Now that Slak has taken away my angry ranting posts, and rightly so because I’m just not angry of a person despite what my appearance, music tastes, and general demeanor would indicate (“denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, hon). So I guess I’d better slink back into my other corner on this fun little prison riot, and that’s being a nerdy nerdy dweeboid with glasses who’s terrified of girls (the last two are actually probably quite accurate). So let’s do it, shall we?
This is Toews’s season Corsi-percentage, and while that might not seem all that low, it’s basically 10% below where he’s been the past four years, which is canyon-esque, and the canyon I’m referring to is the one Affleck, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Peter Stormare jumped over in their lunar cruiser (Jesus Fucking Christ why do I know that?).
Now, there are a couple huge caveats to add here (and you can add you’re own terrible movie metaphor in your own head for that one). One, we’re still talking about seven games, a mere drop in the pond. Second, this is actually trending the right way because the first couple games of the season Toews was around 40%. He certainly kicked around the Panthers last night and was better against the Jackets, though that probably falls into the low-hanging fruit category. While Barkov is going to be a great player one day soon, he’s probably not quite ready to go toe-to-toe with the league greats like Tavares or Couturier were earlier in the season.
And I don’t think there’s a reason we can point to for this. Sure, the media would love to say the rotating cast of thousands on the left wing or the absence of Saad, but does anyone really believe that? Saad didn’t skate every shift of his life with Toews, and it’s still Hossa on the other wing. Toews was a great possession player while Saad was riding a bus in Saginaw. It’s probably just a weird anomaly, but the next couple games should be an indicator where Toews will see Stamkos and Getzlaf/Kesler, though the latter two have their own problems right now.
Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum, that’s Viktor Tikhonov’s mark in the same category. I thought it might just be the product of who he has played with, but actually he’s the one making his teammates better. Teuvo’s possession mark drops 10 points without him. Toews’s goes down 20, as when they’ve skated together their percentage is over 66%. Granted, that’s only in about nine minutes worth of time, or one game’s worth.
I know Tikhonov has not scored a point, but he’s hardly an albatross out there. He’s heady, and is better on the wall than he’s getting credit for. That’s not hard to see, and I honestly don’t know what it is that Q is looking for out of his left wing spot on the top line. Not everyone is going to be Panarin, obviously. Jen LC pointed this out on Twitter yesterday, but it does sound just a little that Q is stamping his feet over the loss of Saad and when everyone proves to not be Saad, he’s just going to keep rotating them like JK Simmons and drummers (good movie reference!). But Tikhonov has been more than serviceable, and really should not be sitting for the likes of CatButt or LOCAL BOY.
Ok, a non-Hawks one. That’s Gabriel Landeskog’s corsi-against per 60. I look at it and when my retinas don’t burn I nearly break a rib laughing. 80! That means for every minute he’s on the ice, he’s giving up a shot attempt and half against. Like, you’d have to shoot on your own net to accomplish this, wouldn’t you? And he’s hardly the only one on the Avs with this. MacKinnion is at 76! Tyson Barrie is at 81! They have 11 of the 15 worst marks in this category! And the ones they don’t fill are filled by Flames! This is so bad I can’t even take it! It’s enough to make you believe in a higher power because who else could have this sense of humor? I love how proportional Patrick Roy gets and looks in relation to how thick his beard gets. Soon it’s going to be totally full and he’ll forget how to breathe.