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Mid-Season- Evaluation


Guest Bakanekimiwa
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http://hookedonhocke...y-cup-champion/

i found this blog article very interesting and decided it might be good to have a thread to have a sort of mid season evaluation. since we're not watching any hockey right now anyways.

i think the most glaring, for the Flyers, stat is the GA stats. Only 4 teams have not been in the top 10 of the GA category in the modern era of the cup(since expansion).

complete through all games played as of 1/21/2012-

DEFENSE: as it stands right now... the flyers are at a hefty 2.87 GA average for a ranking of 21st in the league. just terrible.

CONCLUSION: Problem

OFFENSE: GF we're 2nd and 5-5 we're 7th... both good. if his numbers are correct, there's only been 1 team, in stanley cup history(tampa bay 2003/04), to have won and not be in the top 10 on 5-5. the flyers' PP and PK are 5th(19.5%) and 14th(82.7%) respectively. PK needs to improve, but it's not a deal breaker... boston's was 16th(82.6%) last year. in the last 10 years 6 out of the 10 cup winners were in the top 10 in PK% while and unbelievable 4 out of 10 were in the top in PP%. from the research, penalties have been down across the league in recent years, which lessons the impact of special teams and conversely increases the importance of 5-5 play. clearly 5-5 play is very important and so far so good for the flyers.

we're projected to end up with 6 20-goal scorers and 11 10-goal scorers. we have 8 guys over the 10 goal mark at the halfway point, so 6 20-goal scorers doesn't seem unreasonable. we have 3 with 10 or just under. in other words, we've already got 9 guys at 10 goals or over.

CONCLUSION: Adequate to above average

so, statistically speaking... it seems that the very real concern for the flyers' is team Defense. i know some, a lot?, of this is due to bryz shitting the bed. but, i think a lot more of it is the loss of pronger and his crease clearing presence. this is also clearly up for debate.

it seems, to me, looking at these interesting statistics... we don't really have a chance in hell at stanley this year unless we somehow made a bold move for defense. along with that, we have to hope bob plays more or that bryz comes back to our universe.

should homer go busto and try to sacrifice some of our depth for a top D man. are there any that are realistically available? it seems that nashville is in 5th place in the western conference right now and there's only a few weeks left till the trade deadline. i think we can probably cross off suter and weber from our wish list for now... they need to make the playoffs in nashville. i'm really not interested in Gleason(-11 and just average size skill and toughness), though he would bring some added size and crease clearing ability, with a fair cap hit of $2.75m (prorated this year). he's UFA next year, though. no thanks to an aging Gonchar or Viszhnovsky.

that doesn't leave us with much, but if we look at anaheim(currently outside looking in), a very outside option could be Francous Beauchemen**. he's probably more like a bigger timo, but he does hit and he'll play 25+ min a night. if we could pry him away from anaheim, somehow, he's just signed a 3 year deal($3.8m cap hit this year and $3.5m for the next 3). wwhat would it take?

**crap.. he's got a modified NMC too. maybe that boat has sailed.

other possible options:

Pavel Kubina(UFA)-$3.85m cap - not very good, but has some toughness, but +4 on a pretty terrible TBL(worst GA in the league), so that's something.

Willy Mitchell(UFA)- $3.5m cap - seems to have recurring groin issues, but he's been hot of late. not the toughest guy out there, but he's a big dude. LA might give up on this year.

Barrett Jackman(UFA)- $3.625- can't hit the net to save his life, but he's got good +/- and can assist. not huge, but not small, but is younger than the other options listed. what makes STL an interesting possibility is that they are contenders that are #1 in GA, but 17th with GF. maybe they'd be willing to part with an upcoming UFA if the offer is right. but, what is that offer from the flyers? i have no idea.

what do you guys think? i'm sure there are more options... maybe better ones. who is there? who's realistic? interested to hear some more opinions... no to vishnovsky... to old, to $$$ and too soft.

**edit: meant weeks.. not days left in the trade deadline

Edited by Bakanekimiwa
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so, statistically speaking... it seems that the very real concern for the flyers' is team Defense. i know some, a lot?, of this is due to bryz shitting the bed. but, i think a lot more of it is the loss of pronger and his crease clearing presence. this is also clearly up for debate.

well, a couple things here. one, i don't think our defensive group is all that bad. then there's the "team defense" concept that also includes the forwards...and i think that is a soft spot for the team. two dmen working their tails off is only so effective if both wingers are hovering at the bluelne. even weber, lidstrom and a center can't cover 5 guys. a lot of offense comes from that hovering, but a lot of goals against, too. fix it and you might break the offensive production. don't fix it and you *need* the offensive production. in any case, i think it's more a systems problem than a personnel problem.

the other thing is the statistically speaking part. bryzgalov has been good for at least one oopsie per game. +1.00 gaa minimum during his starts. bob's started just over a third (and has his oopsie's, too)...so...maybe .55 of that gaa gets shaved off if the goaltending is tighter (which, coincidentally, is right around the difference between bob and bryzgalov's personal gaa). that drops the team down to 6th-ish place, all by itself, around 2.31gaa.

i generally don't like to point all my fingers at one player or one issue, but in this case the crappy goaltending bryzgalov has delivered has a huge influence on how those numbers play out. that team gaa is his doing to a very large degree.

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well, a couple things here. one, i don't think our defensive group is all that bad. then there's the "team defense" concept that also includes the forwards...and i think that is a soft spot for the team. two dmen working their tails off is only so effective if both wingers are hovering at the bluelne. even weber, lidstrom and a center can't cover 5 guys. a lot of offense comes from that hovering, but a lot of goals against, too. fix it and you might break the offensive production. don't fix it and you *need* the offensive production. in any case, i think it's more a systems problem than a personnel problem.

the other thing is the statistically speaking part. bryzgalov has been good for at least one oopsie per game. +1.00 gaa minimum during his starts. bob's started just over a third (and has his oopsie's, too)...so...maybe .55 of that gaa gets shaved off if the goaltending is tighter (which, coincidentally, is right around the difference between bob and bryzgalov's personal gaa). that drops the team down to 6th-ish place, all by itself, around 2.31gaa.

i generally don't like to point all my fingers at one player or one issue, but in this case the crappy goaltending bryzgalov has delivered has a huge influence on how those numbers play out. that team gaa is his doing to a very large degree.

good points. bryz has had at least one 'oopsie' in the first half. but, do you really feel confident going into the playoffs with our young guys forming 2 of 6 D and no real crease clearing bruiser back there? i feel that that is a real weakness. sure, the kids have played great to this point. i just feel it's a different beast come playoff time.

with all of this said... i'm not expecting a cup this year regardless of what they do... so... maybe the real line of thought should be to play out the season with what we've got. i suppose i'm leaning more in that direction.

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@Bakanekimiwa

Once you get in the tournament all kinds of screwy things can happen. Guys get hurt, other guys get hot, President's trophy winners flame out. I don't think the Pens have the horses to kick their game up a notch come playoff time. especially if 87 is still out. There's something wrong with that locker room in Washington those guys should be better, the Bruins are one or two knicked up guys from being beatable, as are the Rangers, so we can temper expectations with saying "I don't expect a cup this year" but the 92-93 montreal canadiens say anything can happen if the right guys get hot at the right time.

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but, do you really feel confident going into the playoffs with our young guys forming 2 of 6 D and no real crease clearing bruiser back there? i feel that that is a real weakness. sure, the kids have played great to this point. i just feel it's a different beast come playoff time.

well, no, not really (in response to ".do you really feel confident going into the playoffs with our young guys forming 2 of 6 D and no real crease clearing bruiser back there?"). they are definitely not a dominating blueline at this point. then again, like you mentioned, this isn't a team perfectly positioned, anyway. the success they've had is great, but there are a lot of kids up and down the roster that are getting seriously valuable learning time right now. with the idea that the sweet spot is a couple years away, anyway, i am kind of thinking the team may as well let them learn what 20 minutes in a playoff game is all about.

plus, like i said in another thread, i really think the big individual dman is overstated. get that crease-clearing monster, great, but you still have 30 minutes of icetime, at least, that someone else is going to have to be doing that job, anyway. one guy doesn't tip the scales at that end of the play. people like to obsess about how chara shuts the other team down, but he is on the bench more than he is on the ice. boychuk-mcquaid are going to take shifts, too. absolute confidence in one dman or one pair only covers so much.

Edited by aziz
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@Bakanekimiwa

Once you get in the tournament all kinds of screwy things can happen. Guys get hurt, other guys get hot, President's trophy winners flame out. I don't think the Pens have the horses to kick their game up a notch come playoff time. especially if 87 is still out. There's something wrong with that locker room in Washington those guys should be better, the Bruins are one or two knicked up guys from being beatable, as are the Rangers, so we can temper expectations with saying "I don't expect a cup this year" but the 92-93 montreal canadiens say anything can happen if the right guys get hot at the right time.

very true.. there were a few other teams that came out of nowhere too. that TBL team ... lavvy's hurricanes a few years back. injuries will play a part.

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well, no, not really (in response to ".do you really feel confident going into the playoffs with our young guys forming 2 of 6 D and no real crease clearing bruiser back there?"). they are definitely not a dominating blueline at this point. then again, like you mentioned, this isn't a team perfectly positioned, anyway. the success they've had is great, but there are a lot of kids up and down the roster that are getting seriously valuable learning time right now. with the idea that the sweet spot is a couple years away, anyway, i am kind of thinking the team may as well let them learn what 20 minutes in a playoff game is all about.

plus, like i said in another thread, i really think the big individual dman is overstated. get that crease-clearing monster, great, but you still have 30 minutes of icetime, at least, that someone else is going to have to be doing that job, anyway. one guy doesn't tip the scales at that end of the play. people like to obsess about how chara shuts the other team down, but he is on the bench more than he is on the ice. boychuk-mcquaid are going to take shifts, too. absolute confidence in one dman or one pair only covers so much.

completely agreed with all of your points... i'm much more inclined to stay the course right now and let these young guys play. the more and more i think about it... getting that one big D man won't push them over the top this year. i guess they're better off making a push for a suter or weber in FA this summer. we'll be losing timo to age at some point soon... and i really don't think pronger's coming back... ever.

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Goals against should be judged objectively, any discussion here about goals against has to pinpoint the number cause of this black hole phenomena.Before I would fault any of the "D" guys you have to say BRYZO is the number one cause of this ga diaease. This team need a real goalie.Bobbo caved when the team needed him most(I've heard all excuses,so spare me!)and Bryzo,if he was going to do it,he would have by now! So I would suggest before we give poor Shea Webber a nervous breakdown,get a reliable "G" man in net first!!!!

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One stud defenseman, even if on ice for just 25 min per game, can shut down an opposing top line for a whole game

sure, in theory. assuming you can get him on the ice for every single one of their shifts immediately. the theory starts springing leaks once you factor in penalties, away games, can't-change-because-of-icing, pieces of that opposing top lines double shifting on different lines...all of a sudden you realize there is conceivably a lot of exposure even with that stud shut down guy. best laid plans and all.

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sure, in theory. assuming you can get him on the ice for every single one of their shifts immediately. the theory starts springing leaks once you factor in penalties, away games, can't-change-because-of-icing, pieces of that opposing top lines double shifting on different lines...all of a sudden you realize there is conceivably a lot of exposure even with that stud shut down guy. best laid plans and all.

well, it's still a total D effort to shut down the opponents top lines. having that extra top shut down guy just spreads the coverage further around. actually, to your point, it was frustrating the way that other teams seemed to avoid our pronger line when we were in the playoffs last year. we were too thin beyond our 2nd pair then as we are now. biggest difference is that we just don't have a pronger type player anymore. well, i guess we didn't have him too much last playoffs either.

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sure, in theory. assuming you can get him on the ice for every single one of their shifts immediately. the theory starts springing leaks once you factor in penalties, away games, can't-change-because-of-icing, pieces of that opposing top lines double shifting on different lines...all of a sudden you realize there is conceivably a lot of exposure even with that stud shut down guy. best laid plans and all.

I'm not arguing with your point as a whole, because one shut down guy doesn't make a team, and you're right, he's probably only going to hit 25-28 minutes per game. But, on this team, that one shut down guy would be getting added to Timmonen, Coburn, Carle, and Meszaros. If Pronger were to come back tomorrow, he wouldn't be the only guy back there on D. Timonen would be out there for another 2/5 of the game or so. You wouldn't replace Timonen with Pronger, you'd replace Bourdon or Gus. Looking at it in a vacuum, you are right. But on this particular team, when you already have a pretty effective shutdown d-man or pair, the equation changes a bit.

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But, on this team, that one shut down guy would be getting added to Timmonen, Coburn, Carle, and Meszaros.

i agree. i'm just saying that one guy would be added to an already decent core. it wouldn't be night and day. if the current 6 can't hack it, one top end guy won't change that much. if they can already hack it, then that one top end guy also won't change much.

i'm not arguing that a stud dman isn't valuable. people seem to think it changes everything, though, and i don't agree.

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@Bakanekimiwa

so we can temper expectations with saying "I don't expect a cup this year" but the 92-93 montreal canadiens say anything can happen if the right guys get hot at the right time.

Can we temper expectations that BryzBob probably can't win 10 OT games like Roy?

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True, although I disagree that one top end guy won't change much, because you're replacing your worst defender with one that's at least on par with your best. While I like Bourdon, if you were to take him out and slot Pronger back into his place it would be night and day. While I like Bourdon and think he's got a good future, Pronger's got a better shot, is better positionally, and is a more physical presence. Add to that the intangibles he brings to the game, and it would be a marked improvement to the team.

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Your evaluation didn't include goaltending or special teams.. with that said considering all the injuries the Flyers suffered (Pronger, Jagr, Giroux, JVR, ect. ect) I think the team has held it together pretty well. Breezy has been a dissapointment but if the Flyers play a physical game I think they can hang with anyone..

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@Bakanekimiwa

Once you get in the tournament all kinds of screwy things can happen. Guys get hurt, other guys get hot, President's trophy winners flame out. I don't think the Pens have the horses to kick their game up a notch come playoff time. especially if 87 is still out. There's something wrong with that locker room in Washington those guys should be better, the Bruins are one or two knicked up guys from being beatable, as are the Rangers, so we can temper expectations with saying "I don't expect a cup this year" but the 92-93 montreal canadiens say anything can happen if the right guys get hot at the right time.

The Canadiens won because their goalie probably played the best any ever has in a single postseason. Without Roy that team may not have won a single game.

The Flyers are the polar opposites of that team. We are playing well in spite of the fact we may have the worst NHL starting goalie of alltime.

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Goals against should be judged objectively, any discussion here about goals against has to pinpoint the number cause of this black hole phenomena.Before I would fault any of the "D" guys you have to say BRYZO is the number one cause of this ga diaease. This team need a real goalie.Bobbo caved when the team needed him most(I've heard all excuses,so spare me!)and Bryzo,if he was going to do it,he would have by now! So I would suggest before we give poor Shea Webber a nervous breakdown,get a reliable "G" man in net first!!!!

Bobrovsky was a rookie in a different hemisphere who'd NEVER played that amount of hockey in his life. Do you honestly think all goalies are either great their first year in the NHL or bums? Cause using that theory there are probably 5 NHL calibre goalies ever. Unless you count ones who had a great rookie seasons and then were bums...there are plenty of those. His numbers are respectable this year. He has the tools the be good. Which is more than I can say for his fellow countryman.

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Your evaluation didn't include goaltending or special teams.. with that said considering all the injuries the Flyers suffered (Pronger, Jagr, Giroux, JVR, ect. ect) I think the team has held it together pretty well. Breezy has been a dissapointment but if the Flyers play a physical game I think they can hang with anyone..

my evaluation sure did include special teams. go back and read it this time. ;) goaltending i did not specifically... but they are a large part of the GA category which is so important. and obviously 5-5 includes the goalies.... even though it doesn't literally include them in the count.

this analysis is certainly lumping goalies into the entire team play. they're kind of an x-factor. they are hard to factor as they get hot and can make a huge difference, ala tim thomas last year.... patrick roy on that canadiens team... etc. etc.

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Look Guys,having Bryzo in net is like driving a bus down the Schukil in reverse with no steering wheel. You might get there,but don't count on it. No hockey team is sucessful with a piss poor goalie in net.It inhibits the entire team,looking over their shoulder,wondering about the uncertainly of "Merlin" the goalie!

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