There has been a lot of talk these playoffs about how bad the Flyers third pairing has played. Just by watching the game, you have to be thinking Oskars Bartulis or Danny Syvret can't be worse. So I try to answer that question.
It's a little tough to judge based on the playoffs, but here are some quick teasers: In 97 minutes of even strength ice time, Ryan Parent has been on the ice for 5 goals against. In comparison, Braydon Coburn has logged over 242 minutes and allowed just 4 goals against. Kimmo Timonen has played just under 220 minutes and allowed a measly 2 goals. But we already knew Parent isn't very good.
The problem seems to be more than just that though. Lukas Krajicek isn't that much better, and Oskars Bartulis didn't play better in his two games this post season. But that leaves open the question of who the better pair is. Either way, it's worth asking if this is the best pairing the Flyers can ice the remainder of these playoffs.
Jump to look at the possibilities.
|Krajicek and Parent||0||2||0.353||0.402||112|
|Bartulis and Parent||5||13||0.442||0.452||469|
|Krajicek and Bartulis||1||1||0.533||0.500||42|
|Bartulis and Syvret||1||0||0.480||0.500||32|
|Syvret and Parent||0||1||0.419||0.423||52|
The right hand column (Total Shots) shows you how many shots were recorded while that pairing was on the ice. Basically, it's there to establish just how small the sample size actually is. Also, I checked to see what the Krajicek and Syvret pairing did, but they never played together.
What is there to take out of that? Not too much, actually. The four defensemen who have played on the bottom pairing this year have been shuffled quite a bit. The longest serving pairing was Bartulis and Parent, and they weren't exactly good. The next longest held together pairing is the current one of Krajieck and Parent and they were downright atrocious in the regular season.
What can we conclude from this? The three worst pairings above all included Ryan Parent. Yes, one of them was a really small sample size and only one was a decent size, but he seems to be the common denominator. He spent 42.51% of his even-strength time with Bartulis this year, and that didn't work out so well. The 25.9% of his time he spent with Braydon Coburn was a lot more successful for Parent (the pair had a Fenwick of 0.477 and Corsi of 0.481, far better than Bartulis-Parent), but how was Parent with anybody not named Coburn? You guessed it: a terrible 0.432 Fenwick and 0.446 while being a minus-9. Even the 6.4% of being paired with Kimmo Timonen couldn't make Parent's year that much better.
If you've clicked on any of those last two links, you can see the full-season numbers for Krajicek, Bartulis, Syvret, and Parent. Who comes in last among the four in both Fenwick and Corsi? Yup... Ryan Parent. Now look, I like Parent. I think he has potential and intelligence. He's just had a terrible season. Why is this guy still in the lineup?
Maybe it's the twenty seconds of SH time per game he's gotten these playoffs, but that isn't enough of a reason. There isn't enough data to suggest a pairing instead, but at this point I suspect you can throw the names Krajicek, Bartulis, and Syvret into a hat and play whichever two you pick. They won't be worse than Krajicek and Parent.