Sunday, November 9, 2008

Maple Leafs: Logjam Edition

So we're a fifth of the way through our "rebuilding" season, and we're still rotating defensemen. The injury to Van Ryn will (sadly) free up a roster slot for the immediate future. Wilson's clearly not putting guys in for development purposes, so I guess he's putting in the guy he thinks will help us win. None of the defensemen we've currently scratched have managed to blow us away, as if they had they probably wouldn't be scratched anymore, so I wanted to look at how the Leafs have fared with each of them in the lineup:

(note Ian White isn't on the list as we've never dressed him as a defenseman this season, plus look up Chara's goal last Thursday for an example as to why forward suits him better anyway)

(for the record, I know this isn't actually a great indicator of performance, especially given small sample size, and the team record has more to do with the rest of the guys than it does an individual defenseman)

Carlo Colaiacovo

Team Record: 2-3-1
Stats: 0-0-0, -2, 6 PIM, 5 shots, 4 missed shots, 8 hits, 7 blocked shots.

Jonas Frogren

Team Record: 2-2-1
Stats: 0-1-1, -4, 6PIM, 3 shots, 1 missed shot, 25 hits, 14 blocked shots.

Anton Stralman

Team Record: 3-2-4
Stats: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 1 GWG, 15 shots, 3 missed shots, 6.7 Sh%, 8 hits, 8 blocked shots.

Some things worth noting:

Despite Frogren being our "shutdown" Swede and Stralman being our "soft" Swede, they've traded spots in terms of +/-, Frogren having the worst rating of the three. Frogren however has a monstrous hit count, second only to Luke Schenn on the team (despite the fact that he's only played 5 games!).

Frogren and Cola are averaging about a penalty minute a game, whereas Stralman has an astonishing one penalty in 9 games played.

Cola needs to find a way onto the scoresheet if he wants to stick around. We're all behind you dude, but you have less shots registered than games played, and almost as many missed as taken. Stralman has played 50% more, but he has triple the shots.

Stralman is the only player batting a game record of over .500, but as a technicality rather than a selling point (three of those OT losses are shootouts btw). Still, the Leafs have points in 7 of the 9 games he's played.

Stralman has the only goal of the group and it counted for something too, sealing a comeback against the Bruins. The 6.7 shooting percentage is down significantly from last year, for a player known for his accuracy he needs to make his shots count for more.

Carlo has the lowest shot block totals, one below Stralman, but has also played 3 fewer games than Stralman. Frogren, once again, puts them to shame.

It doesn't show it up there, but they're all tied with 2 giveaways, and have almost tied for two takeaways (Frogren adding one and Carlo losing one). They also all have almost the same time on ice per game, shifts per game, and shift length per game.


Play the Swedes. Stralman and Carlo are close, but Stralman has produced, is a plus player, doesn't take bad penalties, and the team so far has done well with his presence. Frogren's a completely different animal altogether, but his defensive stats speak for themselves. In this group, Carlo's the odd man out, not enough offense to warrant an offensive role, not enough defense to play shutdown.

Also, can we please sit Kabby for a game? He hasn't looked bad, just... disinterested in his own zone.


general borschevsky said...

Excellent analysis of those three defenceman. I thought Cola played really well on Saturday, blocking shots and backing up his team mates. He's got the right spirit.
Also on Saturday, Kaberle did look disinterested through the first half, but picked up his game as it got more intense. I think he really misses the Sundin pass/fake pass option on the PP.

eyebleaf said...

I would play Stralman and Carlo before Frogren. Both those guys have more of a future with the Leafs than Jonas, at least in my estimation.

I'm with the General, I thought Carlo was tremendous on Saturday, coming to the aid of his teammates on multiple occasions.

Kabby looked awful on that first Montreal goal. He should have been boxing out Lang. I'm not a big fan of Kabby on the PK.

That being said, he's got 9 points, he's starting to rack up the assists, and you say that "he hasn't looked bad" but you're calling for him to go to the press box? Won't happen. It's one thing to send a guy like Blake up there. But Kabby? No way. No how.

blurr1974 said...

With you all the way on the Kabby situation. If Ron really wantys to send the message that no one is above the team, then Kabby sits.

Great breakdown of the stats, and I'd have to agree with your conclusion. I still think Strallman could use more ice time to develop, and should maybe be moved back to the AHL (unless his deal is a one way, then scrap that thought.) Carlo is definitely not doing anything to make Wilson's job any harder...

Scott Baker said...

Thanks for the comments guys, I was at work for Saturday's game and so I didn't get to see Carlo's performance, just the more underwhelming ones that came beforehand.

It's true that both Carlo and Stralman have more years ahead of them, but as I said in the opening paragraph it's pretty obvious that Wilson isn't playing guys for development purposes and Froggy brings an entirely different skillset to the table, a valuable one at that.