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06-17-2011, 12:22 AM
Kriss E
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Originally Posted by Roke View Post
For your top-line players you're absolutely right, quality of opposition isn't all that important as coaches tend to go best-on-best in the hopes of out-scoring the opposition's best with their best. It is tougher to score but the coaches are doing this hoping that their top-line can out-score their opposition best, not merely rack up the points.

The power-on-power matchup is one of the reasons we saw Moen or Halpern in the top-6 so much last season. Moen's most frequent linemates last season were Gionta and Gomez while Halpern's where Cammalleri and Plekanec Without Pacioretty the Habs really only had 5 top-6 forwards and Martin compensated by putting Moen on the Gomez line or Halpern on the Plekanec line and giving that line more defensive responsibility.

Things get a little murky when you get down to the 2nd and especially the 3rd-line. If a team is able to put together a quality 3rd-line like Philly has had those players can absolutely torch the opposition players. That's what happened to Philly Leino this year: 70% of his shifts were with Briere and Hartnell and since they were employed as Philadelphia's 3rd-line since the other two lines handled the top-6 minutes.

Incidentally, this is why I'm advocating the Habs going out and getting two quality wingers from the free-agent pool even if they're not necessarily bona-fide guys. By giving Eller better wingers than he played with last season,
The reason Halpern and Moen played on the first two lines wasn't because Martin wanted to give them more defensive responsibilities, it's because we didn't have top 6 players. Cammy got hurt at some point, AK went into cold mode after he was brought down to play with Gomez/Moen while Martin took a cold Gionta and made him play with Plek, that was Martin's first big mistake this year imo.

Our lack of offensive touch made Martin try a bunch of different combinations.

Sure, I can agree that if you have a solid 3rd line, worthy of being a 2nd on most teams and maybe even 1st on others, they'll likely benefit more from playing versus weaker opponents. But that's not the case with us. And in the OP's example, their top players had the better scoring ratios, so we're not talking about good players benefiting from playing versus weaker opponents.

I don't think Gauthier will go after two quality wingers this summer. I think one is more likely to be it. MaxPac will be on the top 6, I expect that new signing to likely be there as well, and then I'm picturing DD and AK being centered by Eller.

Originally Posted by Roke View Post
I'm not talking about faceoff win percentage. I'm talking about, when a player begins their shift on a faceoff, where they start on the ice. In the statistic I mentioned neutral-zone faceoffs are excluded for simplicity but the Sedins had an ozone% of 70% while Plekanec's was 50.2%. Similarly Erhoff's Ozone% was 61.5% and Subban's was 48.5%.

In general power-on-power matchups tend to override starting your best scorers in the offensive zone; Crosby and Datsyuk for example had Ozone% of less than 50% which means they stated in the defensive zone more often than the offensive zone. Their ability to put up the point totals they do starting so far away from goals is what makes them the best two players in the game (in addition to playing against the opposition's best. But you already knew that).

Vancouver's a very unique situation where they put together a fantastic defensive 3rd-line of Torres-Malholtra-Jansen/Samuelssonwith a terrific faceoffman which they employed as defensive zone specialists allowing the Sedins (and even Kesler to a degree) to feast on offensive zone faceoffs and rack up the points. Vancouver's 3rd-line was much like an old-fashioned checking line which has largely gone out of fashion.

I think the Philly model is more what Gauthier will be going after for this season. None of the Habs centres are lights-out on faceoffs so the Vancouver-like specialization is probably too much to ask from the group. Having a high-quality 3rd line though would give the Habs a big secondary scoring threat against comparatively weaker 3rd-lines.
Yes, but you don't take into consideration that the Canucks were a clearly more offensive team than us. So, it's only normal that Sedin gets more OZFOs, as opposed to Plekanec. The later one is also counted on for defensive duties because he's great at them.

But again, I don't think the OP was comparing us to other teams. He just wanted to show that for the Habs, the best players, outside Plekanec, aren't the ones with the better ratios.

I agree that, with the current shape up of our line up, it appears we're more likely aiming towards 3 offensive line (with Martin making all of them still defensively smart due to his system), which I'm perfectly content with.

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