Line Mashup

 

On Friday night TSN.ca reported that Jets coach Claude Noel will be, "shuffling the deck again as they look to find a combination of forwards who can put the puck in the net and help keep it out of their own as well."

I was never a huge stats guy, but I have to say that since I have been introduced to advanced stats I have realized how they can enrich the game. I am a nube when it comes to this, however, I thought it would be interesting to look at some advanced stats along with some conventional ones to see what type of lines I would put together if I were in charge. 

The Stats

The stats I decided to focus on were: Relative Corsi, Offensive Zone Starts, Hits, and Time On Ice. What I was looking for were combinations that would tilt the ice in the Jets favour and pressure the puck- which is why I included hits. I took the stats from Behind The Net and NHL.com. I also looked at what combinations coach Noel has been using this season at The Left Wing Lock. 

Here is a summary of what I found:

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that Burmistrov faired really well based on the statistics I chose. I was also surprised by Wellwood’s Relative Corsi number as I’ve always thought of him as a waste of skin- this is why I am starting to appreciate Advanced Statistics as it makes it tougher to continue pre-conceived and possibly un-founded notions about players. 

My Lines?

Based on a review of the chosen stats, here are the lines I would try:

Some notes:

  • Moved Wellwood up to 2nd line RW. He has played some RW this season and having both he and Ladd on Joikenen’s line would hopefully make up for Olli’s poorer Relative Corsi number. My only fear with this line would be a lack of physicality and puck pressure as Ladd may not be able to do enough on his own. 
  • Moving Burmistrov to a top line with Kane and Little should tilt the ice in the right direction and provide plenty of physical play. Little has shown he can finish in the past and maybe this will draw some offence out of Burmistrov. 
  • The third line would have plenty of size, but may not be all that physical. It would be the wild card of the bunch. Antropov has played plenty of center, so moving him there isn’t a stretch, but putting him an Wheeler together could be risky. 
  • The 4th line features a cast who spend most of their time starting in their own zone anyway. 

I know there is no perfect science to this, but I definitely feel that giving Burmistrov more time wouldn’t be a bad thing. Like I said, I’m new to advanced stats and could be way off base, so if you carve me in the comments if you want. I’m okay with that. 

  • IMO…

    Either do:
    Ladd-Little-Wheeler
    Kane-Jokinen-XX
    Ponikarovsky-XX-XX
    where XX = Antropov/Burmistrov/Wellwood

    Or:
    Ladd-Jokinen-Little
    Kane-Burmistrov-Wheeler
    Ponikarovsky-Antropov-Wellwood

    or stick with:
    Kane-Joker-Wheeler
    Ladd-Burmi-Little
    Poni-Antro-Welly

    In all honesty, Noel put there negative +/- being the culprit, yet it was a terrible Pavelec/Montoya OnIceSv% that was doing them in…

  • After the shutout on Saturday do you think Montoya should start the next game, or was it a one-off fluke?

    I’d like to see Burmi and Kane together + pick your other winger. I could be wrong, but I think they could keep pressure up ice.

    • Not sure… their career SV% right now is a perfect match. I think start Montoya for a reason besides being better or fluke. It shows you do well and you get more icetime/games and any contest to the #1 that can put a fire under Pavs but is a good thing.

      Re Burmi-Kane: I think so too. Burmi still has to develop a bit more offensive game but his possession, takeaways and dangles are impressive.