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2013-2014 Training Camp/Preseason Discussion Thread Part 2

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Old
09-20-2013, 01:30 PM
  #926
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This would be a disaster.

Strålman is the epitome of the undervalued defenceman - i.e. a defenceman that you get the most value per paid dollar for. He is a PMD that doesn't put up big points.

Chicago's D is stacked with this type of guys. Hjalmarsson, Oduya, Rozsival.

Players with a lot of hits and blocks are on the other hand overvalued. Teams have to pay more for these guys despite the fact that hits and blocks doesn't contribute to winning games. Chicago already let go of Bolland as he is paid too much for his contributions. They should also consider trading Seabrook.

These guys aren't useless, but since they are overvalued around the league the best way to use them is to exploit the market inefficiency and trade them for undervalued assets. That way you make a net gain in value.
BB, this isn't baseball. You can dissect corsi ratings and advanced statistics to death, but they won't accurately apply to this specific sport.

I sometimes feel like I'm watching a scene from moneyball when I'm reading your posts. And I say this with love, because I don't think stats should be totally neglected. They just don't tell the whole story.

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09-20-2013, 01:31 PM
  #927
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It starts with JVR and go from their.
A locked up JVR to a good contract for a pending ufa in girardi.

Toronto laughs in our face.

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09-20-2013, 01:59 PM
  #928
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I really think that if Phaneuf heads to free agency, the Rangers could very well let Girardi walk and go after Dion.

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09-20-2013, 02:12 PM
  #929
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A locked up JVR to a good contract for a pending ufa in girardi.

Toronto laughs in our face.
Think he was kidding.

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09-20-2013, 02:45 PM
  #930
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Originally Posted by Boom Boom Geoffrion View Post
BB, this isn't baseball. You can dissect corsi ratings and advanced statistics to death, but they won't accurately apply to this specific sport.

I sometimes feel like I'm watching a scene from moneyball when I'm reading your posts. And I say this with love, because I don't think stats should be totally neglected. They just don't tell the whole story.
EDIT: Sorry for the wall of text, and it is definitely not meant any sort of attack on you personally. "Not the whole picture" is just a common argument, and I'd just like to comment on my position on it.


First of all, what do you mean by accurately apply? All Corsi does is count the number of shot attempts, so it obviously accurately describes that. Secondly, Corsi has been proven to be an almost perfect proxy for possession.

And since hockey is a sport solely dependent on statistics, i.e. goals, of course it can be analyzed through statistics. And through that they do tell the whole story since winning is entirely based on a statistic. A sport like figure skating, that has a human evaluation element can OTOH never be analyzed through statistics.

For example if hitting or fighting had an impact on winning games, that impact would show up in the statistics and can therefore be measured. Unfortunately for Toronto, it doesn't contribute. Good teams fight, bad teams fight, but it doesn't correlate at all with wins. It doesn't correlate with the next goal scored in the game either, in fact the evidence says you are more likely to concede the next goal after winning a fight. Though the reasonable assumption is that is has no effect at all on the next goal and that the 54-46 outcome was merely variance.

Everything shows up in the statistics, because everything is tracked (except zone entries and exits for all teams). We know Crosby is a great player, that shows up in his statistics. We know Colton Orr isn't, that also shows up in the statistics.

Of course you can't just say Jake Muzzin had a better Corsi Rel. than Drew Doughty last season so he is obviously the superior player. There is always need for context.

Defencemen have always been tricky to evaluate based on stats, as points scored hardly reflects all of their value. However, with tools such as qualcomp, Corsi, and WOWY-charts one can track how the team does with and without them on the ice. Surely positive and negative contributions would show up here. Are we being outplayed? How does our goal differential look? Since the only goal is to outscore the other team, you'd prefer playing the players that contribute to do that as much as possible. There is always the factor of situational use. But then you need to ask yourself, is it prudent to send out a defenceman who is awful at clearing the zone for a defensive draw?

We as humans are always inherently biased, we need an explanation and "story" for each event. When a team wins despite being horribly outplayed they "wanted it more", when in all likelihood it was a few bounces here and there. Re-play that game 100 times and that losing team will likely win a majority of those, but in the end the variance of outcomes suggest that 76% of games are basically a coin flip.

Statistics are a good way of looking past these biases. They can be flawed, sure, but in the bigger picture a lot less flawed than the "eye-test".

Of course there is always that "moment" where a goalie stands on his head, or Toronto leads 2-0 after the first period after being outshot 3-14 that fly in the face of what the stats would indicate. But over a longer period of time things like that even out. The Rangers only needed the following two periods to balance the variance out and pull off a 5-2 victory.

I mean despite what all the statistics tell me I still question whether Strålman could perform better on the first pairing than Girardi. But really, what objective measure tells us that Girardi is better in that role? To me only the subjective "gut feeling", i.e. our inherent bias, is what tells me that Girardi probably still should be on that pairing.

Now since Strålman hasn't played much in that role there is a limited sample to go on, which makes projections tricky, but there is nothing so far that suggests that he couldn't handle such a role.

But I will give Girardi one thing, Corsi is unfair to him as it discounts one of his biggest skills: shot blocking. However, since the WOWY charts does not include Fenwick it is hard to make such comparisons. He still lowers his teammates' Fenwick ratio on the whole, but not as much as he lowers their Corsi ratio.


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09-20-2013, 02:52 PM
  #931
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I really think that if Phaneuf heads to free agency, the Rangers could very well let Girardi walk and go after Dion.
Oh god no.

Not only will he be more expensive, he has a very similar adverse effect on his defensive partners as Girardi has. Apart from a short stretch with Gardiner in 11-12, Toronto has constantly been playing in their own end with Phaneuf on the ice.

He is essentially Jack Johnson with a better shot.

I'd rather re-sign Girardi than sign Phaneuf.

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09-20-2013, 03:06 PM
  #932
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Originally Posted by Blue Blooded View Post
Oh god no.

Not only will he be more expensive, he has a very similar adverse effect on his defensive partners as Girardi has. Apart from a short stretch with Gardiner in 11-12, Toronto has constantly been playing in their own end with Phaneuf on the ice.

He is essentially Jack Johnson with a better shot.

I'd rather re-sign Girardi than sign Phaneuf.
Sorry, I'm not a fan of advanced stats. Especially when they spit in the face of logic. Girardi's numbers are better when he has a better partner? Shocking. Phaneuf spends more time in his end than the other end because Toronto is a mediocre team and he faces the toughest competition? Amazing.

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09-20-2013, 03:19 PM
  #933
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Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
Sorry, I'm not a fan of advanced stats. Especially when they spit in the face of logic. Girardi's numbers are better when he has a better partner? Shocking. Phaneuf spends more time in his end than the other end because Toronto is a mediocre team and he faces the toughest competition? Amazing.
It's not that Girardi's numbers are better with a better partner. It is that that better partner has significantly better numbers with defencemen not named Girardi. And since their overall qualcomp numbers are virtually the same, one can assume they have played against roughly equal competition when apart.

And Gunnarsson has better numbers than Phaneuf against similar competition as well.

And if a team struggles for possession, wouldn't their #1 defenceman that plays significant minutes be a big part of that?

I'm not saying Phaneuf/Girardi are awful, I'm saying that they are overrated and overvalued, i.e. not players I'd like to pay UFA money for.

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09-20-2013, 03:30 PM
  #934
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EDIT: Sorry for the wall of text, and it is definitely not meant any sort of attack on you personally. "Not the whole picture" is just a common argument, and I'd just like to comment on my position on it.


First of all, what do you mean by accurately apply? All Corsi does is count the number of shot attempts, so it obviously accurately describes that. Secondly, Corsi has been proven to be an almost perfect proxy for possession.

And since hockey is a sport solely dependent on statistics, i.e. goals, of course it can be analyzed through statistics. And through that they do tell the whole story since winning is entirely based on a statistic. A sport like figure skating, that has a human evaluation element can OTOH never be analyzed through statistics.

For example if hitting or fighting had an impact on winning games, that impact would show up in the statistics and can therefore be measured. Unfortunately for Toronto, it doesn't contribute. Good teams fight, bad teams fight, but it doesn't correlate at all with wins. It doesn't correlate with the next goal scored in the game either, in fact the evidence says you are more likely to concede the next goal after winning a fight. Though the reasonable assumption is that is has no effect at all on the next goal and that the 54-46 outcome was merely variance.

Everything shows up in the statistics, because everything is tracked (except zone entries and exits for all teams). We know Crosby is a great player, that shows up in his statistics. We know Colton Orr isn't, that also shows up in the statistics.

Of course you can't just say Jake Muzzin had a better Corsi Rel. than Drew Doughty last season so he is obviously the superior player. There is always need for context.

Defencemen have always been tricky to evaluate based on stats, as points scored hardly reflects all of their value. However, with tools such as qualcomp, Corsi, and WOWY-charts one can track how the team does with and without them on the ice. Surely positive and negative contributions would show up here. Are we being outplayed? How does our goal differential look? Since the only goal is to outscore the other team, you'd prefer playing the players that contribute to do that as much as possible. There is always the factor of situational use. But then you need to ask yourself, is it prudent to send out a defenceman who is awful at clearing the zone for a defensive draw?

We as humans are always inherently biased, we need an explanation and "story" for each event. When a team wins despite being horribly outplayed they "wanted it more", when in all likelihood it was a few bounces here and there. Re-play that game 100 times and that losing team will likely win a majority of those, but in the end the variance of outcomes suggest that 76% of games are basically a coin flip.

Statistics are a good way of looking past these biases. They can be flawed, sure, but in the bigger picture a lot less flawed than the "eye-test".

Of course there is always that "moment" where a goalie stands on his head, or Toronto leads 2-0 after the first period after being outshot 3-14 that fly in the face of what the stats would indicate. But over a longer period of time things like that even out. The Rangers only needed the following two periods to balance the variance out and pull off a 5-2 victory.

I mean despite what all the statistics tell me I still question whether Strålman could perform better on the first pairing than Girardi. But really, what objective measure tells us that Girardi is better in that role? To me only the subjective "gut feeling", i.e. our inherent bias, is what tells me that Girardi probably still should be on that pairing.

Now since Strålman hasn't played much in that role there is a limited sample to go on, which makes projections tricky, but there is nothing so far that suggests that he couldn't handle such a role.

But I will give Girardi one thing, Corsi is unfair to him as it discounts one of his biggest skills: shot blocking. However, since the WOWY charts does not include Fenwick it is hard to make such comparisons. He still lowers his teammates' Fenwick ratio on the whole, but not as much as he lowers their Corsi ratio.
I think the eye is actually more accurate than you or the stats you parse make it out to be. Again Girardi has been facing the best players in the league--whether it's Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Tavares, a monster like Lucic, Kovalchuk, Eric Staal, Stamkos, St. Louis, Giroux etc. etc. A lot of these players are not just great players--they are big physical guys. Playing up to 25 minutes a night against them over and over again is not easy and I'm another one that doubts that Stralman could handle that grind. A lot of these top players get more offensive zone starts as well and a higher % of draws start out with those players getting the puck first. Girardi's been put out there as a main guy to stop them. The fact is that guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin and Tavares often run wild against other teams and very rarely do against the Rangers--Henrik certainly has something to do with that but over the years it's been Staal, McDonagh and Girardi doing the yeoman's share of work around him when those guys are on the ice. They are all horses--with size and endurance--not fragile players and they all are good at not taking a lot of penalties--Girardi is the best of them at that--and giving these same guys pwp time. Again there's dependability out of this group and Girardi is very dependable.

As for Stralman--I really like him but to me he's a 2nd pairing guy. He may be better with the breakout pass and has been pretty solid defensively but he's not that big or physical and that's an important factor especially against guys like Malkin, James Neal, Eric Staal, Ovechkin. Guys that have skill, size and some aggression. He might hang in for a while but Malkin--Ovechkin would eat him up eventually. Which brings us to Lucic--that hit that caused him a separated shoulder and facial fractures was no aberration in my eyes. That's a play that could happen over and over again.

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09-20-2013, 03:34 PM
  #935
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It's not that Girardi's numbers are better with a better partner. It is that that better partner has significantly better numbers with defencemen not named Girardi. And since their overall qualcomp numbers are virtually the same, one can assume they have played against roughly equal competition when apart.

And Gunnarsson has better numbers than Phaneuf against similar competition as well.

And if a team struggles for possession, wouldn't their #1 defenceman that plays significant minutes be a big part of that?

I'm not saying Phaneuf/Girardi are awful, I'm saying that they are overrated and overvalued, i.e. not players I'd like to pay UFA money for.
Whether Girardi is with Staal or whether he is with McDonagh he's almost always facing the other teams top line. So yeah--maybe Staal does better in those numbers you cite without Girardi but he's not facing the other teams best players nearly as much.

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09-20-2013, 03:38 PM
  #936
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McDonagh/Staal/Phaneuf would be a crazy Top 3, but at what cost? There's the big shots and big hits everyone savors.

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09-20-2013, 03:40 PM
  #937
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It's not that Girardi's numbers are better with a better partner. It is that that better partner has significantly better numbers with defencemen not named Girardi. And since their overall qualcomp numbers are virtually the same, one can assume they have played against roughly equal competition when apart.

And Gunnarsson has better numbers than Phaneuf against similar competition as well.

And if a team struggles for possession, wouldn't their #1 defenceman that plays significant minutes be a big part of that?

I'm not saying Phaneuf/Girardi are awful, I'm saying that they are overrated and overvalued, i.e. not players I'd like to pay UFA money for.
Do the Corsi stats show what the current score was. Was the team playing 3 in 4 nights. Was the opposing team coming in hot. Who were the forwards on the ice. Did the team have some momentum. What about the other team. Was his partner playing nicked up. What line were they defending.

I mean, there are so many gears in motion that Corsi ratings neglect. You say hitting doesn't result in winning, which I refuse to believe since a lot of plays are derived from hits. Hitting can also intimidate the opposition and force them to dump it in instead of the alternative.

I refuse to put any serious consideration into Corsi ratings when it comes down to hockey because there are just too many variables that aren't being accounted for.

Hockey isn't baseball. Or football. It's not a stop/go type of game.


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09-20-2013, 03:49 PM
  #938
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Originally Posted by Boom Boom Geoffrion View Post
Do the Corsi stats show what the current score was. Was the team playing 3 in 4 nights. Was the opposing team coming in hot. Who were the forwards on the ice. Did the team have some momentum. What about the other team. Was his partner playing nicked up. What line were they defending.

I mean, there are so many gears in motion that Corsi ratings neglect. You say hitting doesn't result in winning, which I refuse to believe since a lot of plays are derived from hits. Hitting can also intimidate the opposition and force them to dump it in instead of the alternative.

I refuse to put any serious consideration into Corsi ratings when it comes down to hockey because there are just too many variables that aren't being accounted for.

Hockey isn't baseball. Or football. It's not a stop/go type of game. There are so many
Have to agree.

And I'll just provide this overtly simplistic answer. On any given shift, theres just too much "stuff" going on in hockey to put too much stock in stats.

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09-20-2013, 03:52 PM
  #939
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I think the eye is actually more accurate than you or the stats you parse make it out to be. Again Girardi has been facing the best players in the league--whether it's Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Tavares, a monster like Lucic, Kovalchuk, Eric Staal, Stamkos, St. Louis, Giroux etc. etc. A lot of these players are not just great players--they are big physical guys. Playing up to 25 minutes a night against them over and over again is not easy and I'm another one that doubts that Stralman could handle that grind. A lot of these top players get more offensive zone starts as well and a higher % of draws start out with those players getting the puck first. Girardi's been put out there as a main guy to stop them. The fact is that guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin and Tavares often run wild against other teams and very rarely do against the Rangers--Henrik certainly has something to do with that but over the years it's been Staal, McDonagh and Girardi doing the yeoman's share of work around him when those guys are on the ice. They are all horses--with size and endurance--not fragile players and they all are good at not taking a lot of penalties--Girardi is the best of them at that--and giving these same guys pwp time. Again there's dependability out of this group and Girardi is very dependable.

As for Stralman--I really like him but to me he's a 2nd pairing guy. He may be better with the breakout pass and has been pretty solid defensively but he's not that big or physical and that's an important factor especially against guys like Malkin, James Neal, Eric Staal, Ovechkin. Guys that have skill, size and some aggression. He might hang in for a while but Malkin--Ovechkin would eat him up eventually. Which brings us to Lucic--that hit that caused him a separated shoulder and facial fractures was no aberration in my eyes. That's a play that could happen over and over again.
Good points.

First of all I think size is a factor that is largely overstated, but it shouldn't be overlooked completely. However, Karlsson and Letang (only comparable to Strålman in stature) handle first pairing minutes just fine. Zone starts had been adjusted for in my comparisons, so that in itself is not a factor.

Secondly, Girardi is extremely good at avoiding penalties and that should also be taken into consideration.

However, with the salary cap it is hard to carry overvalued players with UFA contracts. Girardi is a good defenceman despite his flaws, but I believe that his reputation around the league will ensure that he is overpaid by at least $1M/year on his next contract.

Letting him walk would be stupid especially with our lack of depth at RHD, but we should perhaps explore the option to trade him for someone more valuable.

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09-20-2013, 04:02 PM
  #940
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I agree with the people saying CORSI is flat out silly. Advanced stats really only have meaning in baseball IMO.

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09-20-2013, 04:06 PM
  #941
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In 11-12, advanced stats said the Rangers wouldn't finish 1st in the East.

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09-20-2013, 04:08 PM
  #942
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Originally Posted by Boom Boom Geoffrion View Post
Do the Corsi stats show what the current score was. Was the team playing 3 in 4 nights. Was the opposing team coming in hot. Who were the forwards on the ice. Did the team have some momentum. What about the other team. Was his partner playing nicked up. What line were they defending.

I mean, there are so many gears in motion that Corsi ratings neglect. You say hitting doesn't result in winning, which I refuse to believe since a lot of plays are derived from hits. Hitting can also intimidate the opposition and force them to dump it in instead of the alternative.

I refuse to put any serious consideration into Corsi ratings when it comes down to hockey because there are just too many variables that aren't being accounted for.

Hockey isn't baseball. Or football. It's not a stop/go type of game.
Over a large enough sample, these things even out. One time your partner is nicked up, another one of the opponents are. These are obviously big factors in the particular moment, and we like to think they have as big effect on the whole. But that is just not how it is.

Re. Hitting and winning. There was a study made this summer in lieu of Leafs management talking about what they were considering important factors for winning which were pretty much the opposite views from the hockey analytics community. A Leaf fan took it upon himself to examine which statistics actually correlated with winning. The chosen data set was the past six seasons as most modern stats have only been counted as far back as that.

Road hits (to avoid biased counters) had a correlation with P% of 1.5% and with W% of 0.3%.

Compare that to say 5v5 Close CF% which had a correlation of 58.4% to P% and 55.1% to W%. Just to show the difference in magnitude. 5v5 CF% is also repeatable, which means that a team can sustain it over several seasons.

For example 5v5 GF% is most closely correlated with winning, which is hardly surprising, but it isn't nearly as repeatable as 5v5 CF%. This meaning that GF% is likely a lot more based on random chance than CF%.

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09-20-2013, 04:10 PM
  #943
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This isn't baseball. Corsi stats are irrelevant imo.

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09-20-2013, 04:11 PM
  #944
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They're not useless, but I've always felt one's own eyes were the best judge.

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09-20-2013, 04:31 PM
  #945
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Good points.

First of all I think size is a factor that is largely overstated, but it shouldn't be overlooked completely. However, Karlsson and Letang (only comparable to Strålman in stature) handle first pairing minutes just fine. Zone starts had been adjusted for in my comparisons, so that in itself is not a factor.

Secondly, Girardi is extremely good at avoiding penalties and that should also be taken into consideration.

However, with the salary cap it is hard to carry overvalued players with UFA contracts. Girardi is a good defenceman despite his flaws, but I believe that his reputation around the league will ensure that he is overpaid by at least $1M/year on his next contract.

Letting him walk would be stupid especially with our lack of depth at RHD, but we should perhaps explore the option to trade him for someone more valuable.
Love Erik Karlsson--you're talking here of the most valuable and dangerous offensive defenseman in the league/world as far as I'm concerned. There's only one of him. As for Letang his offensive numbers benefit greatly because of his teammates--particularly Crosby and Malkin. He's not the best defensively.

Personally the way I look at Girardi for an upcoming contract is similar to Callahan. Looking at this summers free agency I definitely try to sign both before they even reach it. If Clarkson can get a long term $5 mil + contract--with the cap going up this coming summer Girardi + Callahan will be over $6 mil per for sure. Get them cheaper if you can before they even get there. Have no problem with the Rangers going over $5 mil per for each of them--but I would try not to sign them for more than 5 years because IMO wear and tear is eventually going to catch up to both of them.

On the subject of trading Girardi--1) when is a good time? and 2) who are you going to replace him with? If the Rangers are in the playoff hunt at all moving Girardi makes no sense when you don't have a right D to replace him with. Finding an equivalent right D in a trade is going to cost you a lot of talent and you'd more than likely use about the same amount of cap space for the new player. What then would you gain?

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09-20-2013, 04:39 PM
  #946
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First of all I think size is a factor that is largely overstated, but it shouldn't be overlooked completely. However, Karlsson and Letang (only comparable to Strålman in stature) handle first pairing minutes just fine. Zone starts had been adjusted for in my comparisons, so that in itself is not a factor.
I'm getting in on this conversation a little late, but are you saying that because those guys are similar in size to Stralman that it is reasonable to expect him to thrive (or even be OK) if given first line minutes? Karlsson/Letang 1st pairing minutes do not equal Girardi/Staal/McDonagh (and Stralman) 1st pairing minutes at all.

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09-20-2013, 04:40 PM
  #947
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They're not useless, but I've always felt one's own eyes were the best judge.
This sounds right, that would be really funny if Gordie Howe's Corsi stunk.

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09-20-2013, 05:14 PM
  #948
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Originally Posted by Synergy27 View Post
I'm getting in on this conversation a little late, but are you saying that because those guys are similar in size to Stralman that it is reasonable to expect him to thrive (or even be OK) if given first line minutes? Karlsson/Letang 1st pairing minutes do not equal Girardi/Staal/McDonagh (and Stralman) 1st pairing minutes at all.
What I'm saying is that if they can handle the wear and tear of 1st pairing minutes (one concern regarding Strålman), it shouldn't be a big factor.

What I'm saying is that considering how well Strålman handled his minutes last year, and how extremely successful the McDonagh-Strålman pairing was (outscoring the opposition 19-5 5v5, dominating possession). I think he should be on a 1A pairing with McDonagh to the 1B pairing of Staal-Girardi.

I'm just saying that while there isn't a lot of evidence that he could handle 1st pairing minutes (since he barely has played in the role), there isn't any evidence that he couldn't.


Last edited by Blue Blooded: 09-20-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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09-20-2013, 05:18 PM
  #949
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Love Erik Karlsson--you're talking here of the most valuable and dangerous offensive defenseman in the league/world as far as I'm concerned. There's only one of him. As for Letang his offensive numbers benefit greatly because of his teammates--particularly Crosby and Malkin. He's not the best defensively.

Personally the way I look at Girardi for an upcoming contract is similar to Callahan. Looking at this summers free agency I definitely try to sign both before they even reach it. If Clarkson can get a long term $5 mil + contract--with the cap going up this coming summer Girardi + Callahan will be over $6 mil per for sure. Get them cheaper if you can before they even get there. Have no problem with the Rangers going over $5 mil per for each of them--but I would try not to sign them for more than 5 years because IMO wear and tear is eventually going to catch up to both of them.

On the subject of trading Girardi--1) when is a good time? and 2) who are you going to replace him with? If the Rangers are in the playoff hunt at all moving Girardi makes no sense when you don't have a right D to replace him with. Finding an equivalent right D in a trade is going to cost you a lot of talent and you'd more than likely use about the same amount of cap space for the new player. What then would you gain?
It is a tricky situation, I agree.

The only way I see out of it is to deal Girardi and Callahan (also on the verge of a big overpayment) to separate teams and get younger, cheaper players beck for the equivalent roles.

I had a series of trades in mind in the other thread that basically came down to Callahan and Girardi for Gallagher, Fayne, and Pysyk (Callahan to Buffalo, not NJ!). But both MTL and BUF fans seem disinterested.

Though going by some Devils fans Fayne could be had for a 2nd, which any team should jump all over. If we could get Fayne for just picks we could trade Girardi for picks/futures.

But that is never going to happen.

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09-20-2013, 05:22 PM
  #950
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Originally Posted by Blue Blooded View Post
What I'm saying is that if they can handle the wear and tear of 1st pairing minutes (one concern regarding Strålman), it shouldn't be a big factor.

What I'm saying is that considering how well Strålman handled his minutes last year, and how extremely successful the McDonagh Strålman pairing was. I think he should be on a 1A pairing with McDonagh to the 1B pairing of Staal-Girardi.

I'm just saying that while there isn't a lot of eveidence that he could handle 1st pairing minutes (since he barely has played in the role), there isn't any evidence that he couldn't.
OK, that's what I thought, and I disagree to a certain extent. I do agree with you that Stralman's puck-moving ability is very good, but it's nowhere near the level of Karlsson/Letang. Those elite guys avoid a lot of the wear and tear that's normally associated with big blueline minutes because they turn the puck around quickly and spend a lot of time in the other end of the rink.

I don't, however, disagree that a 1b pairing with Stralman on it would be a bad thing.

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