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08-29-2012, 03:10 PM
Talks to Goalposts
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Location: Edmonton
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I think projections get a lot more sensible when you break them down into Even Strength and Power Play production

75-82 game season projection.

Even Strength:

Pacioretty: 25-23-48
Team's best offensive player, I expect a slightly worse ES year after he was so dominant last season, mainly in terms of goals scored.

Cole: 23-22-45
Cole is always an even strength beast. He retains his scoring from last year if given a similar role. His drop off is on the power play.

Desharnais: 12-25-37
Another slight drop off, this will get more extreme if his linemate strength declines. As much as I am seen as a detractor of DD I consider him an excellent offensive zone playmaker.

Plekanec: 17-20-37
His linemate situation is bound to improve, and he recovers from some bad shooting luck at even strength. This is a return to a historical production.

Gionta: 17-18-35
Goal scoring dips, assists rises without Gomez as his center. He and Plekanec likely play together in a line that his a decent 5 on 5 offense producer but main strength is its excellent shutdown play.

Bourque: 18-10-28
The Cy Young award winner. Bourque should be brutal at setting up plays but I expect him rebound somewhat at his best discipline, 5 on 5 goal scoring. 3 assists when playing an offensive role is too comically low to expect a repeat though. His surgury will throw of his games played though, reducing his real totals.

Eller: 12-12-24
Lack of competent linemates scuttles any chance of improved offense from the Dane. No Kostitsyn hurts him the worst. Big increase if there is a center injury and he plays significant amounts as a top 6 center.

Armstrong: 13-10-23
Competent ES scorer if healthy, one of Eller's best hopes for a good scoring linemate.

Leblanc: 12-10-22
I'm pretty high on LL's abilities to score 5 on 5. He might be Eller's best linemate next year if he's playing in the big leagues.

Moen: 7-10-17
Moen plays his best offensive hockey with Eller. Its still not very good though.

Prust: 6-9-15
He's really not a scorer in any meaningful sense.

Subban: 5-18-23
His goals rebound but I don't expect big improvements in ES points.

Markov: 4-18-22
17-24 points sounds like Markov's range 5 on 5. Powerplay is his main strength.

Kaberle: 2-15-17
More limited minutes but he's a 2nd assist machine for a defenseman.

Gorges: 1-14-15
ES minutes leads to points, not offensive flair.

Emelin: 2-10-12
Finally gets some assists.

Power Play:
Pacioretty: 9-9-18
He gets back the ES goals he lost here. Best offensive winger is key to the powerplay, Cammalleri's replacement.

Plekanec: 4-14-18
Always a top powerplay man. Quite set up work key to getting the job done.

Desharnais: 4-14-18
Was fairly inept to start last year, didn't really know how to use his point men. Could have some real potential as a PP guy though.

Gionta: 9-4-14
The only RH shot, will be counted on for goals, won't drive the play.

Cole: 6-5-11
He's typically far weaker with the man advantage than he was last year in terms of scoring. This is where his scoring drops off.

Bourque: 5-3-8
May have a role as a big dumb object. Eller could take it from him though.

Markov: 5-18-23
Not as great as he once was, still one of the best in the league. League wide decline in PP opportunities robs him of his former huge point totals, even the best defenseman can no longer get 30 points on the powerplay.

Subban: 7-13-20
Much better year in likely an improved system. He's been good with Wisniewski and Kaberle, will be good with Markov/Kaberle. Has talent to be a terrific goal scorer with the man advantage. Strength on defense is what makes the PP go in Montreal.

Kaberle: 1-9-10
3rd man won't get minutes to put up good numbers unless Markov isn't around.

Expect Plekanec and Eller to pick up some extraneous PK scoring, 2-5 points each. Eller gets some spot duty on the powerplay that ups his numbers a bit also.

Thus I come to expect from the top players:

Pacioretty: 34-32-66
Plekanec: 22-36-58
Cole: 29-27-56
Desharnais: 16-39-55
Gionta: 26-23-49
Bourque: 23-15-38
Eller: 15-15-30

Markov: 9-36-45
Subban: 12-31-43
Kaberle: 3-24-27

Due to injury, 3 20 goal scorers more likely than 5. Getting another reliable .5+ PPG forward has to be a priority. Getting Eller some ES wingers that can defend and attack simultaneous is another.

The totals from the top defensemen might not look spectacular, but with the decline in power play opportunities its actually very strong. Very few teams had 2 .5+ point per game defenseman who played most of the season last year. (Winnepeg, St. Louis, Nashville, Vancouver).
Likewise, the number of teams that have two better scoring from their top six centers is also limited to a small number of squads such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Boston, Dallas and Philladelphia. Montreal is neither strong nor weak there, merely average. The chief deficiencies of the Habs squad on offense is from wingers below the top 3, and the lack of a single extraordinary scorer. The former is one of the easier problems to fix, the latter is typically impossible to change in the short term.

Last edited by Talks to Goalposts: 08-29-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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