Most overused forward in the Eastern Conference?
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In this edition of the hotstove we share our thoughts on the most overused forward(s) in the Eastern Conference.
Zack Smith of the Ottawa Senators.
Smith has 10 goals in his last 94 games. He is a possession anchor. He was waived prior to the season. He is on the wrong side of 30 and plays for a rebuilding team. He's clearly not part of the future. And yet Smith ranks 5th among Senators forwards in average ice at 5v5 and overall. He's playing more than the likes of Brady Tkachuk and Colin White, both of whom are a) much better and; b) much younger.
Take a look at how they compare in a couple key 5v5 numbers:
White – 2.56 points per 60 | 45.3 Corsi For%
Tkachuk – 2.36 points per 60 | 51.1 Corsi For
Smith – 1.76 points per 60 | 41.9 Corsi For%
I get not wanting to throw the kids to the wolves and have them eaten alive. I also get trying to be competitive since the team doesn't own its 1st round pick. The thing is the kids are handling themselves just fine and giving them more ice is more likely to result in team success.
Overused is something that can often get confused with desperation or no other option and if you look at the rosters of Ottawa and Detroit there are more than a few players who are getting ice time with terrible numbers and there might not be a damn thing that can be done about it.
Brock Nelson comes to mind as he gets a ton of ice time but is really only being productive because he's riding a silly PDO boost in shooting percentage- after that he's a mess. One cannot use the word mess without citing the Flyers and why is Voracek getting all those minutes given he's underwater in almost all meaningful ways?
I'm going with Voracek as at 5vs5 he's at 47% CF, 48% SF, and he's only produced 15 points in 470 minutes of hockey at 5vs5 and he's making 8.25 per year. He might be overused for all the wrong reasons too- but mainly salary.
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