyone goign on and on about him not playing against the best. He is top 2 now and he is the horse on that top 2. Love it.

CS 01-07-2011 12:15 PM

I knew that it would eventually be a good deal, and I was pretty confident that he would play solidly this year.

The fact that he is playing at this high a level so quickly is great though. I didn't expect it so soon, and it could only mean good things going forward. Great pick-up by Holmgren.

phillyfanatic 01-07-2011 12:17 PM

We needed to improve the 5-6 and I knew O'd and Mes would make our D the best in the league. Talk about takign an organizational weakness and turning it into an extreme strength. Great job.

Valhoun* 01-07-2011 12:17 PM

When the team is healthy, Mes and O’Donnell have absolutely been protected from playing against opponents’ top lines. At even strength, only JVR, Betts, and Shelley have a lower quality of competition rating.

So, yes, his plus minus stat therefore looks amazing (so did OD’s for most of the season so far) but you’d never look at his offensive production and think that he was worth 4M per season.

The Flyers are a high scoring team with three scoring lines. He is protected from playing against opponents top lines (an objective fact) and therefore has an insanely good plus-minus (perhaps the most useless stat in hockey.) I don’t hate Meszaros but even a cursory glance at the real numbers show a much different player than you’ve described.

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_stati...2+13+14+15+16#

CS 01-07-2011 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Valhoun (Post 30040885)
The Flyers are a high scoring team with three scoring lines. He is protected from playing against opponents top lines (an objective fact) and therefore has an insanely good plus-minus (perhaps the most useless stat in hockey.) I don’t hate Meszaros but even a cursory glance at the real numbers show a much different player than you’ve described.

While you're right that Meszaros has been protected in that sense, it doesn't take away from his quality of play. You're right in that he should be dominating opponents against that kind of competition, but you can't say that and also discredit him for logging big minutes in some games, stepping up in times of injury, carrying his own defensive pairing, and pretty much staying consistent regardless of who is matched up against.

Yes, you have to keep his success in perspective, but you have to keep it in perspective from both angles as well, not just one.

You also mentioned how his offensive production is not worth his cap hit. Ignoring the fact that $3m-$4m is roughly the running rate for top 4 defensemen, how can you not justify his success for his price. It's not like we needed to spend that money elsewhere, and though his offensive production is not stellar, he's got a cannon from the point, outlets the rush well, and plays a steady defensive game. The production aspect of the stat sheet is a tool used to "prove" that he is doing those things. He's still doing them regardless of whether the production comes or not. From a defenseman, I'd rather them be doing all of the right things offensive and defensively even if they don't have the production rather than them making fools of themselves and getting somehow blessed by bounces. So yes, $4m is fairly easily justifiable for his level of play regardless of his production.

Another thing you also have to realize, and also why I pretty much figured a lot of our skaters would have "mediocre" years offensively, is that the depth of the Flyers literally hinders players from putting up a ton of points. When you have to share as much ice time as the Flyers' stronger players have to, it's no secret that your offensive numbers will suffer. Just because you have "better linemates" does not mean your production will automatically go up. This is another one of HFBoard's stupid myths not unlike the theory that goaltending is the most important position and the fact that 1st round picks are the most valuable asset in the world.

It also works for defensemen. In a healthy year on a strong offensive team, Pronger should get 50-60 points, Timonen should get 35-45, etc. on down the line. This year Pronger MAY have hit 40 if he was healthy, and I doubt Timonen will get 35. Point is, we may see four defensemen with 30 points.

Likewise we may not see any one of our forwards hit 70 points this year, but we could see 6 or maybe 7 or 8 somewhere between 45-70. Players should not be punished for the depth on their team. It's not Richards fault if he falls to hit PPG this year, even though he, Briere, Giroux, and Carter probably could given more ice time.

sa cyred 01-07-2011 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spongolium (Post 30040491)
always said from day 1 that it was a terrific deal. Tons of people dis-agreed, but homer has been proven right this time

When you traded for a guy who HAS looked horrendously the past two seasons, and makes 4 mil, you are going to get more people who didnt like the trade then like. Most of the people who liked the trade, based it off of his time with the Sens (not saying you do but most did)

Watching him in Tampa, he wasnt very good. He was though looked at as their top defender, so the pressure got towards him. Not surprisingly, playing on the 3rd pairing he looks fine. I dont think, say if Timonen and Pronger went down and we fully focused on Meszaros as our top defender, that he would do as well as he is doing now.

Jester 01-07-2011 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sa cyred (Post 30041213)
When you traded for a guy who HAS looked horrendously the past two seasons, and makes 4 mil, you are going to get more people who didnt like the trade then like. Most of the people who liked the trade, based it off of his time with the Sens (not saying you do but most did)

Watching him in Tampa, he wasnt very good. He was though looked at as their top defender, so the pressure got towards him. Not surprisingly, playing on the 3rd pairing he looks fine. I dont think, say if Timonen and Pronger went down and we fully focused on Meszaros as our top defender, that he would do as well as he is doing now.

If Meszaros was in the role he had in TB here, the story would be very very different. People forget that Randy Jones has looked adequate when he was kept in a 3rd pairing role at times.

CS 01-07-2011 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sa cyred (Post 30041213)
When you traded for a guy who HAS looked horrendously the past two seasons, and makes 4 mil, you are going to get more people who didnt like the trade then like. Most of the people who liked the trade, based it off of his time with the Sens (not saying you do but most did)

Watching him in Tampa, he wasnt very good. He was though looked at as their top defender, so the pressure got towards him. Not surprisingly, playing on the 3rd pairing he looks fine. I dont think, say if Timonen and Pronger went down and we fully focused on Meszaros as our top defender, that he would do as well as he is doing now.

He wasn't great in Tampa, but neither was anyone else they've acquired.

Even now their defense is pretty freaking bad. And if one more person tells me, "Oh my god, dude they lead the league in shots gainst per game," I'm going to snap. You know who leads the league in shots against per game now? New Jersey. We just saw how terrible their defense is now yesterday.

I've watched quite a few Tampa games this year since Gagne's return. I can tell you that the offense has changed, but nothing defensively is any better. They're still a team that is swallowing up blueliners. If you still blame it on the players playing defense or the goaltenders there after they've been in the bottom ten in goals against (including this year) basically since the lockout, then you're missing something significant.

UseYourAllusion 01-07-2011 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jester (Post 30041277)
If Meszaros was in the role he had in TB here, the story would be very very different. People forget that Randy Jones has looked adequate when he was kept in a 3rd pairing role at times.

Bite your tongue.

jb** 01-07-2011 12:41 PM

he is the best 4mm and#5 dman in the league.

Valhoun* 01-07-2011 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Shafer (Post 30041125)
You also mentioned how his offensive production is not worth his cap hit. Ignoring the fact that $3m-$4m is roughly the running rate for top 4 defensemen, how can you not justify his success for his price.

He has mostly played on the 3rd line. So I don't see how you can say that he's been earning a paycheck as a top 4 defenseman. 14 points going up against the bottom lines of the league?

4M for a defenseman that has been significantly sheltered is absolutely overpaying.

Once again, only Shelley and Betts and JVR have seen lower quality competition than Mes and OD. Seriously, is there any reason to continue this discussion knowing that fact? It's incontrovertible.

CS 01-07-2011 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jester (Post 30041277)
If Meszaros was in the role he had in TB here, the story would be very very different. People forget that Randy Jones has looked adequate when he was kept in a 3rd pairing role at times.

According to Lightning fans who think Kubina is actually helping their blueline as opposed to playing a mediocre to poor game at the same price Meszaros is getting paid to play well up here.

Ask anyone in Philadelphia, anyone in LA, and competent Tampa fans...Jones isn't capable of looking "adequate."

CS 01-07-2011 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Valhoun (Post 30041354)
He has mostly played on the 3rd line. So I don't see how you can say that he's been earning a paycheck as a top 4 defenseman. 14 points going up against the bottom lines of the league?

4M for a defenseman that has been significantly sheltered is absolutely overpaying.

Once again, only Shelley and Betts and JVR have seen lower quality competition than Mes and OD. Seriously, is there any reason to continue this discussion knowing that fact? It's incontrovertible.

You could say that Meszaros has been lining up against:

Shelley - Shelley - Shelley
Shelley - Shelley

Every night, but I'd still think $4m is justified. What else are you going to spend his money on? You want 5 top 4 defensemen then you're going to have to pay for 5 top 4 defensemen regardless of where they play in your lineup. Just because you think his salary is not justified because of where he is playing in the lineup doesn't make you right.

dingbathero 01-07-2011 12:50 PM

Some people always find ways to **** on players.

Great Signing!

decadentia 01-07-2011 12:53 PM

We didn't expect to get a #1 D in him. He's given his role from the coach, and he's performed very well. What more can we ask from him? Skate out on the ice when the better players are out there to prove a point?

If he fails when he's asked to play against harder competition then fault him for it, he's done what he's been asked to do...and damn well.

Juicy Couturier* 01-07-2011 01:12 PM

It almost seems like Mez is being blamed for his level of competition. Does he choose who he plays against? No, he just got out there game in and game out and shuts down whoever they throw him out against.

Jester 01-07-2011 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Shafer (Post 30041125)
Another thing you also have to realize, and also why I pretty much figured a lot of our skaters would have "mediocre" years offensively, is that the depth of the Flyers literally hinders players from putting up a ton of points. When you have to share as much ice time as the Flyers' stronger players have to, it's no secret that your offensive numbers will suffer. Just because you have "better linemates" does not mean your production will automatically go up. This is another one of HFBoard's stupid myths not unlike the theory that goaltending is the most important position and the fact that 1st round picks are the most valuable asset in the world.

Are you serious? Who is having a "mediocre" year?

Richards pacing to 27-49-76 (would be his 2nd best season in the NHL, and an assist shy of his career high)

Giroux ... career highs, obviously.

Jeff Carter 33-35-68 (again 2nd best season in the NHL, and assuming his shooting % climbs to averages, his goal total will end higher).

Briere pacing to 41-25-66 (career high in goals). We won't even talk about his +/-.

Ville Leino... career highs, obviously.

Scott Hartnell 25-29-53 (+37) ... having a fantastic all around season.

JVR, slow start coming on really strong.

Nodl, duh.

Zherdev, when he's on the ice he's scoring goals at a prolific rate per minute.

So on and so forth.

We'll ignore the goalie comment, because it's painfully obvious inductive reasoning is beyond you... and the lessons learned of goalies single handedly beating opponents is apparently unlearned.

Montreal (26th in scoring) would love to talk to you about the importance of the goaltending position, just as TB would.

The reality is that if you think the Flyers skaters are having "mediocre" seasons you have delusional expectations of their capabilities and what point production totals should be expected from them.

Quote:

It also works for defensemen. In a healthy year on a strong offensive team, Pronger should get 50-60 points, Timonen should get 35-45, etc. on down the line. This year Pronger MAY have hit 40 if he was healthy, and I doubt Timonen will get 35. Point is, we may see four defensemen with 30 points.
Which is because of the PP, and has nothing to do with the depth of the team. The PP is struggling and that is hurting point totals across the board for this group compared to previous years. We are on pace for 55.35 PP goals this year. In previous years we've had 68, 71, and 84. A big contributing factor there is the fact that Carle and Meszaros blow monkey ass at running the 2nd unit up top.

However, the entire unit has struggled this year at times. Richards got 31 points on the PP last year, and is only on pace for 20 this year. Briere is only on pace for 14 pts on the PP -- a remarkable number given that he's been a PP powerhouse throughout his career (btw, he's easily having the best even strength season of his career to this point).

Timonen is on pace for 35 pts (4 shy of last year). However, he's also a direct product of who he's playing with... as babysitting Coburn has always been an anchor on Timonen's offensive game. If you notice, when he gets paired with Pronger he's FAR more assertive offensively.

Quote:

Likewise we may not see any one of our forwards hit 70 points this year, but we could see 6 or maybe 7 or 8 somewhere between 45-70. Players should not be punished for the depth on their team. It's not Richards fault if he falls to hit PPG this year, even though he, Briere, Giroux, and Carter probably could given more ice time.
If the PP gets going to any degree, we're going to have a few guys hit 70 no problem. Richards and Giroux are both pacing there now, and if Briere gets the PP going for him he'll be pacing there with a quickness. Carter is never going to be a shoe in for high point totals, because he is never going to stack assists given his style. However, if he gets to 35+ goals this year, he should threaten 70... which has more to do with his shots going in, than it does with getting more ice time. If the PP gets back to operating the way it has in the past, you're going to see multiple players set career highs (and not just the locks that are Giroux and Leino).

If anything, limiting minutes should be a boon to some of these guys in the second half... as Richards has definitely been tired and overworked at times in previous years (Carter to a certain extent as well).

Jester 01-07-2011 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CannonGoBoom (Post 30041965)
It almost seems like Mez is being blamed for his level of competition. Does he choose who he plays against? No, he just got out there game in and game out and shuts down whoever they throw him out against.

He's not being blamed, but reality is reality. If you stuck Pronger out there against 3rd and 4th liners, would you not expect him to put up monster numbers?

Jester 01-07-2011 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Shafer (Post 30041438)
You could say that Meszaros has been lining up against:

Shelley - Shelley - Shelley
Shelley - Shelley

Every night, but I'd still think $4m is justified. What else are you going to spend his money on? You want 5 top 4 defensemen then you're going to have to pay for 5 top 4 defensemen regardless of where they play in your lineup. Just because you think his salary is not justified because of where he is playing in the lineup doesn't make you right.

Just because we don't have any more pressing needs for that money at the moment doesn't mean Meszaros' salary is justified. Not when better D were getting paid in that ballpark last summer. By that reasoning the teams at the bottom of the salary threshold could be spending 10M on their third pairing D... they're not spending it on anything else.

Cartsiephan* 01-07-2011 01:19 PM

I railed Homer for the move but after seeing this team when healthy the defense first philosophy was a strong move and Meszaros and O'Donnell have done their jobs.

LEIFey 01-07-2011 01:26 PM

I had no doubts that he'd do well here. His struggles come mostly from pressure placed on him to act as a #1 defenseman. He couldn't hack it in Ottawa or in TB. In Philly, he was put back into his comfort zone, which is good, but I'd also like to see him improve his ability to handle tougher assignments. He's doing great, but 4 mil is really too much. It's not killing us, but paying that much for a bottom pairing guy is less than ideal. I'm just happy that we have a bottom pair that doesn't make me cover my eyes.

Jester 01-07-2011 01:37 PM

BTW, lets clear up this "you have to pay that money to someone" approach that Shafer is outlining. Just running down capgeek.

Pens - 2 D 4+
Boston - 1 D 4+
Detroit - 2 D 4+
Calgary - 2 D 4+
Vancouver - 2 D 4+
Chicago - 2 D 4+
SJ - 1 D 4+
Minny - 1 D 4+
Sens - 1 D 4+
Caps - 2 D 4+
Flyers - 3 D 4+
Devs - 1 D 4+
Habs - 2 D 4+
Leafs - 3 D 4+
Ducks - 1 D 4+
Kings - 0
Sabres - 0
Columbus - 0
Dallas - 0
Carolina - 1 D 4+
Nashville - 1 D 4+
Florida - 1 D 4+
TB - 0 D 4+
PHX - 1 D 4+
Oilers - 2 D 4+
STL - 1 D 4+
Avs - 1 D 4+
ATL - 1 D 4+
NYI - 1 D 4+

So, assuming I just tallied that correct, you have 36 D in the NHL getting 4+M cap hits. So, lets just nip it in the bud that the going rate for a 4-5-6 (what Meszaros is right now) is in the ballpark for him. This is without getting into the fact that a number of those contracts are viewed as horrible deals. There is NO WAY Meszaros is worthy of his contract... and the fact of the matter is that he's never played to the level of that contract. This is exacerbated by the fact that the contract market has changed considerably since he signed the deal, with teams paying far more attention to getting lowered cap hits on their roster as their respective cap situations have solidified with longer deals littered here and there.

You can argue that Meszaros has been a good addition to this team... but if he were an UFA tomorrow, he almost certainly does not sign the deal he's currently playing under. Probably signs for (at least) a million less.... especially coming off the years he had in TB. While his +/- is impressive for this club, his lack of production on the PP is quite notable given that he gets minutes there. It also has to be accounted for that he's playing among the easiest shifts on the entire team.

Jester 01-07-2011 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LEIFey (Post 30042261)
I had no doubts that he'd do well here. His struggles come mostly from pressure placed on him to act as a #1 defenseman. He couldn't hack it in Ottawa or in TB. In Philly, he was put back into his comfort zone, which is good, but I'd also like to see him improve his ability to handle tougher assignments. He's doing great, but 4 mil is really too much. It's not killing us, but paying that much for a bottom pairing guy is less than ideal. I'm just happy that we have a bottom pair that doesn't make me cover my eyes.

Yeah, that's the real problem with the 4M salary. He's played well for this club, but most competent D would given the assignment he has drawn. You could sign a guy like Eaton for a notably cheaper deal and get good play out of that roster spot... or, hell, see if Bartulis could become a legit D in this league and, if necessary, make a deal for a veteran for the 3rd pairing at the deadline.


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