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04-27-2012, 07:51 PM
  #45
TheDevilMadeMe
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Rob Blake


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
2. Quality of play at the back end - defense and goaltending.

Bobby Orr is obviously the greatest ever, but Brad Park is no slouch as a #1. Past Orr, NJ has the better defensive corps 2-6, especially at even strength since Rob Blake is much more of a difference-maker on special teams. I also think Vezina is quite a bit better than Worsley in goal. I'll provide more details on why I think all this later.
When I said Rob Blake was much more of a difference maker on special teams than even strength, this is what I meant. R-on and R-off (the team's goals for/goals against ratios when the defenseman is on and off the ice) are the key even strength stats. All stats were presented by over in the "top 60 defensemen of all time" projects:

Quote:
Regular season adjusted stats for post-1967 defencemen


Career Stats
Player Start End GP EV% R-ON R-OFF $ESP $PPP PP% TmPP+ SH% TmSH+
Jacques Laperriere 1968 1973 435 47% 1.53 1.31 26 9 35% 1.22 73% 0.84
J.C. Tremblay 1968 1972 358 45% 1.37 1.33 32 22 69% 1.31 64% 0.85
Guy Lapointe 1969 1984 884 42% 1.41 1.66 31 28 64% 1.29 52% 0.76
Rod Langway 1979 1993 994 35% 1.29 1.20 20 3 10% 1.02 53% 0.83
Larry Murphy 1981 2001 1615 39% 1.20 1.02 34 25 65% 1.05 32% 0.92
Rob Blake 1990 2010 1270 37% 1.03 1.03 30 26 66% 1.04 50% 1.00
Scott Niedermayer 1992 2010 1263 39% 1.25 1.22 31 26 64% 1.04 40% 0.94
Zdeno Chara 1998 2011 928 40% 1.16 1.04 24 17 42% 1.05 52% 0.95
Doug Wilson 1982 1990 605 41% 1.15 0.93 35 32 78% 1.05 46% 1.06

Prime Stats
Player Start End GP EV% R-ON R-OFF $ESP $PPP PP% TmPP+ SH% TmSH+
Jacques Laperriere 1968 1973 393 47% 1.56 1.31 26 9 36% 1.23 75% 0.83
J.C. Tremblay 1968 1972 358 45% 1.37 1.33 32 22 69% 1.31 64% 0.85
Guy Lapointe 1973 1979 499 46% 1.67 1.88 40 34 75% 1.32 68% 0.74
Rod Langway 1981 1989 673 38% 1.35 1.21 22 4 14% 0.99 57% 0.85
Larry Murphy 1992 1995 292 45% 1.38 1.05 45 28 80% 1.11 45% 0.94
Rob Blake 1998 2002 362 43% 1.11 1.08 40 32 79% 0.99 54% 0.99
Scott Niedermayer 2004 2007 242 39% 1.27 1.22 37 33 79% 1.13 47% 0.90
Zdeno Chara 2003 2011 622 41% 1.38 1.13 30 25 60% 1.05 53% 0.89
Doug Wilson 1982 1986 373 41% 1.16 0.95 38 30 72% 1.10 48% 1.05

Stats Glossary
EV%: The percentage of the team’s even-strength goals the player was on the ice for, on a per-game basis.

R-ON: The team’s GF/GA ratio while the player is on the ice at even strength.

R-OFF: The team’s GF/GA ratio while the player is off the ice at even strength.

$ESP/S: Even strength points per season, adjusted to a 200 ESG per team-season scoring level.

$PPP/S: Power play points per season, adjusted to a 70 PPG per team-season scoring level and a league-average number of power play opportunities.

PP%: The percentage of the team’s power play goals for which the player was on the ice.

TmPP+: The strength of the player’s team on the power play. 1.00 is average, higher is better.

SH%: The percentage of the team’s power play goals against for which the player was on the ice.

TmSH+: The strength of the player’s team on the penalty kill. 1.00 is average, lower is better.
Those are all defensemen considered around the same time as Blake, some clearly superior.

Blake is basically unique among his class of defensemen in that he statistically did not make a difference in his NHL team's goals for/goals against ratio at even strength.

This is how overpass described Blake for the project:

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass
What does it all mean?

A note on the team-based stats - the lack of parity in the 1970s NHL made it easier to put up high numbers in these stats. EV% tended to be higher pre-1980, when teams went to 6 defencemen.

...
Rob Blake was a #1 defenceman for most of his long career. He was strong both offensively and defensively.

Blake's plus-minus numbers are unimpressive. There were mitigating circumstances, as he spent most of his career playing against the other team's top lines. But part of it was probably because his strengths lay in the offensive and defensive zones, not in transition.

On the power play, he was more of a shooter than a playmaker, scoring a lot of power play goals over his career. He was also a strong contributor on the penalty kill, putting his strength, physicality, and defensive skills to good use.
For comparison, here are defensemen who are ranked below Blake:

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Regular season adjusted stats for post-1967 defencemen


Stapleton, Konstantinov, and Zubov stats and commentary are a repeat. Housley and White's info is new.

Career Stats
Player Start year End year GP EV% R-ON R-OFF $ESP $PPP PP% TmPP+ SH% TmSH+
Pat Stapleton 1968 1973 420 51% 1.38 1.22 38 18 67% 1.03 44% 0.84
Bill White 1968 1976 604 49% 1.24 1.05 29 10 44% 0.94 65% 0.88
Phil Housley 1983 2003 1495 38% 1.06 0.97 35 33 84% 1.01 11% 0.95
Vladimir Konstantinov 1992 1997 446 35% 1.56 1.29 29 4 13% 1.21 41% 0.76
Sergei Zubov 1993 2009 1068 42% 1.25 1.13 33 34 82% 1.14 33% 0.86

Prime Stats
Player Start year End year GP EV% R-ON R-OFF $ESP $PPP PP% TmPP+ SH% TmSH+
Pat Stapleton 1969 1972 278 53% 1.51 1.33 41 22 79% 1.02 49% 0.80
Bill White 1970 1974 345 48% 1.48 1.29 30 9 39% 1.07 73% 0.78
Phil Housley 1987 1996 686 42% 1.07 0.95 41 35 87% 1.03 16% 0.98
Vladimir Konstantinov 1996 1997 158 36% 2.31 1.14 32 8 22% 1.23 43% 0.62
Sergei Zubov 1998 2007 705 41% 1.25 1.16 29 35 84% 1.14 41% 0.85

My take on it:

First, notice that Rob Blake is almost unique among this class of defensemen in that he doesn't appear to have made a difference for his NHL team's goals for/goals against ratio at even strength. Guy Lapointe has an insanely high "off ice" ratio to compete with due to Larry Robinson and Serge Savard, but Blake doesn't have that for most of his career.

In fact, Blake's R-on is lower than any defenseman listed here other than Phil Housley. There are definitely mitigating circumstances like overpass said - Blake, unlike Zubov and Lidstrom-less Murphy, saw his opponent's top lines for most of his career (basically ever season of his prime except when he played in Colorado with Bourque the one year). But among guys matched against top lines at the NHL level, Blake's results were very average.

I think Blake's relatively mediocre decision making (he was criticized throughout his career for going out of position to make the big hit and taking bad penalties) hurt him at even strength. On special teams, however, his his physical attributes (his booming shot on the PP, his size and strength in front of the net on the PP when he focused on D) took over.

I think Blake has to be considered a relatively unimpressive #2 defenseman at even strength in the ATD.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 04-27-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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