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HeroStats - Grabovski, #1 or #2 C.

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11-24-2012, 11:21 AM
  #1
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HeroStats - Grabovski, #1 or #2 C.


"Grabovski is not a 1st line C"
"He's a number 2 on a stanley cup team"
"5.5 mill is a bit much for what Grabovski brings to the table"

I've heard things like this a lot on the forums, and began wondering how good and how valuable Grabovski actually is. If it wasn't for him and Kessel having a hard time playing with each other, would Grabovski be playing on the 1st line? And how would he fair?

So I thought I'd begin by taking a slightly more in depth look at Grabovski's stats and what exactly he brings to the table. I'll start with the easier part, offence.

LEGEND
1A - Scoring Rate
1B - Other Scoring Variables (PP min, Mins, Linemates)
2A - Defensive use
2B - Other Variables



1A: Scoring Rate

Now for how capable a player is offensively you need to look at two things a) how much did they score (so just looking at how many points he scored) and b) how much harder/easier was it for him to score than other players (how many minutes was he given, how many of those were on the PK, who was he on the ice against)

Comparative Totals

I decided to look at the last two years combined, since I think it's been these past two seasons we've seen Grabovski bring his game to a new level.

Grabovski has scored...

52 goals (43rd in NHL forwards in goals per game)
57 assists (86th in NHL forwards in assists per game)
109 points (75th in NHL forwards in points per game)

Looking at his stats in isolation of the league, we see something we already knew, Grabovski is a shoot first, pass second type of guy. He's not a play maker, but he's not a 100% pure sniper either. He is more likely to shoot but is capable of making a pass.

With 30 teams, each with three 1st liners, we can assume the league has 90 1st line players. Now some teams are blessed with more than that, some teams with less than that, but trying to count how many 1st liners the NHL has can turn more into a game of semantics than actual hockey analysis. So if we go by the top 90 approach it can make things cleaner.

Now we can see that it is very safe to say, that in every possible way, offensively, Grabovski is a 1st line forward, and when you look at his .34 goals per game, Grabovski is in a tier of goals scorers with names like Lupul, Eriksson, Pavelski, Kunitz, Ryder, Kane, Briere, Pominville, Ladd, Vrbata, Skinner, and Lucic, and that seems to be his general "tier" of scorer when comparing with all forwards. Even though there are some outliers to that, since Datsyuk and Grioux have had lower goal scoring rates than Grabovski and others recently.

Now when you cut the list of goal scorers down to just Centers Grabovski's name flys up the list, to have the 10th more goals and 15th highest goal scoring rate. Which puts Grabovski in the goal scoring tier of Pavelski, Richards, Spezza, E. Staal.

Now one could begin to argue that Grabovski is as capable offensively as Richards and company. But then comes in the matter of assists. Grabovski is 35th among Centers in the league in assists and 49th in assists per game. Which put's him as a mid-high 2nd line C when it comes to play making. This issue with this is one could argue that players with better assist rates such as Steen, Brassard, Peverly and Duchene play with more talented team mates, or it could be that Grabovski just isn't a very capable playmaker. Something we will look at in part 2 of this analysis.

Quote:
Part 1A Conclusion

Goal Scoring Ability: Mid-Level 1st line Center
Playmaking Ability: Mid-Level 2nd line Center


Last edited by Hero: 03-14-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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11-24-2012, 11:22 AM
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Difficulty of him scoring

Now, no two goals are created equal, so to only look at Grabovski's stat line and say he's a 1st or 2nd liner, would be like saying Neal's 40 goals playing with Malkin are better than Kessel's 37 playing with Bozak. So I'll look at a few elements.

A) Line mates
B) PP/PK time
C) Mins/Game
D) Quality of Competition

A) Line Mates

According to http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combos/

Grabovski spent nearly 100% of his time with 2 of 3 wingers, MacArthur, Kulemin and/or Frattin. (The team used him with Ashton for 0.78% of the season, so about half a game)

Other team's 2nd line C's are listed. The names were found using the same site. Three wingers names are listed beside the C from highest frequency of playing with him to lowest.

Grabovski - Kulemin, MacArthur, Frattin
Pavelski - Thornton (was surprised Joe played wing so much this year), Marleau, Couture,
Kesler - Booth, Higgins, Raymond
Briere - Simmonds, Read, JVR
Statsny - Jones, McGinn, Hejduk
S. Koivu - Selanne, Ryan, Hagman
Krejci - Horton, Lucic, Peverly
Sutter - Nodl, Dwyer, Tlusty
Carter - Nash, Prospal, Letestu
Stajan - Kostopolous, Jackman, Iginla
Bolland - Bickell, Frolik, Shaw
Ott - Benn, Ryder, Morrow
Hudler - Zetterberg, Flippula, Abdelkader
M. Richards - Brown, Carter, King

I stopped there, if you feel any key players or stats were omitted let me know, I just don't have enough time to be that meticulous.

I went through and knocked of C who were not in at least the top 40 in scoring the last few seasons combined (Grabo being in the top 15). Leaving us with C's who have put up comparable numbers to Grabovski playing in what can be considered 2nd line or 1B roles, and who their linemates were.

Pavelski - Thornton, Marleau, Couture,
M. Richards - Brown, Carter, King
Carter - Nash, Prospal, Letestu
Krejci - Horton, Lucic, Peverly
Grabovski - Kulemin, MacArthur, Frattin
Kesler - Booth, Higgins, Raymond
Briere - Simmonds, Read, JVR
Statsny - Jones, McGinn, Hejduk

Pavelski, Richards, Carter and Krejci clearly have wingers who are a cut above the other 4. With Grabo's linemates were comparable to Kesler's, Briere's and to a lesser extent Statsny's.

Quote:
Part 1B.1 Conclusion

Quality of wingers: Average or just below average for a 2nd line C, scoring at his rate.

B/C) Mins and PK/PP Mins

Again, I'll need to compare Grabo to some group, since I can't compare his numbers to every C in the league for every stat I need to dig up. So I'll use the same group from above.

Name, ESTOI/G, PP/G, PK/G
Grabovski, 15:13, 2:05, 0:17
Pavelski 15:49, 3:12, 1:34
M. Richards 13:43, 3:06, 2:02
Carter, 15:20, 3:06, 0:44
Krejci, 15:15, 2:26, 0:43
Kesler, 14:35 , 3:28 , 2:00
Briere, 14:05, 3:12, 0:03
Stastny 15:51, 2:21, 0:37

When looking at his comparables. Grabovski get's the least PP time out of all of them, from as little as 20 sec to 1:20 per game. While playing about the same PK time as Briere and Stastny, but a lot less than others like Kesler and Richards.

Quote:
1B.2 Conclusion
Even Strength Time Comparable to players scoring at his rate
PP Time Less than players scoring at his rate
PK Time Less than players scoring at his rate


Last edited by Hero: 11-25-2012 at 11:23 AM.
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11-24-2012, 11:22 AM
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11-24-2012, 11:23 AM
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11-24-2012, 12:39 PM
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He's an excellent even strength player. Hustles like crazy, tonnes of speed, good puck handler and shooter, totally willing to sacrifice the body to make plays, and a dynamic player who can generate offence out of nothing. However, he is only mediocre on the PP (which is more slowed down and cerebral, Grabo's balls to the walls play doesn't make as much of an impact in a set up cycle), and the fact that he's a somewhat puck dominant, shoot first centre means he's not necessarily the best fit with puck dominant, shoot first 1st line wingers (like Kessel).

He'd be an acceptable 1st line centre, but he's a great 2nd line centre. In general the 2nd line centre has a similar role to the 1st line centre, except with more of an ES focus (less PP time), and with worse wingers, and that suits Grabo perfectly. Also, if we moved Grabo up to the 1st line, we'd be a 1 line team, Grabo is really the only reason that our 2nd line is able to consistently generate offence.

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11-24-2012, 12:53 PM
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- He isn't a 1st line center. Or a 2nd liner on a cup team as that's when teams usually have 1B's like Kesler or Pavelski or Zajac that are actually good defensively. And his cap is terrible, with it being comparable to St. Louis, Perry, Tavares, Getzlaf, and even Kessel, but he has no where near that quality of play.
- He would be put on the 1st line, if he was better defensively, a playmaker, and taller/physical.
For your 1st paragraph, that's wrong for B). Look at in depth stats like Rel Corsi which will prove more. And you didn't even talk about your 'point B'.
For the next, that's why they don't play together. Pretty obvious.
And no, there is not 90 1st liners. That's funny if you think that. A 1st liner is suppposed to get AT LEAST 60 points per season, and can produce and make others better. So unless you want to list your top 90, that idea is garbage.
The only one's you can compare him to is Kunitz and Ryder, as the other's have way more parts to their game.
And the thing when comparing play is per game stats. Not total, as there is a lot of injuries taking games out for players. So assists are imo more important for a center to get then goals, so with ~50th is assist ppg, and ~35th in goalscoring, that ranks to about 45th. And once again, those other centers have better intangibles than Grabs.
Steen, Pevs, Duchene and Brassard did not have close to Grabo's linemates, those 4 played 3rd line except for Brassard who only did good in the end.
And you can't make an assumption by yourself. This whole thing was put into Grabovski's favor, as he is average defensively and a bit streaky, and hasn't been shown to produce in pressure games. Plus, center's are usually supposed to be making the plays, and that's why they are the middle man to set up each winger.

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11-24-2012, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan16 View Post
- He isn't a 1st line center. Or a 2nd liner on a cup team as that's when teams usually have 1B's like Kesler or Pavelski or Zajac that are actually good defensively. And his cap is terrible, with it being comparable to St. Louis, Perry, Tavares, Getzlaf, and even Kessel, but he has no where near that quality of play.
- He would be put on the 1st line, if he was better defensively, a playmaker, and taller/physical.
For your 1st paragraph, that's wrong for B). Look at in depth stats like Rel Corsi which will prove more. And you didn't even talk about your 'point B'.
For the next, that's why they don't play together. Pretty obvious.
And no, there is not 90 1st liners. That's funny if you think that. A 1st liner is suppposed to get AT LEAST 60 points per season, and can produce and make others better. So unless you want to list your top 90, that idea is garbage.
The only one's you can compare him to is Kunitz and Ryder, as the other's have way more parts to their game.
And the thing when comparing play is per game stats. Not total, as there is a lot of injuries taking games out for players. So assists are imo more important for a center to get then goals, so with ~50th is assist ppg, and ~35th in goalscoring, that ranks to about 45th. And once again, those other centers have better intangibles than Grabs.
Steen, Pevs, Duchene and Brassard did not have close to Grabo's linemates, those 4 played 3rd line except for Brassard who only did good in the end.
And you can't make an assumption by yourself. This whole thing was put into Grabovski's favor, as he is average defensively and a bit streaky, and hasn't been shown to produce in pressure games. Plus, center's are usually supposed to be making the plays, and that's why they are the middle man to set up each winger.
By that statement, anyone can make up any standard they want for what 1st liner is?

Saying you have to play at an "x" level to be a 1st liner, REGARDLESS of the competition in the league is a bit silly, which is what you are saying.

Say the NHL has no 60+ pt players.

The best player is Malkin and he only puts up 50 pts a season, then is nobody considered a 1st liner?

What if 300 players score over 70 pts a season, then is almost everyone considered a 1st liner?

To make it to the NHL you only have to be better than your competition.

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11-24-2012, 01:03 PM
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Also...

Here's an analogy for you. What you said is like saying

To be a Stanley Cup Champion you need to have over 60 wins, have two wingers who scored 30 goals, and a Defensemen who wins the Norris.

What I said is like saying

To win the Stanley Cup you need to be better than 29 other teams.

- - - - -

Sporting success is measured and has always been measured by relative success. To win the Richard you don't need to score "x" amount of goals, you need to score the most amount of goals.

To be a 1st line player, you don't need to be able to do "x" things, but need to be better than enough other players.

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11-24-2012, 01:24 PM
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I find it funny when people compares Grabo's cap hit to guys who signed contracts when they were RFA's (Kessel, Tavares etc.). He was an impending UFA, you have to pay a bit more.

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11-24-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVR2112 View Post
I find it funny when people compares Grabo's cap hit to guys who signed contracts when they were RFA's (Kessel, Tavares etc.). He was an impending UFA, you have to pay a bit more.
Thank you! Drives me nuts when people say that.

Grabo is a great 2nd liner for us, I love the guy but he's a perfect 3rd liner on cup teams.

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11-24-2012, 03:05 PM
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there's not 90 first line players just like there are not 30 first line centers.

and I really don't understand the comparisons to the entire league ethier, the idea is to win the cup period, the goal is not to be a good team but to be the winner, and so the best way of determining what the proper position a player should be playing is by looking at say the last 10 stanley cup champs and seeing where he would fit on those teams. if Grabo could play for atleast 50% of those teams in the 2nd line role(ie as good or better then the player they had in that position) then he's a 2nd line center if he couldn't then he's not a 2nd line center.

or you can make your short-list of 6 or so teams who we expect to contend and see where he would play on those teams, this is a much better way of determining a players positioning on a team.

the goal is not to be an average team, not to be a playoff team, the goal is to be a contender and win the stanley cup. if Grabo is the 58th best center in the league as a random example then were probably not gonna win with him as our 2nd line center and he needs to be pushed to the third line.

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11-24-2012, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hero View Post
Also...

Here's an analogy for you. What you said is like saying

To be a Stanley Cup Champion you need to have over 60 wins, have two wingers who scored 30 goals, and a Defensemen who wins the Norris.

What I said is like saying

To win the Stanley Cup you need to be better than 29 other teams.

- - - - -

Sporting success is measured and has always been measured by relative success. To win the Richard you don't need to score "x" amount of goals, you need to score the most amount of goals.

To be a 1st line player, you don't need to be able to do "x" things, but need to be better than enough other players.
Totally agree with what you're saying.

As far as selecting one of your options, I think Grabovski is a "#2 centre on a Cup Team" caliber. Statistically it's safe to assume he can compete in a top 6 role, I just don't see him being able to compete regularly against the leagues top 10-15 centres to fit on a #1 line.

His contract is also a good point. I think it may be a little high but the market was used to his advantage. 4.5-5M I would say he is worth now. Who knows though, he gets better every year so he might be very well worth 5.5M for part of that contract.

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11-24-2012, 03:19 PM
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Thank you! Drives me nuts when people say that.

Grabo is a great 2nd liner for us, I love the guy but he's a perfect 3rd liner on cup teams.
Based on what?

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11-24-2012, 03:23 PM
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11-24-2012, 03:25 PM
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11-24-2012, 03:26 PM
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Look at the last 5 cup winning teams.

(2012 - LA Kings) Kopitar, Richards, Carter(plays wing now I know, but still..) ahead of him.

(2011 - Boston) Bergeron, Krejci, Seguin(if you want to count him)

(2010 - Chicago) Toews, Sharp(natural winger, but they used him down the middle) and Bolland

(2009 - Pittsburgh) Crosby, Malkin, Staal

(2008 - Detroit) Zetterberg, Datsyuk


Grabo should never be considered a number one center. There aren't 30 true number one centers in the league to begin with, but even so he is not a top 30 center. Again, I love Grabo and think he is a great 2nd line center for a low seed playoff team but you're never going to win it all with him.

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11-24-2012, 03:33 PM
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Solid #2. like when you eat too much fiber

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11-24-2012, 03:34 PM
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IMO Grabo is just a good 2nd line center. Nothing more, nothing less.

He just doesn't bring enough to the table to be considered a #1.

I'll admit I'm not a fan of the length of his contract, but I'm fine with the caphit. The free agent market was terrible for 2nd line Cs and teams aren't lining up to trade their 2nd line Cs away so Burke made a smart move. The price to keep him was fair given the circumstances.

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11-24-2012, 03:52 PM
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ahahahah Exactly what I thought when I saw the thread title.


Grabo's the man. Who cares where he plays.

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11-24-2012, 04:01 PM
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I actually laughed out loud. When I entered the thread and read the OP, the first thought that crossed by mind was that "Interactif is going to have a field day with this thread."

Quote:
Originally Posted by holden57 View Post
Thank you! Drives me nuts when people say that.

Grabo is a great 2nd liner for us, I love the guy but he's a perfect 3rd liner on cup teams.
No.. He's really not.

Mikhail Grabovski is a #2 center or simply a 1B. He doesn't have that special oomph that allows him to center a contending team's top line -- but that's okay not every player is suited for that role and he's definitely a solid component on a good team in a top 6 role.

Grabovski is comparable to a David Krejci, Joe Pavelski, Stephen Weiss or Valtteri Filppula. They are all great players who provide a solid defensive element to their games, however, I feel they all lack the size and outstanding offensive prowess that #1 centers tend to possess.

I think if we missed out on the big prize of Ryan Getzlaf and signed or traded for Stephen Weiss or Joe Pavelski going into our next campaign we would be pretty well off. As we saw with the success of the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators -- a standout #1 center is not a definitive requirement to a contending team. If a team is able to employ solid depth down the middle ex. Weiss-Grabovski-Bozak-McClement ..etc with four centers who are defensively responsible, with equal offensive ability the balanced approach is often the more difficult offensive unit to shut down as well as the more reliable unit to ice at any time in the game.

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11-24-2012, 04:53 PM
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Grabos a middle of the pack 2nd line centre IMO, theres 15 better then him, 14 worse then he is.

Grabo brings certain tangibles- speed, hustle, abiltity to drive the oppositon back. However there are big things he comes up short in such as playmaking, heart and not to mention on a good day his defensive zone coverage is average at best.

At the end of the day though, he's by far our best centre out of everyone and it would be very foolish to write him out of town.

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11-24-2012, 05:00 PM
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Because Weiss-Grabo-Bozak-McClement compare to all the other cup teams depth at centre right?

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11-24-2012, 07:15 PM
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Because Weiss-Grabo-Bozak-McClement compare to all the other cup teams depth at centre right?
Not all Cup winners win solely based on their depth down the center.. Going forward our most clear strength is on the blueline. We also have great strength on the wings.

Case in point: Krejci-Bergeron-Peverely-Kelly in theory really isn't that impressive of center depth either. When you factor in the likes of Chara-Siedenberg and Thomas on the backend with Horton, Lucic, Marchand, Ryder on the wings -- it becomes a lot more clear why the Bruins were able to win the Stanley Cup.

I firmly believe Weiss is criminally underrated playing down there in Florida. He's got the potential to hit 30G-30A with the right linemates and play responsible hockey in all situations ES/PP/PK.

Lupul-Weiss-Kessel
Kadri-Grabovski-JVR
Kulemin-Bozak-Frattin
Komarov-McClement-Brown

This line-up may not win the Stanley Cup, but it addresses a lot of the shortcomings we've had on the forward corps over the past few years. For one, the top line would not be as much as a defensive liability as it has been in the past. The acquisition of Weiss would not only provide a defensive presence with playmaking prowess to the top line but also put Bozak where he belongs: as the 3rd line center. The 4th line looks far better than in the past, and the top 9 has a set of interchangeable wings that could find chemistry with a set of different players within the line-up.

Put this forward corp in front of a solid defense corps and a competent goaltender and we'll definitely be headed in the direction of the postseason, instead of a top 5 pick.

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11-24-2012, 07:25 PM
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Never said teams win the cup based solely on centre depth, just was comparing how poor ours is to those that do win the cup. However, if you'd like to talk about how bad the rest of our team looks we can start another thread.

And sure, that might be a playoff team but is that all you want, a team that squeaks in the 7th or 8th spot?

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11-24-2012, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by holden57 View Post
Never said teams win the cup based solely on centre depth, just was comparing how poor ours is to those that do win the cup. However, if you'd like to talk about how bad the rest of our team looks we can start another thread.

And sure, that might be a playoff team but is that all you want, a team that squeaks in the 7th or 8th spot?
Yeah, who would ever want to be a crappy 8th seed.. like the LA kings..

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