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Handzus Helped Shape Blackhawks and the Kings ( NY Times )

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06-07-2013, 03:36 PM
  #1
kap0r
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Handzus Helped Shape Blackhawks and the Kings ( NY Times )

Michal Handzus’s nickname, Zus, does not refer to the Greek god, but he has seemingly been omnipresent for both teams in the Western Conference finals.

Handzus centers the Chicago Blackhawks’ second line and has been a mainstay on their playoff-leading penalty kill. He also played four seasons in Los Angeles and had a significant role in the formative years of a Stanley Cup champion.

“He really left his imprint on a lot of the players that are with L.A. today,” said Terry Murray, the former Kings coach, who was with the club from 2008 to 2012. “Kopitar, Jarret Stoll, Dustin Brown and Matt Greene, the Kings’ leadership group, I know that he left a big impression with those young men and really helped them to become the great players that they are today.”

-----------------------
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/sp...s&emc=rss&_r=1


Last edited by Sevanston: 06-07-2013 at 03:44 PM. Reason: please don't post the entire article
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06-07-2013, 04:03 PM
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Crazy_Ike
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Handzus plays about a minute per game on the pk, far below what the ACTUAL PK mainstays play, and his performance on the second line has been abysmal including an embarrassing faceoff percentage rate for a supposed specialist; especially noticeable is how much better Kane especially is WITHOUT Handzus. Author might want to factcheck himself next time. This article is a joke.

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06-07-2013, 04:24 PM
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Andrew Knoll
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Interesting, I see, well his teammates, coaches, opponents, etc said he was reliable in the circle as well as on the PK. In their three wins in the series, he's won about 55% of his draws, I'm not sure what would be an acceptable percentage to you.

Of course he is part of what might be considered their third PK forward pairing (Kruger/Frolik getting the most minutes), but again if he's praised for that widely, you can't exactly print that he sucks. Just because it doesn't appear in quotations, that does not mean it's the author's opinion, in fact pretty much anything that appears in a news article is not the author's opinion. I suppose "mainstay" could be swapped for "regular."

The line has been pretty productive this postseason, Hossa have been very excited to have him there and it was 'Zus (and also Oduya) that got the play going for the winner last night. I am sure you were upset when they took the lead and won last night, for the sake of total consistency, right?

What you think are "facts" and what many of the Blackhawks, Kings and former teammates and coaches consider facts are maybe a bit different. I'm sure your open letters to the 'Hawks front office have gotten loads of responses though.

Thanks for reading!

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06-07-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Ike View Post
Handzus plays about a minute per game on the pk, far below what the ACTUAL PK mainstays play, and his performance on the second line has been abysmal including an embarrassing faceoff percentage rate for a supposed specialist; especially noticeable is how much better Kane especially is WITHOUT Handzus. Author might want to factcheck himself next time. Th'is article is a joke.
lolololol 9pts and +5 in 16 po games speaka for itself

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06-07-2013, 04:38 PM
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Andrew Knoll
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Thanks for reading madgoat!

By the way, The NYT is running a Bickell feature on the web shortly here and in tomorrow's paper. Lots of great 'Hawks coverage planned in the coming days, and not just from my "no fact checking" butt.

Enjoy the playoffs!

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06-07-2013, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by madgoat33 View Post
lolololol 9pts and +5 in 16 po games speaka for itself
Yup, not his fault he's being used as a 2nd line C.

Another great move by Bowman.

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06-07-2013, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew Knoll View Post
Interesting, I see, well his teammates, coaches, opponents, etc said he was reliable in the circle as well as on the PK. In their three wins in the series, he's won about 55% of his draws, I'm not sure what would be an acceptable percentage to you.
Wait, we only count wins? Like, losses don't count somehow?

47.9%, sir. I guess that is an acceptable percentage to you.

Quote:
Of course he is part of what might be considered their third PK forward pairing (Kruger/Frolik getting the most minutes), but again if he's praised for that widely, you can't exactly print that he sucks. Just because it doesn't appear in quotations, that does not mean it's the author's opinion, in fact pretty much anything that appears in a news article is not the author's opinion. I suppose "mainstay" could be swapped for "regular."
MOD How about swapping "mainstay" with "third unit and token center because Shaw is even worse at faceoffs than he is?"

You praised him widely for having virtually no effect on the pk whatsoever.

Quote:
The line has been pretty productive this postseason, Hossa have been very excited to have him there and it was 'Zus (and also Oduya) that got the play going for the winner last night. I am sure you were upset when they took the lead and won last night, for the sake of total consistency, right?
MOD

Quote:
What you think are "facts"
Actual ice time and faceoff percentages do not require me to "think" they are facts. They ARE facts. MOD

Know what aren't facts? Quotes from players. You see, those are opinions. And on top of that, all I see is "he's a good teacher and a good guy" from those quotes as well. Don't think either of those are in dispute.

MOD


Last edited by Fugu: 06-07-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: keep the personal shots out of it, Ike
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06-07-2013, 05:23 PM
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He has been fine vs Wild/Kings and productive overall

He still has good hands , vision and defensive game he just cant skate. Vs Wings that was issue

Overall happy with how #26 has performed

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06-07-2013, 05:31 PM
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Happy with him too, can't skate but that's it. Still can play, unlike Bruno. Deft touch offensively.

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06-07-2013, 05:40 PM
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MOD

He has been pretty effective on the PK when called upon as well.


Last edited by Fugu: 06-07-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: quotes edited sections
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06-07-2013, 05:58 PM
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Bergeron has 10 points +4 without two of the best offensive players in the playoffs as his linemates and as a faceoff specialist actually has a good percentage.

Carter/Richards are/were outplaying Kopitar (almost certainly playing injured) and arguably kept the Kings alive while their first line collapsed.

Pittsburgh has Malkin.

Those are the real second line centers in this round. How many times have we heard in these playoffs "oh they're keying hard on Toews" (Detroit) or "Kane just isn't doing anything out there" (L.A.)? Both of these things are things that wouldn't be issues with a real second line center. Hawks aren't winning because of Handzus, they're winning despite him, thanks to Crawford, Bickell, and the ACTUAL mainstays on the PK.

Want another stat? Handzus only has 13 shots. Total. Entire playoffs. That is the worst number of any regularly playing Hawks forward. This is indicative that the entire sum of Handzus's contribution can be put as "at some point he gives the puck to Kane or Sharp". It's awful. That's not production. That's leeching.

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06-07-2013, 06:07 PM
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Andrew Knoll
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This is a guy that put up 58 points as essentially a fourth liner, maybe he was leeching off Donald Brashear and Radovan Somik though, I will have to "fact check" that.

He was second on the team in faceoff percentage when this ran and they obviously trust him. I used a specific example of the contribution on the PK, one pointed out by more than one guy with the team.

I'm really not sure what Handzus did to you or your family, but let's not have it out here. If you want to complain further, feel free to PM me.

Thanks for your continued support!


Last edited by Andrew Knoll: 06-07-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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06-07-2013, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldsteelonice84 View Post
Happy with him too, can't skate but that's it. Still can play, unlike Bruno. Deft touch offensively.
Yeah I talked to Murray about Zus's lack of speed and of course there was no denying it. Still, he talked about the ways in which a centerman can make up for a lack of speed and actually posited that it was the position with the least high-end speed required. With Zus's reach, positioning and anticipation, he makes up for a lot.

When he was in LA, I noticed him passing a lot of that on to Wayne Simmonds in particular, whom he helped a great deal. Simmer is obviously quicker, but he makes himself look faster than he is, too, often in the same ways 'Zus has covered his lack of speed.

Murray was really outstanding, I wish I could have published the whole interview somewhere. You could feel the esteem he had for Handzus.

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06-07-2013, 06:30 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Ike View Post
Handzus plays about a minute per game on the pk, far below what the ACTUAL PK mainstays play, and his performance on the second line has been abysmal including an embarrassing faceoff percentage rate for a supposed specialist; especially noticeable is how much better Kane especially is WITHOUT Handzus.
Haha, what a horrible post. You realize 55% in the faceoff circle is extremely good, right? Who am I kidding, of course you don't or you wouldn't have made such a stupid comment.

Handzus has far exceeded any realistic expectations. The guy has more points in the playoffs than he did the entire regular season. He's been reliable in all three zones, and scored one of the most crucial goals of the entire playoff run for the Hawks, and set up the winner last night in the third period to give them a stranglehold.

I really doubt Chicago gets past Detroit without Handzus. Great pickup by Bowman that didn't really seem important at the time.

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06-07-2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew Knoll View Post
This is a guy that put 58 points as essentially a fourth liner, maybe he was leeching off Donald Brashear and Radovan Somik though, I will have to "fact check" that.
Dude, come on, that was two lockouts ago.

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He was second on the team in faceoff percentage when this ran
I am pretty sure he still is, without checking. But that's not saying much. Shaw is bad, Kruger is bad, Bolland is... I'm not sure Bolland can actually see when the ref drops the puck. 48% isn't good. Handzus was a lot better in the regular season and some people have posited that he is hurt in some way, but there's no way to sugarcoat that. He was brought in to win faceoffs, he's not winning them. Doing a bit better against the Kings, but he's facing off against an out of position winger in Carter and a player at 50% strength if that in Kopitar. Next round he'll get Bergeron, and we'll see if he can earn his money on the dot where it truly matters.

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I'm really not sure what Handzus did to you or your family, but let's not have it out here. If you want to complain further, feel free to PM me.
Discussing a player is not complaining. I will admit the last thing I expected was to have to defend my opinion on a news piece against the *author* within minutes of it being posted or I would have phrased it more in keeping with discussing it with the author rather than third party Hawks fans, but the statistical facts still stand.

MOD


Last edited by Fugu: 06-07-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: not needed
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06-07-2013, 06:35 PM
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Haha, what a horrible post. You realize 55% in the faceoff circle is extremely good, right? Who am I kidding, of course you don't or you wouldn't have made such a stupid comment.
You do realize his win rate is actually 48%, right? Who am I kidding, of course you don't or you wouldn't have made such a stupid comment.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...ewName=summary


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06-07-2013, 06:36 PM
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I know I'm missing something, but who the hell is the Murray you guys are talking about?

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06-07-2013, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazy_Ike View Post
Bergeron has 10 points +4 without two of the best offensive players in the playoffs as his linemates and as a faceoff specialist actually has a good percentage.

Carter/Richards are/were outplaying Kopitar (almost certainly playing injured) and arguably kept the Kings alive while their first line collapsed.

Pittsburgh has Malkin.

Those are the real second line centers in this round. How many times have we heard in these playoffs "oh they're keying hard on Toews" (Detroit) or "Kane just isn't doing anything out there" (L.A.)? Both of these things are things that wouldn't be issues with a real second line center. Hawks aren't winning because of Handzus, they're winning despite him, thanks to Crawford, Bickell, and the ACTUAL mainstays on the PK.

Want another stat? Handzus only has 13 shots. Total. Entire playoffs. That is the worst number of any regularly playing Hawks forward. This is indicative that the entire sum of Handzus's contribution can be put as "at some point he gives the puck to Kane or Sharp". It's awful. That's not production. That's leeching.
yea he's not a real second line center, but he's certainly done his part since joining the team. imagine where we would be without him. bolland as second line center was abject failure, would we be better with him, kruger or Shaw there? I'd say no ainec.

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06-07-2013, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by madgoat33 View Post
yea he's not a real second line center, but he's certainly done his part since joining the team. imagine where we would be without him. bolland as second line center was abject failure, would we be better with him, kruger or Shaw there? I'd say no ainec.
He has not been bad enough to cost us games... yet. That's as far as I'd be willing to go.

That said, in three rounds we've played two teams absolutely crippled with injuries and nearly lost to the third because we couldn't get any primary scoring going. How confident are you going against Boston right now?

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06-07-2013, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazy_Ike View Post
He has not been bad enough to cost us games... yet. That's as far as I'd be willing to go.

That said, in three rounds we've played two teams absolutely crippled with injuries and nearly lost to the third because we couldn't get any primary scoring going. How confident are you going against Boston right now?
more confident than if we were using bolland in his stead...

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06-07-2013, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazy_Ike View Post
You do realize his win rate is actually 48%, right? Who am I kidding, of course you don't or you wouldn't have made such a stupid comment.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...ewName=summary

His faceoff % on the PK is what was in question, and 55% in that situation is extremely good (I didn't personally look up to confirm this 55% on PK, so taking the author's word here). Draws in special teams situations and late in games are what classifies somebody as a "specialist". If he's only clipping along below 50% on random 1st period faceoffs at center ice, so be it, those are not crucial draws.

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06-07-2013, 06:54 PM
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Handzus is a story because of a few things:

1. The 2nd line center spot is the biggest weakness on the Hawks

2. Most expected Handzus to be a 4th liner with limited minutes

3. The Hawks are winning


He's not some secret weapon or anything, but he's filling in a big hole on the team and so far it's working. No one really thought he could do it, and he deserves some credit for proving most of us wrong.

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06-07-2013, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
His faceoff % on the PK is what was in question, and 55% in that situation is extremely good (I didn't personally look up to confirm this 55% on PK, so taking the author's word here). Draws in special teams situations and late in games are what classifies somebody as a "specialist". If he's only clipping along below 50% on random 1st period faceoffs at center ice, so be it, those are not crucial draws.
In the playoffs Handzus has been 66.7% on SH faceoffs, but the sample size of 18 is very small

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06-07-2013, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
His faceoff % on the PK is what was in question, and 55% in that situation is extremely good (I didn't personally look up to confirm this 55% on PK, so taking the author's word here). Draws in special teams situations and late in games are what classifies somebody as a "specialist". If he's only clipping along below 50% on random 1st period faceoffs at center ice, so be it, those are not crucial draws.
The 55% was not PK%, it was his win rate in the three Hawks wins since the author for some reason decided to exclude the loss as well as the previous two rounds. He is only averaging one or so faceoff attempts shorthanded a game. That doesn't sound like a special teams 'specialist' to me. The vast majority of PK faceoffs are taken by Kruger, almost twice as many as the entire rest of the team combined. He is the true PK specialist on the Hawks (with Frolik), not Handzus.

However, that said, Handzus might be teaching Kruger and Frolik and that would be a good "intangible" benefit.

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06-07-2013, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Handzus is a story because of a few things:

1. The 2nd line center spot is the biggest weakness on the Hawks

2. Most expected Handzus to be a 4th liner with limited minutes

3. The Hawks are winning


He's not some secret weapon or anything, but he's filling in a big hole on the team and so far it's working. No one really thought he could do it, and he deserves some credit for proving most of us wrong.
Precisely, are we going to run some piece on a star who's performing OK or a role player who's performing above expectations and has several newsworthy elements to his story? He's on maybe his last big run, he is a very well respected veteran, he has ties galore to players in the series (many of which were not even mentioned, due to space constraints, focus, etc) and so forth.

Qualities of news and the concept of sources (lol at player quotes being opinions and not facts, like they are some guy on the street) are apparently lost on some, but not on you thankfully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madgoat33 View Post
more confident than if we were using bolland in his stead...
Exactly, and it's not like Bolland has not played a bigger role in years past for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldsteelonice84 View Post
I know I'm missing something, but who the hell is the Murray you guys are talking about?
Terry Murray, former coach of the Kings (and Flyers, Panthers, Capitals, etc)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Ike View Post
The 55% was not PK%, it was his win rate in the three Hawks wins since the author for some reason decided to exclude the loss as well as the previous two rounds. He is only averaging one or so faceoff attempts shorthanded a game. That doesn't sound like a special teams 'specialist' to me. The vast majority of PK faceoffs are taken by Kruger, almost twice as many as the entire rest of the team combined. He is the true PK specialist on the Hawks (with Frolik), not Handzus.

However, that said, Handzus might be teaching Kruger and Frolik and that would be a good "intangible" benefit.
Right, well it's not like I had Kruger in the story praising Handzus's influence, right? Oh, that's right, I did. I could have had Frolik, too, but both would have been redundant.

If Zus's faceoffs shorthanded were in question, his numbers are actually excellent.

Again, I didn't post any inaccurate stats, I did not posit my own opinion. I mentioned his percentage in three of the four games in the series in this post, not the article itself. And that is not "cherry picking," it's eliminating an outlier in what is an inherently small sample size.

If I ask 15 guys about Handzus and 12 of them mention faceoffs, I'd be remiss not to mention that in the article.

No one is saying 'Zus is an all-star, they are saying he's an excellent veteran presence that can contribute in a lot of ways. You're seeing this in polar terms, where he sucks or he's awesome, and you think he sucks.


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