Thread: Player Discussion: Couturier Expectations
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10-04-2013, 04:28 PM
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Couturier Expectations

Through pre season and the first few days of the season I have noticed a growing trend , where posters talk about Couturier, and seemingly put 40+ points as what they expect this season in his development.

I am going to disappoint you all and lower your expectations of what should be considered a good year for him. I figured it would be best to do it early on.

If he continues in his current role and gets 35 points it will be a great year for him.

Why? Do people realise how many points NHL 3rd liners score, not 2nd liners who drop down for 15 games, or 3rd liners who play 30 games a year on the 2nd line, but guys who will play 90% of the year on the third line? (ie NOT Dubinsky, Brodziak in 11-12, Staal, who was really the 2nd centre at Pitt playing 20 mins a night after his first season.)

2011-12 third line centres top scorers: (factored for 82 games)

Kelly: 39 points
Arnott: 39 points
Bolland: 39 points
Horcoff: 34 points
Bailey: 33 points
Sutter: 32 points
Helm: 31 points
Couturier: 29 points
Handzus: 29 points
Bonino: 29 points

So only 7 third line centres cracked 30 points in 2011-12. No-one hit 40 even.

However, once you take away Power play points : (I factored points over 82 games, minus factored PP points over 82 games, so effectively their even and SH production if they had played a full season, it is easier than PPG, which is more abstract.)

Chris Kelly: 38 points
Darren Helm: 31 points
Brandon Sutter: 29 points
Josh Bailey: 29 points
Sean Couturier: 28 points
Nick Bonino: 27 points
Zack Smith: 26 points
Dave Bolland: 26 points
Lars Eller: 26 points
Boyd Gordon: 25 points
Dominic Moore: 24 points
Michael Handzus: 23 points
Shawn Matthias: 23 points
Jason Arnott: 23 points
Shane Horcoff: 21 points
Matt Stajan: 21 points
Vernon Fiddler: 21 points
Jacob Josefson: 18 points
Joe Vitale: 17 points
Jay McClement: 17 points
Samuel Pahlsson: 17 points
Jarrett Stoll: 14 points

As you can see, without power play time only 2 third line centres in the entire NHL cracked 30 points. Chris Kelly is a Bruin, so due to their depth his minutes are not 3rd line mins in terms of QoC, more like a 2nd liner, though he is a third liner and a very good one.

Third line centres do not get 40 points very often, maybe 1-2 a year crack that mark, and those guys who do do not play top 10 toughest minutes for a centre, with little power play time and as the main Pker.

We have to start using him more like Pitt did Staal after his first year if we want him to get 40-50 points.

Sharing harder mins with the 2nd and 4th line instead of the 3rd taking all of them, especially in regard to zone starts, Couts QoC is bad for him, but the zone starts honestly cost far more. Most 3rd liners get one or the other, not both in the top 10 worst in the NHL. He needs to be at 45% instead of 32%... Staal was at 48-50%.

It is pretty mathematically improbable he will even get close otherwise.

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