Role Pacing: Forwards

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 11 2014 09:55AM

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I'm seeing a lot of 82 game pace numbers being spread around the Internet right now for forwards on the Toronto Maple Leafs, mostly for the sake of arguing about people. The issue I have with a lot of these numbers is that they don't account for ice time, so for the sake of your yelling, I've adjusted the numbers a bit for you. Enjoy and fly forth, young angry birds.

Straight Up

These are the current numbers for the Toronto Maple Leafs forwards. Goals, assists, points, and minutes. Lets keep it nice and simple; even games played will be irrelevant for now.

Player Mins G A PTS
Phil Kessel 1355 34 39 73
James van Riemsdyk 1335 26 27 53
Nazem Kadri 1099 17 27 44
Tyler Bozak 878 15 25 40
Joffrey Lupul 1058 19 19 38
Mason Raymond 1149 18 19 37
Nikolai Kulemin 889 8 11 19
David Bolland 244 6 4 10
Peter Holland 410 5 5 10
David Clarkson 697 4 6 10
Trevor Smith 283 4 5 9
Troy Bodie 242 2 7 9
Jay McClement 994 3 5 8
Carter Ashton 186 0 3 3
Jerry D'Amigo 153 1 1 2
Josh Leivo 69 1 1 2
David Broll 41 0 1 1

Top Six Minutes

Now, what happens when you put a player in the top six? Based on the structure of this team in the past couple of years, I've concluded that a first line player should expect to play about twenty minutes (slightly higher this year, but I digress), and a second line player about eighteen. Here's how everybody adjusts.

Player Mins G A PTS Mins G A PTS
Phil Kessel 1640 41 47 88 1476 37 42 79
James van Riemsdyk 1640 31 33 64 1476 28 29 57
Nazem Kadri 1640 25 40 65 1476 22 36 58
Tyler Bozak 1640 28 46 74 1476 25 42 67
Joffrey Lupul 1640 29 29 58 1476 26 26 52
Mason Raymond 1640 25 27 52 1476 23 24 47
Nikolai Kulemin 1640 14 20 34 1476 13 18 31
David Bolland 1640 40 26 66 1476 36 24 60
Peter Holland 1640 20 20 40 1476 18 18 36
David Clarkson 1640 9 14 23 1476 8 12 20
Trevor Smith 1640 23 28 51 1476 20 26 46
Troy Bodie 1640 13 47 60 1476 12 42 54
Jay McClement 1640 4 8 12 1476 4 7 11
Carter Ashton 1640 0 26 26 1476 0 23 23
Jerry D'Amigo 1640 10 10 20 1476 9 9 18
Josh Leivo 1640 23 23 46 1476 21 21 42
David Broll 1640 0 40 40 1476 0 36 36

Bottom Six Minutes

The Leafs use their third line more than most teams, to make up for the fact that their fourth line is really a fighting squad and Jay McClement. As such, you get fifteen minutes a game on the third line, and seven minutes a game on the fourth.

Player Mins G A PTS Mins G A PTS
Phil Kessel 1230 30 35 65 574 14 16 30
James van Riemsdyk 1230 23 24 47 574 11 11 22
Nazem Kadri 1230 19 30 49 574 8 14 22
Tyler Bozak 1230 21 35 56 574 9 16 25
Joffrey Lupul 1230 22 22 44 574 10 10 20
Mason Raymond 1230 19 20 39 574 8 9 17
Nikolai Kulemin 1230 11 15 26 574 5 7 12
David Bolland 1230 30 20 50 574 14 9 23
Peter Holland 1230 15 15 30 574 7 7 14
David Clarkson 1230 7 10 17 574 3 4 7
Trevor Smith 1230 17 21 38 574 8 10 18
Troy Bodie 1230 10 35 45 574 4 16 20
Jay McClement 1230 3 6 9 574 1 2 3
Carter Ashton 1230 0 19 19 574 0 9 9
Jerry D'Amigo 1230 8 8 16 574 3 3 6
Josh Leivo 1230 17 17 34 574 8 8 16
David Broll 1230 0 30 30 574 0 14 14

Imperfection

Of course, this style of pace adjustment also doesn't tell the whole story. Players like David Bolland and Josh Leivo are riding high numbers under low original minutes, which basically gives an extrapolation of a small sample size. Carter Ashton's adjustment doesn't account for the fact he's still playing those 20 minutes a night with Colton Orr instead of Phil Kessel. Hell, if Orr played with Kessel, he may have some points to work with (don't try this Randy). Conversely, if any of the first liners played fourth line minutes, their roles would change and production would drop. We're also not accounting for chemistry either; what happens if Tyler Bozak drops to a line with say, Clarkson and Raymond and loses his Kessel-collaborative superpowers?

But you still get an idea of how their current play would work if given the time limits of a certain line, which is more accurate.than stretching to 82 games.

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I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 Jordan
March 11 2014, 06:02PM
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Good post Jeff. It gives me a good excuse to link to this little beauty by once again, written by old Cammy

http://theleafsnation.com/2014/1/16/tyler-bozaks-having-a-productive-few-games.

How are everyone's predictions coming? Specifically, I'd like to hear from the two clowns from that sorry excuse for a Leafs blog (PPP) who made the first 2 comments.

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