Here we are about a quarter of the way through this season. Remember way back in the off-season and the pre-season, we had all kinds of speculation. We predicted that the veterans would have to "step up and be seen" or "have a breakout year" or "avoid the personal disaster of last year". Even the rookies and the younger players might have to "play over their heads" or "do something really special" if we were to have a good season. On the other hand, most discussions warned everyone that players would make frequent mistakes and the team would probably lose a lot. This was to be a rebuild year after all. So how well are we doing?
We could have a look at the many statistics out there, ranging from goals scored to penalty minutes to plus/minus or even some of the "adnanced" stats like Corsi or Fenwick or zone starts. On the other hand, why not look at something totally subjective and therefore maybe more interesting? We are lucky here on Silver Seven Sens to have some very astute authors who do an excellent job of observing individual game performance, and then recording it in the game recaps. Conveniently, they identify Heroes and Zeroes for each game. By compiling a list of all those players, we can get a pretty good indication of how well individuals have performed.
I have compiled a list of players and the number of times they were either named in recaps as Heroes and Zeroes, or had a very positive (or negative) mention in "Honourable Mention" or similar during the regular season games up to Nov-17 (the Oilers game).
|Name||Hero Count||Zero Count||Difference (Hero - Zero)|
As you can see, the veterans mostly have risen to the top with Michalek head and shoulders above the rest. A few rookies show up high on the list, notably Greening. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Spezza is notably low, and poor Zibanejad (remember him) is stuck at second last, with no prospect of improvement! What does all this mean about the questions posed at the beginning of this post? I’m not sure, but given that the team is at about .500, I think the team is still struggling. This seems to be borne out by the Heroes and Zeroes counts. Other than Michalek, Anderson, Alfredsson, Greening, and Phillips none of the rest of the team are doing particularly well. I will update this table again at halfway through the season, at the three-quarter point, and at the end of the season. I doubt we will make the playoffs, but if we do, I will update the table again when we win the Cup!