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Rivals Edition: Predators @ Redwings 12/8/2010

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Old
12-11-2010, 04:16 PM
  #126
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Last season the PK tanked and there was only one player with over 10 PK draws and a 50% or higher. (Smithson)

This year the PK has turned around and we have two players winning more than 50% of their PK draws. Of the 90 PK faceoff wins, 62 are by Spaling or Smithson ... 68.889% of the team's wins are by those two. They combine for nearly 60% of the draws on the kill.

Mere coincidence? Look back to 08-09 when the PK was last respectable. 4 players taking a significant number of shorthanded draws at 48% or better .. two of them winning over 50%. In addition there was Bonk with 25 shorthanded draws, winning 68% of them.

But why would we want to keep a consistent PK'er who can win draws shorthanded? Legwand, for all of his good points is not consistent at the dot. If it's such a simple piece to replace, why did the team suck at it so bad last season after the loss of Nichol and Fiddler?

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12-11-2010, 04:20 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
Last season the PK tanked and there was only one player with over 10 PK draws and a 50% or higher. (Smithson)

This year the PK has turned around and we have two players winning more than 50% of their PK draws. Of the 90 PK faceoff wins, 62 are by Spaling or Smithson ... 68.889% of the team's wins are by those two. They combine for nearly 60% of the draws on the kill.

Mere coincidence? Look back to 08-09 when the PK was last respectable. 4 players taking a significant number of shorthanded draws at 48% or better .. two of them winning over 50%. In addition there was Bonk with 25 shorthanded draws, winning 68% of them.

But why would we want to keep a consistent PK'er who can win draws shorthanded? Legwand, for all of his good points is not consistent at the dot. If it's such a simple piece to replace, why did the team suck at it so bad last season after the loss of Nichol and Fiddler?
I never said not to replace him, I said replace him with someone who can do more than just win a faceoff and kill penalties. You know, some guys have the ability to win faceoffs, play the PK and produce offensively. Actually, there are quite a few of these guys. The point is, we have too many guys that fill one or two roles as opposed to being complete players and when they go down, we have a hard time replacing them. Balance might be in order.

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12-11-2010, 04:22 PM
  #128
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And another thing, heaven forbid we ice better players. You know, better players usually produce better results. Why do you think guys like Smithson hardly play come playoff time? Are we seriously defending a 4th line grinder? Really? Has it come to this as a fan base? Wow.

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12-11-2010, 05:26 PM
  #129
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I never said not to replace him, I said replace him with someone who can do more than just win a faceoff and kill penalties. You know, some guys have the ability to win faceoffs, play the PK and produce offensively. Actually, there are quite a few of these guys. The point is, we have too many guys that fill one or two roles as opposed to being complete players and when they go down, we have a hard time replacing them. Balance might be in order.
There are very few of those guys who fit the team's finances. Here's the list of players with 50 or more SH draws and 50% or better success so far this season and their salary.

Jeff Halpern $600k (after years at $2mil)
Paul Gaustad $1.7mil
Boyd Gordon $800k
Mikko Koivu $7.2mil
Jonathan Toews $6.5mil
David Steckel $1.1mil
Rich Peverley $1.25mil
Manny Malhotra $2.5mil
Jason Spezza $8mil
Travis Zajac $3.5mil
Darren Helm $825k
Gregory Campbell $1mil
Jarret Stoll $3.4mil
Samuel Pahlsson $2.65mil
Jerred Smithson $775k
Patrick Marleau $6.9mil
Paul Stastny $6.6mil
Craig Conroy $500k
Zenon Konopka $600k
Ryan O'Reilly $900k
Saku Koivu $2.5mil

Only three players in this category are making less than Smithson (two of them are aging vets who took big pay cuts to get a one year deal for this season). The ones who also produce offensively are making a lot more money. Just who is this player who fits our finances, can do what Smithson does on the PK and at the dot, and produce offensively?

Unfortunately, the 2nd rounder we have who does similar things defensively, at the dot, and on the PK is playing only that role in Nashville and not developing his offensive skills in the AHL.

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12-11-2010, 05:52 PM
  #130
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And another thing, heaven forbid we ice better players. You know, better players usually produce better results. Why do you think guys like Smithson hardly play come playoff time? Are we seriously defending a 4th line grinder? Really? Has it come to this as a fan base? Wow.
Wow? Why didn't anyone else think of that. Go out and sign better players! Well there's the answer, guess we're all finished here. Hope Poile is reading this.

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12-11-2010, 05:54 PM
  #131
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So 101, your basic correlation is that his faceoff percentage is relative to our PK success?

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12-11-2010, 06:10 PM
  #132
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Wow? Why didn't anyone else think of that. Go out and sign better players! Well there's the answer, guess we're all finished here. Hope Poile is reading this.
Where in my statement did I say go out and sign better players? I said ice better players. Did you notice during the playoffs Dumont got more time and that Smithson wasn't on the ice as much? Guess what happened, Dumont played pretty darn well from what I remember in the playoffs. Are you suggesting we play Smithson over a guy like Dumont or even Hornqvist for that matter? If that's the case, then that's a waste of about $7 million sitting on the bench while Smithson gets more minutes. It's a waste of assets yet again by the staff. Sure, you don't play players based on salary but when you're a financially strapped team like we are, is it smart that we consistently sit players making $3-4 million so a guy who's only a faceoff and PK specialist can get even strength time? Does it make sense to have a guy making $4.5 million as a shutdown specialist as well without any expectations of him doing any more than just that? It's as if Trotz looks at his guys and says this is what your roll is and that's all I want from you. I just don't buy into that style of coaching, especially when a guy gets injured and all of a sudden we have a glaring hole on the roster. When you have around $11 million tied up in three forwards who aren't given any sort of chance to produce offensively either because of being asked to be solely defensively responsible or are given limited minutes, I'd say something is a bit off. We're basically taking a guy who scored 30 goals last year and not giving him minutes and taking a guy who's average over 60 points a year since he's been here and giving him limited minutes. I don't agree with the use of assets. We play a certain style and that's all we can do. We don't have the ability to adapt.

Please answer me one question, do people think we're getting the most out of our top tier players on a nightly basis? Are Weber, Suter, Erat, Legwand and add anyone else to this list playing to their potential? Heck, are we getting the most out of our lower tier players? Ward certainly isn't playing up to previous seasons. Goc and O'Reilly are playing above expectations. Sully is at a 48 point pace. As much as I like Spaling, one point in 20 games? Smithson at a 12 point pace?

We've scored on the PP in 8 out of 27 games. Absolutely pathetic. We are not getting the most out of these guys.

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12-11-2010, 06:39 PM
  #133
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So 101, your basic correlation is that his faceoff percentage is relative to our PK success?
Having a group of players who can play solidly on the PK and win faceoffs does seem to have a direct correlation to success. How many times last season was it lose a draw on the PK and watch it go to the back of the net almost instantly? Hell, just look back to the Atlanta game (where Smithson et al had a terrible night at the dot) ... clean faceoff loss, 2 seconds later in the net ... clean faceoff loss, 5 seconds later in the back of the net off a rebound. When a team is losing well below 50% of it's PK draws like the Preds did last season it's a problem.

Smithson IS a role player ... but one the team needs. Spaling is a 2nd rounder who is on a track to become Smithers Jr rather than a complete two way player.

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12-11-2010, 06:46 PM
  #134
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
Having a group of players who can play solidly on the PK and win faceoffs does seem to have a direct correlation to success. How many times last season was it lose a draw on the PK and watch it go to the back of the net almost instantly? Hell, just look back to the Atlanta game (where Smithson et al had a terrible night at the dot) ... clean faceoff loss, 2 seconds later in the net ... clean faceoff loss, 5 seconds later in the back of the net off a rebound. When a team is losing well below 50% of it's PK draws like the Preds did last season it's a problem.

Smithson IS a role player ... but one the team needs. Spaling is a 2nd rounder who is on a track to become Smithers Jr rather than a complete two way player.
So why do we not use the same philosophy with the PP? LOL Win a faceoff, get it back to the point, shoot and score. Seems simple right? You can keep Smithson if we can get a guy on the PP that can win 50% of their faceoffs.

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12-11-2010, 07:00 PM
  #135
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So why do we not use the same philosophy with the PP? LOL Win a faceoff, get it back to the point, shoot and score. Seems simple right? You can keep Smithson if we can get a guy on the PP that can win 50% of their faceoffs.
Legwand 64%
Ward 57%
Goc 53%
O'Reilly 50%
Wilson 50%

Only Goc, O'Reilly, and Wilson have 30 or more PP draws. Your concession is accepted.

Of course when we try the win the draw, get it to the point, shoot, score technique we tend to blast the glass and fail to hit the net.

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12-12-2010, 10:55 AM
  #136
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Smithson is useful simply because you win the PK faceoff, you control the puck, you control the puck you can launch it to the offensive end and eat 20-25 seconds of PK time, get the change, and kill the penalty without doing a thing.

Still, i wonder how useful Smithson would be if Lombardi was healthy and taking those PK faceoffs? I would love to see the Preds condense a couple of forwards to a stronger center who can provide some offense while taking those PK faceoffs.

(Still waiting for Jan 10th....)

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12-12-2010, 11:05 AM
  #137
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What is Jan 10th?

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12-12-2010, 11:15 AM
  #138
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I think Jan 10th is the date Lombardi's insurance kicks in, but I don't know.

Glenn, we don't usually talk directly, and I'm pretty sure we've never met. With that said I've been posting on here and on the Preds main board for years now, and I respect you and your opinions.

With that caveat, since when are fourth line grinders who are on the team to play defense, win face offs, and play the PK supposed to score more than twelve points? (Though, I'm definitely on the bandwagon with those who think throwing Smithson on a line with Legwand is a waste of Legwand in most games.) We'd all love higher quality players, but it isn't going to happen yet. We're playing good hockey right now, and Smithson is one of the reasons our PK is actually a PK this year. I'm honestly not sure why he's in your doghouse, and for the life of me I can't think of a single player right now who should be. I'm rarely ever happy with the ENTIRE team. This Sunday morning I find myself in that awkward position. I guess we'll just have to respectfully disagree here.


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12-12-2010, 11:19 AM
  #139
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I think Jan 10th is the date Lombardi's insurance kicks in, but I don't know.
Bingo. Based on my reading of the CBA, the math per capgeek.com, and the timeline. Jan 10th would be the day the check comes in and based on my math it's a 1.6 million dollar check.

Edit: Do I claim complete knowledge of this? HELLLLLLLLL No. But that's my best guess.

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12-12-2010, 11:27 AM
  #140
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I think Jan 10th is the date Lombardi's insurance kicks in, but I don't know.

Glenn, we don't usually talk directly, and I'm pretty sure we've never met. With that said I've been posting on here and on the Preds main board for years now, and I respect you and your opinions.

With that caveat, since when are fourth line grinders who are on the team to play defense, win face offs, and play the PK supposed to score more than twelve points? (Though, I'm definitely on the bandwagon with those who think throwing Smithson on a line with Legwand is a waste of two players in most games.) We'd all love higher quality players, but it isn't going to happen yet. We're playing good hockey right now, and Smithson is one of the reasons our PK is actually a PK this year. I'm honestly not sure why he's in your doghouse, and for the life of me I can't think of a single player right now who should be. I'm rarely ever happy with the ENTIRE team. This Sunday morning I find myself in that awkward position. I guess we'll just have to respectfully disagree here.
No worries. We can disagree, it's no big deal. I think my beef with Smithson is more a beef with Trotz than anything. He's been used on a wing with Legwand for over a year now. He's getting third line minutes when being played with Ward and Legwand. I just don't get that. He's a 4th line grinder, should be used in an energy role a few times per period, on the PK and to win faceoffs in the defensive zone when needed. Other than that, I just don't think he needs to be on the ice at even strength. To have a guy like Smithson getting more minutes at even strength than guys like Dumont or Hornqvist makes me scratch my head.

By the way, I called out Smithson and sure enough he gets a point last night. Same for Ward. LOL. Not that Ward's was all that impressive but still.

I was talking with my girlfriend last night and got to thinking, if this team ever assembled any sort of PP effectiveness, doesn't have to be top ten, but 16-18% wouldn't be all that bad, we could really do some damage in this league, especially in the playoffs.

I also think that I see certain things from year to year that I don't see change and it's frustrating. While budgets are what they are, having a team that is basically the same type of team that only changes faces and not necessarily the overall results makes me scratch my head too. It's nice to have an above average team but I'd like more now. We're past the Liepold fiasco, attendance is looking like it's finally coming around, I'd like to see what can and will happen if we start spending a bit more money to do as you say, finding more complete players and let the role players do exactly what they should be doing, be role players.

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12-12-2010, 11:30 AM
  #141
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Bingo. Based on my reading of the CBA, the math per capgeek.com, and the timeline. Jan 10th would be the day the check comes in and based on my math it's a 1.6 million dollar check.

Edit: Do I claim complete knowledge of this? HELLLLLLLLL No. But that's my best guess.
I'd rather have him in the lineup to be perfectly honest.

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12-12-2010, 11:36 AM
  #142
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Maybe I'm naive, but I still trust the owners when they said back in 2007 that is attendance averages 16,000+ we can start spending. For the first time in a long time it looks like that isn't just a possibility, but it looks like that is what is happening. Maybe not this year, but soon.

We agree on the point of how Smithson is used, I think it's finally becoming situational instead of a set line. Last night he was pretty much just used in a fourth line center role. Against Detroit he was used on a shutdown line, and I understand that. Detroit is tough, we were on the road, and we needed a way to silence their guns. It worked. I'm also wondering why Dumont and Hornqvist are getting such low minutes, but I guess it's just another example of how easy it is to get into Trotz's doghouse and how hard it is to get out.

We're all frustrated with the same results season after season. There isn't a single one of us who starts a season hoping for a ninth place finish or a first round exit. I think you have to admit that Smithson isn't causing that, though. So what do we need? A coaching change? More money? To tank in order to get higher draft picks? We definitely need something, and it's hard to figure out what exactly when you're continually told by others around the league that your coaching staff is superb, your GM is fantastic, your team's work ethic is second to none. I love Trotz, but I do think something has to give in his staff. Whether it's him or his assistants (and I'm excluding Peterson/Korn here), something has to change. The saying is "defense wins championships", but offense gets you there. We just never seem to be able to find the right combination of the two when it counts.

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12-12-2010, 11:37 AM
  #143
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I'd rather have him in the lineup to be perfectly honest.
Agreed.

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12-12-2010, 11:38 AM
  #144
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Bingo. Based on my reading of the CBA, the math per capgeek.com, and the timeline. Jan 10th would be the day the check comes in and based on my math it's a 1.6 million dollar check.

Edit: Do I claim complete knowledge of this? HELLLLLLLLL No. But that's my best guess.
It's a matter of speculation of Lombardi's contract is one of the few that are insured by the team. The CBA talks about career ending disability insurance along with life/health/dental ... not the contract protection that the team had on Sullivan's contract. Unless you've found something there besides what is in article 23 that I've missed.

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12-12-2010, 11:38 AM
  #145
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I'd rather have him in the lineup to be perfectly honest.
We don't need the money for a big splash in February. We're a good team. We need him to come be a part of it, but certainly not at risk of severely hurting his melon.

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12-12-2010, 11:41 AM
  #146
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FWIW we're 5-2-3 in our last ten, tied for fifth with the exact same record as Phoenix (though with a slightly smaller goal differential) in the incredibly competitive West, and only a point behind a Chicago club who has three games in hand.

I think we're on the right path

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12-12-2010, 11:44 AM
  #147
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Maybe I'm naive, but I still trust the owners when they said back in 2007 that is attendance averages 16,000+ we can start spending. For the first time in a long time it looks like that isn't just a possibility, but it looks like that is what is happening. Maybe not this year, but soon.

We agree on the point of how Smithson is used, I think it's finally becoming situational instead of a set line. Last night he was pretty much just used in a fourth line center role. Against Detroit he was used on a shutdown line, and I understand that. Detroit is tough, we were on the road, and we needed a way to silence their guns. It worked. I'm also wondering why Dumont and Hornqvist are getting such low minutes, but I guess it's just another example of how easy it is to get into Trotz's doghouse and how hard it is to get out.

We're all frustrated with the same results season after season. There isn't a single one of us who starts a season hoping for a ninth place finish or a first round exit. I think you have to admit that Smithson isn't causing that, though. So what do we need? A coaching change? More money? To tank in order to get higher draft picks? We definitely need something, and it's hard to figure out what exactly when you're continually told by others around the league that your coaching staff is superb, your GM is fantastic, your team's work ethic is second to none. I love Trotz, but I do think something has to give in his staff. Whether it's him or his assistants (and I'm excluding Peterson/Korn here), something has to change. The saying is "defense wins championships", but offense gets you there. We just never seem to be able to find the right combination of the two when it counts.
I agree with your last paragraph completely. I think we get the PP working, doesn't have to be amazing but has to be good and consistent, I think that might push us over the edge. Everything you said is true but we seem to miss one piece of the puzzle. The PP is the one thing that I think is vital. Special teams are crucial in the playoffs as we saw against Chicago. We have a PP that is in the teens as opposed to 4%, we probably win that series. Including last nights open net PP goal, we have scored PP goals in 9 out of 28 games. That isn't going to get it done long term. We'll see if this can be fixed with the current group of players and coaches.

Grinder has said it before and I agree that a team with special teams play that adds up to 100% or more are going to do better long term and have playoff success. We've got the PK finally clicking again, let's see if we can do the same with the PP. Heck, if Chicago could pull Keith off their top unit, maybe we can do some a little unorthodox as well.

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12-12-2010, 11:48 AM
  #148
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I do think the PP, at least the way it's been operating lately, is better than we've seen since 07. There is movement. There are crisp passes. There are shots. They held the puck in the zone last night like it was their jobs (actually, it is... go figure). We just don't have that finisher to go ahead and gift wrap one for us. We have to work twice as hard as most other teams to have half the PP success. It's getting tiring. Hopefully the money will be there soon to add that piece.

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12-12-2010, 11:50 AM
  #149
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I do think the PP, at least the way it's been operating lately, is better than we've seen since 07. There is movement. There are crisp passes. There are shots. They held the puck in the zone last night like it was their jobs (actually, it is... go figure). We just don't have that finisher to go ahead and gift wrap one for us. We have to work twice as hard as most other teams to have half the PP success. It's getting tiring. Hopefully the money will be there soon to add that piece.
Too bad we have that stupid Russian kid under contract playing overseas.

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12-12-2010, 12:03 PM
  #150
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It's a matter of speculation of Lombardi's contract is one of the few that are insured by the team. The CBA talks about career ending disability insurance along with life/health/dental ... not the contract protection that the team had on Sullivan's contract. Unless you've found something there besides what is in article 23 that I've missed.
I think it's in Section 23.7 There is a blurb about short term coverages with a 90 day grace period. I'm searching but I have to reload acrobat because the search function is failing.

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