Optimizing the Devils' PP
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10-24-2012, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Middletown, NJ
Originally Posted by
Feed Me A Stray Cat
First thing that sticks out is Dainius Zubrus. Worst PP forward in 09-10, and second worst PP forward in 10-11 and 11-12. If we look at how Zubrus plays, this might make sense. He's not a cerebral player that relies on vision and quick decision making (very important on the PP), but rather he is great cycling and battling for possession. The fact that Zubrus got more PP time than Henrique looks pretty foolish.
Andy Greene, or rather his absence from the 11-12 list. Our best PP defenseman in 09-10 and 10-11, only to take a back seat to Mark Fayne in 11-12? Greene did not meet the 1MIN/game cut off in 11-12, but he still posted a a 2.44 P/60, which was better than all our other defenseman. Why does DeBoer insist on Mark Fayne when Greene has the track record to be serviceable on the PP?
Patrik Elias looks to be our best PP weapon, along with Ilya Kovalchuk. Elias has tremendous vision and patience, which makes him a great asset on the PP. Kovalchuk's per 60 stats are especially impressive given how much PP time he gets (most in the league by far). That's an extra minute of ice time on the PP where we're not exposed to Mark Fayne's, or another defenseman's, production.
The Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner PP unit from 09-10 looked utterly dominant.
Zubrus's numbers are really misleading. His worth is far beyond his point totals and everyone knows that. When he's on the PP, he's primarily being used as a screen and the Devils are not a team that really ever shoots for deflections. His big frame and ability to aggravate the goaltender are why he's out there.
Also, Greene was out on the PP in 09-10 because (A) we didn't have Kovalchuk yet and (B) our D was awful and our best guy was on IR. I wouldn't be opposed to giving him another chance but I'd be willing to bet DeBoer prefers a RH shot. There's not much of a need for a lefty out there with our current setup, unless he has a solid one timer, which Greene does not. I'd like to see Larsson out there, personally.
No surprise Elias and Kovy top the list. Elias pretty much runs the PP and Kovy is always the focal point.
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