Secondary Scoring

The Senators pulled off the first big trade of the trading season sending Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves to Carolina for Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman.  Both Stillman and Commodore have a Cup for Carolina so there’s definitely something to be said for that.  Commodore is a tough defensive defenseman and Stillman is a savvy vet who has great instincts around the net. 

You don’t get something for nothing (just ask Neil Peart), so the Sens give up a highly maligned (and somewhat unjustifiably so) puck moving offensive defenseman in Corvo and a hard working 3rd liner with a decent set of hands in Eaves.  If you look at it from purely a player perspective, the Sens get the better of it, but the Canes get two additional years of Corvo at a reasonable rate and a player who is a RFA after the season, where the Sens get two players going to Unrestricted Free Agency at the end of the season. 

That in an of itself is probably not a problem.  I’d like to see the Senators make a play to keep Commodore around (assuming he fits in with the room).  He’s only making $1.25 million this year.  He may be in line for more, but he’d probably fit in the salary structure.  Even if they don’t re-sign him, they’re probably thinking that Brian Lee and Lawrence Nycholat are ready for a shot.  This all assumes that Redden is gone, as previously written here.

  Again, assuming that Stillman can develop some chemistry with his new teammates, he adds some secondary scoring that everyone seems to think the Sens are desperate for.  Everyone seems to think that Heatley, Spezza and Alfie account for an inordinate and unhealthy number of the teams goals.  Here’s a little analysis of secondary scoring I put together that addresses this assumption:  (secondary scoring for these purposes is all goals scored by team members NOT on the top line for their teams.  I didn’t do the analysis for every team in the NHL, just the teams that might be considered major Cup contenders)


Senators 109 – Wings  115 – Ducks  85 – Habs 111 – Sharks  95 – Flames  82 – Flyers 114 – Penguins  96


Senators Ducks Wings Habs
First Line Goals 85 59 72 62
Secondary Scoring 109 85 115 111
Total 194 144 187 173
% by First Line 43.81% 40.97% 38.50% 35.84%
Sharks Flames Flyers Penguins
First Line Goals 48 76 63 69
Secondary Scoring 95 82 114 96
Total 143 158 177 165
% by First Line 33.57% 48.10% 35.59% 41.82%

Perception is not reality here folks.  The Pizza line gets a higher percentage of their teams goals, but that’s because the Senators are the highest scoring team in the NHL. 

With that said, I’d like to see the Senators move Alfie to a line with Stillman and Fisher and put Vermette on the top line to spread a little of the offense out.  But, it doesn’t seem that Paddock and Murray before him, see Vermette as top line material.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. 


2 Responses to “Secondary Scoring”

  1. David Johnson Says:

    I think something you need to consider is how many of those secondary scoring goals come when playing with one or more of the big 3. Possibly as many as half of Fisher’s goals have come when playing with Alfredsson and more than a few of Robitaille’s have come when he was playing on the top line filling in for injuries. When Ottawa’s top line isn’t going they struggle to score goals.

    When Fisher is on the ice with Alfredsson the Sens score at 1.361 goals per 20 minutes even strength but when Fisher is not playing with Alfredsson that drops to a much lower 0.785. When Fisher is with Heatley the Sens score at a pace of 2.3 goals per 20 minutes vs 0.716 when Fisher is not playing with Heatley.

  2. freewillig Says:

    And conversely then, when Alfie is playing on a line with Fisher, Alfie’s goals would be secondary scoring, would they not? And therefore, I would have to adjust the total goals for the Pizza line down some. And, I would have to adjust the Detroit figures for when Cleary was playing with Zetterberg and adjust the Ducks figures for when Kunitz was playing with Getlaf and Perry. And on and on.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the Senators have a better chance to win when their top line scores. It is (probably) equally true that Calgary has a better chance to win when Iginla’s line scores.

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