rulururu
Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Pavs, and Anchors

April 21st, 2010, 10:07 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Last night, the prominent emotion I felt after Pavs scored was relief, and not elation.  The Sharks are seemingly back on track for the moment, tying the series, again putting up more scoring chances than the opposition, but this time they won.  I got the idea for today’s post by reading this, and to a lesser extent, tweeting this last night.  Marleau, for some reason, looks largely disinterested in this series, and outside of a couple of speedy drives to the net, has seemingly avoided the Flying Body Show that this series has been so far.  The difference in his play from Seto’s, for instance, could not be more stark.  Seto is hitting everything that moves, grinding it out, and Marleau is trying the shifty thing, neither taking nor issuing hits.  But judging a guy on how he ‘looks’ is awfully subjective, and prone to bias.  How can we judge their effectiveness?

One way is Corsi number.  This is a number that Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda talked about on the telecast many times, though they call it “shots directed at net”.  That is, shots + missed shots + blocked shots.  Corsi is merely that, but you also subtract the opponent’s number from yours.  At that point, you have something kind of a like a shot +/-.  The events are much more common than goals, so you have a much larger sample size and thus less variation.  Corsi (or Hardwick, which is the same as Corsi but doesn’t include blocked shots) can also be calculated for each individual player.  Here are the season numbers for San Jose.  I believe this is normalized for ice time, otherwise we wouldn’t have fractional numbers.  But as we can see, we have Boyle #1, and Marleau #2 (I don’t count Ferriero really).  Thanks to timeonice.com, let’s look at playoff numbers through four games (not normalized for ice time).

Rank Player Corsi
1 Vlasic 47
2 Pavelski 46
2 Clowe 46
4 Setoguchi 38
4 Mitchell 38
5 Blake 37
6 Boyle 34
7 Huskins 32
8 Marleau 24
9 Malhotra 23
9 Murray 23
11 Couture 21
12 Demers 20
13 McGinn 18
14 Nichol 14
15 Thornton 12
16 Ortmeyer 9
17 Heatley 7
18 Helminen 2

First thing to notice is that all of these numbers are positive, which is really remarkable.  That’s just another way of saying the Sharks have vastly out-chanced and out-shot the Avs in the series.  Also, we can see Marleau is currently 5th among forwards, and behind Kent Huskins, who was barely positive in the regular season.  Thornton and Heatley did not have good games 1 or 4 (and Heatley even missed game 3), and that accounts for their low numbers.  As one would expect, the numbers for the top line are all more or less in line for each of the games- low single digits for games 1 and 2, around 10 for game 3, and back down for game four.  The main reason why Marleau is above the other two is because of game 4, where he was +8, where Thornton was +1 and Heatley -1.  So my observation that Marleau was doing particularly bad was almost completely backwards.  Still, all in all, this chart confirms with hard numbers what we already thought- the top line is not performing.  Not even close.  If we can get those guys rolling, we can expect the Sharks to roll better too.

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    9 Comments to “Pavs, and Anchors”

    1. Evilducks says:

      The 2nd line is just monstrous for us. I also noticed how high Mitchell is on the list. That kid has his speed back and he’s absolutely flying out there. Now if he could just bury a couple.

    2. Justin says:

      Just to expand on that, I have to chuckle whenever I hear Randy doing play-by-play and say, “The ‘Big Line’ of Thornton, Marleau, and Heatley are on the ice…” My wife and I are thinking, Randy, dude, that’s not the “Big Line” right now. It’s almost like they haven’t shown up in this series. Thornton’s trying, at least, but you can’t be a Top 5 player in the league if a team can shut you down. Crosby’s getting his points. And if the Av’s are so focused on Joe, where’s Patty and Heater?

      Just for once, I’d like to hear Randy say, “The Big Line of Pavelski, Clowe, and Setoguchi are on the ice…” Those guys are truly the “Big Line” right now.

    3. Nick says:

      I actually think it’s interesting that Justin thinks Big Joe is working hard because I feel like he’s been playing a little lazy overall. I think he shows spurts of effort, and when he does he seems to overcomplicate things attempting near impossible passes. Otherwise, he seems to coast around and looks a little lost trying to deal with the speed of the Avs.

      I also worry that Heatley was rushed back (he seemed to favor one leg, in addition to lacking jump) and wonder if they’d be better off sitting him as Colorado is such a fast team. Maybe he could be a PP specialist…

      Great to get the W. A real nail-biter. The team looked tired, but held it together and pulled out what was needed. I really think one big win would put this series out of reach. Can’t wait for Thursday!

    4. Ruben says:

      First, Justin is spot on. The first line right now, by ice time, is Pavs-Seto-Clowe. And while Pavs got the game winner and Clowe has been awesome, the Sharks best forward has been Seto.

      I’m watching G4 right now, and Marleau did play well last night. And Joe, to me at least, looks like he always does. He is winning battles in the corners, having more than a few pucks bounce over his stick, and against a lesser goalie would have 2 goals and 5 assists this series. On defense, he plays a passive/positional game but without Vlasic’s stick skills. It is actually quite effective, as on the season he played against the toughest competition on the team per behindthenet.com and was still a plus. Its just some expect him to change his usually successful approach if he or the team is struggling. Understandable points of view from both sides.

    5. Tom says:

      Here is what I think about Marleau. Thecreason why he “looks” so bad is when ever he is on the ice he isn’t moving his feet anywhere near enough. He’s simply gliding. Gliding to loose picks. Gliding into the zone. Gliding in the dzone. I don’t see much intensity or hunger.

      Don’t get me wrong either I’m rooting for Patty – every shift! But I’m kinda done defending him too.

      While I do reckognize those numbers I find issue with the inability to score in key positions. Pavs and Seto each have a GTG and a GWG in OT. Where is Marleau? Why isn’t he using his speed? In many ways I hold Marleau to a higher standard than Joe. Patty is the guy who has shown brilliance in the PO’s and has shown he doesn’t need Joe to produce.

      Again I’m gonna cheer my fool brains out for Patty, but he isn’t playing very well right now. He’s had four games to get into PO mode. If he can’t get there soon I’m not going to defend him from the calls for blood.

    6. Ruben says:

      Also, these aren’t normalized for Quality of Competition. At this point, I think Colorado is making a mistake continuing to match up the Stastny line (and Scott Hannan) with Jumbo Joe’s line, when it is clear that Little Joe’s line is doing all the damage. Now that Heatly is hurt, Sacco would be wise to change his strategy.

      I’d say they only area the Avs have a chance is their top 5 against our top 5. After that, the Sharks have the upper hand (except probably goaltending), and it has showed this series by the numbers above. And how about Huskins, ehh? Him and Clowe have really proven most of us wrong that had called for them to be traded.

      • Evilducks says:

        Is it a mistake or would Jumbo’s line do more damage without Stastny and Hannan shutting them down?

    7. Ruben says:

      Good point, Evilducks. I guess take your chances Pavs and Co will only score 1-2 times a game? I just wonder with Heater ailing that maybe HTML isn’t the Sharks’ most dangerous line at this point. But if Jumbo does anything well, it is manhandle lesser opponents.

    8. Tom says:

      At a great time to finally bust open Anderson.

      One thing I’ve been noticing over the last couple games: the inexperience of the Avs. They seemed really rattled in this game and have been taking more and more bad, untimely penalties. I had hoped to see this.

      Extra important for the Shatks cause the vast majority of the Avs have never faced the pressure of a possible elimination game and I think they are showing signs of folding. The game will still be tough, but I think their youth should play a major role on Saturday.

      Plus I think they rattled Anderson!

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