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Defensive Forwards

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Old
08-21-2013, 08:05 PM
  #51
Canadiens1958
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1993-94 Sergei Fedorov

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Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
Wasn't Fedorov being shifted at D during this time, making goals per 20/60 more telling than per-game stats? Did Primeau get tough defensive minutes, or was he sheltered by the mere presence of F/Y during this stretch? Are those poor GA stats the reason why Osgood was 11 and 15% worse than Belfour/Richter, or the other way around?
1993-94 Red Wings allowed 275 GA,perhaps the worst performance by a Scotty Bowman coached team.

Regardless, 275 GA means that the defensemen - 2 per shift were on for 550 TGA during the season. The TDA numbers for the recognized Detroit defensemen follow. Coffey - 105, Lidstrom - 111, Chaisson 104, Konstantinov - 81, Howe - 36, Carkner - 65, Halkidis - 18, York - 2, Ward - 1, Bautin - 0, Konroyd - 10, Kruppke - 11. Total = 544 so Fedorov would have been a defenseman for at most 6 TGA assuming no other forward dropped back on the point for PP duty, etc.

Primeau's offensive number combined with his defensive skills preclude sheltering. If anything Bowman would have given him the tough defensive assignments and extra minutes since the other centers were not doing the job.

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08-21-2013, 09:15 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Marcel Pronovost. Very low PIM totals. Clean, honest defenseman:
Ya. Interesting player. Was actually a Centre in Shawinigan as a Jr., and how Montreal missed him I dont know. At any rate, he was a big guy, and the team he was playing for was short Defencemen for a game and so they moved him back despite his team & league leading production up front. Spotted by a Red Wings Scout, signed. Started out in the Wings farm system playing Defence regularly, then in the Stanley Cup run of 1950 Gordie Howe went down with an injury, Pronovost called up, Red Kelly moved to forward... quite some time before Punch Imlach had acquired Kelly, talking him in to continuing to play as first at Defence then as an extremely effective Defensive Forward, Imlach claiming he was the genius responsible for moving Red up-front after his All Star career as a Defenceman with Detroit through the 1950's.

Kelly, like Doug Jarvis in the 70's (via the Draft with Jarvis) was one time Leafs property with St. Michaels Majors playing under Joe Primeau where in 1947 he won a Memorial Cup. Then Head Scout Squib Walker of the Leafs felt Kelly was too small & slow so they didnt sign him. Brilliant huh? Kelly steps right into the NHL and becomes arguably the best Offensive Defenceman in the NHL through the 50's along with Doug Harvey. Frank Boucher then with the Rangers (Coach/GM cant remember which) when assessing Detroit through those Cup winning years felt Red Kelly & not Howe, Lindsay or Sawchuk was the most important player on the team. In Toronto, its was Red Kellys line that shut down the Habs, Hawks & Detroits big guns, causing turnovers, drawing penalties, where then Kelly would often be moved back to Defence to play the point on the PP. Won 8 Stanley Cups between Toronto & Detroit, 8 time All Star, Norris & Lady Byng recipient.

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08-21-2013, 09:29 PM
  #53
jcbio11
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How crazy it is that Wings at one point had each of Hossa, Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Perhaps the three best defensive forwards (who can also produce) in the world.

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08-21-2013, 09:56 PM
  #54
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Great reading so far guys. I'm loving it. Keep it coming.

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08-21-2013, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
How crazy it is that Wings at one point had each of Hossa, Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Perhaps the three best defensive forwards (who can also produce) in the world.
Hossa's impact as a winger couldn't match Datsyuk or Zetterberg in his lone season in Detroit. Hossa's one of the best backcheckers that I've ever seen, but I don't consider him to be one of the elite defensive forwards in the game.

To me it's more crazy that Detroit was able to go from a 1A/1B punch of 2-way centers in Fedorov-Yzerman to Datsyuk-Zetterberg. You then consider that both duos got to spend a lot of time with Lidstrom on the backend and it becomes easier to understand how Detroit stayed elite for so long.

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08-21-2013, 10:15 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Excellent description of what was actually happening on the ice. Shadowing is a misused and misunderstood term. Length of a shadow is determined by the position of the sun in the sky. A shadow can be extremely sort or extremely long. As you state so eloquently, identifying the size of the ring of darkness is the key. How it is used and displaced among teammates is another matter.

The phrase "Clutch and Grab" is a much better expression to describe the extremely short ring of darkness, inside the opponents reach. Problem with the "Clutch and Grab" is that certain players - Gordie Howe, Henri Richard, Mark Messier amongst many actually preferred it. They would know exactly where their checker was and could leverage him out of the play easily and legally. Also it was very easy to manipulate a "Clutch and Grab" checker off your stickside eliminating the good defensive work done by his teammates with a simple nudge, leveraging, spin turn or lateral shift.

Longer rings of darkness required better skating and on ice awareness, recognizing the key points on the ice plus communicating with teammates about the transfer of checking responsibility.

The 2005-06 NHL season featured the removal of the center Red Line as a factor in determining two line offsides. This changed the key points on the ice since previously the checking team could rely on the Red Line to slow down the the transition - offensive players breaking from the defensive zone had to avoid the offside at the Red Line so they would slow down.

Pandolfo checking Jagr in the 2006 playoffs is very interesting. Jaromir Jagr is a throwback to the O6 era in his ability to establish a security perimeter. Keeps checking players away from the puck within the radius of his reach. Almost as good as Gordie Howe or Jean Beliveau. Unlike Howe and Beliveau who would only face the boards or the crowd with the puck if it was unavoidable, Jagr does it too often. So he may control the puck but sees very little of the offensive zone when turned to the boards or the crowd. This greatly limits his passing options while making the opponents defensive game easier. More time to transfer checking responsibility from player to player and re-setting. Pandolfo was the Devil checker covering Jagr on the ice but the positioning of the other Devils - getting to the correct points, was instrumental when transferring Jagr from one to another, taking away his forehand passing options, getting him to turn to the boards/crowd. Killion is very accurate when calling this complete team checking package more sophisticated.

By comparison the Houle coverage on Bobby Hull was very basic. 1971 and 1973 the Red Line was in play for offsides. Houle played on RW with Henri Richard at center. Richard was a very aggressive forechecker with the ability to vary the checking arcs, angles and depth he presented to the defensemen trying to move the puck out of the defensive zone. Instead of one direct short quick pass to Hull breaking-out at the defensive blue line the Hawks would have to relay the puck or try to connect a long high risk pass. The red line slowed down and contained Bobby Hull. Rejean Houle just had to get to the correct points on the ice.
I don't want to make this all about Jagr but this assessment of Jagr is a bit off for one because the later version of Jagr (2002-2008) was an older, often injured (a lot of lower body injuries, namely groin, hip flexor and knee problems) and was mostly heavier and slower. He had to rely more on his board play and size compared to the earlier version of Jagr when he was with the Penguins. That version of Jagr was just as good beating you off the one-on-one face to face matchup than he was along the boards. As for his passing, the Penguins' version of Jagr was probably the best playmaker in the NHL so he wasn't limited when it came to passing as much as you suggest.

Sorry, back on topic.

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08-22-2013, 11:14 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Main focus of the ESGA is within a specific team. Were Roenick, Hawerchuk, Messier Red Wings during the 1993-94 season? Was Scotty Bowman their coach? The 1976 Flyers illustration made this point. Look within the team.
Then how can you say Brind'Amour and Gilmour are comparables based on ESGA/game?

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On the 1994 Red Wings Yzerman was 62/58, Keith Primeau was 49/78 = 0.6282 which goes a long way to explaining why Scotty Bowman was not happy with the defensive play of Fedorov and Yzerman. That Fedorov won the Selke during his worst defensive season does not change the analysis, just clearly confirms the flaws in the Selke voting.1995 the respective numbers were - Yzerman 25/47, Fedorov 30/42, Primeau 27/45.
<Ducks out of sight before Red Wings posters swarm>

Or Fedorov was one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL and ESGA/game is a questionable measure of defensive skill. I also don't recall Bowman being unhappy with Fedorov's defensive skill at that time, though I may be mistaken.

The 1995 numbers show the flaws in this stat. I don't think anyone thinks that Keith Primeau was the same level of defensive star as post-95 Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov. Even among teammates, the different roles/matchups/linemates/ice time will ensure that ESGA/game is not a number on which we can accurately evaluate individual play.

Plus/minus is actually a better indicator of overall individual play than ESGA/game is for defensive play, the latter of which creates a few issues of its own, even while it replicates all of the former's faults.

Quote:
Brent Sutter's 30/73 with Chicago, Derek Plante with Buffalo, Sergei Nemchinov with the Rangers.
And those guys benefit from not having to play as many minutes as Mark Messier and Jeremy Roenick.

ESGA/game requires two people to have 1) similar ice time, 2) on-ice linemates/defenders/goaltenders of similar defensive talent, 3) similar league situations (both scoring levels and parity count) and if you want to use relative ESGA/game vs teammates as a baseline, 4) similar off-ice teammate quality.


Last edited by blogofmike: 08-22-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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08-22-2013, 12:52 PM
  #58
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Comparables

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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Then how can you say Brind'Amour and Gilmour are comparables based on ESGA/game?




Or Fedorov was one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL and ESGA/game is a questionable measure of defensive skill. I also don't recall Bowman being unhappy with Fedorov's defensive skill at that time, though I may be mistaken.

The 1995 numbers show the flaws in this stat. I don't think anyone thinks that Keith Primeau was the same level of defensive star as post-95 Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov. Even among teammates, the different roles/matchups/linemates/ice time will ensure that ESGA/game is not a number on which we can accurately evaluate individual play.

Plus/minus is actually a better indicator of overall individual play than ESGA/game is for defensive play, the latter of which creates a few issues of its own, even while it replicates all of the former's faults.



And those guys benefit from not having to play as many minutes as Mark Messier and Jeremy Roenick.

ESGA/game requires two people to have 1) similar ice time, 2) on-ice linemates/defenders/goaltenders of similar defensive talent, 3) similar league situations (both scoring levels and parity count) and if you want to use relative ESGA/game vs teammates as a baseline, 4) similar off-ice teammate quality.
Comparable as you can start comparing from the base referenced.

Identical ingredients plus identical recipe plus 100 different cooks equal 100 different results. Its not the methodology but the individual cook.

Neither the recipe nor the raw numbers told you to overlook the possibility that Fedorov played defense in 1994. Your oops! Not the methodology.

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08-22-2013, 01:36 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Comparable as you can start comparing from the base referenced.

Identical ingredients plus identical recipe plus 100 different cooks equal 100 different results. Its not the methodology but the individual cook.

Neither the recipe nor the raw numbers told you to overlook the possibility that Fedorov played defense in 1994. Your oops! Not the methodology.
I was unaware of Feds spending any significant time at defense before the 1995-96 RS, but perhaps a Wings fan can illuminate us. In 1994 he definitely wouldn't have spent as much time on the blue line with Yzerman out for a third of the season.

In any event, your math shows that there are a maximum of 6 ESGA that Fedorov picked up as a defender, even though giving him all 6 assumes there are no 4-on-4 goals or 5-on-4 SHGA with another forward on the point, as you mentioned. If we magically take away some ESGA, he still has 65 in 82, and it's still one of the worst in his career. Which is odd, because most people were very impressed by Fedorov, yet you seem to be saying that giving him the 1994 Selke was a mistake.

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08-22-2013, 02:06 PM
  #60
Canadiens1958
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Saying

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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
I was unaware of Feds spending any significant time at defense before the 1995-96 RS, but perhaps a Wings fan can illuminate us. In 1994 he definitely wouldn't have spent as much time on the blue line with Yzerman out for a third of the season.

In any event, your math shows that there are a maximum of 6 ESGA that Fedorov picked up as a defender, even though giving him all 6 assumes there are no 4-on-4 goals or 5-on-4 SHGA with another forward on the point, as you mentioned. If we magically take away some ESGA, he still has 65 in 82, and it's still one of the worst in his career. Which is odd, because most people were very impressed by Fedorov, yet you seem to be saying that giving him the 1994 Selke was a mistake.
Saying that 1994 is one Selke that could be reviewed.

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