by PuckStopsHere on 06/15/13 at 01:47 AM ET
One question that interests me is who is the worst player who gets a regular shift in the NHL and why is that player continues to get a shift. Usually in the playoffs it is hard to identify such a player because a team playing an ineffective player regularly usually soon gets eliminated but this year there is a clear choice. That man is Chris Kelly of the Boston Bruins.
Kelly is a "typical" worst player in that he is known for his hard work. He is a popular player who is well liked because of his work ethic. The problem is he works hard and is still ineffective. In this year's playoffs he has played in every game and averaged over fifteen minutes per game. He has scored a total of zero points and his -9 +/- rating is the worst of any player remaining in the playoffs. He is hard working and ineffective. He just isn't a good enough player.
Kelly has one other thing in his favor that is overrated. He is a good faceoff man. He has won 56.1% of his faceoffs in these playoffs. That is roughly one in sixteen faceoffs more than 50%. I have written many times that faceoffs are an overrated skill. In Kelly's case it keeps him in the line-up despite being ineffective in general.
Boston is playing Chris Kelly regularly in the playoffs so far this year. He isn't accomplishing anything with that ice time. He has been a liability for his team and yet he keeps getting to play tomorrow. His story is more common than we would like to admit. Hard working ineffective players often get regular shifts.
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