Time With Ales Hemsky/Alexander Ovechkin – Debunking the Liam Reddox Myth

This is a pretty straight-forward post, inspired by some discussion in Jason Gregor’s post yesterday: a list of minutes played with Ales Hemsky by Oilers forwards over the course of the season.

All raw data courtesy of HockeyAnalysis.com.

Ales Hemsky’s Linemates

The chart lists first total minutes, followed by what percentage of the time each player was with Hemsky. Ales Hemsky played 1030 minutes and 23 seconds at even-strength last year. Only players with more than ten minutes are counted.

  • Shawn Horcoff – 745:02 (72.3%)
  • Dustin Penner – 353:46 (34.3%)
  • Ales Kotalik – 161:37 (15.7%)
  • Sam Gagner – 152:09 (14.8%)
  • Ethan Moreau – 134:49 (13.1%)
  • Erik Cole – 97:57 (9.5%)
  • Robert Nilsson – 94:47 (9.2%)
  • Patrick O’Sullivan – 89:42 (8.7%)
  • Andrew Cogliano – 72:34 (7.0%)
  • Kyle Brodziak – 55:59 (5.4%)
  • Liam Reddox – 28:01 (2.7%)
  • Marc Pouliot – 17:44 (1.7%)

Alexander Ovechkin’s Linemates

Meanwhile, for fun contrast, here’s the same type of chart for Alexander Ovechkin over in Washington. Ovechkin played 1316:11 at even strength last season.

  • Nicklas Backstrom – 1009:52 (76.7%)
  • Viktor Kozlov – 557:09 (42.3%)
  • Alexander Semin – 365:22 (27.8%)
  • Sergei Fedorov – 184:29 (14.0%)
  • Michael Nylander – 130:50 (9.9%)
  • Eric Fehr – 79:46 (6.1%)
  • Chris Clark – 59:59 (4.6%)
  • Brooks Laich – 52:20 (4.0%)
  • Boyd Gordon – 40:45 (3.1%)
  • David Steckel – 40:30 (3.1%)
  • Matt Bradley – 40:02 (3.0%)

The New MacT Sucks Meme

Because Lord knows we need one.

I give you a new stick to beat MacTavish with: Craig MacTavish is a lousy NHL coach because he didn’t play Liam Reddox with Ales Hemsky enough.

Matt Bradley got 3% of Alex Ovechkin’s ice-time, and he only scored 11 points in 81 games. Liam Reddox scored 12 points in only 46 games – clearly, a better offensive record. Bruce Boudreau probably would have given Reddox 5% of Ovechkin’s ice-time.

Seriously, though, I think this is definitive: Liam Reddox’s single game on the top line was an aberration – exactly the same kind of aberration that happens on every team in the NHL.  To beat Craig MacTavish’s record with it after comparing these charts is indescribably stupid; unless the consensus is that Bruce Boudreau is also a lousy coach – in which case it only takes a five second look at players like Rick Nash and Henrik Zetterberg to know that this is a common NHL occurrence.

  • Hippy

    oilguyry wrote:

    We need some news so we can stop beating these stats to death

    Although, in fairness, the offseason gives us a chance to do more detailed analysis than we get to during the season.

  • Hippy

    @ smytty777:

    I think it's fair to critique the lack of Penner, but in that case Moreau's minutes are the ones that should be used.

    The one game with Reddox has entered the lore of MacTavish – and I just don't understand picking one very limited and at least partially excusable (the lineup was in very bad shape that game) choice when there's other, more valid stuff, to choose from.

  • Hippy

    Robin Brownlee wrote:

    Jonathan Willis wrote:
    This has been beaten to death around these parts and it’s incredibly stupid how much nonsense has been generated over 20 minutes.
    So, the best way to address the nonsense is to write more about it?
    I admire a stubborn streak, Jon, but some people aren’t going to come around no matter how sure you are about what you’ve seen, what you know or what the numbers show.

    You have to admit this is one of (if not the first) times theirs been hard evidence posted on the topic.

  • Hippy

    Another interesting number:

    GF/20 Hemsky/Horc

    When together: 1.047

    Hemsky without Horc: .496

    Horc Without Hemsky: .755

    GA/20 Hemsky/Horc

    When together: .725

    Hemsky without Horc: 1.133

    Horc without Hemsky: .907

    So goals for with Hemsky on the ice goes WAY down if he doesn't have Horc with him (in fact far lower then if it's Horc without Hemsky).

    And goals against when Hemsky is out without Horc are FAR higher if he doesn't have Horc with him.

    Maybe Horc is actually good for Hemsky??? Arch, I defer to you.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    This has been beaten to death around these parts and it’s incredibly stupid how much nonsense has been generated over 20 minutes.

    So, the best way to address the nonsense is to write more about it?
    I admire a stubborn streak, Jon, but some people aren't going to come around no matter how sure you are about what you've seen, what you know or what the numbers show.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    I agree there is no reason to hate Reddox for it, it has nothing to do with Reddox. But it is a valid critique of MacT in my view. Moreso, for the numerous Moreau games on 1LW than with Reddox.

    Others have discussed the effectiveness of Penner ad naseum so I won't go any further on that point. What I am saying is that to throw down Ovechkin's numbers beside Hemsky's does not take into context the underlying situation.

    MacT seemed to dislike Penner on a personal level and it made the team less effective. Reddox and Moreau were symptoms of that dislike and were put in a position they were not suited for (through no fault of their own).

  • Hippy

    smytty777 wrote:

    This is the problem with compiling stats vs. actually watching the game. No one is saying Reddox spent every shift with Hemsky. The complaint is that MacT sent Reddox out with him (and Moreau out with Hemsky), while having Penner nailed to the bench when Penner was clearly the best option.
    Ovechkin double shifts reguarly so he plays with nearly everyone on the team. These numbers don’t provide any context to the situation so have limited value in my view.

    You'll recall that some of Reddox's time came with Hemsky double-shifting as well (and I'm fairly sure all of Pouliot's time came that way).

    It doesn't matter which forward on which team you look at – they all spent some time with 4th line wingers. What was Brodziak doing with Hemsky? Moreau?

    This has been beaten to death around these parts and it's incredibly stupid how much nonsense has been generated over 20 minutes.

  • Hippy

    Liam Reddox scored 12 points in only 46 games – clearly, a better offensive record. Bruce Boudreau probably would have given Reddox 5% of Ovechkin’s ice-time.

    Now watch Quinn actually do something like this 😛
    And if he does we will all blame you JW hahaha.

  • Hippy

    This is the problem with compiling stats vs. actually watching the game. No one is saying Reddox spent every shift with Hemsky. The complaint is that MacT sent Reddox out with him (and Moreau out with Hemsky), while having Penner nailed to the bench when Penner was clearly the best option.

    Ovechkin double shifts reguarly so he plays with nearly everyone on the team. These numbers don't provide any context to the situation so have limited value in my view.