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09-11-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
15 writers named Streit on their Norris ballot and 21 named him on their All Star ballot in 2009, hardly "token" voting. Yes, that was the best season of his career.
It is “token” voting though, because it means that just 11% of Norris voters thought he was even top-5 and 16% of all-star voters thought he was even top-6. Who knows what the rest of them thought?

So your favorite measures of defenseman performance - ice time and adjusted plus minus - suddenly fail to be applicable when it comes to Mark Streit, who for two year absolutely owned in both measures? Why is that?
You have to really reach into the past to call adjusted +/- one of my two favourite measures of defenseman performance. It can be useful but over a longer period of time and only when comparing similar roles. (Joe Reekie was a dominant 3rd pairing defenseman, but a 3rd pairing defenseman). There are many players with a horrible adjusted +/- who I still like a lot as players, because other factors still demonstrate they were heavily used and valued players. (if coaches always play best on best – and they typically do – then some players have to be the worst of those best, and they’ll have bad adjusted +/-; Zhitnik comes to mind immediately)

Streit did perform well those 2 years, but the underlying numbers show why adjusted +/- over a short time is not that reliable (too influenced by matchups, linemates/teammates, offensive situations, zone starts, QoC, etc). I wouldn’t say he “absolutely owned” in ice time. He was the #1, yes. What other outcome could you envision on those teams? If any of those defensemen got more ice time than him, it would be a major indictment of his value.

Before underlying numbers are considered, ice time is my favourite measure, without a doubt, but the strength of the team is very close behind (with the defensive strength of the team behind that). It shouldn’t need to be repeated that, although being a #1 defenseman at any time is a feather in one’s cap, not all #1 defensemen are created equal. (a few people like to remind me of this but I don’t think anyone pays more attention to this fact than I do)

As for 2010, hockey is a subjective game and writers votes are always all over the place. You know this. Given Streit's stats, especially compared to his teammates, do you really think Streit wouldn't have gotten more votes if his team made the playoffs? Was he playing at a lower level than Yandle was when Yandle finished 5th in Norris voting? I don't know. I like to think that for most players, there all star records even out to about what they should be, so long as you keep trends in voting in mind
Re: Yandle: my gut says he wasn’t, because it’s not that easy to imagine Streit being the #1 on a good team. He was on an average team in 2008 and was not close to being a #1. Yandle led the defense of a strong team (and strong defensive team) in 2011 in both overall and ES time, although he was not polished or relied upon that much defensively. TBH, players like Doughty, Keith, Boyle and Pronger were surely better than this Johnny-come-lately but fell off the map as far as voting was concerned, mainly because of hockey card stats. I don’t think a 5th place finish was fully warranted and he should have been in “rich man’s Streit” territory but the stars kind of aligned for him, and in the end his 5th place vote is significant and based on significant votes, so good for him, and it does belong as a reasonably well-weighted part of his resume as long as the context is considered.

Re: “evening out to about where they should be”, for the top 5 or 6 players, yes. But in a system where the writers get to name 5 players, the voting points system doesn’t make logical sense, and it is too offense-biased, we can’t really be sure of the others. In 2010, because of three votes, Streit earned more voting points than all but nine NHL defensemen. Do I think that is reasonable basis to conclude that he was “about 10th” that year? Not at all. I wouldn’t conclude this for 9th-place Ehrhoff, either. 7th and 8th place Weber and Chara are much less inconclusive and moreso beyond them.

Unless you apply the same standard to older players, this is awfully close to nitpicking modern players while glossing over the flaws of older guys. We all know the trends in voting - the voters usually have favored offense over defense since expansion.
I don’t think so, because it can work the other way, too. Seabrook is a good example. His greatness is almost entirely uncaptured by all-star and Norris results. We wouldn’t know this if he wasn’t a modern player who we’ve seen, and whose TOI, QoC, hits and blocked shots can be on display. If he played in the O6, how would we know he was any better than Al Langlois?

It’s just a matter of accepting that at different junctures, different factors must be weighed more and less heavily for analyzing defensemen.

Last edited by seventieslord: 09-11-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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