Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The "Nothing" Line

Anaheim is one of the last teams to use a real checking line as its third line. Last season, the Niedermayer-Pahlsson-Moen combination played together almost 90% of the time. Injuries at the beginning of the 2007-08 season forced a mix-up for a few games, but the trio has been re-united for the last 30 games.

It's interesting to watch this line play because they are exceptionally good at forechecking and shutting down the opposing team's offense. Pahlsson has given up a few extra goals this season, but they are all among the league leaders in preventing the other team from scoring, this despite facing the other team's top lines every night.

On the other side of the puck, they also produce next to no goals. All three players are in the bottom 2% among scorers this season. Moen, in particular, is in the 99th percentile, league-wide, both in preventing the other team from scoring and in not scoring himself.

SAMUEL PAHLSSONC ANA3012.84 0.26 1.09 1.87
ROB NIEDERMAYERC ANA3211.85 0.22 0.79 1.42
TRAVIS MOENLWANA3412.44 0.22 0.71 0.99

I remark on this because I've watched three Sharks-Ducks games in the last three weeks. Two of these games ended up 1-1, the other 2-0, thanks in no small part to Anaheim's traditional checking line, which made sure nothing happened when they were on the ice. It's not the "new NHL", but it does make for some interesting statistics.


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