Saturday, November 19, 2011
Why is Matt Frattin a Maple Leaf and Nazim Kadri not?
*Editors note: I am now pretending I know everything about advanced stats in hockey
Now, I don't pretend to know everything about advanced stats in hockey*. But what i do know is that it is time for Matt Frattin to become a member of the Toronto Marlies for a good chunk of time.
Looking at the box-score one would conclude that Matt doesn't have a huge affect on the game. He has 1 point (an assist) in 16 games with the blue and white, this year. People that look at Corsi (Corsi is the difference between shots for, missed shots for and blocks shots against, and shots against, missed shots against and block shots for, while that player is on the ice) would say: "he has a 2.22 Corsi!" And that is a good thing (the puck is going the right way while he is on the ice), especially on this Leafs team. But for me that's not good enough if you're not putting the puck in the net.
Frattin looks like he may have the legs, speed and shot to be an NHL player but it looks like he lacks that extra gear, that extra oomph to make him a top 9 forward on an NHL team. The big hype on Frattin was that he was in a tight race to capture the Hobey Baker Award, for being the best NCAA hockey player for last year (the winner was Andy Miele). Now, why are we expecting a Hobey Baker finalist, not winner, to be a productive part of an NHL team? Since 1995 I see two meaningful NHL players that have won the Hobey Baker award (not finished second, but won) Ryan Miller and Brendan Morrison. These aren't good odds for Frattin to become a real top 9 NHL forward. So why is he continually getting chances to prove that he is a top 9 forward (and in some cases a top 6 forward)?
This brings me to Kadri, a 7th overall pick, who not only has proved he can produce offensively at the OHL and AHL levels, but also to some point, and a hell of a lot more then Frattin, at the NHL level. He put up 1 assist in the three games he has played so far this year (and 12 in 29 last year), but looked dangerous throughout (you could say the same for Frattin). In my opinion he won the job out of training camp, this based on past NHL experience and his game in training camp but he lost the job to Frattin due to injury. Now you can say "Kadri is soft. Frattin hits and when he is on the ice his line controls play and drives the puck forward". But last year in 29 games, at a much younger age, Kadri had a Corsi of -2.56 for a whole difference of 4.78 (if i'm not mistaken that is a difference of almost 5 SA, MSA and BSF). Does Kadri fit the need of the Leafs better then Frattin does right now? I say so.
Obviously with the injuries the team has it's conceivable for both of them to be up now for almost a month, but still, what is Toronto doing?