GDB 45: Vincent Lecavalier

As we wait for the game against the Coyotes to begin, let’s consider two players over the past two seasons. Both are gritty, have good size, and are well-known and often mentioned as Top-10 players. Here are the numbers:

Player A

2008-09: 45GP – 28G – 21A – 59 PTS, +10

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2007-08: 82GP – 40G – 66A – 106 PTS, -8

2006-07: 82GP – 56G – 54A – 100 PTS, +23

Player B

2008-09: 45GP – 15G – 22A – 37 PTS, +4

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2007-08: 82GP – 41G – 44A – 85 PTS, -23

2006-07: 82GP – 49G – 57A – 106 PTS, -11

Player A is clearly superior to Player B. Outside of a slight difference in one season, he’s been a far better offensive performer, and his +/- totals are well ahead of Player B. Yet everybody, bizarrely enough, thinks that these two players are identical in ability, despite the fact that the statistics don’t support it at all.

The reason that everybody regards these two players as identical talents is because they are one player. Player A is Vincent Lecavalier, specifically his point totals against his own division, pro-rated over full seasons. Player B is Vincent Lecavalier against the rest of the NHL, pro-rated over an entire season.

I haven’t gotten into the effect of the various divisions on player performance, but it is something that we as Oilers fans should be wise to. We’ve seen the effect on Erik Cole, and it isn’t an illusion. The Southeast is the worst division in the NHL, by far, and it isn’t surprising that some of the league’s top goal- and point- scorers can be found there. It’s something that GM’s should keep in mind before making trades, at any rate.

It’s something Oilers fans should keep in the back of their mind as they watch their team play the Coyotes and fantasize about what a new addition to the lineup could do to help the cause.

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  • Hippy

    CurtisS wrote:

    Lets continue this Hemsky vs Vinny argument here.
    Vinny superior to Hemsky.
    Vinny a future Hall of Famer
    Hemsky not so much.
    Enough said.

    What are you taking about – JW never even mentioned Hemsky. Give YOUR head a shake please and read what is written.

    And in answer to your post about Ovechkin, I will bet you he wouldn't score quite as many goals if he wasn't in the SE. He's still an awesome player, though.

  • Hippy

    CurtisS wrote:

    Lets continue this Hemsky vs Vinny argument here.
    Vinny superior to Hemsky.
    Vinny a future Hall of Famer
    Hemsky not so much.
    Enough said.

    Wow those are great arguments. At least JW provides stats to back up his point of view. What do you have besides your opinion?

  • Hippy

    @ CurtisS:
    You are the only person who mentioned Hemsky.

    Kovalchuck, St.Loius, Vinny, Ovechkin ect have slightly inflated personal stats do to the quality of opposition. And that makes a difference when you play those teams 1/4 of the time.

    How many more goals would Edmonton Score if they played in a division where 4 out of the five teams don't make the playoffs? It's the same thing when Detroit's point totals were grossly inflated as they were playing sub par teams in Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus and Nashville. Where as everybody in the NW division is usually in the hunt for the playoffs. ie: points are harder to come by and the quality of opposition is greater.

    Give your head a shake and pull it out of your (edited with love by WG.)

  • Hippy

    How am I the only person that mentioned Hemsky.

    Jonathon in the last blog in the comments said:

    Vinny might be a better offensive player but hemsky is a better player.

    I didnt say it. He did.

    Its not true. Vinny is superior to hemsky.

  • Hippy

    @ CurtisS:

    Nobody is arguing that Lecavalier isn't a good player. He's excellent. And Ovechkin's an elite talent – top-five in the league in my opinion.

    The point still stands that Leacavlier is a much better player inside the Southeast Division than outside of it. Look at the difference to Cole – if you think it's negligible, there isn't much I can say to you, because you're clearly beyond reason.

    As for your "ask 30 NHL GM's comment" – I can't do it, but if you asked Ken Holland, or for that matter any GM in charge of a contending team if he'd rather acquire Hemsky or Lecavalier via trade, I'd wager good money he'd say Hemsky.

    Especially when you consider that Hemsky's making half the money, and for a shorter term.

    Look at the numbers this season – playing only Southeast teams, Lecavalier would be tied with Sidney Crosby for 2nd in the NHL in points scoring. Playing only teams outside of his division, he's tied for 45th, and well back of Hemsky's scoring pace. I don't argue that he's an inferior offensive player to Hemsky, but that's a big difference in his scoring ratio.

  • Hippy

    JackBauer wrote:

    Are there serious rumors of Hemsky for Lecaviler? Or even that the Oilers are going for him? If not, why all the Lecav talk?

    tampa would prefer draft picks and prospects only – due to financial crisis – hemmer is stable and would be traded again if khoules and barrie hold onto the team – this is about money, getting something back is not even secondary

  • Hippy

    @ JackBauer:

    I don't think so, but it's getting tossed around the message boards and blogs like nobody's business, so I thought folks might be interested in this breakdown.

  • Hippy

    @ Gord:

    Gord read back in the last post before you prove your stupid.

    Jonthan said Hemsky was a better player than Vinny.

    I disagree, yet im a idoit??

    Nice try.

  • Hippy

    CurtisS wrote:

    @ Gord:
    Gord read back in the last post before you prove your stupid.
    Jonthan said Hemsky was a better player than Vinny.
    I disagree, yet im a idoit??
    Nice try.

    Discuss it in that post instead of dragging it into the next.

    JW has provided stats to back up his discussion, where are yours?

  • Hippy

    @ CurtisS:

    Incidentally, there's a huge difference in quality between Ovechkin and Lecavalier. They don't belong in the same sentence, honestly.

    Here are the numbers for Ovechkin, using the same exercise:

    In Division

    2008-09: 45GP – 34G – 62A – 96 PTS +34
    2007-08: 82GP – 46G – 36A – 82 PTS +15
    2006-07: 82GP – 64G – 46A – 110 PTS -20

    Outside Division

    2008-09: 45GP – 29G – 21A – 50 PTS +9
    2007-08: 82GP – 71G – 49A – 120 PTS +34
    2006-07: 82GP – 34G – 46A – 80 PTS -18

    He benefits from playing in the Southeast (last season was one of the rare exceptions I've seen to this phenomenon), but in only one of the six samples (his rookie year) are his numbers inferior to Lecavalier's.

    Ovechkin is a far better player than Lecavalier, and it isn't close.

  • Hippy

    Hemmer for Lecav, why debate it, we can dream and debate all we want, call each other a bunch of a-holes, etc but does anyone even this trade is a remote possibility? Not a chance IMO, so Curtis quit making youself sound like an a-hole and either back up your agruement with fact or leave it.

    I choose to leave it b/c I don't see this happening… EVER.

    Back to the point of the thread GDB!! Oiler's site note Hemmer is back in, and on the top line SWEET! But get this, Poltuny hits the Popcorn stand and Reddox daws in the 2nd line.

    Just when I thought the Oil were turning it around MacT does this. I am gald I didn't jump off Bagged's fire Mact bandwagon.

  • Hippy

    @ Hockey Gods:
    Reddox will be in the line up for the rest of the season – MacT has added him to his list of underskilled and overplayed group of players. We may as well get used to him playing each game no matter how much we don't like it!

  • Hippy

    Also, vs. Hemsky:

    2008-09

    Hemsky: 2.03 EVPTS/60, 5.76 PPPTS/60, 11.3 EVCorsi/60
    Lecavalier: 2.51 EVPTS/60, 3.19 PPPTS/60, 1.1 EVCorsi/60

    2007-08

    Hemsky: 2.36 EVPTS/60, 5.93 PPPTS/60, -.8 EVCorsi/60,
    Lecavalier: 2.42 EVPTS/60, 4.51 PPPTS/60, -1.1 EVCorsi/60

    Lecavalier's a better point producer 5-on-5, by a clear margin. Hemsky's a better point producer on the powerplay, by a clear margin.

    But there are two ends to the rink, and Hemsky is much, much better at keeping the puck in the offensive end than Lecavalier is. Lecavalier's one of the most exciting players in the league to watch, because it's always end-to-end action with him; he cheats to offense. Hemsky is a much more balanced player, he's well ahead of Lecavalier in positional play and awareness.

    This insistence that the only end of the rink that matters is the end with the other team's net is bizarre. Preventing a goal against helps your team exactly as much as scoring a goal for, and while Lecavalier's a little ways ahead of Hemsky in one area, Hemsky is far ahead of Lecavalier in the other.

  • Hippy

    "The reason that everybody regards these two players as identical talents is because they are one player."

    OMG, my brain exploded when I read that line. Well done, Willis. You think of things people don't think about.

  • Hippy

    @ Gord:
    I can't help but agree with you Gord, it sucks, but as long pompous Mact it driving the short bus players like Reddox are something we'll have to deal with.

    I was just hoping sooner or later MacT would see the light. Still baffling, I realize the waiver situation with Poltuny and Brule, and Reddox is a decent PKer, but why not play win rather than play not to lose.

    Thanks for the ear, as I re-read this I am just whining.

  • Hippy

    @ Johnathan Willis:

    Sorry Willis. This reminds me of when you tried to argue that Horcoff is a better player than Getzlaf. If Vinny is better than Hemskey, and Horcoff is better than Getzlaf…Then how come the Oilers haven't won any cups? Both those guys have. Stuff those numbers and give your head a shake.

  • Hippy

    @ Hockey Gods:
    We all hope for the same thing, but MacT's plumber glasses only see effort, not talent.

    There was a MacT quote talking about Reddox on here a few days ago. It went something like 'if his last name was Brule everyone would be excited about him.'

    I laughed so hard when I read that. Is MacT so dumb that he thinks that the letters on the back of the jersey is what excites the fans? Offensive talent excites fans, fights excite fans, and huge hits excite fans. I have yet to see Reddox provide any of those type of highlights so therefor he doesn't excite me. Penalty killing and backchecking aren't exciting. They are required, but not exciting. That is the difference between the world we live in and the one MacT creates a roster in.

  • Hippy

    @ Gord:
    100% agreed now where the eff is Baggedmilk and and his fire Mact Bandwagon, he was supposed to pick me up a year ago. I just bought real cool push bar with fog lights for that bad boy. Now people will see us coming and drive right over the naysayers.

  • Hippy

    Gord wrote:

    There was a MacT quote talking about Reddox on here a few days ago. It went something like ‘if his last name was Brule everyone would be excited about him.’

    I saw that on TV and I spit my lasagna all over the floor and then fell off my chair and rolled in it as I laughed and laughed. What a joke. The coach can't even see the difference in POTENTIAL and SKILL between those two. How do people in the hockey world take this guy seriously?

  • Hippy

    APE wrote:

    How do people in the hockey world take this guy seriously?

    Beats me, becasue I can't, but I have heard and read a few times that several people in the in the hockey world respect him a coach and feel he is among the best in league. I have no idea.

    Man ths PHI ARZ game is going to be a great finish, now ARZ is marching it, 4 mins left.