Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 07/14/08 at 02:44 PM ET
Statistics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (least of all mine; in university, I dropped out of ‘Introductory Statistics’ three times before finally finishing and passing the course) but they’re obviously a useful tool when it comes to breaking down a player—especially a player who’s new to the team and somewhat of an unknown quantity.
Below are four charts I’ve put together to look at Pavol Demitra (and one on Mats Sundin) from a variety of perspectives:
Chart 1— Demitra vs Naslund
Chart 2— Demitra’s 2007-08 Line Combos and Points
Chart 3— Demitra’s Situational Ice Time for 2007-08
Chart 4— Sundin’s 2007-08 Line Combos and Points
Chart 1—Demitra vs Naslund
Since it’s fair to say that Pavol Demitra was signed effectively as a replacement for Markus Naslund (both wingers; both point-getters; roughly the same age; apparently the best of friends… geezus, are they the same guy?) this chart contrasts their 2007-08 performances side-by-side.
First impressions: It’s evident that Demitra is a more effective point-producer based on his ice time percentages, than is Naslund; but Naslund plays many more games than Demitra does, who has missed an average of 15.75 games per year over the last four seasons (Naslund has missed three games in total over the same time frame).
And Demitra’s luck isn’t likely to improve much, either. He’s only played two 82-game seasons in his entire career.
Conclusion: Demitra is the more breakable player, but also a more effective component—points and otherwise—when his body manages to stay glued together.
Chart 2—Demitra’s Line
How badly is Pavol Demitra going to miss Marian Gaborik? See the chart below, documenting his line combinations and points for the 2007-08 season. It’s almost scary till you consider that there are probably Minnesota Wild fans out there concerned about the reverse problem: how much is Gaborik going to miss Demitra? (Either way, I’ll take Demitra over Gaborik any day of the week.)
Setting aside the still-outstanding Mats Sundin question for the moment, it has been speculated that Demitra would line up well with Kyle Wellwood and Taylor Pyatt—though I’m personally more interested in seeing what he can do with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
But the nice thing about Demitra is that, no matter who he ends up playing with, he’s likely to be an asset to any line.
Chart 3—Demitra’s Situational Ice Time
This chart doesn’t require any explanation, but it’s an easy graphical reference to see how Jacques Lemaire used Demitra this past season.
Chart 4—Sundin’s Line
I’ve just included this chart for the hell of it, since Vancouver is betting the farm on his acquisition.
What would be the most effective lineup combination for Sundin in Vancouver? You’ll have to tell me—I have no good ideas about this. Though someone who looks like Nikolai Antropov wouldn’t hurt…
Note: I generated all of these charts using the excellent stats database at Frozen Pool.com
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About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]