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Did Eller Really Play Tougher Minutes Than Desharnais?

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Old
08-19-2012, 10:50 AM
  #1
DAChampion
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Did Eller Really Play Tougher Minutes Than Desharnais?

I was looking up some stats to find out who gets babied and who gets challenged among the Habs centers, so I used the website "BehindTheNet.ca" which keeps tracks of the quality of competition and such.

They report a statistic called Corsi QoC, which is the weighted average quality of their opponents on the ice. A large positive number means tough opponents, a large negative number means weak opponents. I found the following for the Habs centers (for 5 on 5 play):

Plekanec: 0.727
Eller: 0.429
Desharnais: 0.007
Nokelainen: -0.021
Gomez: -0.820

The numbers are similar for another statistic called "Relative Corsi QoC" but I'm not sure what the difference is. Note that these numbers include whatever fraction of the time these players played on the wing. For comparison, Josh Gorges scored 1.068, whereas Chris Campoli scored -0.494.

I knew that Desharnais needed privileges to become the 20th most productive center in the NHL (best linemates on the team, 3 minutes a game of PP time, tons of offensive zone starts, no PK responsibilities), and I knew he got weaker competition than Plekanec, but I had no idea his opposition was weaker than that of Eller.

Two questions:

1) Is there some loophole I don't know about, or did Eller actually play substantially tougher minutes than Desharnais?
2) Given that Eller is apparently playing very tough minutes, should we reassess a common view among Habs fans that this player is not working out and that he may simply be a 3rd liner at best?

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08-19-2012, 10:57 AM
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Eller is defensively mature for his age, we didn't need stats to show us that, he was consistently used against tougher opposition, we saw this, Martin and Cunneyworth even expressed that this was his role.

As for being a 3rd line centre only, we need to remember that he didn't have the best of wingers and had almost zero PP time the entire year. I wouldn't write him off from being a top 6 center any time soon. He is still developing and has shown great things compared to his first season. The only problem is that with Plekanec, Galchenyuk and Desharnais, I doubt Eller ever gets a chance to shine unless this year one of Plekanec or Desharnais go down for a lenthy period of time while Galchenyuk is in junior.

It's a real shame because Eller is a good player and will probably end up being shipped off because of a numbers game. I'm going to get ragged on, but I don't care, assuming Galchenyuk develops well, I'd rather move Desharnais to the wing or ship him off before I would Eller.

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08-19-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Eller is defensively mature for his age, we didn't need stats to show us that, he was consistently used against tougher opposition, we saw this, Martin and Cunneyworth even expressed that this was his role.

As for being a 3rd line centre only, we need to remember that he didn't have the best of wingers and had almost zero PP time the entire year. I wouldn't write him off from being a top 6 center any time soon. He is still developing and has shown great things compared to his first season. The only problem is that with Plekanec, Galchenyuk and Desharnais, I doubt Eller ever gets a chance to shine unless this year one of Plekanec or Desharnais go down for a lenthy period of time while Galchenyuk is in junior.

It's a real shame because Eller is a good player and will probably end up being shipped off because of a numbers game. I'm going to get ragged on, but I don't care, assuming Galchenyuk develops well, I'd rather move Desharnais to the wing or ship him off before I would Eller .
Why would you? The majority of this board has dimissed DD already. The OP has brought it up several occasions himself.

I actually think his question 2 was referring to DD not Eller.

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08-19-2012, 11:12 AM
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I think this shows how useless these type of stats are in hockey, it is not like baseball where one on one match-ups occur. If you have only one line scoring, it is obvious that their center will be mached up against weaker opponents as opposite coaches use their best shutdown guys against them. In general Desharnais played against 3rd liners, Eller against 2nd liners, and Plekanec against 1st liners as the stats you quoted show. If another line had also produced then Desharnais may have been matched up against the opponents 2nd line and his stats would change. In short I think it was not so much him playing sheltered minutes, but rather a victim of both his success and coaches inability to preent thes match-ups.

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08-19-2012, 11:21 AM
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I don't analyse the stats the way some on these boards do. I've relied mainly on what I see during the games and what I see in Eller is a talented, young player who hasn't gained the confidence yet to thrive as a Top-6 player. We must remember that he's 2-3 years younger than DD and hasn't been relied upon to do certain things just yet.

Hopefully, Bergevin stands pat with his centermen for the time being until Eller gains that confidence. All this debate is interesting, but there are a lot of factors that go into why and how you trade someone. DD, Eller and Galy will decide before long who will remain in the long run.

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08-19-2012, 11:35 AM
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How does QoC work? Is it like a points and plus/minus type thing? So like Crosby would be A+ competiton where as Pahlsson would be C competition?

Reading this, doesn't is basically say that QoC isn't as big of factor as some people make it out to be.

At one point, it says that Anders Nodl was the 15th hardest player to play against in the entire NHL.

Seems like QoC doesn't really tell a complete story.

nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/23/the-importance-of-quality-of-competition


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08-19-2012, 11:56 AM
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When Martin was couch, the DD line was getting the softest minutes. Plekanec was used as the top checking line, while Eller's line picked up the slack.

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08-19-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
I was looking up some stats to find out who gets babied and who gets challenged among the Habs centers, so I used the website "BehindTheNet.ca" which keeps tracks of the quality of competition and such.

They report a statistic called Corsi QoC, which is the weighted average quality of their opponents on the ice. A large positive number means tough opponents, a large negative number means weak opponents. I found the following for the Habs centers (for 5 on 5 play):

Plekanec: 0.727
Eller: 0.429
Desharnais: 0.007
Nokelainen: -0.021
Gomez: -0.820

The numbers are similar for another statistic called "Relative Corsi QoC" but I'm not sure what the difference is. Note that these numbers include whatever fraction of the time these players played on the wing. For comparison, Josh Gorges scored 1.068, whereas Chris Campoli scored -0.494.

I knew that Desharnais needed privileges to become the 20th most productive center in the NHL (best linemates on the team, 3 minutes a game of PP time, tons of offensive zone starts, no PK responsibilities), and I knew he got weaker competition than Plekanec, but I had no idea his opposition was weaker than that of Eller.

Two questions:

1) Is there some loophole I don't know about, or did Eller actually play substantially tougher minutes than Desharnais?
2) Given that Eller is apparently playing very tough minutes, should we reassess a common view among Habs fans that this player is not working out and that he may simply be a 3rd liner at best?
I don't see this as being a common theme among Habs fans. You don't even have to argue that he only has offensive 'potential' if you look at the goals he scored this past year.

The only players on the team to score more goals than Lars Eller in 2011-2012 were: Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, and Tomas Plekanec. The only players to score more ES goals were Cole and Pacioretty. Eller accomplished this with less ice time (15:18) than Cole/Pacioretty/Plekanec (18:31/18:15/20:45), less PP time (0:39) vs (3:15/3:10:3:05), playing against tougher competition (except for Plekanec, as seen in Corsi stats) and often times with crappy line mates of his own.

I argue that Eller is already a fantastic 3rd line center that could be serviceable on the 2nd line, and still has the potential to grow.

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08-19-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeCB View Post
How does QoC work? Is it like a points and plus/minus type thing? So like Crosby would be A+ competiton where as Pahlsson would be C competition?

Reading this, doesn't is basically say that QoC isn't as big of factor as some people make it out to be.

At one point, it says that Anders Nodl was the 15th hardest player to play against in the entire NHL.

Seems like QoC doesn't really tell a complete story.

nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/23/the-importance-of-quality-of-competition
Pretty sure that article got torn to shreds by Gab Desjardins, he's pretty much the king of stats in hockey

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08-19-2012, 12:20 PM
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It's kinda normal, no? You play to your strengths.

DD can't defend for ****, but he can produce points. Plekanec and Eller are both better two way players. So by letting them take on harder minutes, you give yourself a better chance (albeit one that landed us last in the East).

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08-19-2012, 12:25 PM
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Eller played the first 30-ish games of the season against other teams' top lines with Moen/Kostitsyn on his wings. He's been the best defensive forward on the team since the 2011 playoffs IMO.

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08-19-2012, 12:29 PM
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Eller played the first 30-ish games of the season against other teams' top lines with Moen/Kostitsyn on his wings. He's been the best defensive forward on the team since the 2011 playoffs IMO.
He's up there, but it's still pleks by a fair margin.

I prefer Eller to DD long term, if we can only employ one, I'd go with Lars without question. Don't see why we have to pick between them, but some seem to suggest we need to move one, I don't agree, but if so, Eller stays imo.

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08-19-2012, 01:16 PM
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Eller is defensively mature for his age, we didn't need stats to show us that, he was consistently used against tougher opposition, we saw this, Martin and Cunneyworth even expressed that this was his role.

As for being a 3rd line centre only, we need to remember that he didn't have the best of wingers and had almost zero PP time the entire year. I wouldn't write him off from being a top 6 center any time soon. He is still developing and has shown great things compared to his first season. The only problem is that with Plekanec, Galchenyuk and Desharnais, I doubt Eller ever gets a chance to shine unless this year one of Plekanec or Desharnais go down for a lenthy period of time while Galchenyuk is in junior.

It's a real shame because Eller is a good player and will probably end up being shipped off because of a numbers game. I'm going to get ragged on, but I don't care, assuming Galchenyuk develops well, I'd rather move Desharnais to the wing or ship him off before I would Eller.
Eller got to 16 goals in tough situations. Other than AK for less than half a year, he never played with offensive players.
Not that I think he'd have done better than DD, there's really no way of knowing that, but I think we'd be wasting his talent away if we didn't give him a chance at the top 6.
Now this is subjective but I also think Eller might have been the forward with the most missed opportunity to convert chances into goals. A lot of them seemed to be him simply not being patient enough and rushing to shoot.

I'm fully confident in Eller's potential, but we need to give him a chance.

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08-19-2012, 01:25 PM
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Eller got to 16 goals in tough situations. Other than AK for less than half a year, he never played with offensive players.
Not that I think he'd have done better than DD, there's really no way of knowing that, but I think we'd be wasting his talent away if we didn't give him a chance at the top 6.
Now this is subjective but I also think Eller might have been the forward with the most missed opportunity to convert chances into goals. A lot of them seemed to be him simply not being patient enough and rushing to shoot.

I'm fully confident in Eller's potential, but we need to give him a chance.

Agreed, I hate the old cliches, but with eller, it seemed more like a "gripping the stick to type of misses" lol, hate those sayings, but, with him, I think it's somewhat true, when he got the opportunities it seemed like he was overly anxious and excited about scoring that he ended up missing, I don't think it's a lack of finish, I think it might have been a lack of confidence, due to being benched and jut an overall sign of someone who's still young trying desperately to impress his management and those around him. I think Eller will be a 20-25 goal type with Pleks like defense.

I really, really, really like Eller alot.

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08-19-2012, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Two questions:

1) Is there some loophole I don't know about, or did Eller actually play substantially tougher minutes than Desharnais?
2) Given that Eller is apparently playing very tough minutes, should we reassess a common view among Habs fans that this player is not working out and that he may simply be a 3rd liner at best?
The only thing it tells us is that Eller had mostly defensive duties and he did quite well, while Desharnais had offensive duties and he did quite well.

This Desharnais/Eller debate is so annoying.

Do you realize that with the stats you use, you could also argue that given Moen (1,6) had way tougher opponents than Cole (-0.017), we shouldn't think Moen can't be more than a 3rd line player and that Cole's success was only due to him being placed in a more offensive situation than Cole?

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08-19-2012, 02:29 PM
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Again, what I wonder with QoC...

Those stats do not tell us how good DEFENSIVELY were the guys against whom the Pax/Cole/DD played. I can't remember who brought the Sami Pahlsson point, but that's clearly a case where QoC is somewhat counter-productive.

By that metric, a guy like Jussi Jokinen (or any guy who is offensively-competent, but not exactly the best thing since sliced bread, and not that great defensively) would score higher than a guy like Pahlsson, yet, it's probably much tougher to play against Sami Pahlsson than against J.Jokinen. And since Jokinen isn't THAT great, well, a player who ends being matched up against a 2nd-tier offensive player probably has an easier task than the one up against Pahlsson, especially as far as scoring is concerned.

Oh, back to Eller. Please, don't move him to wing. Down the road, he's probably the one (not DD, not Galchenyuk) who would make the better replacement for Plekanec -- ie, a guy able to score 20, play good-to-very-good defense and who doesn't own terrific on-ice vision.

DD? Whether he's a winger or a center long-term is up in the air. Ironically, DD would make a great partner to Eller. Or could end up being our version of Daniel Brière (3rd line with big bodies but PP duties). Or he could actually end up having an even better season than last year.

Oh, and while we're at it... SHould the Sedins be relegated to 2nd line duties?


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08-19-2012, 03:32 PM
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Desharnais vs Eller is turning into another Higgins vs Sergei Kostitsyn and Price vs Halak. It's getting old.

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08-19-2012, 04:22 PM
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Eller did quite well in his role too. I wouldn't say he has only third line centre potential, but with Galchenyuk coming up(if he reaches his potential), Plekanec already established as a top two guy, Desharnais, who I'd say has better vision and passing than Eller, it will be tough for him to get a spot as a first/second line centre unless he is heads and shoulders better than the rest.

I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing. If Eller continues to improve, we could possibly have a 20 goal third line centre, who can match up against other teams top lines.

To the people dismissing the QoC stat, like every other stat, it's there to help you draw a complete picture of a player. If you're drawing a conclusion based on one stat line, you're doing it wrong.

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08-19-2012, 04:35 PM
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Eller did quite well in his role too. I wouldn't say he has only third line centre potential, but with Galchenyuk coming up(if he reaches his potential), Plekanec already established as a top two guy, Desharnais, who I'd say has better vision and passing than Eller, it will be tough for him to get a spot as a first/second line centre unless he is heads and shoulders better than the rest.

I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing. If Eller continues to improve, we could possibly have a 20 goal third line centre, who can match up against other teams top lines.

To the people dismissing the QoC stat, like every other stat, it's there to help you draw a complete picture of a player. If you're drawing a conclusion based on one stat line, you're doing it wrong.
I don't think we'll have all four centers here at the same time. Maybe just for one year, to ease Gally in, if need be, but otherwise chances are we'll move at least one.

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08-19-2012, 04:39 PM
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http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/8/17/time...r-all-30-teams

This article should shed some light on the matter

Hint: Desharnais' minutes weren't "easier" than Eller's.

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08-19-2012, 04:46 PM
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Why would you? The majority of this board has dimissed DD already. The OP has brought it up several occasions himself.

I actually think his question 2 was referring to DD not Eller.
No, question 2 was referring to Eller as is written in question #2.

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08-19-2012, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Again, what I wonder with QoC...

Those stats do not tell us how good DEFENSIVELY were the guys against whom the Pax/Cole/DD played. I can't remember who brought the Sami Pahlsson point, but that's clearly a case where QoC is somewhat counter-productive.

By that metric, a guy like Jussi Jokinen (or any guy who is offensively-competent, but not exactly the best thing since sliced bread, and not that great defensively) would score higher than a guy like Pahlsson, yet, it's probably much tougher to play against Sami Pahlsson than against J.Jokinen. And since Jokinen isn't THAT great, well, a player who ends being matched up against a 2nd-tier offensive player probably has an easier task than the one up against Pahlsson, especially as far as scoring is concerned.

Oh, back to Eller. Please, don't move him to wing. Down the road, he's probably the one (not DD, not Galchenyuk) who would make the better replacement for Plekanec -- ie, a guy able to score 20, play good-to-very-good defense and who doesn't own terrific on-ice vision.

DD? Whether he's a winger or a center long-term is up in the air. Ironically, DD would make a great partner to Eller. Or could end up being our version of Daniel Brière (3rd line with big bodies but PP duties). Or he could actually end up having an even better season than last year.

Oh, and while we're at it... SHould the Sedins be relegated to 2nd line duties?
It doesn't matter how good defensively the opposing player was playing that given night, because for every lack of defensive play, there is surplus on defensive play on another night. So only thing that is debatable is the size of the sample, if there is enough data for the data to average out and how the data is taken. Given the benefit of the doubt that the guys behind the stats have average to advancing experience and or knowledge of hockey, their data gathering plus the statistical toll would give us a better picture then just relying on memory, which others have said many times, and is very observable, is influenced by bias, our belief system (given that we are fans, we are fanatical, meaning we use belief as an observational tool of the game.)

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08-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/8/17/time...r-all-30-teams

This article should shed some light on the matter

Hint: Desharnais' minutes weren't "easier" than Eller's.
http://the6thsens.com/PlayerUsageCharts2011-12.pdf

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08-19-2012, 07:13 PM
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Thanks for posting that.

I've clearly been underrating Ryan White :-)

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08-19-2012, 07:44 PM
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Again, what I wonder with QoC...

Those stats do not tell us how good DEFENSIVELY were the guys against whom the Pax/Cole/DD played. I can't remember who brought the Sami Pahlsson point, but that's clearly a case where QoC is somewhat counter-productive.

By that metric, a guy like Jussi Jokinen (or any guy who is offensively-competent, but not exactly the best thing since sliced bread, and not that great defensively) would score higher than a guy like Pahlsson, yet, it's probably much tougher to play against Sami Pahlsson than against J.Jokinen. And since Jokinen isn't THAT great, well, a player who ends being matched up against a 2nd-tier offensive player probably has an easier task than the one up against Pahlsson, especially as far as scoring is concerned.

Oh, back to Eller. Please, don't move him to wing. Down the road, he's probably the one (not DD, not Galchenyuk) who would make the better replacement for Plekanec -- ie, a guy able to score 20, play good-to-very-good defense and who doesn't own terrific on-ice vision.

DD? Whether he's a winger or a center long-term is up in the air. Ironically, DD would make a great partner to Eller. Or could end up being our version of Daniel Brière (3rd line with big bodies but PP duties). Or he could actually end up having an even better season than last year.

Oh, and while we're at it... SHould the Sedins be relegated to 2nd line duties?
QoC stats don't focus so much on difficulty of scoring a point, they're focused on difficulty of winning a matchup.

So it may be harder to get points against a Pahlsson than a Jokinen, but because a Jokinen can score on you back it can be harder to get a good goal differential than against a Pahlsson.

That said it takes quite a bit of a gap for a QoC stat to really get significant, in general Eller's and Desharnais lines tended to be 2nd or 3rd in level of forward opponent most nights while Plekanec was usually the clear shutdown guy. Although Eller did get some nights as the primary shutdown center. Eller's role shifted quite a bit at times depending on his linemates as well.

Also Cunneyworth wasn't nearly as strong at managing matchups as Martin was, which became a factor towards the end of the season.

Desharnais did attract better defenseman opposition though.


Note on Eric T's chart from NHLNumbers, its a little misleading because two dots that should be around Plekanec (Cammalleri+Gionta) are missing those were the top level of competition guys for the Habs. Kostitsyn would be around where Moen is also.

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