HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > National Hockey League Talk
National Hockey League Talk Discuss NHL players, teams, games, and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The "linemate" argument

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
02-08-2013, 07:38 AM
  #1
Chelios
Registered User
 
Chelios's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,522
vCash: 500
The "linemate" argument

An argument in the Toews vs Spezza poll, as well as the Rick Nash thread, got me again thinking about something I have often wondered about before. Namely, the "linemate" or "team" argument when discussing a players' offensive numbers. Specifically, that a good player on a crappy line, or a crappy team will automatically put up significantly better numbers if given better linemates, or traded to a better team. Intuitively it makes sense, surround the player with better players and he will have an easier time putting up points. However, my gut feeling is that it doesn't make as big a difference as many people believe. Maybe a good player on a crappy team gets put into more offensive situations simply because there is nobody else. Maybe a good player on a crappy team is allowed to cheat a little bit more towards offence because he is surrounded by grinders. Maybe I am completely wrong, and had Jerome Iginla been playing any other place but Calgary he would have been consistently putting up 100 point seasons on a better team.

By the same token it is interesting to think of the flip side. If a good player goes to a better team and automatically puts up more points, shouldn't the opposite also be true? Shouldn't going to a lesser team automatically shave off points from your totals.

Off the top of my head looking at guys who went through those types of situations (Heatley, Nash, Gaborik, Hossa etc...) I am interested to see if there is any evidence out there to shed light on this argument. I am genuinely curious to see if this is actually a legitimate argument, or if it is just something people use to justify something that isn't there.

Chelios is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 07:39 AM
  #2
Hobnobs
Pinko
 
Hobnobs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Country: Sweden
Posts: 2,953
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelios View Post
An argument in the Toews vs Spezza poll, as well as the Rick Nash thread, got me again thinking about something I have often wondered about before. Namely, the "linemate" or "team" argument when discussing a players' offensive numbers. Specifically, that a good player on a crappy line, or a crappy team will automatically put up significantly better numbers if given better linemates, or traded to a better team. Intuitively it makes sense, surround the player with better players and he will have an easier time putting up points. However, my gut feeling is that it doesn't make as big a difference as many people believe. Maybe a good player on a crappy team gets put into more offensive situations simply because there is nobody else. Maybe a good player on a crappy team is allowed to cheat a little bit more towards offence because he is surrounded by grinders. Maybe I am completely wrong, and had Jerome Iginla been playing any other place but Calgary he would have been consistently putting up 100 point seasons on a better team.

By the same token it is interesting to think of the flip side. If a good player goes to a better team and automatically puts up more points, shouldn't the opposite also be true? Shouldn't going to a lesser team automatically shave off points from your totals.

Off the top of my head looking at guys who went through those types of situations (Heatley, Nash, Gaborik, Hossa etc...) I am interested to see if there is any evidence out there to shed light on this argument. I am genuinely curious to see if this is actually a legitimate argument, or if it is just something people use to justify something that isn't there.
Shea Weber and Ryan Suter?

Hobnobs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 07:56 AM
  #3
GuineaPig
Registered User
 
GuineaPig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Montréal
Posts: 2,125
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelios View Post
By the same token it is interesting to think of the flip side. If a good player goes to a better team and automatically puts up more points, shouldn't the opposite also be true? Shouldn't going to a lesser team automatically shave off points from your totals.

Off the top of my head looking at guys who went through those types of situations (Heatley, Nash, Gaborik, Hossa etc...) I am interested to see if there is any evidence out there to shed light on this argument. I am genuinely curious to see if this is actually a legitimate argument, or if it is just something people use to justify something that isn't there.
It's generally accepted that elite offensive players can and do raise their shooting percentage above average, as well as make plays that result in higher quality scoring chances for teammates. Stands to reason that playing on a high-talent line will result in more points, albeit not to the extent that some might expect.

GuineaPig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:04 AM
  #4
Paxton Fettel
Registered User
 
Paxton Fettel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,179
vCash: 500
linemates are a factor but not a big one.

Paxton Fettel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:06 AM
  #5
Razor29
52-22-8
 
Razor29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Country: Canada
Posts: 7,170
vCash: 50
Imagine a playmaker such as Stastny playing with guys like Parise, Hossa, Nash, Gaborik as compared to Mitchell, Jones, McGinn and Kobasew. I'd like to think he'd put up twice as many points as he has now (7).


Last edited by Razor29: 02-08-2013 at 08:25 AM.
Razor29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:15 AM
  #6
Montreal Shadow
Registered User
 
Montreal Shadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Montreal
Country: Canada
Posts: 3,967
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuineaPig View Post
It's generally accepted that elite offensive players can and do raise their shooting percentage above average, as well as make plays that result in higher quality scoring chances for teammates. Stands to reason that playing on a high-talent line will result in more points, albeit not to the extent that some might expect.
Yeah and it increases the total for average or above average players. Elite offensive players produce no matter what. They seldom produce much more when paired with another offensive player.

Montreal Shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:16 AM
  #7
MadLuke
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,197
vCash: 500
Diaz with the Habs have more points if he play with Markov on the power play.

Markov would do a lot of power play on the power play on any team probably, but having him on your pp unit should boost your point total of some points on a season.

MadLuke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:18 AM
  #8
ZARTONK
Headscratcher!
 
ZARTONK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreal
Country: Armenia
Posts: 7,978
vCash: 50
Sometimes all an all-star needs is someone on his line good enough to complete his plays.

I'll give an example the Habs had, on a lesser level, Plekanec is usually paired with Moen on the PK, but Plekanec is good enough to often cause 2 on 1s, but whenever he passes to Moen (amazing passes in some cases), Moen can't seem to bury it, now let's say Plekanec was paired with someone of a higher caliber than Moen, those 2 on 1s would result in many more goals.

ZARTONK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:18 AM
  #9
Micklebot
Registered User
 
Micklebot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,381
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelios View Post
An argument in the Toews vs Spezza poll, as well as the Rick Nash thread, got me again thinking about something I have often wondered about before. Namely, the "linemate" or "team" argument when discussing a players' offensive numbers. Specifically, that a good player on a crappy line, or a crappy team will automatically put up significantly better numbers if given better linemates, or traded to a better team. Intuitively it makes sense, surround the player with better players and he will have an easier time putting up points. However, my gut feeling is that it doesn't make as big a difference as many people believe. Maybe a good player on a crappy team gets put into more offensive situations simply because there is nobody else. Maybe a good player on a crappy team is allowed to cheat a little bit more towards offence because he is surrounded by grinders. Maybe I am completely wrong, and had Jerome Iginla been playing any other place but Calgary he would have been consistently putting up 100 point seasons on a better team.

By the same token it is interesting to think of the flip side. If a good player goes to a better team and automatically puts up more points, shouldn't the opposite also be true? Shouldn't going to a lesser team automatically shave off points from your totals.

Off the top of my head looking at guys who went through those types of situations (Heatley, Nash, Gaborik, Hossa etc...) I am interested to see if there is any evidence out there to shed light on this argument. I am genuinely curious to see if this is actually a legitimate argument, or if it is just something people use to justify something that isn't there.
I suspect the type of player matters too. A playmaker needs someone to finish, but a guy who is all about end to end rushes would likely be less effected. Might be worth looking into how line mate changes have historically affected different types of players numbers. There are lots of cases of mediocre players getting a line mate bump, not sure how big an effect it has on elite guys.

Micklebot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:23 AM
  #10
bombers15
Registered User
 
bombers15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,706
vCash: 500
It's an overrated argument.

Ovechkin did better in his rookie year playing with Chris Clark than he did playing with Backstrom or Semin.

Some players benefit from strong linemates, obviously. But it doesn't matter as much for others.

Same with the good team argument. This seems like more of a crapshoot. Sometimes players do better with a good team, but often players succeed if they're a one-man show on a horrid team.

bombers15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:25 AM
  #11
Montreal Shadow
Registered User
 
Montreal Shadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Montreal
Country: Canada
Posts: 3,967
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombers15 View Post
It's an overrated argument.

Ovechkin did better in his rookie year playing with Chris Clark than he did playing with Backstrom or Semin.

Some players benefit from strong linemates, obviously. But it doesn't matter as much for others.

Same with the good team argument. This seems like more of a crapshoot. Sometimes players do better with a good team, but often players succeed if they're a one-man show on a horrid team.
His two best seasons were with Backstrom centering him...

Montreal Shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:26 AM
  #12
Hobnobs
Pinko
 
Hobnobs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Country: Sweden
Posts: 2,953
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombers15 View Post
It's an overrated argument.

Ovechkin did better in his rookie year playing with Chris Clark than he did playing with Backstrom or Semin.

Some players benefit from strong linemates, obviously. But it doesn't matter as much for others.

Same with the good team argument. This seems like more of a crapshoot. Sometimes players do better with a good team, but often players succeed if they're a one-man show on a horrid team.
The late 90s red wings being a prime example of point producing going down for lots of players. Since stacked or good teams means the coach has more options than playing the 1st line 25 mins of the game.

Then we have chemistry players.

Hull and Oates, Cassels and Sanderson etc.

Hobnobs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:27 AM
  #13
Ogopogo*
 
Ogopogo*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 14,214
vCash: 500
Linemates can affect things maybe 10% over the long term. The fact is: great players put up great numbers no matter who is on their line. That is why those expecting Rick Nash to be some superstar all of a sudden are sadly mistaken.

Ogopogo* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:29 AM
  #14
RANDOMH3RO
Registered User
 
RANDOMH3RO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,179
vCash: 500
It helps playmakers to really elevate their totals to their highest possible. Getting James Neal really helped Malkin become even more dangerous.

RANDOMH3RO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 08:34 AM
  #15
joe89
#5
 
joe89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Country: Sweden
Posts: 16,566
vCash: 500
Case to case I'd say. A gifted playmaker will benefit from having a good finisher to play with - Thornton. Guys who create their own chances with speed and will might not be affected at all - Kovalchuk. A point man might get far more offensive chances and bigger minutes on a worse team than he would on a good team, hence putting up more points - Streit.

joe89 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 09:15 AM
  #16
Cheddabombs
Status Quo
 
Cheddabombs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,102
vCash: 500
This argument is overused so much, and it's not even a great argument. Obviously good linemates help but not the extent some people say. I've seen stuff like put a 4th line scrub with Crosby and they`ll be a 60 point player... Ridiculous.

Also, sometimes it`s that one player that makes the line click. Case in point, Henrique last year with Parise and Kovalchuk. Obviously playing with guys like Parise and Kovy help but Henrique made that line click. He wasn`t just a random throw in to that line, he was another piece of the puzzle and filled his role just as much as Parise and Kovalchuk did. And to the people that will comment that Henrique finished with considerably less points than Kovalchuk and Parise, well no ****, it`s ****ing Kovalchuk and Parise. If Henrique was even close to either of them I would have been shocked.

Cheddabombs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 09:29 AM
  #17
BloatedGuppy
Registered User
 
BloatedGuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,934
vCash: 500
Prodigal talents will put up points no matter who is on their line.

Decent talents will profit from having complimentary line-mates, although that does not always mean a second talented player. It can mean a hard working defensive forward, or a big guy willing to do spade work along the boards.

Going to a quality team CAN be a boon, because it means you're playing in a better system, and have a higher chance of getting complimentary line mates, but it doesn't always work out. Sometimes the player does not fit the team or the system, and it's a square peg in a round hole.

Decent talents can sometimes masquerade as prodigal talents on bad teams, due to getting fed copious amounts of ice time and soft minutes. When placed on stronger franchises where their ice time/power play time is reduced, and where they perhaps do not get to carry/handle the puck as much, their numbers fall off.

Lots of factors to consider. It's never just a question of putting any three random offensive players together and watching their points take off.

BloatedGuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 09:51 AM
  #18
New Sabres Captain
ForFriendshipDikembe
 
New Sabres Captain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Country: United States
Posts: 38,004
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheddabombs View Post
This argument is overused so much, and it's not even a great argument. Obviously good linemates help but not the extent some people say. I've seen stuff like put a 4th line scrub with Crosby and they`ll be a 60 point player... Ridiculous.

Also, sometimes it`s that one player that makes the line click. Case in point, Henrique last year with Parise and Kovalchuk. Obviously playing with guys like Parise and Kovy help but Henrique made that line click. He wasn`t just a random throw in to that line, he was another piece of the puzzle and filled his role just as much as Parise and Kovalchuk did. And to the people that will comment that Henrique finished with considerably less points than Kovalchuk and Parise, well no ****, it`s ****ing Kovalchuk and Parise. If Henrique was even close to either of them I would have been shocked.
Exactly.

It's not about "put X with better linemates and he will score Y"...it's "put X with the RIGHT linemates and he will score Y". Sometimes the better player isn't the right fit, sometimes it is.

It's the Cody Hodgson argument right now on the Sabres board. There are some people who are claiming that the only reason Hodgson is putting up points is because of Vanek and Pominville. They point to Adam doing well between those 2 last year, and then falling off the map without them. The counter is that Hodgson's play is a big reason why Vanek and Pominville are putting up more points than one would expect. The point totals are just ridiculous for them...and Hodgson is doing much better than Adam did last year. Whatever it is, the fact is the three of them together are playing lights out.

New Sabres Captain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 09:53 AM
  #19
SuburbanRhythm
ThorntonSezNoHittin
 
SuburbanRhythm's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 4,571
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RANDOMH3RO View Post
It helps playmakers to really elevate their totals to their highest possible. Getting James Neal really helped Malkin become even more dangerous.
I'd argue in the other direction actually.

I think the linemate argument holds some merit in the case of a player like Neal.

Malkin put up 106 points with Sykora and Malone; solid NHL players but not stars. And 113 with Fedetenko, Sykora, and Talbot.

The guys who are what I guess would be Tier III players.

Tier I being Malkin/Crosby/Stamkos/old Ovechkin/Datsyuk/early 2000 Thornton. 100+ point guys.

Tier II being the star but not elite - Spezza/Iginla/old Lecavalier/Hossa/Toews. 80+ point guys.

Tier III being not quite making the leap to star level: Neal and Hartnell the two that immediately come to mind.

25-30 goal /60 point guys who get a bump playing next to someone a tier or two above, becoming 35+ goal/70+ point guys.

SuburbanRhythm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 11:18 AM
  #20
Sony Eriksson*
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N. Dallas/NYC
Country: Faroe Islands
Posts: 13,583
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelios View Post
An argument in the Toews vs Spezza poll, as well as the Rick Nash thread, got me again thinking about something I have often wondered about before. Namely, the "linemate" or "team" argument when discussing a players' offensive numbers. Specifically, that a good player on a crappy line, or a crappy team will automatically put up significantly better numbers if given better linemates, or traded to a better team. Intuitively it makes sense, surround the player with better players and he will have an easier time putting up points. However, my gut feeling is that it doesn't make as big a difference as many people believe. Maybe a good player on a crappy team gets put into more offensive situations simply because there is nobody else. Maybe a good player on a crappy team is allowed to cheat a little bit more towards offence because he is surrounded by grinders. Maybe I am completely wrong, and had Jerome Iginla been playing any other place but Calgary he would have been consistently putting up 100 point seasons on a better team.

By the same token it is interesting to think of the flip side. If a good player goes to a better team and automatically puts up more points, shouldn't the opposite also be true? Shouldn't going to a lesser team automatically shave off points from your totals.

Off the top of my head looking at guys who went through those types of situations (Heatley, Nash, Gaborik, Hossa etc...) I am interested to see if there is any evidence out there to shed light on this argument. I am genuinely curious to see if this is actually a legitimate argument, or if it is just something people use to justify something that isn't there.
Brunnstrom - Crosby - Fata = So you are telling me Fata and Brunnstrom would not benefit from playing with Crosby? Wan't proof look at James Neal and the numbers he put up last season playing with Malkin.

Sony Eriksson* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 11:25 AM
  #21
NyQuil
Setec Astronomy
 
NyQuil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa
Country: Canada
Posts: 42,587
vCash: 500
Putting a sniper with a puck possessing playmaker is a good fit.

Putting three guys who are elite at handling the puck on the same line, or three elite shooters, doesn't always work.

The complementary linemates argument works.

But simply putting 3 talented guys on a line doesn't always work.

Even some complementary pairings on paper don't work in real life.

NyQuil is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 11:30 AM
  #22
jbeck5
Registered User
 
jbeck5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,498
vCash: 500
More proof that having a good players who fit playing with other good players is a boost. Look at the pizza line. Have any of them done as well offensively since being separated? No. You had the perfect hard working 2-way player in alfredsson...the amazing passer in spezza...and the guy with one of the best shots in heatley...BAM all over 100 point paces...separate them and they're less then point a game players except for spezza who still hovers around a point per game.

jbeck5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 11:34 AM
  #23
Lonewolfe2015
Registered User
 
Lonewolfe2015's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Country: United States
Posts: 10,850
vCash: 239
It's in no way a linear notion. Take Olli Jokinen for instance, goes from P/G play in Florida to seriously struggling in Phoenix/Calgary.

Every hypothetical star to whatever team is a different analysis in and of itself.

Lonewolfe2015 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 11:36 AM
  #24
Christian Litscher
Hockey's Future Staff
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,032
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Putting a sniper with a puck possessing playmaker is a good fit.

Putting three guys who are elite at handling the puck on the same line, or three elite shooters, doesn't always work.

The complementary linemates argument works.

But simply putting 3 talented guys on a line doesn't always work.

Even some complementary pairings on paper don't work in real life.
This. Linemates are everything, not always in terms of skill level, but playing style.

Christian Litscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-08-2013, 11:42 AM
  #25
Devils Trap
Cory's Better
 
Devils Trap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Country:
Posts: 23,496
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to Devils Trap
Agree 100% . The Henrique is a product of his linemates argument last year was a joke

Soo now, Henrique playing on a line with Elias anc Clarkson has 4 points in 5 games (3G / 1A) while playing great defense along with being a regular on the PK

Devils Trap is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:13 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2014 All Rights Reserved.