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11-24-2011, 05:33 PM
  #1
Drake744
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Jack Hillen

What are everyone's thoughts on him so far? I am as into the game as anyone when I watch but I don't study players as deeply as others might. So far for me he has seemed pretty adequate, especially after coming over in a lackluster signing I feel like he hasn't been too bad. The old "no news is good news" theory maybe? Thoughts?

I feel like if you took about 85 percent of the hockey set that Dan Hamhuis has, you would get Jack Hillen.


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11-24-2011, 05:34 PM
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Top 6 Spaling
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adequate is the #1 word that jumps to mind.

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11-25-2011, 12:01 AM
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barrytrotzsneck
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He's a good puck carrier, but is so weak down low that it's cancelled out most of the time. I'd feel better if he were the seventh dman and Laakso was rooming overseas with Bergfors, but I guess he suffices for ten or eleven minutes per night.

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11-25-2011, 12:42 AM
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Adequate bottom pairing guy. Good puck mover, makes some smart reads, and I like the spunk that you sometimes see out of him. Little weak on the defensive side, and can be physically overwhelmed at times. I really feel like we just haven't found the right mix/chemistry in the bottom 4 yet, and solving that might bring a little more from his game.

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11-25-2011, 01:32 AM
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Everlong
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Does everything reasonably well. Doesn't excel in any particular area though. If he see's any more icetime, more holes will be found in his game. I'm comfortable with him where he is.

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11-25-2011, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tootoo Train View Post
Does everything reasonably well. Doesn't excel in any particular area though. If he see's any more icetime, more holes will be found in his game. I'm comfortable with him where he is.
I was a defenseman and take particular interest in that position.

Hillen averaged almost 19 minutes a night last year with the Islanders and finished with 22 points (4G and 18A). The Preds could really use more offense from their defensemen. He really started playing more minutes in the second half of last season, many nights logging 20-22 minutes. This coincided with the Islanders surge, as they played above .500 after mid January.

I think his defense is under rated. He was -5, on the Islanders last year, a team that was not very good, so that was not a bad stat. He is currently even on this team as compared to some of his D partners (-6 Bouillon, -9 Blum, Klein -10). He was second on the Islanders in blocked shots (137). A recent stat on this chatboard showed him on the ice approximately 36 minutes in even strength play before a goal against is scored which was almost 3 times better than Boullion, Blum and Klein (about 13 mins each), but half as good as Weber and Suter, who were at about 70 minutes.

I'll give you that he does not look impressive defensively, especially down low, but paired with the right guy, usually a bigger guy, that pairing can be very effective. He is rarely if ever out of position and he blocks a lot of shots.

At the Islanders he played a lot of PK because of his mobility. I think this is an area where the Predators could really use him to relieve some of Suter's and Weber's minutes, as it appears they are getting worn down, especially evidenced by their poor play against Edmonton and Minnesota.

Remember, he came into camp this season as an outsider and beat out Ellis, Sloan, Ekholm and Laakso for a spot. No small feat for a 5'10" undrafted college free agent. I like his "compete level". It is hard for a D to jump on to the ice every 4 minutes or so and only log about 13 minutes a night. I think he has played that role very well.

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11-25-2011, 08:32 AM
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[QUOTE=Iron I really feel like we just haven't found the right mix/chemistry in the bottom 4 yet, and solving that might bring a little more from his game.[/QUOTE]
Agree with the comment above that we haven't found the right mix for our bottom 4. The parts are ok but we aren't better than the sum of the parts.

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11-25-2011, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Drake744 View Post
What are everyone's thoughts on him so far? .
I would guess he is gonna have the PS by his name, as is permascratch. we can send laakso the way of sulzer

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11-25-2011, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Iron Duke View Post
Adequate bottom pairing guy. Good puck mover, makes some smart reads, and I like the spunk that you sometimes see out of him. Little weak on the defensive side, and can be physically overwhelmed at times. I really feel like we just haven't found the right mix/chemistry in the bottom 4 yet, and solving that might bring a little more from his game.
Ironically the reason I made this thread was because I was playing NHL 12 and surprised at how good of a puck mover he seemed to be. Weird but hey oh well.

And by the way, I see you're in San Dimas.....good to see another Preds fan out here.

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11-25-2011, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by braindead View Post
Agree with the comment above that we haven't found the right mix for our bottom 4. The parts are ok but we aren't better than the sum of the parts.
It's really surprising, as well, considering how well Klein and Blum seemed to gel together in the post-season. It just hasn't come together yet, for whatever reason, this season.

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11-25-2011, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Drake744 View Post
And by the way, I see you're in San Dimas.....good to see another Preds fan out here.
Was a lifelong Kings fan, but was disappointed to see them essentially throw the towel in on a couple of seasons when Lombardi first took over. That kind of stuff just doesn't sit well with me. For whatever reason, I seem to have a soft spot for 'the South,' and coupled with my habitual Center Ice watching for years, just couldn't resist Smashville.

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11-25-2011, 08:57 PM
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Undersized and not skilled. Sort of like a weaker cube.

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11-25-2011, 11:36 PM
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He has a wicked 'stache.

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Old
11-26-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by barrytrotzsneck View Post
You're trying to reason with someone that has a bizarre mancrush on Jack Hillen
How do you know I'm a man? I am just stubborn with my hockey opinions.

No mancrush on Hillen. Just trying to inject some reality in the situation here. He beat out Sloan, Ellis, Ekholm and Laakso for a spot on the D out of camp. He is not prone to the major defensive gaffes we see in Blum and Klein. He has a good defensive and offensive history the last two years on a crappy team, the Islanders, which is difficult to do. Maybe time to try him in a bigger role on the Preds.

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11-26-2011, 09:45 AM
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token grinder
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Originally Posted by Prederator View Post
How do you know I'm a man? I am just stubborn with my hockey opinions.

No mancrush on Hillen. Just trying to inject some reality in the situation here. He beat out Sloan, Ellis, Ekholm and Laakso for a spot on the D out of camp. He is not prone to the major defensive gaffes we see in Blum and Klein. He has a good defensive and offensive history the last two years on a crappy team, the Islanders, which is difficult to do. Maybe time to try him in a bigger role on the Preds.
or he was a reason the islanders stunk and didn't keep him?

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11-26-2011, 11:50 AM
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Drake744
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I think people just sort of assume Hillen sucks because he's a random bottom-pairing D-man who we hear nothing about. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'll agree that there are no major blunders that I remember out of him (Klein, I'm talking about you), but does that mean we need to give him more minutes or keep him right where he's at?

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11-26-2011, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
or he was a reason the islanders stunk and didn't keep him?
Hard to make a case they are better without him, as they are in dead last place this season. They have a history of releasing players who do quite well elsewhere.

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11-26-2011, 12:26 PM
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Hillen is getting some some of the advantage that Franson had, protected minutes. Put him in Klein's spot and you'll think Klein was a Norris candidate. Hillen is a 3rd pair dman on this team. 12 - 15 minutes a game. Ellis was never going to start in Nashville, he was bound for Milwaukee from the first day of camp. I'm not sure if Josi was healthy if Hillen would have had a job or not. Beating out Sloan and Ekholm in camp isn't anything to special.

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11-26-2011, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Drake744 View Post
I think people just sort of assume Hillen sucks because he's a random bottom-pairing D-man who we hear nothing about. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'll agree that there are no major blunders that I remember out of him (Klein, I'm talking about you), but does that mean we need to give him more minutes or keep him right where he's at?
I assume he sucks because I watch him with my own eyes. He's excellent, as long as he's under NO PRESSURE WHATSOEVER. As soon as anyone breathes on him, count on a turnover.

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11-26-2011, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by barrytrotzsneck View Post
I assume he sucks because I watch him with my own eyes. He's excellent, as long as he's under NO PRESSURE WHATSOEVER. As soon as anyone breathes on him, count on a turnover.
Well, your comment piqued my interest on the turnover question, so I looked up some stats from last year, as that is a better data set to check out whether Hillen is a Give-away machine. I compared his stats to Kevin Klein, who was also a second pairing defenseman last year. Hillen averaged almost 19 minutes a game for 64 games and had only 26 Give-Aways, or .40 per game, 137th highest among Defensemen in the NHL.

Klein averaged almost 21 minutes a game for 81 games and had 61 Give-Aways or .74 per game, 18th highest among NHL defensemen, and almost twice as many as Hillen.

(FYI, Suter had 47 Give-Aways and Weber had 51 Give-Aways, but those stats don't compare well because they were first pairing defensmen and averaged over 25 mins/game.)

I don't discount what you see with your eyes, but the facts paint a different picture in my opinion.

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11-26-2011, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Prederator View Post
Well, your comment piqued my interest on the turnover question, so I looked up some stats from last year, as that is a better data set to check out whether Hillen is a Give-away machine. I compared his stats to Kevin Klein, who was also a second pairing defenseman last year. Hillen averaged almost 19 minutes a game for 64 games and had only 26 Give-Aways, or .40 per game, 137th highest among Defensemen in the NHL.

Klein averaged almost 21 minutes a game for 81 games and had 61 Give-Aways or .74 per game, 18th highest among NHL defensemen, and almost twice as many as Hillen.

(FYI, Suter had 47 Give-Aways and Weber had 51 Give-Aways, but those stats don't compare well because they were first pairing defensmen and averaged over 25 mins/game.)

I don't discount what you see with your eyes, but the facts paint a different picture in my opinion.
What are this year's stats?

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11-26-2011, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Drake744 View Post
What are this year's stats?
In the 2011-12 season Hillen has only 3 Give-Aways, Klein has a whopping 18 Give-Aways. (Blum has 10, Bouillon 10, Weber 13, Suter 9).

Although there is a disparity in TOI as Hillen is averaging about 12:06 and Klein 16:48, that TOI difference does not account for that big a difference in GV numbers IMO. It appears the bigger Give-Away-ers are Klein, Blum and Bouillon, not Hillen. Perhaps that also explains why there is also a big difference in their +/- stats, as Give-Aways usually have a direct correlation to goals against. Hillen is even, Bouillon is -6, Blum is -9 and Klein is -10.

Barry sees what he sees, but facts are stubborn things.

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11-26-2011, 03:58 PM
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It's not just TOI, it's who they are matched against, protected minutes. You can't compare the stats since Klein is playing against top 2 lines and Hillen isn't. When he gets stuck out against top lines he, just like Franson, is exposed.

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11-26-2011, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jlsg View Post
It's not just TOI, it's who they are matched against, protected minutes. You can't compare the stats since Klein is playing against top 2 lines and Hillen isn't. When he gets stuck out against top lines he, just like Franson, is exposed.
There is some truth to that, but on the road especially Hillen and Blum get stuck out there against their top lines. They also get stuck out there when we lose the face-off and the other team changes to their top line. That doesn't happen to Klein and Bouillon as often as they are safely tucked in there with the 2nd and 3rd line rotations.

Regardless of how you want to manipulate the numbers and account for the differences, and those things do mean something, Hillen's 3 is an awfully small number, currently 197th worst in the NHL, compared to Klein's 18, which is way up at the top at 17th worst in the NHL.

Klein finished 18th worst among NHL defensemen last year. He is currently 17th. Hillen finished 137th last year. He is currently 197th worst (probably due to lower TOI this season). Both are pretty much performing as they did last season.


Last edited by Prederator: 11-26-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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11-27-2011, 02:33 AM
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Drake744
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Originally Posted by kakemono View Post
Is this thread about Josi still?... Or is this Klien-Hillen thread?

I'm confused.
Ironically I made a Hillen thread the other day for no real reason, then this explodes in another thread.

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