Monday, March 8, 2010

The One About Langkow

Domebeers has written a little bit about Langkow. Over at M&G Steinbergs nemesis tries to explain to the average viewer why Langkow doesn't suck, shouldn't get traded, ect. Most of what RO writes, I agree with, philosophically: Skills = Scoring Chances = Goals = Wins = Stanleys (from RO's article).

RO basically argues that as long as a player is generating scoring chances, then he is doing his job. Goals are not what we should be looking at, but whether or not a player is able to generate the opportunity to get a goal. If a player is able to generate goal opportunities (or scoring chances, as they say), this is good. If that player is able to generate goal opportunities when he is playing against the other teams best, this is also good. If a player can generate goal opportunities when he starts the majority of his shifts in his own zone, this is Haagen-daz pussy good.

I don't disagree with this philosophy at all. It makes sense, is reasonable, is logical. Here, let me be honest: I am an advanced stats guy (Sabermetrics) when it comes to baseball. Batting average and a pitchers record are about two of the most stupid things in the entire universe, as these stats don't mean anything on their own. When it comes to hockey, not so much. Don't throw tomatos when I tell you I hadn't heard of CORSI until I started this website, and was forced to read other hockey blogs (Kenneth, that's you I'm talking about).

But to me, and a majority of people, the most important stat is points. Scoreboard, baby, look up at it. And when we look up Mr. Langkow's, we see: 12 goals, 21 assists, 33 points. For 4.5 million dollars in cap.

I get that he is consistently playing the other teams best lines. I get that he moves the puck, that is, if he starts in his own zone, there is a good chance he can move the puck into the oppositions zone. I don't think he is the shit at faceoffs. The numbers say he isn't good this year at 43.9%, good for 83rd best out of 86 centres in the league. What I don't get is why some people feel that at a 4.5 million is a cap hit, this is enough out of Langkow. At that number, you need to score fucking goals, or tally assists.

What is a good range to look at? Well, the in the cap range of 4 - 5 million (which is a huge range, so I'm being nice) we have a total of 61 players. Of those, 15 are centres. Some names? Carter, Savard, Horton. Some choice names are on this list. Centres who make Langkows 4.5? Legwand, Arnott, Connolly.

What do these people bring to the table, scoreboard wise? Is 4.5 a scoring number?

So...Langkow, scoreboard wise, is at the bottom of this group. He does play games, which is good in the same way that a 5th rotation spot pitcher pitches innings. His contract, I will admit, does not seem that out of wack when we do the comparison, but it certainly does not hold the most value. It may hold the least. I probably lean towards the camp that would like to see the 33 year old moved on during the offseason, if only because he is 33. He has a no movement, which means he isn't going anywhere, so the defenders can relax. Also, Langkow is about the only centre on the team who could get into a bar without being asked for ID, which counts for something, I think.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.


  1. Just a quick question about this week's lineup on the column to the right. Do you happen to have a name for the chick in the blue shirt playing D? Fabulous.

  2. I always got time to respond to a comment like that.

    Ana Beatriz Barros is the name I have.