Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ducks Gameday—Pahlsson is god!

[EDIT: I meant to post this Tuesday morning, but as you can see below I was off to WI today, and Blogger didn't get its shit together in time. So now I am in WI, the Ducks have already lost, but I still remain optimistic as to the outcome.]

Anaheim Ducks (29-9-6, 1st in west) at Nashville Predators (28-11-3, 2nd in west)

Tonight is milestone night for my hero Sammy Pahlsson (see my man-love poem here)! Tonight Sammy will be playing in his 238th consecutive game, breaking the Anaheim iron-man record held by Oleg Tverdovsky (who, by the way, has played in only 22 of 44 games since his L.A. acquisition).

Nobody in the league has it as tough as Sammy, if you believe Behind the Net’s 5-on-5 metrics. He ranks 10 out of 544 in the league in the “5-on-5 Quality of Competition” metric, and 535 out of 544 in the “5-on-5 Quality of Teammates” metric. He’s playing a plus-5 differential against the NHL’s best night-after-night, and carrying around lugs like Rob N. and Moen while doing it.

PLUS (!), he leads all NHL forwards in SH TOI with 210:44, which is incredibly 55% of Anaheim’s total penalty-killing time. Rob N. ranks second in the league with 172:48, nearly two periods less!

PLUS (!), he’s done it all while only taking 4 minors, and still leads the team in hits (99), takeaways (32), and faceoff wins (440).

I certainly think there’s a pretty damn strong case not only that Sammy get the Selke Award, but maybe they should consider renaming the award for Pahlsson. He’s a defensive forward’s god.

Unfortunately, though, the Selke will probably go to Rod Brind’Amour, who plays in a much more respectable time zone. To compare, Rod (who is also a +5) plays against easier 5-on-5 opposition (112 of 544) with much better linemates (121 of 544) and does a third of his scoring on the power play. He also has about 60 more PP minutes than SH minutes, but whatever. I’d rather have the Selke-worthy performance than the actual Selke award anyway.


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Oh, stability. The guy who’s job it is to put names and numbers on the backs of Anaheim jerseys must be going nuts, seeing has he’s had to create seven new templates over the last seven games for Duck debuts.


Dec. 23—Kent Huskins, D, #40
Dec. 26—none
Dec. 29—David McKee*, G, #41
Dec. 31—Sebastien Caron*, G, #29
Jan. 2—Aaron Rome, D, #34
Jan. 5—Tim Brent, C, #47 and Ric Jackman, D, #5
Jan. 7—Bjorn Melin, W, #43

* backup role only
And in those seven games? A whopping 2-5 record, though the team has looked better since the return of Bryzgalov.

Meanwhile Nashville enters the game winners of 10 of their last 13. It’s probably worth mentioning, though, that 6 of those 10 wins came against St. Louis and Chicago. Ah, the beautiful disparity of the Central Division!


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At any rate, you’d figure I’d have great interest in watching a measuring-stick game between the top two teams in the west, but alas! I am going to be sitting on a plane flying off to sunny Wisconsin for business.

Prediction: I freeze my ass off, while the Ducks sneak a 3-1 win. Goals by Perry, Pahlsson, and whichever other guy is making his Duck debut.

9 comments:

zot said...

Sammy is amazing. I try (usually unsuccessfully) to emulate the way he plays when I play floor hockey.

PLUS (!), he leads all NHL forwards in SH TOI with 210:44, which is incredibly 73% of Anaheim’s total penalty-killing time. Rob N. ranks second in the league with 172:48, nearly two periods less!

PLUS (!), he’s done it all while only taking 4 minors, and still leads the team in hits (99), takeaways (32), and faceoff wins (440).


Did you compile all these numbers yourself. Props to you, sir. If not, props anyway for posting about Pahlsson.

VeryProudofYa said...

Since Kunitz has been moved down with perry and getz, they've made it known they're trying out left wingers for Selanne and Mcdonald.

I saw that last game melin played with them, and aside from the goal his passes looked crisp. Is his defensive ability so poor that Carlyle's afraid to use him, or is he trying to acclimate him slowly? Because I've liked what little I've seen so far.

Earl Sleek said...

Did you compile all these numbers yourself?

I think everything here was pretty accessible from NHL.com, with the possible exception of how much time the Ducks have spent PP/ES/SH, which is available on a game-by-game basis.

I do have some stats I'm keeping myself just on the Ducks, which was more evident in the Pronger-broken-foot post (how many goals CP was on the ice for).

Re: left wingers

Heh, I've even seen less Melin than you, probably, as they weren't showing the game on my plane. There has been a missing winger on the Ducks ever since Fedoruk got hurt (and "Molly" Shannon proved ineffective).

Part of me just assumes that Burke is waiting until Florida parts with soon-to-be-UFA Bertuzzi. Maybe I'm being too cynical, but as soon as we got Burke in the lockout, I wondered when Bertuzzi would follow.

Probably doesn't happen, but this is the type of year you bolster the troops at the deadline, and with cap room available and plenty of talent out there, it might be a play Burke could make.

Earl Sleek said...

Oh yeah, and fuck it's cold in Wisconsin!

Thankfully, no snow, though (I have hardly any driving-in-snow experience).

dave said...

It’s probably worth mentioning, though, that 6 of those 10 wins came against St. Louis and Chicago. Ah, the beautiful disparity of the Central Division!

The same Central Division that houses Columbus, who beat the Quackers last week?

The argument about the Central Division's weakness is getting so old. Hmmm... and it seems the Pacific has scrubs, LA and Phoenix.

It's not like Detroit and Nashville picked which teams they could be division mates with. And, trust me, the Preds look at games against San Jose, Anaheim and Detroit as their measuring stick games...not C-bus, St Louis or Chicago.

Can we move on please?

Earl Sleek said...

Can we move on please?

I fail to see how this is a dead issue, just because it has been brought up before.

Since the lockout, Detroit is 84-28-13, including 29-2-3 against CBJ, CHI, and STL. That is 34% of their standings points coming from 10% of the league.

Since the lockout, Nashville is 78-36-11, including 29-6-2 against CBJ, CHI, and STL. That is 36% of their standings points coming from 10% of the league.

Last year Los Angeles had a better winning percentage against those three teams than Nashville had; could they have been a playoff team had they had a chance to show that dominance off a little more?

Besides, what is wrong with clarifying the Predators' 10-3 streak by pointing out that 6 wins came against 2 teams that they traditionally dominate? Was that not true? Should it not be brought up? Does this recent streak still count as "last year's news"?

Drew said...

I'm not taking sides on the Central Division issue. Okay, I will. As of now, the bottom three are not as good as the bottom three in pretty much any other division in the NHL.

On to my point. Due to the excessive division games any one team must play, wouldn't an inordinate percentage of a good team's total points come from within their own division (10% of the league)? I mean, since 39% of a team's total games are against their own division isn't it only 'fair' that 34-36% of their standings points come from their own division?

I think your point is good, but maybe your argument is flawed.

Earl Sleek said...

Three teams from your division make up 24 games of an 82-game schedule (29%), so that should probably be the expected percentage of points from three division-mates.

And of course I am picking on the worst three, but still. 34% or 36% is still a significant difference.

A lesser team could still be a playoff team if given this layout; particularly L.A. would be much better off if they could play Nashville's schedule rather than its own.

Anonymous said...

Brind'Amour's Selkeness is greatly enhanced by his reputation (popularity) and the fact he scores a hell of a lot more. Let's face it, it's very hard for a PURE defensive forward to win the Selke. Guys like Rick Meagher are the exception. Jere Lehtinen could score some goals, so that's why he won the award as well.

Plus, MSM writers are loathe to put any stock into 'funny' (in their minds) statistics. That, and Pahlsson is a frickin Swede