Monday, September 20, 2010

More Food For Thought: 2008-09 vs. 2009-10 (New Acquisitions)

More looks at how players fared from 2008-09 to 2009-10. This time, I'll share the profiles from all those players who were established NHLers but only joined the Habs last summer or afterwards.

New Acquisitions


You can find a longer explanation of the charts here.

Scott Gomez


Gomez made a transition with the Habs. From a league-leading shot taker and Corsi man, he fell into negative balance for chances while he was on the ice at ES. Strangely, this led to more GF and a better GF:GA differential at ES. I think we'd all be happier if he was on for less shots against, but can we really imagine him upping the shots for, especially if he's the one taking them?

Brian Gionta


Gionta did very similar things up front as he did in 2008-09. What shows here for him is that he was no longer on the Devils. While many a player looks a defensive specialist in New Jersey, it may be that Brian isn't that good at all at defence. After all, last season, he was among the worst at allowing shots and didn't fare too well in GA either. Still, I'll take the top tier offense with that trade any day.

Mike Cammalleri


Cammalleri too missed his old team here. While he still managed to put his line among league average on shots for and in the top tier for goals for, his chart suggests he was as guilty as anyone for allowing the goalies to be peppered night after night. Perhaps an adjustment will come (we've heard everyone  has needed a year to become accustomed to each other), but by my memory of his play, this chart doesn't seem out of whack. Once again, I'll take the top tier goals even at the expense of shots against.

Benoit Pouliot


Pouliot had a stunner, even with a slow finish. Top 20% in the league for GF and chances for at ES is great for the young forward. To top it off, he was stellar in the GA column at ES as well, though the numbers suggest that such a low shooting percentage for his opposition (or high save percentage for his goalie) was a one-off gift.

Travis Moen

Moen was a pretty poor offensive player coming in and he comes out one too. That said, he somehow managed to keep GA down at ES with his linemates, albeit with the same goaltending bonus that Pouliot benefited from.

Mathieu Darche


I've misplaced the 2008-09 data for now, so Darche is without comparators. GF:GA for Darche and you can't complain, he's a winner at ES. But he's a Hab in the shots, offering very few going forward and allowing as many as humanly possible at the back. I think stats guys would suggest that his GF:GA might be a little less rosy if he keeps up the shot dance.

Dominic Moore


No comparator for Moore either, and loads of Panthers data polluting things. Still manages the purple, dark blue bottom half, though. New colours for the Canadiens.

Jaroslav Spacek


Spacek went from being an offensive generator with great Corsi balance to a steadier defenceman with decent Corsi (all relative to the Habs standards, of course). These charts are reflective of the new role that Spacek took on. Whereas in Buffalo, he was the point man on the PP and expected to contribute at ES to the rush, his partnerships in Montreal were more often designed to be steadier. As things go, above average offense and average D is pretty good, and very underrated in Montreal.

Hal Gill


Hal Gill left Pittsburgh and it shows. The offense that used to just happen during his on-ice minutes completely evaporated. That said, he still posted a stunning GA/60 number below 2.00 with the usual Habs methodology of allowing chances.

Paul Mara


Mara nearly managed to be bottom tier in every category. I think we know now he wasn't carrying his partnership in New York when he was on for as little as 2.04 GA/60 at ES. Not back this year, I'd say that's a good decision.

Marc-Andre Bergeron


No comparator again. Bergeron's chart is still interesting. Consider this, when you describe Bergeron, did you ever say "below average offense and average D"? No you didn't. For all his bravado on the PP, I think this chart shows just how much trouble the Montreal defenders had in integrating his style into their group. The purple top corner is living proof of his ability to stifle rushes before they began.

General trend

There were a couple of general trends that came from looking at these. The first and most obvious was the shift every player seemed to have in chances against at ES. This is nothing new to us, and we all knew it happened. However, it's still striking to see in living colour. Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri went in one season from being top bets for preventing shots to allowing among the most in the league.

The second general trend is stranger. It appears that several players actually got better at preventing goals at ES. A group that included Brian Gionta, Cammalleri, Spacek and Gill. And all this with more chances allowed. Consider now they came from teams backed by Brodeur, Kiprusoff, Miller and Fleury. Shows what a year Habs goalies had, or perhaps how excellent shot concession is as a strategy?

And, because I forgot him last time...
Max Pacioretty


Not much change in the chances for and against department, but the story of Pacioretty's 2009-10 is available in full colour on the top half of these pies. Where he once muddled on offense and defence as a youngster, he went all in on D as a second year posting outstanding GA/60, with pathetic GF/60 at ES. Still think moving him from forward is daft?

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