View Single Post
01-15-2014, 03:02 AM
These Snacks Are Odd
worstfaceoffmanever's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fargo, ND
Country: United States
Posts: 12,932
vCash: 500
Originally Posted by ILikeItILoveIt View Post
Nick Spaling: 7 goals, 8 assists minus 1 +/-

A perfect example of a Trotz-loved player. Solid. Detailed. Reliable. Kills PK, plays on some PP lines, great defensive awareness. Good enough to play on scoring lines. 100% every night. Great character. Great in the room. Great soldier.

Offensively, just not good enough for the Top 6. Lousy hands and the puck rarely finds him. He is the epitome of our team make-up. All forwards with the exception of Smith, Horny, Wilson, and Stalberg fall into some range of a Spaling-like player. We have 8 of these guys when we need 3 . And the 4 who don't are one or two notches below a Top 6 player on any other team.

A team full of Spalings can only win with a consistently hot Rinne and offensively aggressive D-men clicking on all cylinders.

Where are the hell-with-the-D-I'm-pouching-at-the-blue-line guys like Sully, Kariya, and Rads. We need at least two of those types. And maybe one great-hands-type around the net like Dumont. Again, you can only have one of these Dumont types cuz they're slow and d-liabilities, but they'll get you 20-25 goals and help your PP.

Where has the diversity gone?
Honestly, I think the type of player you're looking for is what the club already has in Forsberg, but he doesn't get the leeway to play that style because he's so young and Trotz has to "educate" him in the "Predator Way," because that's far more important than using a player's strengths to help you win hockey games.

For giggles, I keep a pace table on our players and the players in Milwaukee (because it's really not that difficult and a good way to kill a half-hour in the middle of the day). This is what our players' points per game rates look like when translated to goals and points over 82 games:

S. Weber^203555
D. Legwand124153
C. Smith262652
M. Fisher242448
P. Hornqvist172946
C. Wilson122638
F. Forsberg72734
M. Cullen*92433
R. Josi^92433
S. Jones^72431
N. Spaling131730
G. Bourque101828
V. Stalberg*121628
R. Ellis^42125
P. Gaustad12917
E. Nystrom*11415
M. Ekholm^31013
R. Clune639
M. Hendricks*448
V. Bartley^088
K. Klein^246

^ Denotes defenseman
* Denotes 2013 signing

And the Milwaukee guys:

F. Forsberg4664110
T. Beck273259
P. Cehlin*233558
C. Sissons332356
A. Bitetto^223153
M. Salomaki193453
A. Watson213051
B. Rodney^53944
S. Moser152843
V. Saponari181836
M. Van Guilder141630
K. Henderson111425
C. Roussel^02424
J. Piskula^02222
J. Rask31821
Z. Budish91524
M. Tousignant51419
J. Jarvinen^31619
J. Shalla7714
M. Liambas31013
S. Valentine^01111
S. Ford^505

^ Denotes defenseman
* Cehlin has only played 7 games for Milwaukee this season, missing the remaining time with an "undisclosed injury"

Obviously, AHL numbers won't translate fully to the NHL, but Forsberg sticks out like Charlie Sheen in a church with the Admirals (and is actually on pace to lead the team in scoring despite having played 22 fewer games than Beck). We have an open spot on the NHL roster right now, and I wonder if it isn't the plan to have Forsberg back up before the Olympic break.

We're two forwards away from being seriously competitive again. Look at our lines from tonight:

Bourque (0.34) - Legwand (0.65) - Smith (0.62)
Wilson (0.47) - Fisher (0.59) - Hornqvist (0.56)
Nystrom (0.18) - Cullen (0.40) - Spaling (0.36)
Hendricks (0.09) - Gaustad (0.21) - Stalberg (0.33)

Wilson was poised for a breakout year, but the results so far have been a massive step backward from what he was doing before his shoulder injury in the spring. He has dropped .29 off his PPG rate from the short season, and Bourque has shed .14 off his, both of which are pretty substantial drops (for Bourque, that's an 11 point difference over 82 games; for Wilson, it's 24 points, including 11 goals in his case). Wilson is 24, so that's an especially bad regression for such a vital time in his career, and he would be a third liner on most teams with his form this year (and would, based on his production, be a perfect fit with Cullen and Spaling or Stalberg on a third line).

Forsberg is by no means a perfect solution to our offensive woes, but giving him substantial minutes would at least be indicative of an effort to fix the issue, rather than keeping Bourque and Spaling in the lineup together, expecting them to play outside themselves and produce a ton of offense for this team, not to mention traveling a forward light.

Then again, we're talking about an organization that pays a guy $3.5M a year purely to win face-offs, so it's not like they make the most sensible personnel decisions to begin with.

worstfaceoffmanever is offline