With trade rumors spinning around again Dougie Hamilton, does anything have to do with him fighting this season or is it something else? In Dallas, Tyler Seguin scored six goals in his last five games, but has anything changed in the way he plays since CEO Jim Lites called him and Jamie Benn in December?
That, in addition to distributing mid-season awards in this week's column.
Another season, another rumor of Dougie Hamilton, another series of articles trying to find out what Hamilton is and why so many coaches hesitate to trust him.
Dropping Hamilton by the numbers over the summer using three-year data, I came to the conclusion that he was the 25th best defender of the championship at that time, which makes him a level 1 lower. his last two years with Flames, he was approaching the top-10.
Hamilton's level of play was extraordinarily high despite having less ice time than you would expect from a player of his caliber. This season is more of the same. Hamilton has an average of less than 20 minutes per game, which sounds very low until you see how Carolina implants his defenders.
With five legitimate top pair blueliners on his roster, only Jaccob Slavin and Justin Faulk play more than 20 minutes and Hamilton is third at 19:37 per game. In this context, there does not seem to be a question of trust, although you may argue that Hamilton is underutilized. Still, despite being a standout player, he is also the new guy in a blue line filled with veteran hurricane champions, so it's no surprise he has less ice time than some of the other top guys there.
What has been criticized is Hamilton's weak differential this season, so he really Playing bad?
Hamilton has not been as strong as last season, but he's still done very well so far. It is worth noting that while hurricanes have a plethora of really good defenders, none of them are in Level of Mark Giordano. So when you look at Hamilton's gross differentials from last season, they are a bit inflated due to playing with one of the best NHL supporters in the last 10 years.
Speculation has warmed that Hamilton could be on the move again and I think part of the reason for this is that he has been extremely unfortunate this season with a 95.9 to 5-for-5 PDO.
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Should maple leaves chase a hurricane?
January 7, 2019
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But in addition to bad luck, Hamilton's game has dropped somewhat recently. In the past two weeks, hurricanes have received only 40 percent of the high-risk odds when Hamilton is on ice and less than 35 percent of the slots.
Whether there is a crisis of confidence or just a lull in the middle of the season on your play, if the hurricanes are planning to leave Hamilton, it seems to me that it would be a terrible time to move it.
This week, Steve Dangle did not focus on the Leafs. Instead, he had a question about a ghost from the Maple Leafs past: Tyler Seguin. Seguin has been on fire lately, which coincidentally started after critical comments made by Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites, so Steve asks …
"Jim Lites calling Tyler Seguin really made him play differently?"
We are dealing with a very small sample size, since Lites' angry public comments were reported on December 28, but we're not talking about whether something is sustainable or not, only if anything has changed since then.
That's easy enough to find out, especially since the excavation at Seguin was about their firing ranges and scoring goal.
Including last season's numbers as a baseline, you can see that there is not much of a difference between the production of 2017 and 18 footage and what he was doing before being called by the CEO. However, he was getting less of his attempts to shoot the slot on the net, as more of them were being lost or blocked.
It is clear that Seguin's shots on the goal have changed since Lites' comments. He's shooting less often overall, but what he's taking is coming from close to the net and hitting the target a lot more often. He saw a large drop in the perimeter firing.
There could be a concerted effort by Seguin to drive in the middle of the ice more, but his shot attempts from the slot really slowed, so it seems more convenient, but a random variance for me. Seguin was due to a hot wave.
BUY OR SELL
Sportsnet asked me to do some quick successes in who I would award the NHL's top honors by the middle of the season:
• Selke Trophy: Mikko Koivu. Second in the NHL in successful defensive plays and recoveries of loose puck per minute plays, in between the best high danger and move to the league gap differentials and play difficult minutes. Bergeron wasting time is a factor.
• Jack Adams Award: Jon Cooper. From time to time, we must reward coaches who get the best out of a great team every year rather than return teams. Cooper is clearly crushing him in Tampa Bay.
• Norris Trophy: Mark Giordano leads by example, taking the Flames to the top of his division and the Western Conference. He has been phenomenal offensive and defensive. He really does not seem to be getting old.
• Vezina Trophy: John Gibson is the only reason why the Ducks are on the playoffs hunt and not on the basis of the standings. They are the first team since the 2013-14 Sabers to receive less than 40% of the high-risk odds by 5 vs. 5.
• Hart Trophy: I do not think you can deny it. Connor McDavid this year; The Oilers are so abysmal without him on the ice. Edmonton is closer to the playoffs than last year and is even better than a year ago. McDavid is doing everything a player could do to drag that team forward. If a team has to be in the playoffs to get their vote, I'm also going with Gibson here.