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Nik Antropov - Can He Score Without Sundin?

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07-07-2008, 09:01 AM
  #1
LeafsIn7
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Nik Antropov - Can He Score Without Sundin?

My impression on Antropov's career year last season is initially that apart from playing 72 games I think Antropov simply benefitted greatly from playing with Sundin. My memory is that Antropov scored mostly while playing the wing on Sundin's line.

So I thought I'd test it out. I went through Antropov's entire season seeing whether or not he was on the ice with Sundin when he scored each of his 26 goals in 2007-08. In the initial month of October I thought I was on track to disproving this assumption as Antropov scored 5 of his 8 October goals without being on the ice with Sundin. However as it turned out Antropov only scored 3 of his last 18 goals without Sundin on the ice and therefore with Antropov playing center.

In summary, Antropov scored a grand total of 8 goals while playing off of Sundin's line (and presumably as a center) and 18 while playing on Sundin's wing. To me, this is evidence that Antropov's career year was helped greatly by occupying Sundin's wing more than any sort of elevated level of play. It also puts into question what sort of offensive center he can be off of Sundin's wing. What would be nice to know (but I'm not taking the analysis that far) is what percentage of the time Antropov played on Sundin's wing as opposed to center. I think it's 50:50 but I may be wrong.

P.S. In the interest of balance: How many goals did Sundin produce with Antropov? 20 of Sundin's 32 goals were with Antropov on Sundin's wing. But Sundin has scored 20+ goals in every year of his career with countless other wingers. I think it would be a stretch to suggest that Antropov elevated Sundin's results in any way remotely close to the way Sundin elevated Antropov's results.

My conclusion: Trade Antropov now! His value will never be higher. He has a history of injury issues and he had a career year playing next to the career year maker, Sundin. Antropov as a number 1 center will surely be a failed experiment. Strike while the iron is hot.

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07-07-2008, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeafsIn7 View Post
My impression on Antropov's career year last season is initially that apart from playing 72 games I think Antropov simply benefitted greatly from playing with Sundin. My memory is that Antropov scored mostly while playing the wing on Sundin's line.

So I thought I'd test it out. I went through Antropov's entire season seeing whether or not he was on the ice with Sundin when he scored each of his 26 goals in 2007-08. In the initial month of October I thought I was on track to disproving this assumption as Antropov scored 5 of his 8 October goals without being on the ice with Sundin. However as it turned out Antropov only scored 3 of his last 18 goals without Sundin on the ice and therefore with Antropov playing center.

In summary, Antropov scored a grand total of 8 goals while playing off of Sundin's line (and presumably as a center) and 18 while playing on Sundin's wing. To me, this is evidence that Antropov's career year was helped greatly by occupying Sundin's wing more than any sort of elevated level of play. It also puts into question what sort of offensive center he can be off of Sundin's wing. What would be nice to know (but I'm not taking the analysis that far) is what percentage of the time Antropov played on Sundin's wing as opposed to center. I think it's 50:50 but I may be wrong.

P.S. In the interest of balance: How many goals did Sundin produce with Antropov? 20 of Sundin's 32 goals were with Antropov on Sundin's wing. But Sundin has scored 20+ goals in every year of his career with countless other wingers. I think it would be a stretch to suggest that Antropov elevated Sundin's results in any way remotely close to the way Sundin elevated Antropov's results.

My conclusion: Trade Antropov now! His value will never be higher. He has a history of injury issues and he had a career year playing next to the career year maker, Sundin. Antropov as a number 1 center will surely be a failed experiment. Strike while the iron is hot.

Agreed.

If Sundin does not come back, statistics for former linemates will be impacted.

Wherever Sundin goes he'll elevate the play of his wingers.

Presently, the Leafs do not have anyone capable of assuming 1st. line center and contributing equal to Sundin.

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07-07-2008, 09:10 AM
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Good research there, I always believed something was up with this guy gettin 26. My guess is he'll not reach that again w/o Sundin, maybe 20.

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07-07-2008, 09:15 AM
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Antropov got points playing with Wellwood two seasons ago but he isn't around any more and for all intents and purposes didn't play last season. Wellwood's decline really screwed things up last year because it effectively took away their second line.

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07-07-2008, 09:23 AM
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Its time for Antropov to step it up a couple of notches. Its now or never. He showed that he can do it last season and I put my faith in Antropov if Sundin leaves. If Antropov is a bust 2008/2009 we should trade the whole ****** team and tank the season. Rebuild now!


/Cheers

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07-07-2008, 09:34 AM
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With out a comparative of ice time with and with out Sundin those stats are kinda meaningless on there own. Essentially 31% of his goals on the year came With out Sundin on the ice and 69% came with Sundin on. Now if Antropov on average for the season was on the ice with Sundin close to 69% of the time then really he scores close to the same with or with out him regardless of total number of goals.

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07-07-2008, 09:44 AM
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I am really looking forward to what is going to be happen to Antropov statistically if Sundin does not return..

Part of this analysis here is points/goals with/without Sundin on Antropov's line. That is an interesting result in itself but ...

That conclusion is based on Antropov and Sundin on different lines on the team though. However there could be even a bigger factor in play this year and that is Antropov output verses Sundin not even on the team (if Sundin does not return)..

Antropov now will face the top checking line and Top dman pairing assuming he is on the Leafs top line. Even on different lines last year Sundin still took with him the opponents best defensive or biggest/strongest players or sometime going head to head offensively against the opponents best players offensively.

That factor is going to put a large strain on Antropov now, and likely a reason why Fletcher would still like Sundin back this year as that buffer factor, allowing the younger players not only Antropov but others to face easier opposition each night as Mats shelters them by his presence alone..

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07-07-2008, 09:48 AM
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I'd readily argue that the biggest reason for Nik's increase in goals is directly attributable to parking himself in front of the net and either banging in garbage (a la Ciccarelli) or making sweet tip ins. Obviously, Mats helps but I'm quite confident that much of his increase was due to how he chose to play...fearless.

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07-07-2008, 09:50 AM
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at the end of last season (when i was in full tank mode), i wanted to see Antropov on the ice less than Sundin, because Antropov was much more creative and dangerous.

...give Antropov 1st line minutes, and he'll be just fine without Sundin.

Not as good as Sundin, but, fine without him.

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07-07-2008, 09:51 AM
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Thought I should add that I love Antropov as a second line option as he is a quality two way guy in my opinion with strong offensive skill and ability to make others of second line talent around him a little better. But if he if the number one center I am concerned with fan reception and expectations because he is not that good IMO and will disappoint if those expectations are too high.

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07-07-2008, 10:11 AM
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Antropov has a lot of natural skill - but yes, he is best suited in a complimentary role with Mats. This is a make or break year for Nik and I am excited to see what he can do.

I definitely think he can crack 60 points, but it might be hard if he's against the other teams shutdown pairing.

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07-07-2008, 10:40 AM
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Antropov and Sundin would've had a lot more points if they had another finisher on that line. Ponikarovski blew alot of the chances provided to him by those two. I think Nik would do well on the first line with Steen and Kulemin or Tlusty flanking him. Plus, this is a tank year so no harm in trying it out.

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07-07-2008, 10:41 AM
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I actually don't think Antropov will be a Leaf by the start of the season. Just a hunch though. I figure he will be part of the McCabe/Kubina trade.

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07-07-2008, 11:01 AM
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Despite what the stats say, I thought Antropov was more visible when he played centre without Sundin. I think Nik will benefit greatly from first line centre minutes. I think he's a better centre than winger. I'm predicting a 30 goal season for him.

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07-07-2008, 11:06 AM
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I think anyone who played with Sundin had increased production (Ponikarovsky, Steen). Without Sundin our team is just a bunch of second line forwards.

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07-07-2008, 11:56 AM
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How much was it that Antripov just wasn't getting the ice time off Sundin's line?
When you are playing on the first line of course you are going to score more goals.
And yes Sundin does play a part in it, but some players enhance their play when given a greater responsibility.
So we will see how Antripov responds to being the go to guy.

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07-07-2008, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Wendel17 View Post
Despite what the stats say, I thought Antropov was more visible when he played centre without Sundin. I think Nik will benefit greatly from first line centre minutes. I think he's a better centre than winger. I'm predicting a 30 goal season for him.
Yea, I could've sworn he was over a PPG before he was put with Mats.

It's not like Mats is a set up guy.

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07-07-2008, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Hounsy View Post
With out a comparative of ice time with and with out Sundin those stats are kinda meaningless on there own. Essentially 31% of his goals on the year came With out Sundin on the ice and 69% came with Sundin on. Now if Antropov on average for the season was on the ice with Sundin close to 69% of the time then really he scores close to the same with or with out him regardless of total number of goals.
Exactly. These numbers need to be put into some sort of context here.

Also, on behalf of the bWo on the topic of trading Antropov. To all other teams in the league I say:

NO NIK FOR YOU!

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07-07-2008, 12:56 PM
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Yea, I could've sworn he was over a PPG before he was put with Mats.

It's not like Mats is a set up guy.
Agreed.

His overall point totals should be the same if not more with the increased PP time.

Pony on the other hand may drop.

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07-07-2008, 01:09 PM
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Yea, I could've sworn he was over a PPG before he was put with Mats.

It's not like Mats is a set up guy.
Completely off-topic but I think I've been misinterpreting your name "Chocolate Skittles". Here I thought it was word play like something Ralph Wiggum might call M&M's then I saw this package of Chocolate Skittles at the corner store. Crazy product idea. I'll have to try it.

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07-07-2008, 01:40 PM
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Watching a guy like Jonas Hoglund on Sundin's line, it was pretty obvious he was riding on Sundin's coat-tails to get the kind of production he got.

With Antropov, that just did not appear to be the case. He was just as visible when Sundin wasn't with him and a drop off in production is hardly surprising when you were playing with our leading scorer.

I'm a little curious about Antropov's assist totals while not playing with Sundin... Probably had to create more plays himself without Sundin around.

I'm certainly curious as to how Antropov produces on a Sundinless Leafs, but given 1st line minutes, I can see Antropov getting around 65 points this upcoming year. I'm starting to think Sundin's coming back anyways, so this debate may be moot anyway.

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07-07-2008, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LeafsIn7 View Post
Completely off-topic but I think I've been misinterpreting your name "Chocolate Skittles". Here I thought it was word play like something Ralph Wiggum might call M&M's then I saw this package of Chocolate Skittles at the corner store. Crazy product idea. I'll have to try it.
Haha, I was just plain "Skittles" before.. and btw they don't taste like m&ms.

If anyone leeched off Mats, it was Blake. His assist totals are shocking. A career high of 37!!

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07-07-2008, 02:05 PM
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How many of those goals happened while on the powerplay, which would have less to do with Sundin's presence?
If anything, his production is due to go on. He'll be one of the go-to guys on the powerplay and he'll likely lead our forwards in icetime.

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07-07-2008, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Hook View Post
How many of those goals happened while on the powerplay, which would have less to do with Sundin's presence?
If anything, his production is due to go on. He'll be one of the go-to guys on the powerplay and he'll likely lead our forwards in icetime.
I second this. Shouldn't PP goals be excluded or accounted for in your numbers?

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07-07-2008, 03:24 PM
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If anyone leeched off Mats, it was Blake. His assist totals are shocking. A career high of 37!!
On a side note:

If we don't get Blake a true setup man by next season I think we're in for another disappointing season as far as he's concerned.

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