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BigTed3
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21 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

Sorry, I just don't see Kulak as better than Edmundson I watched Kulak give the puck right to Winnipeg forwards three times in a row on one shift last game they played! Kulak had more potential to be a great Dman but I am pretty sure that will never happen because he is so hard to trust one shift he is brilliant the next he is lost. Edmundson is a far safer player to have in the lineup in my opinion. As for pairings I see something like this

Edmundson  Petry

Merril  Webber

Chiarot  Romanov

that being said we will have to see what is up with Gustafsson as he could be really helpful if he seems to have his game in order and for me Kulak is a spare.

I agree with this, Kulak any kind of pressure he really is not sure what to do with the puck. I am more then suprised with Edmundson this season. He always seems calm, he plays physical and rarely out of position. If looking at this year alone he is miles ahead on Kulak. 

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49 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

Sorry, I just don't see Kulak as better than Edmundson I watched Kulak give the puck right to Winnipeg forwards three times in a row on one shift last game they played! Kulak had more potential to be a great Dman but I am pretty sure that will never happen because he is so hard to trust one shift he is brilliant the next he is lost. Edmundson is a far safer player to have in the lineup in my opinion. As for pairings I see something like this

Edmundson  Petry

Merril  Webber

Chiarot  Romanov

that being said we will have to see what is up with Gustafsson as he could be really helpful if he seems to have his game in order and for me Kulak is a spare.

36 minutes ago, caperns61 said:

I agree with this, Kulak any kind of pressure he really is not sure what to do with the puck. I am more then suprised with Edmundson this season. He always seems calm, he plays physical and rarely out of position. If looking at this year alone he is miles ahead on Kulak. 

Agree with both posts ^.  Kulak often reminds me of a deer caught in your headlights, you're never sure which way he will bolt but it usually turns out to be the wrong way.

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Habs lined up their defence today as

Chiarot-Weber

Edmundson-Petry

Romanov-Merrill

Kulak

 

So even though Kulak has been our best defenceman over the past two weeks (although I'll buy the argument that Romanov has been close), he's once again the guy who sits. It shows the Habs coaches have little to no understanding of the modern-day NHL. I love how Ducharme took over and said he was going to offer a different philosophy and use analytics to make decisions but then completely hasn't. You know who are best defenceman is over the entire season by advanced statistics? Give yourself 100 points if you answered Brett Kulak. Kulak has a Corsi at 5v5 of 57.63%. Petry and Romanov follow at around 55.6% then Mete at 54.7%, Weber at 53.9%, Edmundson 53.8%, and Chiarot at 53.6%. Ouellet is down at 48.6%. Number one in expected goals for percentage? Also Brett Kulak. And how does Kulak stack up against the rest of the league? He's #7 among all D men in the entire league for Corsi. It's 4 guys from Colorado, 2 guys from Boston, then Kulak.

In terms of D pairings, Kulak-Petry sported a 61.94% Corsi when paired together, good for 4th in the entire NHL among pairings with more than 100 minutes (again behind two pairings from Colorado and one from Boston). Compare that to Edmundson-Petry at 53.78%. Funnily enough, Kulak-Edmundson sits at 62.86%. Kulak-Weber sits at 62.22%. But pair Edmundson and Weber together and it's just 52.33%. Even Weber-Petry were at 56.1%. Kulak made all those guys better. They all did better with Kulak than with any other partner, including each other.

So how am I to believe Ducharme is actually using any type of analytics to make his decisions when he's removing the guy who has the best advanced stats and is the guy who make all these "top D men" better by playing with them? It's criminal how underrated Kulak is by fans and coaching staff alike.

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32 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Habs lined up their defence today as

Chiarot-Weber

Edmundson-Petry

Romanov-Merrill

Kulak

 

So even though Kulak has been our best defenceman over the past two weeks (although I'll buy the argument that Romanov has been close), he's once again the guy who sits. It shows the Habs coaches have little to no understanding of the modern-day NHL. I love how Ducharme took over and said he was going to offer a different philosophy and use analytics to make decisions but then completely hasn't. You know who are best defenceman is over the entire season by advanced statistics? Give yourself 100 points if you answered Brett Kulak. Kulak has a Corsi at 5v5 of 57.63%. Petry and Romanov follow at around 55.6% then Mete at 54.7%, Weber at 53.9%, Edmundson 53.8%, and Chiarot at 53.6%. Ouellet is down at 48.6%. Number one in expected goals for percentage? Also Brett Kulak. And how does Kulak stack up against the rest of the league? He's #7 among all D men in the entire league for Corsi. It's 4 guys from Colorado, 2 guys from Boston, then Kulak.

In terms of D pairings, Kulak-Petry sported a 61.94% Corsi when paired together, good for 4th in the entire NHL among pairings with more than 100 minutes (again behind two pairings from Colorado and one from Boston). Compare that to Edmundson-Petry at 53.78%. Funnily enough, Kulak-Edmundson sits at 62.86%. Kulak-Weber sits at 62.22%. But pair Edmundson and Weber together and it's just 52.33%. Even Weber-Petry were at 56.1%. Kulak made all those guys better. They all did better with Kulak than with any other partner, including each other.

So how am I to believe Ducharme is actually using any type of analytics to make his decisions when he's removing the guy who has the best advanced stats and is the guy who make all these "top D men" better by playing with them? It's criminal how underrated Kulak is by fans and coaching staff alike.

Kulak as much as you like him though hasn't had the same amount of top pairing minutes with the same assignments. So advanced stats can be skewed quite a bit just by deployment along. Also 57% to 53% isn't a giant differential especially when one player isn't generally getting the tougher assignments. I just don't think advanced stats work very well with defenseman and personally in hockey itself very well because there are so many variables within the game itself. 

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57 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

Kulak as much as you like him though hasn't had the same amount of top pairing minutes with the same assignments. So advanced stats can be skewed quite a bit just by deployment along. Also 57% to 53% isn't a giant differential especially when one player isn't generally getting the tougher assignments. I just don't think advanced stats work very well with defenseman and personally in hockey itself very well because there are so many variables within the game itself. 

Have to agree with this. Corsi has been thrown around for a bit now and it is a good stat to use in some cases but if it is trying to tell us that Kulak is our best Dman it is drunk or blind. 

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56 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

Kulak as much as you like him though hasn't had the same amount of top pairing minutes with the same assignments. So advanced stats can be skewed quite a bit just by deployment along. Also 57% to 53% isn't a giant differential especially when one player isn't generally getting the tougher assignments. I just don't think advanced stats work very well with defenseman and personally in hockey itself very well because there are so many variables within the game itself. 

Sure, but when Kulak was with Weber they were still getting 1st pairing match-ups. And when Kulak was with Petry they were getting 1st/2nd pairing minutes and match-ups in those games. It would be one thing if Kulak put up great numbers next to Romanov only but horrible numbers next to the other two. But Kulak-Weber did better than Edmundson-Weber or Chiarot-Weber or Petry-Weber. And Kulak-Petry did better than Edmundson-Petry or Petry-Weber or so on. And this despite the fact that Edmundson-Petry started off really strong at the start of the season with fresh legs and heavy doses of the Canucks. Edmundson-Petry has struggled mightily since being reunited. So match-ups here don't explain the differences.

As far as the effect of such differences, you can look at expected goals for and against per 60 minutes, which calculates the effect of shot attempts and how dangerous each of these attempts is with a given player on the ice... with Kulak on, the Habs' play yields an expectation of scoring 2.28 goals per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time and 1.8 goals against. per 60. That means that for every 60 minutes of ice time that Kulak plays, we can expect to score 0.5 more goals than given up.  Compare that to the others:

- Petry 2.33 for, 1.99 against (so difference of slightly over +0.3 per 60)

- Chiarot 2.28 for, 1.89 against (slightly under +0.3 per 60)

- Weber 2.26 for, 1.97 against (slightly under +0.3 per 60)

- Romanov 2.16 for, 1.97 against (just under +0.2 per 60)

- Edmundson 2.17 for, 2.00 against (under +0.2 per 60)

- Mete 1.99 for, 1.88 against (about +0.1 per 60)

 

That's the order of how much difference they're making. I don't know if that makes it more appreciable that

1. Kulak is actually one of our stronger defencemen in terms of preventing goals from going in our net.

2. The difference in expected goals with Kulak on (+0.5 per 60 is significantly greater than that of all other D men, who are largely similar and all around +0.2 to +0.3).

 

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Habs lined up their defence today as

Chiarot-Weber

Edmundson-Petry

Romanov-Merrill

Kulak

 

So even though Kulak has been our best defenceman over the past two weeks (although I'll buy the argument that Romanov has been close), he's once again the guy who sits. It shows the Habs coaches have little to no understanding of the modern-day NHL. I love how Ducharme took over and said he was going to offer a different philosophy and use analytics to make decisions but then completely hasn't. You know who are best defenceman is over the entire season by advanced statistics? Give yourself 100 points if you answered Brett Kulak. Kulak has a Corsi at 5v5 of 57.63%. Petry and Romanov follow at around 55.6% then Mete at 54.7%, Weber at 53.9%, Edmundson 53.8%, and Chiarot at 53.6%. Ouellet is down at 48.6%. Number one in expected goals for percentage? Also Brett Kulak. And how does Kulak stack up against the rest of the league? He's #7 among all D men in the entire league for Corsi. It's 4 guys from Colorado, 2 guys from Boston, then Kulak.

In terms of D pairings, Kulak-Petry sported a 61.94% Corsi when paired together, good for 4th in the entire NHL among pairings with more than 100 minutes (again behind two pairings from Colorado and one from Boston). Compare that to Edmundson-Petry at 53.78%. Funnily enough, Kulak-Edmundson sits at 62.86%. Kulak-Weber sits at 62.22%. But pair Edmundson and Weber together and it's just 52.33%. Even Weber-Petry were at 56.1%. Kulak made all those guys better. They all did better with Kulak than with any other partner, including each other.

So how am I to believe Ducharme is actually using any type of analytics to make his decisions when he's removing the guy who has the best advanced stats and is the guy who make all these "top D men" better by playing with them? It's criminal how underrated Kulak is by fans and coaching staff alike.

Ted I agree that Kulak is clearly our best D man game in and game out and am also perplexed at how the coaches see Edmundson, Chiarot and Weber as better players. Then I got to thinking, what I the one common variable in our front office staff from CJ to DD? MB! could MB be so desperate to make things work and make the playoffs that he has instructed DD to use the strategies that CJ had in place instead of implementing his own? Then I had to ask why would DD listen? Well MB could have told him that both their careers are hanging onto the thread of the Habs making the playoffs. DD has never used CJ's style in any of his other coaching jobs but seems reluctant to deviate from it now. So again I wonder is this truly DD's team to coach or is MB pulling the strings and limiting DD's ability to coach his own brand?

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9 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Habs lined up their defence today as

Chiarot-Weber

Edmundson-Petry

Romanov-Merrill

Kulak

 

So even though Kulak has been our best defenceman over the past two weeks (although I'll buy the argument that Romanov has been close), he's once again the guy who sits. It shows the Habs coaches have little to no understanding of the modern-day NHL. I love how Ducharme took over and said he was going to offer a different philosophy and use analytics to make decisions but then completely hasn't. You know who are best defenceman is over the entire season by advanced statistics? Give yourself 100 points if you answered Brett Kulak. Kulak has a Corsi at 5v5 of 57.63%. Petry and Romanov follow at around 55.6% then Mete at 54.7%, Weber at 53.9%, Edmundson 53.8%, and Chiarot at 53.6%. Ouellet is down at 48.6%. Number one in expected goals for percentage? Also Brett Kulak. And how does Kulak stack up against the rest of the league? He's #7 among all D men in the entire league for Corsi. It's 4 guys from Colorado, 2 guys from Boston, then Kulak.

In terms of D pairings, Kulak-Petry sported a 61.94% Corsi when paired together, good for 4th in the entire NHL among pairings with more than 100 minutes (again behind two pairings from Colorado and one from Boston). Compare that to Edmundson-Petry at 53.78%. Funnily enough, Kulak-Edmundson sits at 62.86%. Kulak-Weber sits at 62.22%. But pair Edmundson and Weber together and it's just 52.33%. Even Weber-Petry were at 56.1%. Kulak made all those guys better. They all did better with Kulak than with any other partner, including each other.

So how am I to believe Ducharme is actually using any type of analytics to make his decisions when he's removing the guy who has the best advanced stats and is the guy who make all these "top D men" better by playing with them? It's criminal how underrated Kulak is by fans and coaching staff alike.

They stopped using analytics back when they traded Subban!  Remember the guy that the Habs had, and then they subsequently fired? He vehemently disagreed with the Weber/Subban trade, because the analytics were hugely in Subban's favour and it would be a huge mistake to make the trade. Well, his vehementness cost him his job.  But, he wasn't wrong. Whereas Subban carried the Habs & Weber had a top defenseman for a partner.

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4 hours ago, electron58 said:

They stopped using analytics back when they traded Subban!  Remember the guy that the Habs had, and then they subsequently fired? He vehemently disagreed with the Weber/Subban trade, because the analytics were hugely in Subban's favour and it would be a huge mistake to make the trade. Well, his vehementness cost him his job.  But, he wasn't wrong. Whereas Subban carried the Habs & Weber had a top defenseman for a partner.

Markov carried Subban 

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48 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

Markov carried Subban 

That's certainly not an unfair statement. Markov carried the team for a number of years. Our record was abysmal whenever he was out because of an injury. Everybody remembers how he made Komy look like a top pairing guy and pretty much was responsible for his big unwarranted deal with the Leafs ( to think they almost returned the favour with Gardiner).Marky was a true elite defenseman in his prime. Pity we couldn't build a decent team around him.

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14 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Sure, but when Kulak was with Weber they were still getting 1st pairing match-ups. And when Kulak was with Petry they were getting 1st/2nd pairing minutes and match-ups in those games. It would be one thing if Kulak put up great numbers next to Romanov only but horrible numbers next to the other two. But Kulak-Weber did better than Edmundson-Weber or Chiarot-Weber or Petry-Weber. And Kulak-Petry did better than Edmundson-Petry or Petry-Weber or so on. And this despite the fact that Edmundson-Petry started off really strong at the start of the season with fresh legs and heavy doses of the Canucks. Edmundson-Petry has struggled mightily since being reunited. So match-ups here don't explain the differences.

As far as the effect of such differences, you can look at expected goals for and against per 60 minutes, which calculates the effect of shot attempts and how dangerous each of these attempts is with a given player on the ice... with Kulak on, the Habs' play yields an expectation of scoring 2.28 goals per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time and 1.8 goals against. per 60. That means that for every 60 minutes of ice time that Kulak plays, we can expect to score 0.5 more goals than given up.  Compare that to the others:

- Petry 2.33 for, 1.99 against (so difference of slightly over +0.3 per 60)

- Chiarot 2.28 for, 1.89 against (slightly under +0.3 per 60)

- Weber 2.26 for, 1.97 against (slightly under +0.3 per 60)

- Romanov 2.16 for, 1.97 against (just under +0.2 per 60)

- Edmundson 2.17 for, 2.00 against (under +0.2 per 60)

- Mete 1.99 for, 1.88 against (about +0.1 per 60)

 

That's the order of how much difference they're making. I don't know if that makes it more appreciable that

1. Kulak is actually one of our stronger defencemen in terms of preventing goals from going in our net.

2. The difference in expected goals with Kulak on (+0.5 per 60 is significantly greater than that of all other D men, who are largely similar and all around +0.2 to +0.3).

 

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts",  a Daniel Patrick Moynihan quote from circa 1983 and never more relevant than now in this era of Trump, social media and advanced analytics.

Expectations are not facts, they are "maybes" at best.  Maybe Kulak is a good NHL defenceman, maybe he isn't, but advanced analytics do not prove whether he is one or the other, only his actual play can do that. Based solely on my amateur observations of him, I expect that our line-up would not suffer significantly by his absence nor benefit greatly by his presence. Does that meet the criteria for our best defenceman? 
.

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We have so many interchangeable parts on this D that i've reached a point where it doesn't upset me anymore who dresses, however,,,, i will flip out if they bench the only true prospect (Romanov) we have on the backend in favour of any of them. He's the last guy that deserves to sit.

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1 minute ago, H_T_L said:

We have so many interchangeable parts on this D that i've reached a point where it doesn't upset me anymore who dresses, however,,,, i will flip out if they bench the only true prospect (Romanov) we have on the backend in favour of any of them. He's the last guy that deserves to sit.

agree 100%

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2 hours ago, H_T_L said:

That's certainly not an unfair statement. Markov carried the team for a number of years. Our record was abysmal whenever he was out because of an injury. Everybody remembers how he made Komy look like a top pairing guy and pretty much was responsible for his big unwarranted deal with the Leafs ( to think they almost returned the favour with Gardiner).Marky was a true elite defenseman in his prime. Pity we couldn't build a decent team around him.

Unfortunately he had some injuries during his prime years. I never thought he got the credit he deserved. He was solid defensively and solid offensively. Was he as flashy as some of the others maybe not but he was steady and solid. A lot like Nick Lidstrom. Lidstrom just played a steady smart game and made it look simple.

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20 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Sure, but when Kulak was with Weber they were still getting 1st pairing match-ups. And when Kulak was with Petry they were getting 1st/2nd pairing minutes and match-ups in those games. It would be one thing if Kulak put up great numbers next to Romanov only but horrible numbers next to the other two. But Kulak-Weber did better than Edmundson-Weber or Chiarot-Weber or Petry-Weber. And Kulak-Petry did better than Edmundson-Petry or Petry-Weber or so on. And this despite the fact that Edmundson-Petry started off really strong at the start of the season with fresh legs and heavy doses of the Canucks. Edmundson-Petry has struggled mightily since being reunited. So match-ups here don't explain the differences.

As far as the effect of such differences, you can look at expected goals for and against per 60 minutes, which calculates the effect of shot attempts and how dangerous each of these attempts is with a given player on the ice... with Kulak on, the Habs' play yields an expectation of scoring 2.28 goals per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time and 1.8 goals against. per 60. That means that for every 60 minutes of ice time that Kulak plays, we can expect to score 0.5 more goals than given up.  Compare that to the others:

- Petry 2.33 for, 1.99 against (so difference of slightly over +0.3 per 60)

- Chiarot 2.28 for, 1.89 against (slightly under +0.3 per 60)

- Weber 2.26 for, 1.97 against (slightly under +0.3 per 60)

- Romanov 2.16 for, 1.97 against (just under +0.2 per 60)

- Edmundson 2.17 for, 2.00 against (under +0.2 per 60)

- Mete 1.99 for, 1.88 against (about +0.1 per 60)

 

That's the order of how much difference they're making. I don't know if that makes it more appreciable that

1. Kulak is actually one of our stronger defencemen in terms of preventing goals from going in our net.

2. The difference in expected goals with Kulak on (+0.5 per 60 is significantly greater than that of all other D men, who are largely similar and all around +0.2 to +0.3).

 

Certainly your numbers look good, but there are factors that are overlooked.  Kulak clearly gets superior offensive zone starts compared to all other deeman. Even more then a first year rookie. ODDS are certainly stacked in his favour, no other deeman gets starts over  60% of their shifts in the offensive zone. So he is likely starting his shifts against the defensive line on the other team, while we would likely be sending out our better offensive line. So odds are stacked against players like Chariot, Weber, Edmundson who get Who spend over 50% on the time starting in the dee zone against some of the best players in the league

Offensive zone start, as you can see clearly tilted in Kulak favor

Kulak 62.7 % OZ starts

Romanov 59.8 % OZ

Mete 57 % OZ

Petry 52 %OZ

Weber 49.8 OZ

Chariot 49.8 OZ

Edmundson 47.8 OZ

Points Per 60 minutes 5on 5

Petry .97 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 10 % LESS then Kulak

Mete .93 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 6% less of than Kulak, but not good enough for our high powered offense

Kulak . 69 PP 60 with again superior offensive zone starts than any other deeman on our team.

Weber .68 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 13% LESS than Kulak

Edmundson .65, he starts in the offensive zone 15% LESS than Kulak

Chariot .50, he starts in the offensive zone 14% LESS than Kulak

Romanov .37 PP 60 starting in the offensive zone 3% LESS than Kulak

And I am sure PP game against are in his favour for obvious reasons

To put this even more into perspective. When we look at all defenseman who have played more than 10 games this season. Only 5 defenseman in the entire NHL have more 5on5 OZ% starts then Kulak. So the odds are certainly stacked in Kulaks favour. 

I am sure someone like Weber starting over 60 % of the time in the OZ and not have to worry about Mathews, MCdavid etc on the nightly basis would look a lot better game in and game out 

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7 hours ago, H_T_L said:

We have so many interchangeable parts on this D that i've reached a point where it doesn't upset me anymore who dresses, however,,,, i will flip out if they bench the only true prospect (Romanov) we have on the backend in favour of any of them. He's the last guy that deserves to sit.

If it were about developing players, I agree. Romanov should be playing regularly.  Unfortunately,  the Habs are NOT about development. They continue to perplex.

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41 minutes ago, caperns61 said:

Certainly your numbers look good, but there are factors that are overlooked.  Kulak clearly gets superior offensive zone starts compared to all other deeman. Even more then a first year rookie. ODDS are certainly stacked in his favour, no other deeman gets starts over  60% of their shifts in the offensive zone. So he is likely starting his shifts against the defensive line on the other team, while we would likely be sending out our better offensive line. So odds are stacked against players like Chariot, Weber, Edmundson who get Who spend over 50% on the time starting in the dee zone against some of the best players in the league

Offensive zone start, as you can see clearly tilted in Kulak favor

Kulak 62.7 % OZ starts

Romanov 59.8 % OZ

Mete 57 % OZ

Petry 52 %OZ

Weber 49.8 OZ

Chariot 49.8 OZ

Edmundson 47.8 OZ

Points Per 60 minutes 5on 5

Petry .97 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 10 % LESS then Kulak

Mete .93 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 6% less of than Kulak, but not good enough for our high powered offense

Kulak . 69 PP 60 with again superior offensive zone starts than any other deeman on our team.

Weber .68 PP 60, he starts in the offensive zone 13% LESS than Kulak

Edmundson .65, he starts in the offensive zone 15% LESS than Kulak

Chariot .50, he starts in the offensive zone 14% LESS than Kulak

Romanov .37 PP 60 starting in the offensive zone 3% LESS than Kulak

And I am sure PP game against are in his favour for obvious reasons

To put this even more into perspective. When we look at all defenseman who have played more than 10 games this season. Only 5 defenseman in the entire NHL have more 5on5 OZ% starts then Kulak. So the odds are certainly stacked in Kulaks favour. 

I am sure someone like Weber starting over 60 % of the time in the OZ and not have to worry about Mathews, MCdavid etc on the nightly basis would look a lot better game in and game out 

It's a fair point that Kulak gets O-zone starts. Your data, however, only includes starts on faceoffs, so if you include all starts including on-the-fly changes, it's

Kulak 58.8% O zone

Romanov 58.7%

Mete 54.4%

Weber 52.4%

Edmundson 52.3%

Petry 52.1%

Chiarot 49.6%

 

So he's put up better numbers than Romanov despite the same zone start average and his zone starts are about 6% better than the majority of the rest of the D corps.

Next, if you look at the D pairings, yes Kulak-Romanov has benefited from more O-zone starts, but Kulak has also played with other partners, most significantly Jeff Petry. Kulak-Petry has 56.5% O-zone starts and put up a Corsi of 61.9%. Fenwick of 63.0%, 60.9% of scoring chances while they're on, and an expected goal percentage of 61.3%. Comparatively, Edmundson-Weber had a similar O-zone start rate of 54.9% and put up a Corsi of 52.3%, Fenwick of 50.8%, 55.0% of scoring chances, and expected goals of 51.0%. Kulak-Petry also has a PDO of 94% whereas Weber-Edmundson is at 104%, indicating that Weber-Edmundson's numbers should actually probably be worse than they are and that they benefited from some good luck, while Kulak-Petry had bad luck related to save percentage while they were on. Edmundson-Chiarot also played together for a while and had 57.14% O-zone starts, more than Kulak-Petry. Their Corsi was 55.0%, Fenwick 50.8%, 52.8% of scoring chances, and expected goals of 49.6%.

I get that Kulak got favorable zone starts playing with Romanov, but when he was paired with Petry and was getting tougher match-ups and similar zone starts to other D pairings, he still out-performed everyone else. What does that tell me? He's a guy you can put on the 3rd pairing and give him 3rd-pairing match-ups and zone starts and he does well, or you can put him next to Petry or Weber and give him tougher match-ups and he still does well.

To clarify, I don't believe Kulak is the best defenceman on the team. But his advanced stats are the best this year and they've been consistently good his entire career, so this isn't a fluke. I don't think he's going to generate a lot of points himself, but what he does well is the following:

1. He skates well and gets on a lot of loose pucks.

2. He helps the team retain puck possession rather than playing a dump-it-out game that turns possession over, and this helps to limit scoring chances against.

3. He's able to recover and get back in position to play defence, unlike many of the rest of our D corps.

4. He helps to move the puck up ice quickly, which helps our forwards re-launch the attack and get chances off the rush (and we're a team that does better on the rush rather than set plays in the O-zone).

Again, the point of my original post was not to say Kulak should win the Norris or be given 25 minutes of ice time a night. I'm saying that for a coach like Ducharme to take over and say he was going to use analytics to make his decisions, he's clearly not, because the analytics suggest Kulak has been superior to his teammates. If anything, it should want to lead Ducharme to test your hypothesis about whether he can handle tougher zone starts and match-ups, not remove him from the line-up. Let's not even bring up Merrill, who had bad relative metrics on a bad team like Detroit. To boot, Kulak clearly meets a need for this squad. If your D corps was made up of Werenski, Gostisbehere, McAvoy, Carlson, and Mete then maybe you would have an argument to make your 6th guy Weber or Chiarot or Edmundson and get some size and toughness in. But it's not. Our D is made up of a lot of giant behemoths who have trouble skating and making a good first pass and getting on loose pucks. Kulak fills a need that much of our D corps can't. He's easily the best skater on our blue line, even better than Petry and Romanov and well ahead of the rest. So I'll come back to not understanding why he's always the guy who gets bumped out. He got bumped to make room for Mete after Mete's agent complained. He's been bumped several times for other reasons too. And meanwhile, guys with bad stats like Edmundson and Chiarot and Weber stay in. All I'm saying is that if you're Ducharme, don't tell me you're using analytics to make your decisions, cause it's BS. Either you're using your gestalt and belief in an outdated form of old-school hockey or else you're listening to what Bergevin wants and not doing your own thing. Ducharme promised us he was a new era of coach who was going to make his personnel decisions differently and he clearly hasn't.

 

 

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8 hours ago, H_T_L said:

We have so many interchangeable parts on this D that i've reached a point where it doesn't upset me anymore who dresses, however,,,, i will flip out if they bench the only true prospect (Romanov) we have on the backend in favour of any of them. He's the last guy that deserves to sit.

I'm agreed on Romanov, he should be playing for developmental reasons. But the other part of your post is something of the problem. You can read my post just above, but the point is that the rest are actually NOT interchangeable. Kulak is statistically miles ahead of Chiarot, Edmundson, Weber, and Merrill. The believe that he's interchangeable with or inferior to those guys is an issue with how the Habs evaluate talent and how they evaluate need for their line-up. I'm guessing what you mean is more that we simply lack top-end talent on our D and none of the guys coming in or out really address that need, but of the players we do have, Kulak is superior to most of the rest and gives our D line-up more balance when he's in.

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An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

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1 minute ago, BigTed3 said:

An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

It makes too much sense! really though it is not like we are winning anyways so it would be a good experiment and a chance to see what guys can do.

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11 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

Great idea Ted, considering how condensed the schedule has been this season, I think I would do the same thing for all the players. Do a couple forwards and a D man every couple of games. 

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23 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

That's the thing. We've been suggesting this for weeks,  while Mete was sitting.  Will they? Hard to say. Time will tell, I  guess.

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29 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

Pretty much what i meant by interchangeable. The only one i want to see every night is Romanov for the sake of his development. My fear is that they don't see it the same way.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

An outside the box thought after all this, but given our team is almost locked into our 4th-place position (we have about 80% odds of finishing there), why not use our abundance of D men to our advantage and try to rest Weber (who may or may not be injured or just old) and to a lesser extent Petry (who also looks worn down)? If we're going into the playoffs as a 4 seed almost regardless of how we play the rest of the way, let's go in with a fresh Weber, Petry, and Price. So why not use Gustafsson's offence to fill in for the guy you pull out and go

Kulak-Petry/Weber

Romanov-Merrill

Gustafsson-Chiarot/Edmundson

 

Play Petry two games and sit Weber for those two, then play Weber one game and sit Petry for that one and so on. Do the same thing rotating Chiarot and Edmundson on the 3rd pairing. It keeps some of the better skaters and fresher legs in the line-up and rotates the older and slower guys in and out to make sure they're maximally effective come the post-season.

I'd be more inclined to clinch 4th place before resting everyone. This team is too capable of going on a losing streak and this is not the time to do so. Why give teams hope which just makes them play harder?

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