Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 UFA Leino / Zherdev

Grades for two upcoming unrestricted free-agent forwards

Considering all the talk about the Montreal Canadiens need to upgrade their top-6 forwards. I will try to grade some upcoming UFA's that could potentially fit this profile. Please keep in mind that these are one game grades, and as such are not indicative of these players long-term skill or potential. As I've learned, only through long-term analysis can we get a reasonable and fair view of  players' strengths or weaknesses.

 It was a tough game for the entire Philadelphia Flyers' roster, as they were dominated by the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon. The final score of 7-0 was quite representative of the game itself. Upcoming unrestricted free agent forwards Ville Leino and Nikolai Zherdev were not exempt from the suffering, as both forwards finished the game with below average grades.

 Ville Leino (#22) is a 6'1, 190 lbs forward who can play all 3 forward positions. A highly-touted player coming out of Finland, the Savonlinna native's game rounded into play during the Flyers' run at the cup last year. he had 21 points in 19 games during last-year's playoffs, and has carried that success into the current season. Leino is fifth on the team in points with 42, and has a solid plus-14 rating.

Nikolai Zherdev (#93) scores goals; that's what he does. The 6'2', 203 lbs right-winger has scored 15 goals this season, despite only averaging 12 minutes of ice-time per game. A right-handed shot, Zherdev can play both wings. Although he can struggle on the half-wall in the defensive-zone when playing his off-wing. He has 5 assists to go along with his 15 goals, and is a respectable plus-5.


Period-by-period

Both Leino's and Zherdev's grades fell as the game progressed. Leino went from 71 at the end of the first period, to a final grade of 60. Zherdev's grade plummeted through the final two frames. Falling an incredible 24 points to finish with a brutal 29.

PLAYER 22 93
AFTER 1ST 71 53
AFTER 2ND 62 37
GAME'S END 60 29
PLAYER 22 93


Individual stats

Despite the tough loss Leino was still able to demonstrate his strengths. He's a player who's successful when carrying the puck through the neutral zone. Number 22 showed this during the game; successfully carrying the puck into the offensive-zone on 6 occasions. Leino also showed commitment in the defensive-zone, as he blocked 2 shots. Where he seemed to struggle was winning 1-on-1 puck battles in the offensive-zone. He won only 38% of his OZPBs, but won 67% of his neutral-zone puck-battles.

Even more than Leino, Nikolai Zherdev played up to his reputation. He was soft when engaging in puck-battles on the defensive side of centre ice. Number 93 won only 17% of his defensive, and neutral-zone puck-battles, while giving the puck away twice in the neutral zone. He battled more in the offensive-zone; winning 50% of his offensive-zone puck-battles, while successfully skating the puck into the offensive-zone on 1 occasion.


22 93
OZPBW 9 5 OZPBW
OZPBL 13 5 OZPBL
SKI + 6
SKI +
SKI-
1 SKI-
DI+ 1 1 DI+
DI- 1
DI-
DZPBW 1
DZPBW
DZPBL
3 DZPBL
NZPBW 4 1 NZPBW
NZPBL 2 2 NZPBL
DZTA

DZTA
DZGA

DZGA
NZTA
1 NZTA
NZGA
2 NZGA
DZFOW

DZFOW
DZFOL

DZFOL
DZPKFOW

DZPKFOW
DZPKFOL

DZPKFOL
OZPPFOW 1
OZPPFOW
OZPPFOL

OZPPFOL
OZFOW

OZFOW
OZFOL

OZFOL
PS THRU

PS THRU
OZ PS BL

OZ PS BL
DZBS 2
DZBS
POINTS X2

POINTS X2
+/- -1 -2 +/-
SHOTS 3
SHOTS




WINS 26 6 WINS
BATTLES 43 21 BATTLES
GRADE 60 29 GRADE
PLAYER 22 93

2011 NHL draft: Sean Couturier

No help from teammates in tough loss

Sean Couturier managed a grade of 63, as the Drummondville Voltigeurs lost 5-2 to the Quebec Remparts Sunday afternoon. Couturier's grade was lower than it should be considering his draft ranking. That said, big number 7 didn't get much help from his teammates. Drummondville seemed unable to match Quebec's speed and execution, while at times seeming more interested in redemption than winning an important hockey game.


Period-by-period

Mirroring his team, Couturier's grade improved as the game wore on. He ended the first period with a grade of 55, but was able to push that up 8 percentage-points over the final two periods.

PLAYER 7
AFTER 1ST 55
AFTER 2ND 57
GAME'S END 63
PLAYER 7


Risk/Reward

OVERALL RISK / REWARD

7
POS 64 POS
NEG 37 NEG
GAMES 1 GAMES
MIN/G 23 MIN/G
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
MINUTES 24 MINUTES
POS/MIN 2.78 POS/MIN
NEG/MIN 1.54 NEG/MIN
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
EVENTS/ MIN 4.32 EVENTS/ MIN
RISK/REWARD 1.24 RISK/REWARD
PLAYER 7 PLAYER



OFFENSIVE ZONE

7
OZ POS 26 POS
OZ NEG 14 NEG
GAMES 1 GAMES
MIN/G 23 MIN/G
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
MINUTES 23 MINUTES
POS/MIN 1.13 POS/MIN
NEG/MIN 0.61 NEG/MIN
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
EVENTS/ MIN 1.74 EVENTS/ MIN
RISK/REWARD 0.52 RISK/REWARD
PLAYER 7 PLAYER



DEFENSIVE ZONE

7
DZ POS 9 POS
DZ NEG 7 NEG
GAMES 1 GAMES
MIN/G 23 MIN/G
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
MINUTES 23 MINUTES
POS/MIN 0.39 POS/MIN
NEG/MIN 0.30 NEG/MIN
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
EVENTS/ MIN 0.70 EVENTS/ MIN
RISK/REWARD 0.09 RISK/REWARD
PLAYER 7 PLAYER



NEUTRAL ZONE

7
NZ POS 27 NZ POS
NZ NEG 16 NZ NEG
GAMES 1 GAMES
MIN/G 23 MIN/G
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
MINUTES 23 MINUTES
POS/MIN 1.17 POS/MIN
NEG/MIN 0.70 NEG/MIN
PLAYER 7 PLAYER
EVENTS/ MIN 1.87 EVENTS/ MIN
RISK/REWARD 0.48 RISK/REWARD
PLAYER 7 PLAYER


Individual player stats

Couturier was solid in the offensive-zone; using his size and strength to win 60% of his offensive-zone puck-battles. He was slightly less effective in the neutral-zone, where his success rate dropped to 58%. His reputation as a strong defensive player was upheld by his 64% winning percentage when engaging in defensive-zone puck battles.

Number 7 made solid puck-management decisions; gaining the offensive-zone on 12 of 16 opportunities, while only giving the puck away once in the defensive, and twice in the neutral-zones. Couturier's faceoff winning percentage was just slightly above 50%.


7
OZPBW 21 OZPBW
OZPBL 13 OZPBL
SKI + 6 SKI +
SKI- 4 SKI-
DI+ 6 DI+
DI-
DI-
DZPBW 9 DZPBW
DZPBL 5 DZPBL
NZPBW 15 NZPBW
NZPBL 11 NZPBL
DZTA
DZTA
DZGA 2 DZGA
NZTA
NZTA
NZGA 1 NZGA
DZFOW 2 DZFOW
DZFOL 2 DZFOL
DZPKFOW 2 DZPKFOW
DZPKFOL 2 DZPKFOL
OZPPFOW 2 OZPPFOW
OZPPFOL
OZPPFOL
OZFOW 5 OZFOW
OZFOL 4 OZFOL
PS THRU
PS THRU
OZ PS BL 1 OZ PS BL
DZBS
DZBS
POINTS X2 2 POINTS X2
+/-
+/-
SHOTS 5 SHOTS



WINS 75 WINS
BATTLES 120 BATTLES
GRADE 63 GRADE
PLAYER 7


Keep in mind this is only one game, and should not be used to judge Couturier's ability or inability to be a solid NHL player. There is much development to come, and one game does not make a career. That said, big number 7 should be putting up substantially better numbers (within this grading system) considering his talent and draft ranking.