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01-28-2011, 11:44 AM
Is this real?
ibleedkings's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Quartz Hill
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Originally Posted by JT Dutch View Post
... Look - first things first, I don't consider the team record when Westgarth is in/out of the lineup to be anything meaningful. I don't know that having Westgarth in the lineup has actively cost the Kings games, and I don't believe team stats can be used to judge a single player one way or the other.

But. For you to say that Ponikarovsky's job is to score goals is inaccurate, and there's no question when everything is taken together, that he's the guy to have in the lineup. Ponikarovsky was brought on as a depth player, a guy who could play a regular shift on the third line, see some time on the PK, and play on the top two lines in an emergency. Compare that to Westgarth, who is either fourth line or in the press box, and who can't be trusted to play either special team. Ponikarovsky has more hits than Westgarth (82 to 31), more blocked shots (22 to 3), and better defensive numbers (not just in plus/minus but in better shot totals for and against while he's on the ice). You can say Ponikarovsky has only one more assist than Westgarth does, but Ponikarovsky has four goals while Westgarth couldn't score in an empty rink. It's no contest, right?

But, beyond that - I can't believe that after fifty games in, you're still making a case for Westgarth being in there and still basing it on this tired notion that the team somehow plays better or braver with him out there. There is nothing you have to prove this. It's a myth. Case in point:

... Just for the sake of being all "mythbusters" and s***, I looked up Doughty's game log this season, and matched up the games he's played with and without Westgarth in the lineup.

Doughty with Westgarth: 31 games, 2 goals, 16 points, .52 PPG, +7, 32 PIM

Doughty without Westgarth: 13 games, 2 goals, 10 points, .77 PPG, +8, 2 PIM

... So yeah, if Doughty's "cockier", it's not leading to more positive results.

After that, I looked up Brown's.

Brown with Westgarth: 36 games, 14 goals, 24 points, .67 PPG, +5, 35 PIM

Brown without Westgarth: 14 games, 3 goals, 13 points, .93 PPG, +9, 12 PIM

... Welp. The facts just don't bear this myth out, do they?

I gotta say - If I'm an opposing coach, I'm thanking my lucky stars when and if the Kings choose to waste a spot in the lineup so they can trot Westgarth's sorry ass out there for 5 minutes a game. I'd send a limo to pick up Westgarth to make sure he got to the rink, because if he's in there, then the Kings have one less player to worry about and one more player with which to exploit a mismatch.

Say what you want about Simmonds and Clifford being middleweights or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that those two guys can actually play the game, and as a coach, I would think it's better to roll over a normal four line rotation than to have to mix and match so I can "hide" a guy who's a liability.

JT with another pwnt!

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