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08-19-2012, 10:50 AM
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Did Eller Really Play Tougher Minutes Than Desharnais?

I was looking up some stats to find out who gets babied and who gets challenged among the Habs centers, so I used the website "" which keeps tracks of the quality of competition and such.

They report a statistic called Corsi QoC, which is the weighted average quality of their opponents on the ice. A large positive number means tough opponents, a large negative number means weak opponents. I found the following for the Habs centers (for 5 on 5 play):

Plekanec: 0.727
Eller: 0.429
Desharnais: 0.007
Nokelainen: -0.021
Gomez: -0.820

The numbers are similar for another statistic called "Relative Corsi QoC" but I'm not sure what the difference is. Note that these numbers include whatever fraction of the time these players played on the wing. For comparison, Josh Gorges scored 1.068, whereas Chris Campoli scored -0.494.

I knew that Desharnais needed privileges to become the 20th most productive center in the NHL (best linemates on the team, 3 minutes a game of PP time, tons of offensive zone starts, no PK responsibilities), and I knew he got weaker competition than Plekanec, but I had no idea his opposition was weaker than that of Eller.

Two questions:

1) Is there some loophole I don't know about, or did Eller actually play substantially tougher minutes than Desharnais?
2) Given that Eller is apparently playing very tough minutes, should we reassess a common view among Habs fans that this player is not working out and that he may simply be a 3rd liner at best?

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