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Top +/- Rating

There is a new player atop the +/- ratings in the NHL.  It is Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins or Sidney Crosby's left winger.  He has a +22 +/- rating.  While Kunitz is a good player a big part of his league leading +/- comes from playing with Crosby.  Kunitz usually plays with Crosby except for the toughest situations where Crosby double-shifts without him.

Kunitz is a solid player in his own right.  He has always posted good puck possession numbers.  This has been true since his Anaheim days when he had never met Crosby.  It is with Crosby that he is looking like a superstar.

Chris Kunitz is third in scoring in the NHL right now with 37 points.  He has a league leading +/- rating.  This is going to be the best (partial) year of his career.  He has his synergy with his linemate Sidney Crosby, the best player in hockey to that for a significant part of that.  The ability to make teammates into better players by playing with them is a sign a player is one of the greatest talents of all time in hockey history and Sidney Crosby is doing that.

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Bossy_Rules's avatar

Does he really make Kunitz better or does he just make him appear to be better than he really is?

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 03/14/13 at 03:16 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

I’m not clear about the point to the question.  Chris Kunitz is the third highest scorer in the NHL.  He isn’t merely appearing to be the third highest scorer.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 03/14/13 at 08:22 PM ET

Bossy_Rules's avatar

Kunitz has not become the 3rd best offensive player in the league only the 3rd most productive.  Crosby has not made him better only more productive (Kunitz is a good player),  The Canucks wouldn’t not trade one of the Sedins for Kunitz even though Kunitz has more points.  Everyone understands that Kunitz is more or less the same (very good) player that he was without Crosby.

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 03/14/13 at 08:30 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar


Posted by PuckStopsHere on 03/14/13 at 08:31 PM ET

Bossy_Rules's avatar

Thanks.  I just get annoyed by broadcasters falling over themselves to praise certain players and imbuing them with supernatural powers in the process.  Joe Montana didn’t make his receivers better, they were pretty damn good anyway but he threw perfectly timed, perfectly paced perfect spirals right in their hands.  I guess you could say the great ones make it easier for their teammates.  But its not something above and beyond being good.  These announcers sometimes make it seem like some players have magical powers to impart talent to their teammates.  How can a guy be good without helping his teammates stats?  I guess in baseball you could hit a lot of solo home runs so as not to help anyone’s runs scored totals or in hockey you could score a lot of unassisted goals so no one gets assists.  Even scoring unassisted goals would help your teammates +/-.  The kinds of players who are overrated are guys who hurt their teams in ways that aren’t as direct or conspicuous as the good things they do.  Bad defenders in hockey and basketball, basketball players who take too many bad shots, baseball players who make too many outs (but still hit HRs) etc…

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 03/14/13 at 09:22 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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