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WCQF | Game 4 | Phoenix Coyotes @ Detroit Red Wings | 6:30 PM EDT | FS-D (HD) |

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Old
04-22-2010, 06:38 PM
  #701
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
That's partially true, fewer penalties overal make it less painful to limit Lidstrom PK/IT, but the point is that Lidstrom's time is getting reduced when he could be playing more on the PK. Nobody's talking about him being out there for the full two minutes, that's just a typical exaggeration, but if Babcock wanted to get him out there for more time it wouldn't be difficult at all.

For instance, Brad Stuart's PK/IT jumped up from 2:49 to 3:26 between 2009 and this year. How is this possible, given the lesser PK time? Was he out there for 'the full two minutes'?

Obviously not. Clearly Babcock chose to play him more, and it certainly appears to have been possible to play a Red Wing defenseman for 3:26 a night even when the teams total pims were dropping.

And keep in mind, this was happening without Lilja around to serve as an effective PK Dman like he did in 2009 with 3:20 a night.
And we saw how well that worked out...

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04-22-2010, 07:02 PM
  #702
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
The thing is, even IF one of those guys step up the team is still going to be really thin on the PK. As I predicted to start the year (and was, as always, mocked) Lidstrom's PK time again dropped by over half a minute a night... down to 2:56 a game.

2006: 5:14
2007: 4:32
2008: 3:57
2009: 3:27
2010: 2:56.

That's Lidstrom PK/IT/g trend since the lockout. I sort of see one there. Looks like it's (justifiably) going down. At some point really soon I think it's going to drop right off a cliff, meaning I think by next year we're going to see Lidstrom on the PK for around a minute a night in order to save him for the offensive side of the ice and hopefully protect him from getting crushed by somebody.

Rafalski's PK/IT/g has also fallen each of the past three years, again justifiably. It's going to fall again next year... although since he's already at a minute a night it won't go much south of that.

Kronwall's a 2 minute a night PK guy. He shouldn't be doing it much more than that, partially because of injury concerns but mostly because he's really not very good at it.

So, even if Stuart bumps up from his 3:23 of this year, that will barely cover the decline from Lidstrom and Rafalski's PK IT.

Essentially, either Detroit has to bring back Lilja to PK, or they are going to have to find another guy just like Lilja to PK. Devil I know over the devil I don't, especially for something like the PK unit.
I can't say for sure, but isn't part of the reason for that trend just because PIMs are dropping since the the start of the "new NHL"

Look, we're paying Rafalski a butload of money. He's got to perform.
Kronwall is about to come upon a big contract year. It's time for him to step up.
And Ericsson is 6'5 and has looked surprisingly good when used on the PK.

We're keeping
LIDs Rafalski
Stuart Kronwall
Ericsson/Kindl
Those guys are automatic, unless this team decides Kindl or Ericsson are expendable.

Brining Lilja back means one of our upside guys (Ericsson/Kindl) is out of the lineup. We're not going to leave Kindl in the press box every night. We're not going to bench Ericsson.
My guess is the Babcock treats these two guys like he treated Howard:
"We're going to play them and see if they can do it. It might be ugly."

The problem here is that we've got $9M invested in two defenseman who really aren't showing much PK ability.

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04-22-2010, 07:28 PM
  #703
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Originally Posted by norrisnick View Post
And we saw how well that worked out...
Which further proves the point. In the face of Stuart's PK IT jumping to what I assume you are implying is ill effect, why wouldn't Lidstrom's PK IT be elevated then?

The answer, obviously, is that his PK responsibilities are being reduced, even when doing so may lead to an immediate negative impact on the team in the short-term, because it's pretty obvious that playing on the PK is more wearing than any other phase of the game.

That's why Lidstrom's PK IT is going to drop next year too.

And that's why having either a Lilja or a guy who does what Lilja does (play some at ES but who can play a bunch on the PK) will be so important.

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04-22-2010, 07:41 PM
  #704
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The problem here is that we've got $9M invested in two defenseman who really aren't showing much PK ability.
Rafalski was never going to be a PK guy though. Expecting him to do it now, at 37, with a gimpy back... that's just crazy.

Maybe Kronwall is the guy that plays 3 minutes a night on the PK instead of 2, but I think that's a bad move both for health and effectiveness reasons.

Ericsson is going to have to take on a larger PK role, that's almost a given. If he goes to 2:30 and Stuart goes to 4, that will just barely absorb Lidstrom and Rafalski's decline.

Kindl's not a PK'er, and while you mention you don't think he's going to be in the press box all the time, I absolutely think he's going to start the year as the #7 guy, especially if Lilja is retained. Maybe he gets out at some point, but I highly doubt we'll see him any more than 30-40 games next year tops, barring injuries.

And yes, while Detroit's PK time has been decreasing, at a certain point it's going to stop decreasing. This year the Wings averaged 8.8 PIMs a night, so I just don't know if they can get much lighter than that.

Detroit needs someone they can use to soak up PK minutes. If not Lilja, then a possibly cheaper Lilja clone (Jay McKee?). I just think it's going to be a disaster if Detroit has to lean too heavily on a top 2 pairing that will be 77-78 years old combined to do a bunch of PK work. That's heavy lifting.

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04-22-2010, 08:34 PM
  #705
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
No Lilja = Very scary PK pairings.
They did more than fine without him. We've been over this. /discussion

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04-22-2010, 08:44 PM
  #706
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Just musing - what if they were to move Ericsson or Kindl in a deal for a decent young middle 6 forward, and then they pick up a cheap PK guy for that bottom pair? Would LA trade Simmonds for Ericsson and a middle pick?

Or maybe trade for an RFA's rights from a team that has cap trouble and sign him? Edmonton could use a cheap young defenseman, would we want any of their young RFA forwards? Gagner? Brule? Probably not, but would something like this be an option? The Wings have a logjam on D and could use scoring depth. Just thinking out loud.

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04-22-2010, 08:50 PM
  #707
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Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
Just musing - what if they were to move Ericsson or Kindl in a deal for a decent young middle 6 forward, and then they pick up a cheap PK guy for that bottom pair? Would LA trade Simmonds for Ericsson and a middle pick?

Or maybe trade for an RFA's rights from a team that has cap trouble and sign him? Edmonton could use a cheap young defenseman, would we want any of their young RFA forwards? Gagner? Brule? Probably not, but would something like this be an option? The Wings have a logjam on D and could use scoring depth. Just thinking out loud.
Let me see. Helm, Eaves, Miller, Abdelkader, we've got more than enough PK'ers.

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04-22-2010, 08:52 PM
  #708
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They did more than fine without him.
Yeah, their defense certainly was magical for most of the year. One of the stingiest defenses to allow 30+ shots a night of all time.

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04-22-2010, 08:58 PM
  #709
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Just musing - what if they were to move Ericsson or Kindl in a deal for a decent young middle 6 forward, and then they pick up a cheap PK guy for that bottom pair? Would LA trade Simmonds for Ericsson and a middle pick?

Or maybe trade for an RFA's rights from a team that has cap trouble and sign him? Edmonton could use a cheap young defenseman, would we want any of their young RFA forwards? Gagner? Brule? Probably not, but would something like this be an option? The Wings have a logjam on D and could use scoring depth. Just thinking out loud.
Why does Detroit need a young middle 6 forward? Their problem is that they have too many third line tweeners and not enough solidly top 6 forwards.

On top of that, they are going to need their defensive depth a bunch more over the next couple years as Lidstrom retires and Rafalski recedes.

Really, in a musing frame of mind what the Wings should do is package a few of their middle sixers to land a solid scoring line guy instead.

Cleary, Hudler, Eaves, Miller, Helm, Abdelkader... move two or three of those guys in a package to get a top 6 guy.

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04-22-2010, 09:04 PM
  #710
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
Why does Detroit need a young middle 6 forward? Their problem is that they have too many third line tweeners and not enough solidly top 6 forwards.

On top of that, they are going to need their defensive depth a bunch more over the next couple years as Lidstrom retires and Rafalski recedes.

Really, in a musing frame of mind what the Wings should do is package a few of their middle sixers to land a solid scoring line guy instead.

Cleary, Hudler, Eaves, Miller, Helm, Abdelkader... move two or three of those guys in a package to get a top 6 guy.
The Wings see Kronwall as their "replacement" for Nick when he's gone, and between Kindl, Smith, and the large number of offensively talented smurfensemen on the FA market every year, they could replace Rafalski when the need arises.

Up front, there's maybe one or two forward prospects that have any chance of being top sixers - Nyquist, maybe Ferraro, maybe Mursak. That's where the bigger need is. The goalie pipeline is full enough, the defense looks like it's as prepared as it ever will be for the day Nick retires, but who do they have to step in to the middle six and give them some punch? Nobody.

A guy like Simmonds is probably out of reach, but if the Kings were willing to deal him and the cost was Ericsson or Kindl plus a pick, would you take it?

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04-22-2010, 09:08 PM
  #711
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Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
They did more than fine without him. We've been over this. /discussion
The PK improved by nearly 10% when he came back.

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04-22-2010, 09:16 PM
  #712
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
Rafalski was never going to be a PK guy though. Expecting him to do it now, at 37, with a gimpy back... that's just crazy.

Maybe Kronwall is the guy that plays 3 minutes a night on the PK instead of 2, but I think that's a bad move both for health and effectiveness reasons.

Ericsson is going to have to take on a larger PK role, that's almost a given. If he goes to 2:30 and Stuart goes to 4, that will just barely absorb Lidstrom and Rafalski's decline.

Kindl's not a PK'er, and while you mention you don't think he's going to be in the press box all the time, I absolutely think he's going to start the year as the #7 guy, especially if Lilja is retained. Maybe he gets out at some point, but I highly doubt we'll see him any more than 30-40 games next year tops, barring injuries.

And yes, while Detroit's PK time has been decreasing, at a certain point it's going to stop decreasing. This year the Wings averaged 8.8 PIMs a night, so I just don't know if they can get much lighter than that.

Detroit needs someone they can use to soak up PK minutes. If not Lilja, then a possibly cheaper Lilja clone (Jay McKee?). I just think it's going to be a disaster if Detroit has to lean too heavily on a top 2 pairing that will be 77-78 years old combined to do a bunch of PK work. That's heavy lifting.
LOL. I thought it was you who said that Rafalski's signing positions us fabulously for the post-Lidstrom era.
In fact, I remember tons of posts all over this place calling Rafalski a legit #1 defenseman. In my eyes, a legit #1 defenseman can kill penalties.

If Lidstrom is going to get $6M a year, he needs to play $6M a year PK minutes. We can't sign guys to contracts at this price, this late in their career, and then be afraid to play them at big.

I see Lids and Stuart on the first unit.
And then Kronwall/Ericsson/Rafalski rotating in on unit 2. At least until they prove they can't do it.

I don't see this team keeping Lilja unless he's willing to take a pay cut and willing to fight for his role on the club.
If he does that, then I'd be perfectly satisfied with Kind/Ericsson/Lilja battling rotating for the final 4 spots in the lineup.

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04-22-2010, 09:21 PM
  #713
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Just musing - what if they were to move Ericsson or Kindl in a deal for a decent young middle 6 forward, and then they pick up a cheap PK guy for that bottom pair? Would LA trade Simmonds for Ericsson and a middle pick?

Or maybe trade for an RFA's rights from a team that has cap trouble and sign him? Edmonton could use a cheap young defenseman, would we want any of their young RFA forwards? Gagner? Brule? Probably not, but would something like this be an option? The Wings have a logjam on D and could use scoring depth. Just thinking out loud.
That logjam is going to disintegrate in the near future. Lids can't be a #1 guy forever, as he showed for the first 3 months of the season.
Same with Rafalski. How long can he be expected to be a big producer?
Kronwall and Stuart are good and not that old. But are they a true top pairing?
Trading young defense is a scary proposition at this poiint.

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04-22-2010, 11:17 PM
  #714
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
Which further proves the point. In the face of Stuart's PK IT jumping to what I assume you are implying is ill effect, why wouldn't Lidstrom's PK IT be elevated then?

The answer, obviously, is that his PK responsibilities are being reduced, even when doing so may lead to an immediate negative impact on the team in the short-term, because it's pretty obvious that playing on the PK is more wearing than any other phase of the game.

That's why Lidstrom's PK IT is going to drop next year too.

And that's why having either a Lilja or a guy who does what Lilja does (play some at ES but who can play a bunch on the PK) will be so important.
Hard to agree that Lidstrom's PK IT is being reduced because he wasn't given an additional workload to make up for the loss of Lilja for most of the year. I think it's more likely that Stuart was given the additional workload because he wasn't expected to carry much (any) PP IT, while Ericsson soaked up the rest as a prep to soaking up more minutes next season.

I would prefer Lilja back but if the Wings decide to lean on Ericsson as a regular PKer, I can see the need for Lilja somewhat reduced.

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Old
04-23-2010, 08:36 AM
  #715
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LOL. I thought it was you who said that Rafalski's signing positions us fabulously for the post-Lidstrom era.
I don't know if I said 'fabulously', but I think Rafalski will be an important player once Nick is gone. That doesn't mean he should be playing 3 minutes a night on the PK.

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In fact, I remember tons of posts all over this place calling Rafalski a legit #1 defenseman. In my eyes, a legit #1 defenseman can kill penalties.
Well, that's your opinion. I personally don't think I've called Rafalski a true #1, but as an offensive defenseman he's very good. IMO it's a lot easier to find a guy who can play defense and kill penalties well for 3-4 minutes a night than it is to find a top-tier offensive talent from the blue line.

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04-23-2010, 08:51 AM
  #716
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Hard to agree that Lidstrom's PK IT is being reduced because he wasn't given an additional workload to make up for the loss of Lilja for most of the year. I think it's more likely that Stuart was given the additional workload because he wasn't expected to carry much (any) PP IT, while Ericsson soaked up the rest as a prep to soaking up more minutes next season.
Here's the problem with your logic regarding Stuart:

2009 PP IT/g: 19 seconds a game.
2010 PP IT/g: 1:06 a game.

So, his PK IT jumped and his PP IT jumped, while Lidstrom's PK IT dropped and his PP IT stayed flat.

And here's another quick factoid:

Lidstrom's total IT/g:

2006: 28:06
2007: 27:29
2008: 26:43
2009: 24:49
2010: 25:25

I think the small uptick in 2010 is pretty easy to explain, given how important the regular season games were this year as opposed to most years past. Unless Detroit is in a similar situation next year where they have to go full out just to make the playoffs, I think we'll see Lidstrom's total IT drop under 24 a game.

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I would prefer Lilja back but if the Wings decide to lean on Ericsson as a regular PKer, I can see the need for Lilja somewhat reduced.
Somewhat... but then you're in a position where you have to depend on Ericsson to not go into another prolonged funk. Seems risky, when all you have to do to reasonably protect yourself from it is to spend 1.5ish on Lilja instead of 700k on Lebda.

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04-23-2010, 09:12 AM
  #717
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The Wings see Kronwall as their "replacement" for Nick when he's gone,
I don't think that's the case. I don't believe the Wings think Kronwall is a #1 dman, and I have doubts whether they think he's even a top-pairing dman. Hell, I like the guy and I don't know that he's a top pairing dman. Above average #3, absolutely.

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and between Kindl, Smith, and the large number of offensively talented smurfensemen on the FA market every year, they could replace Rafalski when the need arises.
It's much harder to find a good offensive dman than it is to find a good defensive dman, and it's hardest of all to find a guy who can do both well. If Detroit can find those guys in house, that's an infinitely better alternative than trying to land one via the FA market, which will almost always involve a big cap number.

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Up front, there's maybe one or two forward prospects that have any chance of being top sixers - Nyquist, maybe Ferraro, maybe Mursak. That's where the bigger need is.
Datsyuk, Franzen, Z and Filppula are all signed long term and are obvious top 6 guys. Detroit doesn't have any top-pairing dmen in the system, and when Rafalski falls off the table all they'll have is Stuart and Kronwall.

Clearly, Detroit needs dmen more than they need top 6'ers.

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A guy like Simmonds is probably out of reach, but if the Kings were willing to deal him and the cost was Ericsson or Kindl plus a pick, would you take it?
Not even remotely, not even close. I wouldn't even consider making the offer for a second.

I just don't understand what you're thinking about here. I really don't. Detroit has Abby, Helm, Cleary, Hudler, Eaves, and Miller already. Ritola and Pare are either immediate bottom 6'ers or within a year or two of being such.

Detroit has 3rd line guys coming out of their ears... there's no reason at all to move young defensemen for another one when Lidstrom and Rafalski are both on their way out .

If you think the real need is a top 6 forward (and in the short term it is), why wouldn't you trade from a position of excess rather than a position of scarcity?

Make a package with two or three of those 3rd liners for Nathan Horton, or Travis Zajac, or Jeff Carter, or Martin St. Louis... something like that.

Then you a) have your new top 6 forward, b) you still have 3 3rd liners with another one or two on the way up from the farm and, c) you still have all your young dmen, which you are going to need.

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04-23-2010, 09:58 AM
  #718
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Yeah, their defense certainly was magical for most of the year. One of the stingiest defenses to allow 30+ shots a night of all time.
PK, not defense. There's a difference. Try again.

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The PK improved by nearly 10% when he came back.
We've been over this. The PK sucked at the beginning of the year and then got on a tear, and was going great for 3 weeks prior to Lilja coming back.

It "improved" because they were still working out of the hole from October, but they were PKing great without Lilja at the time he came back.

Try again.

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04-23-2010, 10:04 AM
  #719
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That logjam is going to disintegrate in the near future. Lids can't be a #1 guy forever, as he showed for the first 3 months of the season.
Same with Rafalski. How long can he be expected to be a big producer?
Kronwall and Stuart are good and not that old. But are they a true top pairing?
Trading young defense is a scary proposition at this poiint.
When Lidstrom retires they are going to invest that cap space in a top 4 free agent defenseman. I don't believe for a second that they will just bump everyone up a notch and keep playing - that's not the way the Wings do things.

Chara, Markov, Kaberle, Bieksa, and some others are slated to hit the UFA market next summer. I would think if Nick plays one more year and retires, the Wings will be hot after one of those guys. Kaberle would probably be the best fit as he plays a lot like Lidstrom, in a not-as-good kind of way.

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04-23-2010, 11:42 AM
  #720
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We've been over this. The PK sucked at the beginning of the year and then got on a tear, and was going great for 3 weeks prior to Lilja coming back.
The three weeks prior to Lilja coming back (10 games from 1/26-2/13): 26-31. 83.9%

After Lilja returned (3/1): 56-59. 94.9%.

I see a difference there. In fact, if you absolutely gerrymander the crap out of the pre-Lilja window and add in the two games before 1/26 when Detroit went 4-4 on the PK and ignore everything before that, the best you can fake the numbers up to is 85.7%.

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04-23-2010, 11:45 AM
  #721
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The three weeks prior to Lilja coming back (10 games from 1/26-2/13): 26-31. 83.9%

After Lilja returned (3/1): 56-59. 94.9%.

I see a difference there. In fact, if you absolutely gerrymander the crap out of the pre-Lilja window and add in the two games before 1/26 when Detroit went 4-4 on the PK and ignore everything before that, the best you can fake the numbers up to is 85.7%.
Like I said, we've been over this. The 8 games before his return they were 23 for 24 on the PK. I am not interested in your alternate splicings that somehow try to skirt this fact. I won this argument last time and I'm not having it again.

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04-23-2010, 12:10 PM
  #722
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Like I said, we've been over this. The 8 games before his return they were 23 for 24 on the PK. I am not interested in your alternate splicings that somehow try to skirt this fact.
My splicings? You said three weeks. Are there three weeks between the 29th of January and the 13th of February?

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04-23-2010, 06:50 PM
  #723
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
Here's the problem with your logic regarding Stuart:

2009 PP IT/g: 19 seconds a game.
2010 PP IT/g: 1:06 a game.

So, his PK IT jumped and his PP IT jumped, while Lidstrom's PK IT dropped and his PP IT stayed flat.

And here's another quick factoid:

Lidstrom's total IT/g:

2006: 28:06
2007: 27:29
2008: 26:43
2009: 24:49
2010: 25:25

I think the small uptick in 2010 is pretty easy to explain, given how important the regular season games were this year as opposed to most years past. Unless Detroit is in a similar situation next year where they have to go full out just to make the playoffs, I think we'll see Lidstrom's total IT drop under 24 a game.

Somewhat... but then you're in a position where you have to depend on Ericsson to not go into another prolonged funk. Seems risky, when all you have to do to reasonably protect yourself from it is to spend 1.5ish on Lilja instead of 700k on Lebda.
In context to the number of PP/PK opportunities the team had Lidstrom's time didn't stay flat, though. Lidstrom absorbed more of the available PP time than he had in the previous season, despite the actual playing time remaining constant. While with the PK, the actual number dropped but the rate stayed the same largely because the injuries hitting us weren't decimating our PK.

From 06/07 to 09/10, the Wings have seen approximately a 23% drop in PP opportunities and a 35% drop in PK opportunities. At the same time, Lidstrom has seen his IT re-distributed. He's seen 5% drops in both his PK and PP IT while seeing a 10% increase in his ES IT.

Lidstrom's drop in IT isn't because Babcock is limiting his work on the PK but is more directly tied to the decrease in special teams play as a whole. It's the increased emphasis on ES play over the past four years that has allowed Babcock to redistribute IT to everyone and to lower Lidstrom's minutes. If special teams spikes back to the levels it was at four years ago, it's likely we see Lidstrom's IT spike to a similar level.

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04-24-2010, 01:27 PM
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HockeyinHD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winger98 View Post
In context to the number of PP/PK opportunities the team had Lidstrom's time didn't stay flat, though. Lidstrom absorbed more of the available PP time than he had in the previous season, despite the actual playing time remaining constant.
The problem, obviously, with you just looking at 2010 is that 2010 was an a-typical year, roster wise.

When you look at Lidstrom's general reduction in IT over the past 5 years, I would think the trend there is beyond obvious. Is it not?

Quote:
Lidstrom's drop in IT isn't because Babcock is limiting his work on the PK but is more directly tied to the decrease in special teams play as a whole.
Again, I disagree. Yes, the decrease in specialty teams time provides an opportunity for Babcock to reduce Lidstrom's participation in those roles, but the decrease in specialty teams time does not mandate a reduction for Lidstrom in those roles.

Quote:
It's the increased emphasis on ES play over the past four years that has allowed Babcock to redistribute IT to everyone and to lower Lidstrom's minutes. If special teams spikes back to the levels it was at four years ago, it's likely we see Lidstrom's IT spike to a similar level.
It's not only unlikely, it would be next to impossible.

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