FanPost

For the Staal Lovers & Haters

Much as been said of Eric Staal this season; some say he’s not an elite player, some say he is, some say he is overpaid, and some say player X would be a better fit for this team.  What I have tried to do is present a statistical analysis/comparison of Staal and other “top” players in the league.  We all know stats don’t tell the whole story, but they are somewhat useful in comparing players.  All of this information is based on games through Saturday, January 23rd.  Please take a look and let me know what you think.  (I will qualify my post by saying that I am one of those considered a “Staal lover.")

 

First, let’s take a look at the Canes themselves.  I think we all can say that Staal is not having one of his better seasons.  He started off extremely slow (maybe due to injury) and missed 12 games due to injury and personal reasons.  Still though, he is tied for 1st on this team in points, tied for 2nd in goals, 2nd in assists, and 1st in PPG.  That’s not bad, but this is the 2nd lowest scoring team in the league and the Canes also own the worst overall record.  Here is a list of the Canes top statistical performers this season.

 

Players

Games Played

Points

Goals

Assists

PPG

Staal

38

37

14

23

0.97

Whitney

48

37

15

22

0.77

Jokinen

49

34

14

20

0.69

Cullen

50

30

9

21

0.60

Pitkanen

41

26

2

24

0.63

Ruutu

39

25

11

14

0.64

Sutter

41

19

11

8

0.46

 

As mentioned above, the Canes are the 2nd lowest scoring team in the league and own the worst overall record.  Overall, the Canes average 2.48 GPG.  With Staal in the lineup, they average 2.55 GPG.  Without him in the lineup, they average 2.25 GPG.  Their overall record is 15-28-7, a 30% win percentage.  With Staal in the lineup, they are 11-22-5, a 28.9% win percentage.  Without Staal, they are 4-6-2, a 33.3% win percentage.  But since Staal’s return from injury, they are 9-14-2, a 36% win percentage.  So, they tend to score a few more goals with him in their lineup, but not many more.  They also seem to win a little more without him and they win more with him since returning from injury.  All in all, there is not much difference in goal production or winning with or without Staal in the lineup, the Canes just stink.

 

Last, lets take a look at the NHL.  Staal is currently ranked 61st in the league in points, 68th in goals, 64th in assists, and 22nd in PPG.  It should be noted that Staal has played the 2nd lowest number of games of any player in the top 100 in points (Daniel Sedin is the only one to play fewer).  It should also be noted that Staal is on pace to have his lowest goal production and points production since his rookie year.  He has been in the top 15 in goals in 3 of the last 4 seasons.  To get a better analysis; the list below is the top 30 players in PPG production this season (minimum of 25 games played).  Also included is % of TGS (team’s goals scored).  This is based on the players contributions to the goals scored by his team in games he played (example: if Staal had 1 assist and the Canes scored 4 goals, he would have a 25% TGS).  Another thing included is the player’s salary for this season.  Cap hit is important, but actual salary should help determine if the player is living up to their contract (lowest salary is ranked 1st).  The list is alphabetically.

 

Players

PPG

Ranking

%TGS

Ranking

Salary

Ranking

Avg Ranking

Alfredsson

0.95

25

33.9%

19

7m

20

21.3

Backstrom, N

1.10

11

29.3%

28

850k

1

13.3

Connolly

0.94

26

33.3%

23

4.5m

9

19.3

Crosby

1.25

5

40.3%

8

9m

27

13.3

Eriksson, L

0.96

23

33.8%

20

1.7m

5

16

Gaborik

1.22

7

46.9%

1

7.5m

23

10.3

Getzlaf

1.02

16

36.3%

14

5.13m

12

14

Green, M

1.02

16

28.1%

29

5m

10

18.3

Heatley

1.06

15

32.2%

25

8m

26

22

Kane

1.10

11

34.5%

18

875k

3

10.7

Kopitar

0.98

20

34.7%

17

6m

13

16.7

Kovalchuk

1.24

6

42.1%

5

7.5m

23

11.3

Lecavalier

0.98

20

38.5%

12

10m

30

20.7

Malkin

1.11

10

33.6%

22

9m

27

19.7

Marleau

1.08

13

32.8%

24

6.3m

17

18

Nash

0.91

29

35.0%

16

7m

20

21.7

Ovechkin

1.63

1

45.2%

2

9m

27

10

Parise

1.02

16

38.6%

10

3m

7

11

Perry, C

0.94

26

33.8%

21

6.5m

18

21.7

Plekanec

0.96

23

36.0%

15

2.75m

6

14.7

Richards, B

1.18

8

41.4%

6

7.8m

25

13

Sedin, D

1.39

3

40.7%

7

6.1m

15

8.3

Sedin, H

1.45

2

44.8%

3

6.1m

15

6.7

Semin

1.17

9

29.7%

27

5m

10

15.3

St. Louis

1.08

13

42.3%

4

4m

8

8.3

Staal, E

0.97

22

38.1%

13

6m

13

16

Stamkos

1.02

16

40.0%

9

875k

3

9.3

Stastny

0.92

28

31.9%

26

6.5m

19

24.3

Thornton

1.26

4

38.5%

11

7.2m

22

12.3

Toews

0.91

29

27.5%

30

850k

1

20

 

I know this is a lot of information to digest.  But basically, my analyses suggest that Staal is one of the top 25 players in the league this season (yes, even this season).  It also suggests that the Sedins’, St. Louis, Stamkos, and Ovechkin are the best values of these 30 players.  Who knows if this is anywhere close to being right, but I think it’s interesting.

 

Also consider that since Staal has come back from injury, he has 11 goals, 21 assists for 32 points in 25 games.  That’s 1.28 PPG and would have him 4th in the league in that category.  That would also take his average ranking to (10), which is the same as Ovechkin.  In conclusion, I think Staal still needs to perform more consistently and show better effort from game to game, but I do believe that he is one of the top 20 players in the league and has the potential to be a top 10 player.  You may determine that Staal is not worth what he making, just take a look and let me know what your opinion is.




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