Thursday, September 16, 2010

Food For Thought:

2008-09 vs. 2009-10 (Returning Players)

With the season around the corner, it's just about time to be talking previews. Last season, part of our previews was a graphic look at how each player stacked up compared to the rest of the league in terms of GF and GA, chances for and chances against.

A year on, I have done the same analysis for all the players that played in 2009-10, even those on other teams. I'm not sure what the colours and numbers tell us this time. They may say more about Jacques Martin than about any single player. In any case, I thought you'd all enjoy.

The players have been divvied up into four groups: returning players (those that were here before the house cleaning), new acquisitions, departed players and rookies (first analysis). I begin with returning players.

Returning players


You can find a longer explanation of the charts here.

Tomas Plekanec


Pleks had better results from a worse balance in shots. Whereas last year, he was a near neutral in chances for and against, he allowed five more shots per 60 minutes last year. As the team goes, though, this was a good result.

Other things to note are that his GF/60 at ES is a bit low for a top centre, even with the growth from the year before. Goes to show how effective Pleks is for the PP, and the PP for his points totals.

Andrei Kostitsyn


Andrei gets a bad rap. He's termed lazy, yet returns good defensive numbers. He improved immensely defensively at ES, but unfortunately like many a young player, it came at the expense of his offensive numbers. If anything, a little bit more cherry picking might be welcome for guy with the shot he does. His decline in ES scoring average was reflected in goals last season, so no surprise. No surprise either in him not bucking the shot deficit trend that went across the whole team.

Maxim Lapierre

From average offensive threat to non-existent one. The story of his season. And though he's still a good bet to be on for few goals, he declined there too. 2009-10 was a nightmare for Lapierre. This was easily forgotten by fans of the playoff run, though. Lapierre turned a corner there and probably saved his Habs skin in the process.

Sergei Kostitsyn


Can we say Mr. Consistency? Slight improvements, but largely the same results. Once again, it was solid defence despite a large shot deficit at ES. With this chart, and those of his peers, it's easy to see how Sergei gets a bit uppity about minutes.

Glen Metropolit


Metro played the same shot-surrendering game as he did in 2009 and continued to bore us with little action on the ice. If people are worried about having lost 16 goals, they needn't be concerned about ES, where Metro was among the league's worst. Defence was a strong suit again, but then again, he isn't facing great players every night either.

Georges Laraque


The Habs' gift to the rest of the league. His gun-shyness was well documented in the fights, but less well documented was how Georges was league worst at everything he did by the time he "retired". Can you imagine allowing 25 more shots an hour more than you take? Georges can and did.

Andrei Markov


Markov actually improved on his ES results by a significant margin last season (half a season can do that). Like the rest of the team, though, he tested his luck and relied on goalies both letting in more shots than they should (at the opposition end) and saving more than they should (at his end). This season might be easier to watch if Markov can find a way out of the basement in shots allowed at ES.

Roman Hamrlik


Steadiness. Unappreciated. Hamrlik had a tough finish and the memory lingers long. But on average, he had a good season (relatively speaking). He's average at GF and GA at ES as well as shots for. His flirting with average in shots against is a stand-out performance for this team last year.

Josh Gorges


The story of Josh Gorges is perhaps incomplete without the story of Hal Gill. Declines in shots for and against and GF reflect his new partner more than him. The fact he improved by a good margin in goals allowed at ES speak to the strange way that style helped the goalies to post superior numbers to the previous year. I'm not sure a gamble on allowing nearly a shot a minute at ES will turn out as well if tried again.

Ryan O'Byrne


Regression or progression? O'Byrne didn't dig his way out of the league basement in offensive awareness, but at least he was on for less goals at ES. I think the fact he was static in 3 of 4 categories was viewed as a big negative thought from the organization that desperately needs him to progress.

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