23 games in here are the numbers:
|Forward||Gm||G||A||P||G/82||A/82||P/82||QoC||OZ%||ES rk||PP toi||PK toi||C rel|
|Defender||Gm||G||A||P||G/82||A/82||P/82||QoC||OZ%||ES rk||PP toi||PK toi||C rel|
What to make of it?
Claude Giroux, A+: A 103 point pace a quarter through a season will give anyone an A. The “+” (unlike fellow MVP candidate, Phil Kessel) comes from the following: 1st line competition (Kessel as well), 47% OZS% (Kessel is at 59.5%), 2.74 SHTOI/60 (Kessel at .18), and a Corsi Rel of +5.0 (Kessel at -.2). 15th in the league at A1/60, 23rd in P/60 with only .19 of his P/60 coming as A2--- lowest of anyone above him except Jonathan Towes. MVP anyone? Giroux by a lot.
Maxime Talbot, A+: Yesterday I saw a quarter poll awards article… Talbot was 4th in the SELKE race. What?! If he’s got to make 1.8 million for the next five, he might as well grab a Selke or two, right? His 42 point pace is good for nearly double his previous career high (26 in 07-08) and he’s doing it against third line competition with only 33% ZS (14th in the NHL, everyone above him with 11 games played is negative Corsi, Talbot is only -.5), which is out of this world. Account for his league leading 4.01 SHTOI/60 compared to the next few guys in that stat: 3.33, 3.29, 3.09 and you see he is an elite defensive forward.
Scott Hartnell, A-: 68 point pace for #hartnell down? Hartnell has made his Flyer living off of finding chemistry with line mates. Hartnell-Carter-Lupul. Hartnell-Briere-Leino. Hartnell would be the one to get comfy right next to Giroux and Jagr. An OZStart of 48.5% with 2nd pair competition and a 10.6 Corsi Rel gives Scotty an easy A.
Matt Read, B+: 56 point pace for the rookie in his first of a three year deal paying 900k. Let me say that again, we get Matt Read for two more full years of basically minimum wage. What was expected of Matt? Well, not third line competition with a 46% ZS, PP and PK time, with the 7th most ES time (over Jagr, Talbot and Couturier). While his .2 CRel is marginal, his tiny contract and marginal situations give him the B+. 5th in rookie points, 2nd in rookie goals, and tops in +/- (ew, I know, but it’s somewhat telling at +9) doesn’t hurt him either. Have I mentioned we have him for 3 years/ 900k per?
Sean Couturier, B+: The 29 point pace for the 8th overall pick is not what gives him the B+. Like Read and Talbot above, Couturier is given his grade due to his stellar defensive play. It’s been said 18-year-old forwards can’t play a defensive role in this league. BTN doesn’t have stats for Jordan Staal’s rookie year in ’06-’07 but they do for ’07-’08. Staal, in 82 games was at 3.32 SHTOI/60, played vs. top competition with a 37% ZS and 2.6 CRel. Scooter is 2nd in the NHL currently with a 3.33 SHTOI/60, is playing vs. 3rd/4th line competition (well, 4th but not nearly as "4th" as Rinaldo) and has a 36% ZS. The obvious difference is the QoC, but with other team’s top competition attempting to stop Giroux and Read/Voracek/Talbot dominating 2nd competition, it is a luxury to have Scooter rack up a 7.1 Corsi Rel vs. 3/4th line competition. Just for the record, that 7.1 Corsi Rel is 3rd highest among forwards with a ZS% of 37.5 or less (30 qualified). Amazing stuff for a kid who wasn’t though to have a shot of making this club.
Jake Voracek, A-: I was disappointed with his play early on. Too much east/west, not enough north/south. But my views have changed given his dominance on the stat sheet. 57 point pace is good for 2nd in his career (54 last year, 60 the year prior) and is right along with his expectations. His team high Corsi Rel of 9.6 is impressive considering he plays vs. second line competition with a 53% zone start. We read last year how maybe Voracek was driving play forward last year more than Nash was and he continues his Corsi success in Philly.
James van Riemsdyk, B: 64 point pace wasn’t expected, it was essential. If he keeps up even 55-60 point pace I think we can all agree that his year was successful. He’s producing against first line competition albeit with 62% zone starts (2nd highest behind Briere) and being driven backwards (-9 C Rel). The bad Corsi Rel is troubling but the production speaks for itself. He had 40 points last year and was rewarded with a massive contract for 4.25/4-years that many people were against, but the pace he is on speaks for itself---64 puts him in a tie for 36th in the league last year (for comparison, Carter and Richards had 66 last year).
Harry Z, B: The sample is low with only 11 games but vs. 2nd line competition and the aid of 57% OZ Starts he’s managed to put up a nice 8.2 Corsi Rel, play a very physical game, show he has elite speed, and absolutely dazzled in his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. I think that he has the full potential to oust Rinaldo as the 12th forward come playoff time. Kid is smart and a leader--- captain of Brown University last year and was going into investment banking if hockey didn’t work out. He’s the kind of guy you want on your squad.
Danny Briere, B-: I debated giving Reemer a B- as well, but gave the younger kid the benefit of the doubt. The truth of the matter is these guys have been playing together, have been driven back, but have been scoring. 60 point pace for Briere is nothing to complain about from a second line center going against top line competition. His OZ% is below JVR’s at 57%, but he leads the team in ESTOI and is 3rd in PPTOI. All of this doesn’t matter for Danny B, he’s stepped up into a leadership role for this young club and has developed the nickname Mr. Playoffs, by Jim Jackson, for a reason.
Zac Rinaldo, C+: The stats aren’t there for Zac. 46% OZ Start, 4th line competition, -17.7 Corsi Rel. Not very good. But Zac has been disciplined and he’s been laying the wood. Multiple bone crushing hits have given Zac the reputation of one of the best CLEAN hitters in the NHL. Yes, Zac and clean went in the same sentence, I know… weird, but true. If he can continue to develop his defensive game while staying disciplined, Zac can become a successful NHL agitator. His PTake/60 is 2nd highest in the league at 4.5, but his PDraw is atop the NHL at 5.7. (Harry Z is 4th in the league in PDraw with 3.1 to only 1.5 taken). There is serious ability behind drawing penalties and with Jagr and Pronger healthy, our PP is lethal.
Wayne Simmonds, C: Not the start Wayne-O has hoped for to open his 2 year/1.8 million per contract. Top competition is something he’s used to from his days in LA and he should be aided by a 61% OZ Start but his Corsi is unreflective of that at -5.9. He’s getting PP time as well, but that doesn’t show as he’s on pace for only 28 points, 6 less than last year and 12 less than the prior one. It’s a long season and I’m fully expecting Simmonds to turn it around. He’s been fast, physical, and hasn’t hesitated to drop the gloves. He’ll still be a fan favorite, just not as quick as everyone thought he would.
Kimmo Timonen, B+: Kimmo is the man. He’s been here forever, we all know him, we all appreciate him, it’s just a shame the rest of the league doesn’t (although I did see him as an honorable mention in someone’s quarter poll awards for the Norris). Top competition, relatively average ZS (54%), with the 2nd most PP and PK time on the team to give a .8 Corsi Rel. Shutting down top competition is routinely expected and provided from the Finnish God of Defense. Although he hasn’t found the net yet, his 13 assists put him on pace for 46 points (all assists), which would be good for his highest total as a Flyer and his highest assist total in his career.
Matt Carle, B+: With Pronger, without Pronger, it just doesn’t matter for last year’s even strength points leader for defensemen. Carle’s 40 point pace puts him on a tie for last year’s total, good for second in his career behind his rookie season of 42 in San Jose. 2nd line competition, 50% ZS with a Corsi Rel of 5.2 are all impressive numbers. He doesn’t play PK (1.2 PKTOI/g is good for 5th on the team) which hurts his value a little bit, but consistency has come to be expected from one of the top drivers of play in the league.
Andrej Meszaros, B: His 28 point pace is slightly below last year’s Barry Ashbee Award winning season of 32 points. He’s between 2nd and 3rd competition (Pronger’s injury is to blame for that) getting 47.5% OZ Starts while driving play forward at a Corsi of 5.9. He’s playing solid PK time---2.77 and has been showing a more physical side to his game, continuing from the end of last year. Mez has proven to be one of the most valuable 5th defensemen in the league filling his top-4 role brilliantly and making Homer’s 2nd round pick that he used to acquire the 6-2 223 lb. Slovac look like a great move.
Chris Pronger, B: Missing half of the games sucks, but like Prongs has said the injuries have been more due to freak occurrences than wearing down. The virus/concussion thing is a little scary but the 4-6 weeks rehab of his knee should make the “virus” go away. And his eye should be better. Aside from the off the ice issues, Prongs has been A+ when he’s been on there. Our PP is dynamic when he’s at the point. Him/Giroux/Jagr are brilliant together with either Read or JVR working the other point and Simmonds or JVR working the net. He’s got 11 points (1/10) in 13 games playing against top competition, with average starts (49%), leading the team in PP (3.8) and PK (4.3) TOI--- all while maintaining a 9.4 Corsi Rel, good for the best on the blue line. Long story short with the captain---as long as he’s good to go come April---he’s okay with me.
Braydon Coburn, C+: Don't know why I forgot him in the first or second edit. The second line competition at a -7 Corsi needs to improve (Especially with a 52% ZS). However he leads all defenders in TOI, has improved his physical game, and is third in PK time. I'm sure a lot of these numbers will improve once our defensive situation settles down.
Andres Lilja, C-: This move looks stupider every day. 2-year AND 35+? That means he’s stuck as the 7th defender next year (until we try to waive and then recall and then lose him to re-entry waivers). 3 points in 20 games is very “eeh”, while playing against 3rd line competition at 44.4% ZS and no PK time should yield more than a -6.5 Corsi Rel (at least it’s better than Sean O’Donnell’s -10.9 from last year). Anyway, expect for Lilja to lose starts as the year goes on to Erik Gustafsson and possibly Marc-Andre Bourdon, Kevin Marshall, and or any defender we make a move for. He’s okay as the 7th defender at this point but I’m all for going with youth until the deadline and decide what to do then. We do have some money to spend so maybe moving one of our young guys and a pick (MAB and a 3rd ?) for a respectable veteran 5th defender that can be the stay at home guy Mez needs to succeed could be a possibility, but for now, he’s got a high ankle sprain and will get comfortable in the press box for at least 4-6 weeks.
I’m not touching the scary topic that is our goaltenders. Bob’s been very solid, Bryz not so much. It’s only December, so I’m not putting too much weight on that. New core group of young forwards and young in-experienced defenders are partially to blame for our goalie problems… I’m expecting all of those communication issues to fade as the year goes on into the playoffs.
LETS GO FLYERS!