Daryl Evans made a fantastic point yesterday, in the broadcast before the Flyers game, when he mentioned the Kings should be looking up in the standings at 3rd, and not down at the Wild Card competition.
Focusing on the work of the NHL Scheduling team is a likely way to spark anger and criticism. So let’s do it.
Anecdotally, it seems like the Kings are always kept a game or 4 behind.
All teams go thru concentrated areas of their schedule; usually that ends up just being life as normal on a road trip. Some teams have annual circumstances that make for unavoidable marathon road trips such as the Blackhawks’ “Circus Trip” where soon-to-be-defunct Ringling Brothers took over their arena for two weeks.
Though not as pronounced and lengthy, for the Kings it’s the Grammy Trip. This year, however, a gap in games comes during that usually condensed part of February. The Kings play 4 games in 6 days, starting with back-to back morning games the second of which faces the NHL’s best record so far, followed by 2 games in Florida in 4 days. But then it gets weird…
The intent here is to present evidence, not opinion. My challenge to you, the reader, is this: accept a few simple documented, verifiable facts about how Darryl Sutter works his bench.
Sounds easy, sure. But, when we’re done, you’re next challenge will be to adapt the world of advanced stats to these newly recognized facts. The effort there can never be complete; that will always be a work in progress. The facts are revealed in the NHL’s very own “Full Play By Play” logs kept by the League itself for each game played.
Before you think this will be super heavy in stats and discussion of same, fear not. This is about coaching. Indirectly, advanced stats will be affected.
A Discussion of Dustin Brown’s Ice Time Usage In 5-on-5 Play
The Darryl Sutter method for building lines is well known. He starts with a “tandem” of a Center and a Winger, then he mixes in other wingers to complete the line, according to opponent, injury, slumps etc. So, you are either part of a tandem, or you drift and get moved. This is revealed in the chart below (linkalicious).
The percentages add up to 200%, since Brown skates 5 on 5 with 2 linemates. 2 players had ice time with other teams, Versteeg and LeCavalier, so their total is not 200 percent.These facts are also shown in the ice time chart.
My point is that Brown was not treated like a scorer, he was not assigned to lines as a scorer, and in fact most of his time was spent with a checking center. Brown was moved around the most except for Trevor Lewis. His percentages most closely match Shore, Lewis and Mersch, while it differs greatly from “scorers,” in this case meaning everybody else with a salary over 2 million.
Was this the message? “Dustin, I’m gonna play you with checkers so we expect you to score 20 goals, too.” Perhaps it was. Brown had the 3rd most minutes of all forwards at 5-on-5, so it’s not like he was buried in the bottom 6 with no ice time. That speaks of Sutter’s confidence in Brown’s play, regardless of the role assigned.
Of course, one man’s use as a utility player can be seen as another man’s punishment for not producing; one could say this is like the chicken and the egg. Brown may have been deprived of a scoring role for other useful roles, or he may have “earned” the perceived demotion in the coach’s eyes. I am reminded here of a quote by R.G. Ingersoll: “There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.”
I always had the feeling, the unsupported thought in my mind, like I had the general impression that McNabb and McBain together was a good pair. I had positive memories but nothing specific, just a position like “hey I’m sure they looked good, they never looked bad that I remember.” Then, the San Jose stadium game was on the other night, Kings Sharks outdoors and lo and behold who’s the defensive pair in that victory? Well its McNabb and McBain.
Further, that was win number 7, part of an 8 game winning streak. McNabb and McBain were a defensive pair for the last 7 of those 8 games won in a row… Continue reading
How can a team claim a potential Dynasty, the Chicago Slackjaws of course; just 3 in 6 alone seems not enough.
But then, you give in a little bit, to account for “the salary cap era.” So what was once NOT a dynasty, may now be eligible for that most revered status. But no, I say. NO.
How can a team claim Dynasty, and that is if they win against the Bolts of course, when another team can post a better record over the same time period. If you are a Dynasty, do you not vanquish all? Do you not better all? If it is a Dynasty, can there even be any questions or allowances?
3 in 6. If the Kings win in 2016, that makes 3 in 5. We could better their mark and tell Chicago to shove their 3 in 6. Hell, we even have 2 chances to equal the apparent mandatory assignation of Dynasty by doing 3 in 6; even if we don’t win in 2016, we could still make 3 in 6 in 2017!
So how can Chicago be a dynasty, when there is alive and well another team with a solid chance to do even better, and has 2 solid chances to equal them?
Are we saying 2 Dynasties can co-exist thru the same time period? I’m not. Are you?
Find the hidden clue. It’s not so hidden.
Sad truth: If I see the left, I’ll forever think the right.
Dammit Jarret. Fer fuks sake.