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

    smiliegirl15 wrote:

    I agree though, that MacT played bottom 6 players in the top 6 at the expense of the top 6 guys. He had his own agenda last season and didn’t seem to care about the team as a whole. It seemed to be more about personal issues with certain players.

    This is the kinda stuff that makes me really excited to see the Oilers under a new head coach

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    Why could most of us armchair coaches see it and MacTavish couldn’t?

    Because MacT was stubborn, largely used certain players as pawns to make examples out of Penner and others.

    MacT actually had a quiet arrogance about him that rubbed me the wrong way. I still remember a presser during a day off in the 06 final. A media guy asked if he thought of putting Laraque out on the PP (which was horrible 0/20 or something). MacT smirked and said "no, I don't think we will be doing something like that".

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    Babcock DID NOT put Abdelkader in that spot for his shutdown ability. He saw a junior scorer and gave him a chance to produce at the NHL level.

    You should dig a little deeper, Reddox's numbers jr/AHL numbers are at least as impressive as Abdelkader. Also, Babcock did it in the SCF, you don't just "give a guy a chance" in the SCF… especially on a team with that much depth (RE: Options)

    "You seem to be missing the point, all teams do this.
    All teams do what? Fill in a a first line winger spot with an unproven 3rd/4th line checker? Please give me one example of other “good” coaches doing this?"

    You seen the list on this blog… I'll break out a few examples of plugs who played with stars for you:

    First our control

    Hemsky:

    Reddox: 28
    Brodziak: 55
    MAP: 17

    Getzlaf:

    Brown: 11
    Pahlson: 16
    Parros: 22
    R Nieds: 49
    Christiansen: 64

    Kovalchuk:

    Reasoner: 208
    Perin: 95
    Crab: 18

    Savard:

    Thorton: 33
    Bitz: 10
    Yelle: 18

    Vanek:

    Gaustad: 27
    Heatch: 156
    Mair: 37

    Iggy:

    Nystrom: 36
    Roy: 14
    Boyd: 107

    E Stall:

    Eaves: 79
    Bayda: 66
    Walker: 24

    Kane:

    Eager: 65
    Burrish: 16
    Fasher: 28

    Statny:(only played 45 games)

    Jones: 27
    Tucker: 20
    Lapperier: 16

    Nash:

    Torres: 27
    Murray: 19
    Chimera: 87

    Riberio:

    Barch: 47
    Parrish: 105
    Connor: 44

    Datsyuk:

    Draper: 24
    Maltby: 27
    CLEARY: 241

    Booth:

    Kreps: 57
    Mclean: 60
    Steward: 30

    Kopitar:

    Armstrong: 19
    Purcell: 154
    Calder: 249

    M Koivu:

    Veilleux: 86
    Gillies: 26
    Clutterbuck: 83

    Kovalev:

    Kostopolis: 45
    Metropolite: 16
    Dandenault: 36

    So theirs the best player on half the teams in the league… I'm confident that other half looks the same, see a trend?

    I think it's safe to assume you haven't watched 82 games of every team in the league… so the question is: Do you think all of those minutes all those plugs played with those top players were due to injuries, line changes or other line-up disruptions… or do you think maybe juuussstt maybe, their coaches conciously put them out together???

  • Hippy

    @ Ogden Brother:

    Thats not the point of what the anti-MacT contingent is talking about, this is:

    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%)

    The mix is is much more ridiculous than any top players you have mentioned.

    This is not normal

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    Would you like me to answer this based on team results, or individual player results? Because both point to the same answer.
    Oh, and drop the meathead comment, you want respect, you have to show respect

    dont waste your time, i have my answer already.

    im not disgreeing mact was at fault for what transpired over the year.

    i am, however, going on the assumption that most of the people on this board have zero pro coaching experience and zero pro hockey experience(myself included).

    if i am incorrect in the assumption, i apologize

  • Hippy

    DanMan wrote:

    The mix is is much more ridiculous than any top players you have mentioned.
    This is not normal

    Actually, it is normal. MacTavish is a shockingly normal NHL coach, if you keep an eye on what's happening in other cities.

    Now, as one of the officers on the good ship H.M.S Penner Should Have Been On The First Line I'm not going to argue that the revolving door on LW was a good idea. On the other hand, many others have a lower opinion of Penner than I (including MacT) so that's hardly an absolute.

  • Hippy

    DanMan wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    Thats not the point of what the anti-MacT contingent is talking about, this is:
    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%)
    The mix is is much more ridiculous than any top players you have mentioned.
    This is not normal

    Is this a joke? You really nailed home your point with the when you said "The mix is much more ridiculous than any top players you have mentioned" Great proof!

    I see JW has already addressed, but I'm bored so I'll put a few examples down just to close off the point.

    Kovalchuk: 1241 min played

    White – 38%
    Little – 34%
    Williams – 25%
    Thorburn – 18% (all of 15 points this year)
    Peverly – 17%
    REASONER – 17%
    Christianson – 16%
    Armstrong – 15%
    Perrin – 7%
    Slater – 4%
    Kozlov – 3%
    Crab – 1.5%

    And a couple other scrubs that played less then 10 min

    Iggy 1339 Min played

    Cammy – 50%
    Conroy – 29%
    Bert – 24%
    Lombardi – 20%
    Jokenin – 20%
    Langkow – 13%
    GlenX – 12%
    Boyd – 8%
    Borque – 8%
    Nystrom – 2.5%
    Roy – 1%

    And then a few scubs with less

    Thorton – 1270 Min played

    Marleau – 64%
    Seteguchi – 61%
    Cheecho – 20%
    Roenik – 11%
    (all of 42 points combined for Cheecho/Roenik)
    Clowe – 10%
    Michalek 6%
    McGin 4% (All of 6 points)
    Grier 4%
    Kasper 3% (and he only played 13 games with the Sharks)
    Moen 3%
    Shelly 3%
    Pihal 2%
    Pavelski 2%
    Staubitz 2%
    Lemieux 2%

    Datsyuk 1102 Min played

    Homstrom – 47%
    Hossa – 44%
    Franzen 27%
    Zetts 26%
    Cleary 22%
    Samuelson 9%
    Filpula 6%
    Kopecy 6%
    Hudler 3%
    Maltby 3%
    Draper 2$

    Kopitar 1239 Min played

    Brown 50%
    O'sully 35%
    Frolov 32%
    Purcell 12% (he only played 40 games)
    Williams 10%
    Simmonds 9%
    Moulson 5% (and he played all of 7 games… for the guy wondering about AHL'er with no offense going straight to the top line)
    Handzus 5%
    Lewis 4% (he played all of 6 games… again for the guy wondering about AHL'ers going to line 1)
    Ivanans 3%
    Moller 3%
    Armstrong 2%
    Stoll 1.5%

    Pretty much case closed, MacT used his lines in roughly the same way as his peers.

  • Hippy

    Even if you are a big MacT supporter (I think he is a good X and O's sort of guy and would make a fantastic assistant NHL coach). I do not see how anyone can deny that he prone to making strange and perplexing personnel decisions. He just ramped it up in his final season but it was always there IMO.

  • Hippy

    @ Ogden Brother:

    ~Yes, of course you are right, MacT was a good coach, because other coaches do the same things as he does.~

    I understand you're a big MacT supporter, but tell me, what does he bring to the table? The only thing I see is the ability to ruin young careers and develop 3rd line pluggers.

    I dare you to show me one thing that MacT excels at.

  • Hippy

    @ Ogden Brother:

    I am not denying that other coaches put their best players with "energy" guys at times.

    My point is, most other coaches do not do it at the expense of top line players. They give the top liners additional minutes with the so called "pluggers".

    In the case of Reddox – there were much better options available to MacTavish on the current roster let alone going to the minors to find a temporary replacement.

    If in the case of Abdelkader, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Babcock (he seems to have a pretty good track record of success as a head coach). I also didn't watch every Detroit game last year so I don't know what other options were available to Babcock (or if he tried all other options already?).

    I did however watch all the Oilers games and feel very confident in saying that MacT has had little or no success as a head coach and his decisions should be questioned…

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    ~Yes, of course you are right, MacT was a good coach, because other coaches do the same things as he does.~
    I understand you’re a big MacT supporter, but tell me, what does he bring to the table? The only thing I see is the ability to ruin young careers and develop 3rd line pluggers.
    I dare you to show me one thing that MacT excels at.

    I'm not saying he's a good coach, I'm saying he uses his players in the same fashion that all (most) of his peers do (the whole topic of this convo)

    And ya, if he handles his roster the same way that his peers do, that means he is making the right decisions, otherwise you are saying all coaches are making the wrong decisions with their teams.

    In other words you are saying: Scubasteve > The collective braintrust of the NHL when it comes to managing a line-up.

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    I am not denying that other coaches put their best players with “energy” guys at times.
    My point is, most other coaches do not do it at the expense of top line players.

    And my point is that you have no idea as to whether this is the case or not, you do not watch every team 82 times so you do not know the little nuances that don't show up in the highlight reels. You don't know when Hitch sends out his plugs with Nash, you don't know when Bacock sent out his plugs with Datsyuk. The best we have is the TOI evedence presented… and it all points very clearly to the fact they all (most) NHL coaches do in fact mix and match thier line-up.

  • Hippy

    @ Ogden Brother:

    That's not at all what I'm saying, what I am saying is that just because MacT mixes his line-ups doesn't mean he made the right moves. Penner was clearly the best option for 1LW. Even with a poor work ethic, he gave the team the best chance to win. If you want to teach someone a lesson, teach it during practice, not in the game where it affects the team as a whole. The results are more important than personal feelings.

    Again, I dare you to show me what MacT excels at? and now it's a double dog dare.

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    That’s not at all what I’m saying, what I am saying is that just because MacT mixes his line-ups doesn’t mean he made the right moves. Penner was clearly the best option for 1LW. Even with a poor work ethic, he gave the team the best chance to win.

    And Little/White were the best option to play with Kovalchuk yet Reasoner played 200 minutes with him

    And Langkow was the best option to center Iggy yet Conrey spent more time with Iggy then Langkow did

    And Marleau/Settiguchi/Clowe/Michealak were the best optoins to play with Thorton yet Jeremy Ronenick played over 100 min with Big Joe

    And St Louis was the best option to play with Vinny Yet Artuykin spent 75 minutes with Vclav.

    Honestly, you don't have a leg to stand on, on this point.

  • Hippy

    Asciutto wrote:

    Its like throwing a rock in a pond of stupid
    and watching the rings Stagger outwards to infinity.
    Wow.

    ~Nice~

    This article is about minutes played WITH Ales Hemsky, not without him. You seem to be the only one arguing this point of Reddox taking Hemsky's place on the first line. Regardless of which wing he played on the top line and with whom, Reddox on the top line was still not the best decision MacTavish had, yet he chose to make it anyway.

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    That’s not at all what I’m saying, what I am saying is that just because MacT mixes his line-ups doesn’t mean he made the right moves. Penner was clearly the best option for 1LW. Even with a poor work ethic, he gave the team the best chance to win. If you want to teach someone a lesson, teach it during practice, not in the game where it affects the team as a whole. The results are more important than personal feelings.
    Again, I dare you to show me what MacT excels at? and now it’s a double dog dare.

    how do you know that tactic wasnt tried, more than once, with penner during the season?

  • Hippy

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    And Little/White were the best option to play with Kovalchuk yet Reasoner played 200 minutes with him
    And Langkow was the best option to center Iggy yet Conrey spent more time with Iggy then Langkow did
    And Marleau/Settiguchi/Clowe/Michealak were the best optoins to play with Thorton yet Jeremy Ronenick played over 100 min with Big Joe
    And St Louis was the best option to play with Vinny Yet Artuykin spent 75 minutes with Vclav.

    I concede your point, but I'll wager not many of these examples were benched (to the detriment of the team) while the plugs were taking their place. Either way, I'm not convinced that MacT was a good coach.

    @ cableguy:

    I don't care, you don't put personal feelings ahead of the team's success. Which is what happened a number of times. see: Moreau, Ethan and Reddox, Liam.

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    And Little/White were the best option to play with Kovalchuk yet Reasoner played 200 minutes with him
    And Langkow was the best option to center Iggy yet Conrey spent more time with Iggy then Langkow did
    And Marleau/Settiguchi/Clowe/Michealak were the best optoins to play with Thorton yet Jeremy Ronenick played over 100 min with Big Joe
    And St Louis was the best option to play with Vinny Yet Artuykin spent 75 minutes with Vclav.
    I concede your point, but I’ll wager not many of these examples were benched (to the detriment of the team) while the plugs were taking their place. Either way, I’m not convinced that MacT was a good coach.
    @ cableguy:
    I don’t care, you don’t put personal feelings ahead of the team’s success. Which is what happened a number of times. see: Moreau, Ethan and Reddox, Liam.

    Just for an example, Kovalev and Jason Blake have both been healthy scratches in the last couple of years, and I would be plugs filled in.

    Same idea, higher end guys that just weren't getting it done, either effort or result wise.