My name is Frank Dumais, and I recently joined the HabsAddict.com writing team.
I bring a different angle to the table, namely stats, and some of you might know me as @NHL_Stats, on Twitter.
This is my first piece entitled "Habs By the Numbers", and it will be weekly look at the Habs results and/or what's making Canadiens news this week. The twist? It's all done by looking at the stats.
I hope you'll enjoy reading me as much as I enjoy writing for you!
So, without further ado, let's delve right into what (or should I say who) has certainly been the talk of the town all week: No. 76, Mr. Pernell Karl Subban.
A GM on the move
With Habs GM, Pierre Gauthier's, extended visit to SoCal last week, the "insiders" had a royal feast. P.K. was going to be used as the "trade bait" in order to (finally!) get the ever so needed and desired big first line centerman.
My job here is not to inform you of the trade possibilities (what team, what player). I'll leave that to the real experts, and there are plenty of them right here on this fine blog.
What I will do, though, is explain through stats why it would be a catastrophe to trade "Monsieur Subban" away from the CH.
How does PK compare?
The first research I did was fairly simple, but yielded surprising results. I wanted a list, since the lockout (2005-06), of all defensemen 22 years old or younger (as of Feb 1), that had played at least 126 regular season games (that's how many games PK has played).
I took that list and sorted it by "Points per game".
Here's the actual output of the query:
As you can see, Dion Phaneuf is first on the list.
But P.K. is a nice surprise in the sixth spot, after Phaneuf, Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, Tyler Myers and Alex Pietrangelo. Now, some might say "PPG" is not the only characteristic to judge the quality of a defenseman. It might not even be the best one! But it shows P.K. among a group of elite d-men. And Subban is categorized as an "offensive" defenseman.
So to me, the analysis is interesting.
Also important to note, out of the top-6, including Subban, only one of the players has ever been traded: Phaneuf (after his 5th season at 24 years old). Also, if you look at Tyler Myers' numbers, you'll notice that he's been having very difficult second and third year.
What about the playoffs?
So now, I'll take this exercise one step further, and look at playoff numbers:
The results are even more surprising. This time P.K. comes up on top out of all d-men since 2005-06, 22 years old or younger, having played 21 or more playoffs game, sorted by PPG.
Subban has been more productive than players such as Kris Letang, Matt Carle, Jason Demers, Andrej Meszaros, Marc-Edouard Vlasic. P.K.'s playoff point production has actually exceeded that of Letang by 35%.
Not too shabby for a guy people want to trade!
Finally, if we look at Subban's usage compared to others, in terms of "time on ice", of the top-10 (in the "regular season" stats above), P.K. comes in at No. 5.
And in the playoffs?
He still comes up on top at No.1, with over 23 minutes of usage per game.
And some are now wondering if trading Subban for a No. 1 centerman is a good idea? The numbers speak for themselves and they show the Subban is right up there with some of the best in his class.
I, for one, don't think the young rear-guard should go anywhere.
Frank Dumais is a freelance writer, currently contributing to HabsAddict.com “Habs By the numbers” weekly column. He writes on current Habs topics, but with a “numbers twist”.
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(Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images North America)