FanPost

Keeping Up With the Carters and Richardses

All figures in this fanpost are from Behind The Net.

He doesn't have figures for 2005-2006 but in their rookie years:

Richards: 11-23-34 in 79 GP
Carter: 23-19-42 in 81 GP
Steen: 18-27-45 in 75 GP

In 2006-2007

Richards ranked 602 in quality of teammates. He played 58.5% of his time with Kapanen with Ben Eager being the next most common forward at 21.9%. Richards picked up 10-22-32 in 59 GP.

Carter ranked 138 in quality of teammates. Calder, at 37.8% of the time, is the only forward in his top four linemates which probably means that he was being rotated around quite frequently. Carter picked up 14-23-37 in 62 GP.

Steen ranked 296 in quality of teammates. He played 55.4% of the time with Stajan and 44.9% with Jeff O'Neill. Steen picked up 10-25-25 in 82GP.

In 2007-2008

Here are Richards' game logs to give you an idea of his linemates. From a cursory glance he played most of his time with Scottie Upshall, R.J. Umberger, Mike Knuble, and Joffrey Lupul. His quality of teammates was 0.11. The top ranking was 0.89. Richards put up 28-47-75 73 GP.

Here are Carter's game logs to give you an idea of his linemates. From a cursory glance he played most of his time with Scottie Upshall, R.J. Umberger, Mike Knuble, and Joffrey Lupul. His quality of teammates was 0.17. The top ranking was 0.89. Carter put up 29-24-53 in 82 GP

Here are Steen's game logs to get an idea of his linemates. From a cursory glance he played most of his time with Stajan, Devereaux, and Blake although he did have a stretch with Antropov and Sundin. His quality of teammates was 0.04. The top ranking was 0.89. Steen put up 15-27-42 in 76 GP

In 2008-2009

Here are Richards' game logs to give you an idea of his linemates. From a cursory glance he has played most of his time with Scottie Upshall, Briere, Gagne, and Joffrey Lupul. His quality of teammates is 0.12. The top ranking is 1.62. Richards has put up 5-14-19 in 17 GP so far this season.

Here are Carter's game logs to give you an idea of his linemates. From a cursory glance he played most of his time with Scottie Upshall and some guy names Andreas Nodl. His quality of teammates is -0.46. The top ranking is 1.62. Carter has put up 11-3-14 in 17 GP so far this season.

Here are Steen's game logs to get an idea of his linemates. From a cursory glance he played most of his time with Dominic Moore, Jason Blake, and Nikolai Kulemin for a couple of games. His quality of teammates is -0.25. The top ranking is 1.62. Steen has put up 2-2-4 in 19 GP so far this season.

Conclusions

Steen definitely started out on equal footing with both Carter and Richards despite the latter two being much more highly touted by the press. Pat Quinn had a definite plan for Steen in terms of his ice-time and linemates. His defensive responsibility and a new coach had him slotted into a different role where he saw decreased powerplay time and was slotted in with more defensive linemates. Or, as with the case of Jeff O'Neill, linemates that needed his defensive responsibilities to make up for their love of doughtnuts.

This year he has a new coach again who has, after a slow start that saw him in a more offensive role, slotted once more into the role of checking forward. Obviously Steen's skating ability and hockey awareness makes him versatile but in my opinion they are wasting his offensive abilities. Wilson has said that the 5-on-3 personnel (0-14) will change so why not give him a chance there? Or as was mentioned in the comments why not use the Soviet Bloc to kickstart his season?

There will be grumbles about not disrupting the forward lines but this season is all about evaluating what the Leafs have and Steen is very much a part of the future. Why not see what he can do if he gets a prolonged run on the top unit with powerplay time? One answer I've seen is that he has to earn that opportunity. Well, being a good soldier and playing your role is much more than Stajan did before he got airlifted onto the awesomest line. At the same time we can see if Stajan can keep producing on his own or if he's just awesome by osmosis.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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