Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Jochen Hecht, Still Underrated

So I know I'm not supposed to be reading The Buffalo News right now but someone mentioned a chart that was in the paper today and I really had to check it out. What can I say, I'm weak. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here it is:

This chart is completely ridiculous for three reasons I can think of off the top of my head:

1. It compares sixty-four games to three. That's... not really a very good comparison.

2. I've seen Brian Campbell play defense. I'm not buying that his presence would've made a huge difference against three playoff teams and two of the top four powerplays in the league. His absence hurts because now Paetsch is in the line-up? Maybe. His absence hurts because he was a defensive dynamo? No.

3. Jochen Hecht was also missing for all of those games. He's the best defensive forward on the team and on the first penalty killing unit. Let's just rename this the "Sabres Without Hecht" chart because that would actually make sense.

And for all you distraught about Campbell's spin-o-rama goal in San Jose last night, come on! When was the last time he made that move work for a goal in Buffalo? Did he ever? When was the last time he scored a goal in Buffalo that wasn't from the point? How soon before he spin-o-ramas in front of his own goalie and gives up the puck? Three games, people. Three games. That's all it is.

I have some thoughts on tonight's scratches (I don't love Paille's and I hate Kalinin's) but I'm going to save them for after the game. Even if the game is a disaster, I will be here later.


Meg said...

I feel like I should write a letter to the Buffalo News titled, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" in which I explain that 3 games is not an acceptable statistical sample. It's not even approaching an acceptable sample size. Which should really go without saying.

The Buffalo News is mostly just good for lining bird cages as far as I can tell.

coolman856 said...

I saw that this morning and the first thing that came to my mind was look who they played. Nashville, Detroit, and Montreal. Three decent teams all with fire power and the first and fourth power plays in the league. Of course the penalty kill is going to stink.

Vanek's Hair said...

I don't like that Kalinin was benched, but he often reacts to benching the same way Afinogenov (speaking of candidates for benching) does. He comes back with a fire lit under his a$$.

Thanks for posting the record of the Sabres without Hecht. That covers previous seasons with the holiest of holy on the team. Interesting that it appears the Jochen, not....(insert name here), is that straw that stirs drink that is the Sabres.

Apologies, I often criticize the Buffalo News for mentioning certain names, so I must not be a hypocrite.

Heather B. said...

Coolman, I didn't even realize Detroit's PP was ranked that high as well. Now I'm doubly annoyed at this chart :-)

Vanek's Hair, I hope Tri does respond that way. I was kind of thinking he didn't usually but I couldn't remember the last time he was benched and then put back in the line-up in the next couple of games which I'm REALLY hoping is the plan here.

And I really should have mentioned that my husband pulled that Jochen stat off a message board and I didn't double-check it before posting. But I am planning on doing that when I get the chance. (I totally believe it's correct.)

Meg said...

I was kind of thinking he didn't usually but I couldn't remember the last time he was benched and then put back in the line-up in the next couple of games which I'm REALLY hoping is the plan here.

I can't really recall that happening either (although I certainly could be wrong). Was Kalinin scratched for his play in the 05-06 season at some point? Because I know he wasn't last year and hasn't been prior to today this year.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Campbell played goalie. I guess that explain the downward trend in save %,... wait, what?

Jesse H.

Anne said...

Thanks for pointing out the errors in that chart. I was feeling really downtrodden after reading that chart, but you make excellent points about Yo-Yo. We need him back!!

Paille responds well to being benched, he had a crazy goal scoring flourish after he was benched earlier in the season, hopefully this will light that fire in him again. However, do we want to bench an experienced passionless crappy defenseman for a young crappy defenseman that just might have some passion?

Caitlin said...

What is up with The Buffalo News? I feel really bad for you guys. Man, it kind of - for once - makes me glad local news down here mostly ignores hockey, save for our three or four beat writers from the various papers.