Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Breakdown of Nashville Pre-Season Game

I didn't attend this game in person. My hockey team the "Dodgers" had a Friday night contest (we lost, thanks for asking) and I could have only watched one period. So today I will have to rely on pure stats. Based on the game story Pavelec was pretty hard on himself saying he should have stopped three goals that he allowed. Since I didn't see the game I can't really comment on that.

A lot of Thrashers were in the negative on your basic plus/minus statistic. If Pavelec really did have a poor night, then the plus/minus might NOT be a very reliable way to determine who played well or poorly. So let's take a look at the two measures of pressure and territorial play I introduced in my last post.

Corsi Numbers (Thrasher Shots Attempted minus Nashville Shots Attempted)

+12 Hedberg
+5 Pavelec
The Thrashers had the edge in shots generated when both goalies were in net.

+2 Hainsey
+2 Havelid

-1 Exelby
-1 Bogosian

+14 Valabik
+17 Enstrom

Wow. When the Enstrom-Valabik pair were out there the Thrashers dominated in the shots created battle. The Hainsey-Havelid were slightly plus and the Exelby-Bogosian slightly negative.

+10 Kovalchuk
+7 White
+7 Thorburn
The top line was pretty dominate in terms of creating more shots. Last game they were matched against Zetterberg line and finished a slight negative, not this game where they piled up chances by the looks of it.

-2 Kozlov
-1 Little
-1 Armstrong
2nd was basically even.

+6 Sterling
+4 Perrin
+2 Crabb
3rd line on the plus side, Sterling with a nice number there.

+9 Stuart
+8 Slater
+3 Hoffman
4th line put up some big numbers.
Since I didn't watch the game I'm not sure how much line switching was taking place. Based on some of these numbers it appears that either lines were being mixed up or there was a lot of 4 on 4 hockey.

Now for the 2nd measure: Which end of the ice did each line/paring play in. Below a look at the net number of shifts where a line had a stoppage in the opponent's end versus the number of shifts where the stoppage occurred in their own end.

+2 Hedberg
+5 Pavelec

+4 Hainsey
+5 Havelid

-3 Exelby
-2 Bogosian

+4 Valabik
+6 Enstrom
The top two pairings did both finished with positive numbers. The Exelby-Bogosian pairing finished negative. (I wonder if Exelby has had a positive game so far this pre-season?)

+4 Kovalchuk
+3 White
+3 Thorburn

-1 Kozlov
-2 Little
-1 Armstrong

+2 Sterling
+3 Perrin
+2 Crabb

+3 Stuart
+3 Slater
+2 Hoffman
In term of territory all the lines did quite well except the Little line.


  • Well Falconer, to follow up on my point from last post, looks like we have ourselves a trend going. The only negative pair had XLB and a rookie in it. However, I have a lot more faith in this rookie, so I'm thinking XLB is the problem in dragging down his partner's numbers. And wow look at Valabik's numbers with Enstrom.

    So to me the coaching issue at this point is, is there someone we *could* pair XLB with that can help bring him up instead of letting X pull them down? Or is X just off to a slow start and needs a bit more re-tooling? Last year was only the second time he had been negative for the season in his career, the other being -10 his rookie season. Plus-11 the season after the lockout aka the year we *should* have gone to the playoffs, and +2 the season we *did* go to the playoffs.

    It's %#!& or get off the pot time for X I think. Either he gets some game back or he can sit and let Valabik take the workload. I'd have more tolerance for rookie mistakes than those made by a 4-year vet. While I'm willing to not hold last season against him (otherwise we'd be carrying grduges against 2/3 of the team), he's got to show me something if he wants me to believe he deserves to stay here. He should know that too - there are a number of hungry wolves creeping up through the system. He has to shine in order to not get replaced simply via natural selection.

    By Anonymous Sara, at 8:14 AM  


    "Nashville only outshot the Thrashers 9-8 in the second but they had three goals on 13 shots in the third before Atlanta got their second shot of the period off."

    That leads me to believe it wasn't so much Pavelec's fault that he gave up four.

    By Blogger Justin, at 1:23 PM  

  • Justin, from every account that I've heard, 3 of the 4 goals Pavelec gave up were all because of his poor rebound control last night.

    By Anonymous blankspace6, at 3:02 PM  

  • Valabik does continue to look like he could probably stick in the NHL but he really displayed his glaring lack of footspeed on one of Nashville's goals in the third when a Predator just blew right around him as if Boris was standing still and potted the puck past Pavelec. His skating still makes me nervous and I'm not sure he'll ever really be a solid skater overall.

    By Anonymous Go Thrashers, at 4:02 PM  

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