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

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    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.

    Jonathon,

    While your arguement is fair that Vinny banks points within his division, when 32 of the games you played were against your division, regardless of the opposition, wouldn't you want your best player to show up in those games considering the make up 39% of the season, and winning your division guarantees you at least a 3rd seed.

    The last three years Hemsky hasn't put up good numbers in divisional games. This year in he has been better, with a point per game, but only one goal in eight games.

    Last year Hemsky scored 6-17-23 in 29 games…prorated over the year that is 17-48-65 in 82 games.

    In 2006/2007 Hemsky was 3-14-17 in 26 games…prorated over the year that is 9-44-53 in 82 games.

    You can argue Lecavalier dominates his division, but the importance of those games is also higher. Hemsky's number don't come close. So then Hemsky isn't as impactful in big games.

    We all agree Lecavalier is a better player and Hemsky has a better contract, but as head-to-head player Lecavalier is more dominant to this point in their careers.

  • Hippy

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    The last three years Hemsky hasn’t put up good numbers in divisional games. This year in he has been better, with a point per game, but only one goal in eight games.

    You can argue Lecavalier dominates his division, but the importance of those games is also higher. Hemsky’s number don’t come close. So then Hemsky isn’t as impactful in big games.

    I appreciate that it's important to be up for "big games" but I don't know that divisional record shows that automatically. I mean there's a world of difference between a March game against Florida for the Lightning than there is a March game against Nashville for Edmonton. Every year, only three teams in the Southeast are in contention for playoff spots (and it's usually closer to two) so I don't think those translate into big games.

    I'd say playoff record is a better indicator, and in the year the Lightning won the Cup, Lecavalier was 4th on his team in scoring, behind Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and Fredrik Modin.

    I'd say the reason Lecavalier's numbers are great against his division and Hemsky's are mediocre stems more from the fact that the Northwest Division is much, much stronger than the Southeast.

  • Hippy

    will andy make it on time for his retirement night – i am hoping that he has an oiler liason – babysitter – driver – so past history doesn't repeat itself – how did he make it out at the sponsored river cree poker tournament – with the oil in third jerseys this is always a 40 – 60 win percentage – but with the dogs this looks more 50 – 50 – their charter plane was delayed until 99 pulled out his credit card to cover fuel and landing costs…. could you imagine the dogs playing at glendale tonight after the Cards – ghosttown

  • Hippy

    Lines for tonight:

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Reddox – Gagner – Cole
    Moreau – Cogliano – Pouliot
    MacIntyre – Brodziak – Brule

    Since Reddox isn't playing in a checking role, can somebody tell me what he's done to earn a scoring spot over Potulny or Brule? Let's try this:

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Potulny – Gagner – Cole
    Pouliot – Cogliano – Brule
    Moreau – Brodziak – Reddox

    Better.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    I like your idea way better, but heaven forbid we we move our veteran and captian down to the 4th line. When would he have the icetime to take an undisiplined penalty.

  • Hippy

    @ Hockey Gods:
    What I don't get is that Moreau isn't reliable enough to be a shut down guy, he obviously isn't a scorer, yet sees a ton of minutes every game. I have no idea what Moreau's role is on this team. Can anyone help me out???

  • Hippy

    The biggest thing here is that the second line is the absolute worst place to use Reddox. That's the line that's supposed to score points against lesser foes (at home anyway).

    There's no reason to put Reddox on that line.

  • Hippy

    Gord wrote:

    @ Hockey Gods:
    What I don’t get is that Moreau isn’t reliable enough to be a shut down guy, he obviously isn’t a scorer, yet sees a ton of minutes every game. I have no idea what Moreau’s role is on this team. Can anyone help me out???

    Faceoffs. This is the guy who throws Cogliano and Pouliot out of the dot, despite his 3-17 faceoff record.

    It must be faceoffs.

    Or maybe he's the reason our 31st-ranked penalty kill is so awesome.

  • Hippy

    This whole Reddox expiriment is getting old. Why don't Tambo or someone have a good sot down with MacT and have him explain why Redoox on the second line is benefcial to the team.

    He is Coaching not to lose…

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Am I mistaken or does Moreau have the worst penalty killing stats on the team?

    It doesn't matter though – under MacT's 'system' as long as you are trying hard you can every shift, you can make all the mistakes you want and you will still get 15+ minutes a night.

  • Hippy

    @ Hockey Gods:

    Thing is, I'm one of those guys who, while not supportive, could understand why Reddox was playing with Horcoff.

    Why he's playing on the soft-minutes scoring line is beyond me. Why Potulny's out of the lineup is beyond me.

  • Hippy

    deep oil wrote:

    Hockey Gods – 0 – 0 – 82 and we would be .500 but Mact ends up there anyway – jonathon what is coach mact’s lifetime regular season record

    You mean, what is GM Kevin Lowe's lifetime GM-ing record, don't you?

    I don't think MacT's been what's kept this team mired in mediocrity (although this season, he bloody well hasn't helped). Lowe, outside of 2005-06, has been a disaster since the lockout.

    Have fun watching the game, guys – I've got a dinner to go to.