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

    Wanye Gretz wrote:

    deep oil wrote:
    Travis Dakin wrote:
    I gotta get on face book.
    it only works if you have friends and people like me – i had over 3000 friends with a fake name and facebook DEACTIVATED my friend page- damm – had quite of few hotties that just graduated from high school wanting to friend me because of my hollywood and playboy mansion connections and anything goes at the palms LV
    Wow. When the authorities question me about you I’ll point them straight to that comment.

    the authorities already know me – last time i didn't have to post bail – just $100 from the JP on my own recognissance – charges were dropped

  • Hippy

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    uh…

    let me just say there are awesome cops who arrest you and then let you go an hour later and then some that are on administrative leave – i know them both sides

  • Hippy

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    My other point Jonathon, you talk about tough and soft minutes. Well it seems that all 1st line players are considered tough minutes. But if a team has a checking line that doesn’t score, wouldn’t they be harder minutes to play against as on offensive player? Just curious.

    I've seen a number of different suggestions; ranking the opponents by ice-time (and therefore their coaches' trust), BehindtheNet uses a complicated +/- system, and I used the opposition's point-scoring ability for the AHL. All of these systems generally show very similar results.

    I think BehindtheNet is closest to accurate – the goal in hockey after all is to score more than the opposition, so the best measure of that is an adjusted +/- (even it out for ice-time, strength of team, etc.). It's the reason why I don't have a ton of time for guys who are consistently minus players; teams don't win if they're constantly fishing the puck out of their own net. A guy who scores 30 goals and is responsible for 25 against is better for your team than a guy who scores 50 goals and allows 55 against at the end of the day, even though the 50-goal scorer is earning more coin.

    In any case, Lecavalier plays the tough minutes, and has since Richards left. My problems with Lecavalier (admittedly an outstanding player) are that:

    a) his point totals are inflated playing in the Southeast
    b) he isn't a consistent outscorer; he's had difficulty with that since Richards left
    and especially
    c) that contract

    I think he'd be a great fit in Edmonton, but not for Hemsky. Also, if Horcoff is going the other way, it would be nice to get a veteran up the middle behind him.

  • Hippy

    deep oil wrote:

    what does mom have on the stove tonight

    friends from out of town – i got out of eating at my parents' place when i got a real job – phoenix is in financial trouble – moreau not being the first star is because he plays oldies when the kids want to hear hiphop – the classic rock crew is losing the room as a result – macts always been a country guy, which is the only thing him and penner agree on – have I lost you yet or are you still reading

  • Hippy

    It's a damn shame you missed this game Willis. It was a perfect example of what Hemsky means to this team. He was flying all game and everybody had that extra spark because of him. This teams offence lives and dies by this man. He is a complete player now in that he shoots all the time and is scoring and putting up points like gangbusters on a marginally successful offensive team. If he were to play the whole season I have not much doubt that he would put up 90-100. He is in top form now and it is scary. I believe this team is turning it around now and he will be the one to bring them to the playoffs. Book it.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    moreau not being the first star is because he plays oldies when the kids want to hear hiphop

    THe reason Moreau wasn't the first star is that the three star selections are normally voted on by a media panel. THey collect the votes with 5 minutes to go in the game. And up until then Hemsky was first star, but last night was one of those times where they should have made an executive decision and given it to Moreau. First career hat trick should give him first star. It doesn't really matter at the end of the day, because for the Molson Cup, 1st, 2nd and 3rd star are all worth five points.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    friends from out of town – i got out of eating at my parents’ place when i got a real job – phoenix is in financial trouble – moreau not being the first star is because he plays oldies when the kids want to hear hiphop – the classic rock crew is losing the room as a result – macts always been a country guy, which is the only thing him and penner agree on – have I lost you yet or are you still reading

    Willis, your Deep Oil'ish post is still much easier to read than DeepOil selling realestate in Arizona.

  • Hippy

    @ The Towel Boy:

    I wouldn't say broken – but improving. .500 against Pheonix in retirement games now.

    3 wins, 3 Losses, 2 OT Points in the retro uni's now.

    Definately the best game I have seen @ Rexall in some time. I noticed they added a drum guy in the stands to pump up the fans. Music slightly improved as well, I laughed when the played Hungry like the wolf though…

  • Hippy

    Wanye Gretz wrote:

    They need to keep the dressing room feed live. This is the most interesting post game I have seen to date.

    No doubt. Absolutely priceless! Worth the PPV price in itself.

    Did anyone PVR that game? Get that clip on YouTube.

    *clap, clap*