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11-24-2012, 03:29 PM
  #114
Talks to Goalposts
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjell Dahlin View Post
Plekanec and Eller assumed most of the work load against the Canadiens opponent's top line but Pacioretty, Desharnais and Cole had to cope with our opponent's best D pairing and shutdown line.

Top D pairing + shutdown line… is that what you called "much easier time"? I call it playing your forces right.



Btw... Eller and Desharnais had a similar offensive/defensive zone starts ratio (Eller is a solid two ways player but he is below average in the faceoff circle) but you are right about Plekanec: he and Nokelainen, our right-handed faceoffs specialist, received noticeably more defensive zone starts.


EDIT:



They tried... who was that guy from PHI who, because of his injury, never made it to MTL?

EDIT 2: Blair Betts! He would have been a good #4C. Good enough to allow Martin to give more O zone starts to Plekanec.


Your chart doesn't support your argument, I would know I consult with the guy who created it.

First there is some optical trickery going on their, Cammalleri and Gionta aren't on the chart but they would cluster around Plekanec, making for a cluster around him that you can see would be different from Desharnais group.

If you consult with other team graphs you'd find that Desharnais's usage corresponds very strongly with other lines that get used in a purely offensive, rather than two-way role, such as Nugent-Hopkins in Edmonton. Offensive lines attract good defensemen but their minutes against good forwards can be managed.

Also its 2012 when nearly everyone is a two-way player to some degree. Best opposition is best opposition for forwards, there aren't that many shutdown 3rd lines anymore.

Now if you don't want to call Desharnais's situation "easier," that is a matter of etymology. But it is a more favourable environment to score points.

Its not like this was necessarily a bad strategy for the time, but if we are to evaluate a player on point scoring we should have a strong idea of what kind of context contributed to their totals.

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