Posted by Euro_Twins
on 12 January 2015 - 07:25 PM
I agree, in part. My point is that while a solid puck mover is a necessary condition for being a contender, I don't think (given the way we've been playing) it's a sufficient one. As such, I don't see Holland going out and getting one just to get one.
If, however, we can string together some wins and play well against good teams (i.e. we're better than I think we are) then maybe Holland decides a puck mover is sufficient for Cup contention, and he pulls the trigger.
Right now I think he's trying to figure out which is the case. If the team wants a puck mover before the off-season, they better prove that they can run with the big boys.
Wait... What? the wings are in the playoff picture. If our team isn't good enough then we need to improve via trade, but we can't do that unless our team magically is better?
I disagree with this to a point (although I wouldn't mind swapping a left handed shooter for a right handed shooter). Adding 20 goal scorers is nice, but I don't think the issue with scoring comes down to who we have on forward, how our forwards are playing, or even the coaching schemes that they're playing under. The way I'm seeing our games play out, it all comes down to the fact that we don't have any real offensive threat aside from Kronwall from our defense. If you look at goals scored (or even points) from the blue line, the Wings are close to the bottom of the league, especially for a playoff team. Other teams know this and they're playing more aggressively down low in the defensive end instead of playing more tightly to our defenders, which gives our forwards less time and space to work with. (For the record I think this is more of the causative agent why the Wings are labeled as a perimeter offense team, and not the notion that we need more power forwards). And if we play it back to the blueline, they know as well as we do the puck likely isn't getting to the net. They can afford to give our defenders that extra second with the puck. I even think that our coaching staff has tried to adapt to this weakness by using our defense more as an outlet to get the puck from one side of the zone to the other, instead of forcing a shot through (I have no solid data or quotes to back this up, I've just noticed a lot more winger->defender->opposite winger/opposite defender plays than winger->defender-> shot on net plays this season. I could be entirely wrong on this). Anyway, if we spend the assets to get Perron, we're down those assets, we're down the roster player that Perron is replacing, we're down that chemistry the players have established until Perron gets comfortable, and there's no guarantee that Perron even gets comfortable in our system. And in light of how other teams defend against us, I'm not even confident saying that Perron is a 20 goal scorer here. Acquiring him certainly won't change how other teams defend against us, although it might make it easier to rip a one-timer from the half wall on the left side, or break out of our zone under pressure from the left side, which does have its values.
On the other hand, if we can somehow acquire someone who can, at the very least, put pucks on the net from the blue line with some consistency, I think we will see production go up throughout the entire team, because in addition to what the defender can make happen (goals, shots that are tipped in, etc) I think it will open up some space for our forwards as opposing wingers will have more to worry about from our blueline for them to cheat on their coverage.
So I guess my main beef is that I don't think acquiring Perron will make much of a difference in the trajectory of this team, and I'd rather see our assets go towards an offensive defensman, whom I do think can be a real difference maker.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about adding an offensive defenseman. We struggle to score primarily because our defensemen struggle to move the puck and shoot the puck and put up points. Ericsson is a shutdown defenseman. Quincey is a shutdown defenseman. DeKeyser is a shutdown defenseman. We want to play the way we played in '08 and '09, but we don't have the blue line for it. We had one straight-up shutdown defenseman in that top four (Stuart) and three all-star offensive defensemen (Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall). Now we just have Kronwall. That's not nearly good enough. That's why we run around in our end. It's why we trudge through the middle of the ice, often settling for just clearing the red line so we can dump it in and get a line change. It's why our power play often sucks. It's why we aren't a high-scoring team.
But we also don't have enough scoring depth up front. Even when we had Lidstrom and Rafalski and we'd just won the Cup, we thought it was worth adding Hossa. That gave us Datsyuk in his prime, Zetterberg in his prime, Franzen in his prime, Hossa in his prime, and good secondary scorers in Samuelsson, Cleary, and Filppula. (And even then, we came up short that year.) At present, we have an old Datsyuk, and old Zetterberg, Nyquist (can he be a major factor in the playoffs?), Tatar (can he be a major factor in the playoffs?), and sometimes an old Franzen (when he feels like showing up). Jurco is a possession monster, but he's not a significant scoring threat (yet). Helm's not a goal scorer. Abdelkader's having a career year, but he's not a goal scorer. Miller and Glendening don't score. The jury's out on Weiss. Sheahan's a stud, but he's not a goal scorer. I get that adding a scoring winger isn't going to fix this team's fundamental problems, but there's no such thing as too much scoring depth. If we're not going to put our late first-round pick towards a top-end defenseman like Yandle, if we're not going to use it on a rental like Green, if we're going to use it to select a pimple-faced teenager who won't be a real factor for the Wings until 2019, I think we should consider adding a gritty right-shot scoring winger. If we're loading up for a deep run (and I'm not sure that we are), better safe than sorry. Depth, depth, depth. It matters.
And at some point we do have to add some righties. That's another reason why we don't move the puck as well as we'd like - everyone's a left shot. It's a wonder we move the puck as well as we do, actually.
I don't have a problem with the newer analytics themselves (admittedly I'm still sorting out what all the stats measure). The problem I have is how routinely they're misused and misinterpreted, including this article.
They call Sheahan Detroit's best shot suppressor, then point out he starts more than 62% of his shifts in the offensive zone. So in one sentence they've drawn a faulty conclusion from the statistics and even included the reason why they're wrong.
Very likely Sheahan isn't Detroit's best shot suppressor. When you start the vast majority of your shifts in the offensive zone, that means your opponent has to go a long way to register a shot attempt. Glendening on the other hand, starts in the offensive zone less than 33% of the time. Two-thirds of his shifts, he's starting in front of his own net, so there's going to be a lot more shot attempts from his opponent.
Then in subtler ways, they often use language that draws conclusions not supported by the stats. It's not that Sheahan himself only "allows" 37.7 shot attempts per 60 minutes of play. It means that when Sheahan is on the ice, the other team only gets 37.7 shot attempts per 60 minutes of play. That's it. But people constantly make the logical leap that the statistic says something specifically that a player is doing on the ice. That's a HUGE difference.