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09-28-2012, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Naturally, I'm not too worried about shutting down Radek Bonk or Anders Kallur, who will be used more defensively than anything it appears...

Kozhevnikov, as it were, was a very unconventional Soviet player - known for his rugged play and supreme offensive skill. He will not be intimidated.

It's a two-wave attack on the opponent's offense. Rugged, defensive forwards will slow you down through the neutral zone and then the truculent defense will finish you off before you get to the top of the circles. It will take some clever maneuvering to puncture this club's defense, I feel.
Radek Bonk and Anders Kallur are, of course, not the most important attackers on Pittsburgh.

But they are part of a Pittsburgh advantage - a more well-rounded and offensively dangerous bottom six.

Looking at the players in the bottom six who played since the 1967 expansion, here are the scoring-level adjusted even strength points per game for each one. Pittsburgh Hornets are bolded.

Player ESP/Game
Loui Eriksson 54.8
Dallas Drake 37.8
Peter Zezel 37.4
Scott Young 35.0
Radek Bonk 33.4
Rob Zamuner 31.1
Brian Skrudland 29.6
Anders Kallur 26.9
Terry Crisp 26.5
Dave Tippett 24.4

5-year peak*

Player ESP/Game
Loui Eriksson 59.3
Dallas Drake 48.9
Radek Bonk 47.8
Scott Young 44.6
Peter Zezel 42.6
Rob Zamuner 36.7
Brian Skrudland 36.6
Anders Kallur 35.3
Dave Tippett 29.0
Terry Crisp 27.8

*Used three year peaks for Kallur and Crisp because they didn't really have 5 year peaks in the NHL.

To be fair, Shorty Green is probably Medicine Hat's best offensive player in the bottom six and is not included here. Andre Pronovost is probably the third best and is also not included.

Other factors: Take a little air out of Eriksson's numbers and out of Bonk's peak numbers because they got those playing on top lines. Anders Kallur spent many of his best years in Sweden and three of his six NHL seasons came after he turned 30 in a fourth line role on a dynasty - he's better offensively than these numbers show.

Eriksson and Shorty Green are probably the best two offensive players in each bottom six. I know it's hard to compare them, but Eriksson really has been an excellent ES scorer in his NHL career - top 20 in league ES points in three seasons, and 29th in another. Green never led his team in scoring in the NHL. Edge Pittsburgh, although YMMV.

Drake/Bonk/Zezel are similar to Young offensively. Pronovost and Zamuner are probably a step below the Drake/Bonk/Zezel group offensively. Edge Pittsburgh.

Skrudland and Kallur were better offensively than Crisp and Tippett - without even factoring in Kallur's age in the NHL and his Swedish play. Edge Pittsburgh.

Edit: A little more on Eriksson at ES. Here are the even strength scoring leaders in the NHL over the past 4 seasons.

Rk Player ESP GP ESP/G
1 Henrik Sedin 252 328 0.77
2 Alex Ovechkin 239 308 0.78
3 Daniel Sedin 226 299 0.76
4 Martin St. Louis 224 323 0.69
5 Evgeni Malkin 214 267 0.80
6 Steven Stamkos 209 325 0.64
7 Jarome Iginla 209 328 0.64
8 Loui Eriksson 207 325 0.64
9 Sidney Crosby 206 221 0.93
10 Ilya Kovalchuk 200 313 0.64
11 Joe Thornton 196 323 0.61
12 Corey Perry 196 322 0.61
13 Patrick Kane 196 317 0.62
14 Henrik Zetterberg 190 313 0.61
15 Pavel Datsyuk 188 287 0.66
16 Alex Burrows 188 316 0.59
17 David Krejci 187 315 0.59
18 Rick Nash 185 311 0.59
19 Anze Kopitar 184 321 0.57
20 Patrick Marleau 183 322 0.57

That's pretty good company for Eriksson. 17 of the top 20 were drafted in the ATD, and Anze Kopitar is a first line centre in the MLD.

Last edited by overpass: 09-28-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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