View Single Post
07-31-2011, 03:03 PM
Student Of The Game
seventieslord's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 31,185
vCash: 500
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
First off I think that was his rookie year and that needs to be kept in mind about that season in particular.
My question was not about Malakov in particular and was really ideological, but ok.

Second, I think that a lot depends on the context, as usual.

On teams with guys who are almost all defensive (Krupp and Kasparitus for example) or guys who are mostly to all offensive (******/******/Malakhov), it would make a lot of sense for a smart guy like Al Arbour to use them in their specialities and the ES vs PP icetime probably reflects that. Malakhov was probably the most well rounded defenseman on that squad pretty easily even in his first couple of seasons.
I had to edit out a couple of undrafted guys there.

Malakhov played for about 10 coaches in the NHL and the usage rarely changed so we do have a good idea of what kind of player he was.

I'm not denouncing total icetime, not at all. I still use it as a shorthand and will continue to. But breaking it down shows us more in some cases. Just like separating out ES and PP scoring for forwards.

Looking only at ES icetime can cut both ways. You can say they must be the better defensive players because they are trusted more 5 on 5 but they could also be getting more ES time because they aren't good PK or PP players (or both in some cases).
it's an indication, because you can't get the most minutes without playing minutes against the best opposition players (because they, too, play the most) - if you do, your coach is a tactical wizard.

in addition, ES time is by far the most important situation. PP and PK time are probably more "concentrated" importance but because they account for about 20% of the game they are still less important overall. Note that the correlation between a team's ES performance and their W/L record is very strong, and a correlation between PP and/or PK efficiency and W/L record barely exists. So a coach's primary concern should be "who do I use the most at ES?" and then dole out the rest from there, i.e. "I'm already playing this guy the most at ES, and he would be a decent PP performer. should I give him even more on the PP, or give it to Berard, who won't be exposed defensively and will be better-rested?" - just as an example.

I don't like taking it as gospel that ES icetime in a vacuum lets us see into what the coach was thinking because they adapt the icetime as best they can to take advantage of their players individual skills as well as fill in the gaps that they need filled on the team to the best of their ability.
I agree, and it's not gospel, but it provides indications as to what types of strengths and weaknesses players had.

I don't think it is always purely merit. The overall situation is going to dictate it to some degree. How much depends on the context.
Yeah, but let's be honest, it's at least 95% merit. Sometimes other factors are in play, but not often.

seventieslord is offline   Reply With Quote