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Top Defensive Forwards So Far This Year

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Old
01-14-2011, 08:43 AM
  #1
lstcyr
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Top Defensive Forwards So Far This Year

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1868922/

Yikes. Look who's number 6!!!

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01-14-2011, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by lstcyr View Post
hes been having a good year while in the lineup

you can tell bc there isnt 20 fans here every night trowing him under the bus

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01-14-2011, 09:28 AM
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and Joel at number 11; we all keep saying we understand him going elsewhere next year but that analysis would objectively tell us the impact of that is gonna' be maybe more than we realize.

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01-14-2011, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Predsrule View Post
hes been having a good year while in the lineup

you can tell bc there isnt 20 fans here every night trowing him under the bus
Give them time. As soon as he stops producing there are a few who will come back to post more often.

Anyway, I know it isn't a real award or anything, but congrats to Leggy for at least being recognized. By a paper that hates our team no less.

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01-15-2011, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by deanwormer View Post
and Joel at number 11; we all keep saying we understand him going elsewhere next year but that analysis would objectively tell us the impact of that is gonna' be maybe more than we realize.
Maybe. Except if you look at the same stats the writer uses and at the GVT, the overall number that attempts to include everything, including offense, to determine the value of a player, Ward is our lowest ranking forward on the team except for Dumont and Spaling. He's behind Smithson and Tootoo in that metric.

I looked at that writers ranking of "defensive defensemen" and was surprised to see Shea edge out Ryan. Weber was 7th in his rankings and Suter was 8th. Pretty good though, for both.

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01-15-2011, 07:14 PM
  #6
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No surprise to me. Leggy has always been an amazing 2 way player, regardless if his offensive game isnt consistent because his defense is incredible.

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01-16-2011, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
Give them time. As soon as he stops producing there are a few who will come back to post more often.
I'll bite. First off, I don't think anyone has said Leggy isn't usually good defensive forward. Main point is he's usually doesn't generate offense. Not surprisingly, coming off his first point streak in years, we are seeing posts of how valuable he is to the team. A lot easier to say now, than when he's on a 40 game goal drought.

As for this list... A few points: 1) Many of the games best 2-way players, such as Datysuk, B. Richards, M. Richards, etc, can't even be considered for "the list" because they are often playing against "low quality competition" (defensive forwards), which ironically are many of the players on the list. 2) It doesn't take into consideration the other 4 players on the ice. In our case, usually our two best dmen (Suter, Weber) are pairing against the "high quality" competition. So a team like Ottawa, that has suspect goaltending, it's not a fair measuring stick for defensive ability of forwards. Or a team like Columbus without a 1st defensive pair. Similar flaws as +/-.

Finally, let's assume this list is an accurate measurement of "good defensive ability." What is the going rate for this skill?

1 BROOKS LAICH WSH $2m
2 GREG CAMPBELL BOS $1.1m
3 TOMAS PLEKANEC $5m (hasn't scored less than 20g since his rookie year)
4 MATT COOKE PIT $1.8m
5 MAXIME TALBOT PIT $1m
6 DAVID LEGWAND NSH $4.5m (one season over 20g in 11 years)
7 ALEX BURROWS VAN $2m
8 JONATHAN TOEW CHI $6.3m (Conn-Smythe winner)
9 JANNIK HANSEN VAN $.8m
10 JEFF HALPERN MTL $.6m
11 JOEL WARD NSH 1.5
12 MARTIN HANZAL PHX 1.8
13 DANA TYRELL T.B .8m
14 CHRIS HIGGINS FLA 1.6m
15 BRIAN BOYLE NYR .5m
16 FERNANDO PISANI CHI .5m
17 JOSH BAILEY NYI 1.4m
18 MARTY REASONER FLA 1.1m
19 RADEK DVORAK FLA 1.7m
20 MATT CULLEN MIN 3.5m

So, two players on the list make more than Legwand (one being a Conn Smythe winner-- who's been put in shut role with Hossa at times).

Average Salary of the list: 2m
Average (without Towes): 1.79m

By my count, Legwand is still overpaid by 1-2million. 1m if it's a 'decent year' for him.. 2m if its a year like last year with 40 game goal droughts.

That being said, it's been nice that he's stepped it up since he came back from injury and has helped generate some offense. Lets hope he keeps it up.

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01-16-2011, 05:24 PM
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triggrman
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Asking Dulz to be unbiased on Legwand is like asking me to be fair to Boullion.

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01-17-2011, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by triggrman View Post
Asking Dulz to be unbiased on Legwand is like asking me to be fair to Boullion.
Funny thing is, his position on this particular topic was backed up and a lucid thought process was used. I give him/her props for that.

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01-17-2011, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Funny thing is, his position on this particular topic was backed up and a lucid thought process was used. I give him/her props for that.
Are you saying mine on Boullion aren't?

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01-17-2011, 01:52 PM
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Are you saying mine on Boullion aren't?
Nope. It was the first time that I can remember where Dulz backed up his point about Legwand. He used stats and salary to make a point and he did it without coming across as a Legwand hater. Can't argue with what he stated. I could but not going to.

Your stuff on Bouillon is fine. Doesn't bother me in the least.

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01-17-2011, 03:30 PM
  #12
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Just messing with you. I agree Dulz did a good job here.

and boullion does suck.


Legwand is frustrating to me. Some nights he can be one of the best players on the ice, others you don't even notice him. And he does make way to much to be a defensive specialists, but it's not my money and I am glad he's on our team.

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01-18-2011, 10:55 AM
  #13
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Good points, Dulz. I, for one, can say I've always maintained Legwand's value to this club. I know I did so during his offensive droughts because I've always thought of him as valuable, and he has had several such droughts. Also the salary bit has been beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten to death again. Sometimes you get a deal, sometimes you overpay, and sometimes it's fair value. It's the way it goes. Still it's a fair post.

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Legwand is frustrating to me. Some nights he can be one of the best players on the ice, others you don't even notice him. And he does make way to much to be a defensive specialists, but it's not my money and I am glad he's on our team.
I think a lot of us share this frustration. For what he consistently brings to the ice (defensive acumen) he is definitely overpaid. He does have the ability to step it up offensively. I'm not sure if it's something he can only for short periods, if he thinks that he needs to stick to defense first and only create offense when the team needs it/he sees an opportunity, or if it's the way he's being asked to play. The latter seems pretty weak. If I were a coach I don't think I could ask a forward to tone down the offense in order to focus on defense unless said player has absolutely no offensive skill (Smithson). On the other hand, I'm not a coach and for good reason. Trotz did play him on a Ward/Smithson line basically all of last season. Vocalized or not, that is essentially asking him to tone down the offense to focus on defense. This year he's being given ice time with offensive guys. Due to injury or not, he is being used in a different role and it looks like he's taking on that role just fine.

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01-18-2011, 11:45 AM
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I'd much rather they pay Legwand what he's making than pay Erat what he's making.

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01-18-2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
Good points, Dulz. I, for one, can say I've always maintained Legwand's value to this club. I know I did so during his offensive droughts because I've always thought of him as valuable, and he has had several such droughts. Also the salary bit has been beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten to death again. Sometimes you get a deal, sometimes you overpay, and sometimes it's fair value. It's the way it goes. Still it's a fair post.



I think a lot of us share this frustration. For what he consistently brings to the ice (defensive acumen) he is definitely overpaid. He does have the ability to step it up offensively. I'm not sure if it's something he can only for short periods, if he thinks that he needs to stick to defense first and only create offense when the team needs it/he sees an opportunity, or if it's the way he's being asked to play. The latter seems pretty weak. If I were a coach I don't think I could ask a forward to tone down the offense in order to focus on defense unless said player has absolutely no offensive skill (Smithson). On the other hand, I'm not a coach and for good reason. Trotz did play him on a Ward/Smithson line basically all of last season. Vocalized or not, that is essentially asking him to tone down the offense to focus on defense. This year he's being given ice time with offensive guys. Due to injury or not, he is being used in a different role and it looks like he's taking on that role just fine.
There is little disagreement from me. If he was paid, 2.5m it would be a perfect fit for a defensive role with "occasional" offense. The more frustrating part is he's rarely willing to go in high traffic areas and get involved in the physical game (see playoffs last year for an exception, also his career year). Ironically, that's usually when his offensive game upicks up. A guy like Arnott gets reamed for this, but it's rarely mentioned with Legwand.

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01-18-2011, 01:17 PM
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Arnott, justifiably or not, turned into a whipping boy, and he had little other redeeming quality outside of his offense. He would get reamed because he was here for offense and leadership. He liked to stay in the same spot, which wouldn't have been a problem if he had linemates who didn't just post up, too. Legwand gets a pass because he has other qualities to his game. It was easy to look at Arnott and think "getting old, doesn't play to his size, soft, lazy, leadership is gone, etc" while Legwand has consistently been seen as one of those heart guys on the team. Like him or hate him, he will play until someone forces him to stop. I like that in any player.

I think Legwand brings so much to this team that those of us on the outside looking in don't get an opportunity to see. The guy is the definition of a Nashville Predator. Like it or not, we are a team that wins games when we hussle, play responsible in our own end, and get some timely offense. That basically sums up David Legwand's entire career.

Anyway, this debate will go on until Leggy is traded, signs with another team, or retires. In my experience the longer it goes on the less constructive it becomes, but so far so good this time. I'll try to keep it that way if everyone else does

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01-18-2011, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
The guy is the definition of a Nashville Predator. Like it or not, we are a team that wins games when we hussle, play responsible in our own end, and get some timely offense. That basically sums up David Legwand's entire career.
Agree to some extent (low offense, responsible in our own end) defines us. But, it's also a reason why we haven't gotten out of the 46th percentile. We don't have enough offensive, and our forwards (with a couple of exceptions) don't consistently battle in the high traffic areas.

We need a bigger definition if we want to get out 46th percentile.

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01-18-2011, 02:53 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by dulzhok View Post
I'll bite. First off, I don't think anyone has said Leggy isn't usually good defensive forward. Main point is he's usually doesn't generate offense. Not surprisingly, coming off his first point streak in years, we are seeing posts of how valuable he is to the team. A lot easier to say now, than when he's on a 40 game goal drought.

As for this list... A few points: 1) Many of the games best 2-way players, such as Datysuk, B. Richards, M. Richards, etc, can't even be considered for "the list" because they are often playing against "low quality competition" (defensive forwards), which ironically are many of the players on the list. 2) It doesn't take into consideration the other 4 players on the ice. In our case, usually our two best dmen (Suter, Weber) are pairing against the "high quality" competition. So a team like Ottawa, that has suspect goaltending, it's not a fair measuring stick for defensive ability of forwards. Or a team like Columbus without a 1st defensive pair. Similar flaws as +/-.

Finally, let's assume this list is an accurate measurement of "good defensive ability." What is the going rate for this skill?

1 BROOKS LAICH WSH $2m
2 GREG CAMPBELL BOS $1.1m
3 TOMAS PLEKANEC $5m (hasn't scored less than 20g since his rookie year)
4 MATT COOKE PIT $1.8m
5 MAXIME TALBOT PIT $1m
6 DAVID LEGWAND NSH $4.5m (one season over 20g in 11 years)
7 ALEX BURROWS VAN $2m
8 JONATHAN TOEW CHI $6.3m (Conn-Smythe winner)
9 JANNIK HANSEN VAN $.8m
10 JEFF HALPERN MTL $.6m
11 JOEL WARD NSH 1.5
12 MARTIN HANZAL PHX 1.8
13 DANA TYRELL T.B .8m
14 CHRIS HIGGINS FLA 1.6m
15 BRIAN BOYLE NYR .5m
16 FERNANDO PISANI CHI .5m
17 JOSH BAILEY NYI 1.4m
18 MARTY REASONER FLA 1.1m
19 RADEK DVORAK FLA 1.7m
20 MATT CULLEN MIN 3.5m

So, two players on the list make more than Legwand (one being a Conn Smythe winner-- who's been put in shut role with Hossa at times).

Average Salary of the list: 2m
Average (without Towes): 1.79m

By my count, Legwand is still overpaid by 1-2million. 1m if it's a 'decent year' for him.. 2m if its a year like last year with 40 game goal droughts.

That being said, it's been nice that he's stepped it up since he came back from injury and has helped generate some offense. Lets hope he keeps it up.
Dulz did a good job here, but I do have a couple of issues here.

The first bolded part above implies that a line of Toews and Hossa played a strict shutdown role when paired together. Unless it's the end of the game where everyone is playing to do nothing than to protect a lead (minute amount of time), that's just never going to happen. Those two guys are not only elite-level defensive forwards, they are elite-level offensive forwards. You don't get one side without the other with those two and had each other to work with.

No one believes that Legwand is on the same level as either Toews or Hossa. Which brings me to the second bolded part. Since coming back from injury, Legwand has centered Wilson, Hornqvist/Erat, and Svatos. The fact that all have increased their output in that time is no coincidence, including Legwand. All of those guys are finishers. It's no wonder that he's producing better than when he had Smithson and Ward on his wings prior to his injury (and all of last season). Keep players like that on his wings for the rest of the year, and I fully expect him to contribute significant offense with no real threat to Nashville's overall team defense. That said, he's not a PPG player. With players like Wilson, Hornqvist, Svatos on his wing for a full season, I'd fully expect Legwand to put up roughly 60-65 points- which would be ok for his salary (maybe slightly low).

I think we can all agree that Legwand is slightly overpaid for the numbers for the numbers he produces. I also think that there should be no doubt that he is the only player on the team that is shuffled from one extreme role to the other and does produce in each role.

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01-18-2011, 03:02 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by dulzhok View Post
Agree to some extent (low offense, responsible in our own end) defines us. But, it's also a reason why we haven't gotten out of the 46th percentile. We don't have enough offensive, and our forwards (with a couple of exceptions) don't consistently battle in the high traffic areas.

We need a bigger definition if we want to get out 46th percentile.
I think this is where patience is the biggest key. We took a huge step back after Leipold's bungling of the team itself and the sale before splitting for Minnesota. I also think Poile and Trotz are just now seeing the core of this team getting closer to what they want. Couple an improvement of the personnel with a more stable organization and increasing support from fans old and new alike, and I think we could see some great things in the coming years. We have one of the most well-run organizations from top to bottom in the entire league now. With everything finally working in unison I'd wager it's exactly the time to stay the course rather than making any big changes. It isn't the sexy course, but in time I think it'll prove to be the right one.

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01-18-2011, 06:58 PM
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I think comparing Arnott and Legwand's games is silly. Two different styles for one. Secondly, Arnott is huge. He's what 6'4" and 225 lbs whereas Legwand is 6'1" and pushing 200 lbs? Arnott is a big body guy yet he plays the perimeter. We didn't get him to play the outside, we got him to go to the net. Maybe it was a mistake or bad scouting on our part to think he'd change his style but he wasn't a banger even with his size. Legwand is along the lines of a Datsyuk/Zetterberg type who use skill and speed. To say Legwand should be a banger is a bit out of character. It's not his style at all, never was, never will be.

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01-18-2011, 10:49 PM
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. To say Legwand should be a banger is a bit out of character. It's not his style at all, never was, never will be.
He doesn't have the size to be a "banger", but he does have the will-power to decide to go into high traffic areas, as did Arnott. His will-power in this area seems to be higher in the playoffs, and contract years.

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01-19-2011, 09:05 AM
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You do realize that Legwand has to stay in a position to be able to get back into the back check at any time, so getting tangled up in front of the net is counterproductive... and since Kariya left he's been lined with players who already do that (Ward, Smithson, Hornqvist). Sacrificing our ability to control another team's break out is totally worth it so one disgruntled fan can see Legwand take a cross check to the back once or twice.

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01-19-2011, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dulzhok View Post
There is little disagreement from me. If he was paid, 2.5m it would be a perfect fit for a defensive role with "occasional" offense. The more frustrating part is he's rarely willing to go in high traffic areas and get involved in the physical game (see playoffs last year for an exception, also his career year). Ironically, that's usually when his offensive game upicks up. A guy like Arnott gets reamed for this, but it's rarely mentioned with Legwand.
Please - Leggy is worth soooooo much more than Arnott. Arnott brings one thing to the game - a very good mid-range shot. Virtually any other aspect of the game you can criticize - no physicality for his size, lack of D, whatever. In the end, Arnott isn't criticized for any, or even all of those things - he's criticized for appearing not to care/hustle/lead.

The only thing people consistently criticize Legwand for is inconsistent scoring. All the rest he brings in spades - and if you're arguing any of that, you're just not watching the game. Do we need him to score - yes. Does he have the tools to score - looks like it. Is that his game - would not appear to be after all these years.

At some point I gotta' say "so what"? What is the impact of Leggy not scoring as highly or consistently as we'd like? We got Lombardi - who we expected to bring a bit more - and he's missed the season and may be out for his career. Arnott - see above. Orly - showed some stuff at the start of the season and cooled off - we'll see what happens when he's back. Goc - plays good D, but comparing most parts of his game to Leggy's Leggy wins pretty easily.

Guys we've had before - Johnson, whoever - any really better? It's nice to look around the league and go "oh, we should get him" but you know what - how many guys that are truly an improvement over Leggy - his entire impact - are you gonna' find to center us for less than he makes? Sure, higher scorers maybe - but you give up in many other areas - do you net out better off? Poile has tried twice - Arnott and Lombardi - I think you'd be hard-pressed to say those were improvements - maybe Arny's one year, but not his overall impact.

JP isn't physical, doesn't go to the high-traffic areas, makes money in Leggy's neighborhood - a better buy? More points over his tenure, but again, the rest of his game - with the exception of the passing/setup of linemates - doesn't measure up to Leggy.

What it amounts to is Preds aren't paying elite player money to someone up front (exception over the entire franchise history is PK) - we're spreading that risk around. The intangibles, the solid D, etc. - those are the things that get us to take a particular player over another. Elite money - To Vokuon in the past, to Weber and Suter in the future.

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01-19-2011, 07:11 PM
  #24
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JP isn't physical, doesn't go to the high-traffic areas, makes money in Leggy's neighborhood - a better buy? .
Both are overpaid, and likely untradeble because of their contract.

And I didn't say Legwand was like Arnott. I said one aspect is similar-- a low will-power to go into high traffic areas. Legwand is a better player offensive when he's willing to get dirty-- eventhough it may mean he gets pushed around a lot.

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