FanPost

The Other Guys: Frail Forwards

Connollyhuselius_large

A week off between Maple Leafs games to start the season - while probably good for the recovery of the injured players - is hell for the fans. Hopefully some charts can ease the pain.

Tim Connolly, the 5th overall pick in the 1999 NHL entry draft (Sedin draft), is a well-known commodity to Leafs fans. In years where he was healthy, he put up slightly under a point-per-game. You'll see the extent of his injury issues after the jump.

Kristian Huselius, a 2nd round pick in the 1997 NHL entry draft, was drafted by the Florida Panthers and traded to Calgary in exchange for Steve Montador and Dustin Johner. After several great seasons in Calgary, he went on to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2008 offseason where he has seen relative success despite battling his own injury issues.

The frail forward is a furiously frustrating type of player. You know they could be great producers if they just managed to stay healthy for a long enough stretch. Which of these will outperform in 2011/2011?

Tim Connolly - often not healthy

Connollyinjuryhistory_medium

How they compare over their last 500 games played:

Player Age Cap Hit ATOI S/60 G/60 Pts/60 Sh%
Tim Connolly 30 $4.75M 17.76 7.18 0.68 2.25 8.8%
Kristian Huselius 33 $4.75M 16.94 8.22 1.01 2.56 11.6%

 

Tim Connolly gets the edge in age, being 3 years younger than the veteran Huselius, however the two have identical cap hits. Let's dig a little deeper into each stat over this stretch of play.

Average Time-on-Ice per game:

Connollyhuseliusatoi_large

While Connolly seems to have earned a lot more ice-time a few hundred games ago, once we get to around Game 150 the ice-times match almost perfectly. Depending on his health and chemistry with Phil Kessel, we may see Connolly's ice-time jump closer to the 19-20 minutes range.

Shots on Goal per 60 minutes:

Connollyhuseliusshots60_large

Historically the two have had their ups and downs from a shooting perspective, and while Huselius has slowly been shooting less and less, Connolly has been increasing his number of shots. Despite Huselius having the historical edge, I'd say it's expected to be about equal going forward.

Goals per 60 minutes:

Connollyhuseliusg60_large

Here Huselius gets the clear edge, both looking back and likely going forward. Not much else to say here.

Points per 60 minutes:

Connollyhuseliusp60_large

Much like shots, while Huselius has the historical edge, point production for both him and Connolly have been relatively similar over the last several hundred games. Quality of linemates may play a large role in which outperforms the other going forward.

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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