DavidDesharnais


Why has Desharnais been such a disappointment?

David Desharnais shocked the hockey world on Tuesday night when he registered two assists. Not just because he picked up those points, but because it was the first time in 31 games, including playoffs, that Desharnais had a multi-point game.

 

Desharnais has fallen from grace recently faster than any player not named Dany Heatley. The undrafted centre is only two seasons removed from a 60-point campaign, but is on pace for just 12 points this year. And those two points on Tuesday night helped immensely in boosting his projected points this year.

 

What are the reasons for the quick fall of the Montreal Canadiens centre? It’s important when looking at Desharnais and what people expected of him that we look at the last three seasons to get a full understanding of what has happened.

 

Let’s start by looking at his most frequent linemates this year.

 

2013-14 season

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

11.61%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 32 MOEN,TRAVIS

11.61%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 71 LEBLANC,LOUIS

10.35%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

7.84%

EV

49 BOURNIVAL,MICHAEL - 17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID

7.14%

EV

48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

4.71%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID

4.39%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 8 PRUST,BRANDON

4.08%

EV

48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 8 PRUST,BRANDON

3.84%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 21 GIONTA,BRIAN

3.61%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 11 GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

2.67%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 32 MOEN,TRAVIS - 53 WHITE,RYAN

2.51%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID

2.35%

PP

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID

 

Desharnais has bounced around the lineup more than a souped-up low rider.  He’s been paired frequently with fellow underachieving teammate Rene Bourque. However, a name almost absent from this list is Max Pacioretty. DD has only seen Pacioretty as his linemate for 26.7 per cent of his shifts this year.

 

2012-13 season

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

39.82%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 11 GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

12.28%

EV

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

6.9%

PP

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 11 GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

5.58%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 73 GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

4.55%

EV

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 81 ELLER,LARS

3.44%

PP

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

2.38%

EV

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 8 PRUST,BRANDON

2.26%

EV

17 BOURQUE,RENE - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

1.83%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

 

Last season saw a big change in consistent linemates. Pacioretty shows up on almost every frequent line combination.  Overall, 79.7 per cent of Desharnais shifts had MaxPac flanking him.

 

2011-12 season

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

50.18%

EV

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

7.65%

PP

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

6.48%

EV

13 CAMMALLERI,MIKE - 72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID

3.08%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 46 KOSTITSYN,ANDREI - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

2.13%

PP

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX - 14 PLEKANEC,TOMAS

1.74%

EV

72 COLE,ERIK - 51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID

1.49%

EV

51 DESHARNAIS,DAVID - 67 PACIORETTY,MAX

 

In his career season in 2011-12, Desharnais played with Pacorietty 74.0 per cent of the time. Knowing how much they’ve played together goes a long way when looking at Desharnais’ point production.

 

Point production for 2013-14

 

Total Points for David Desharnais : 3

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - PACIORETTY,MAX

2

66.67%

EV

BOURQUE,RENE - BRIERE,DANIEL - DESHARNAIS,DAVID

1

33.33%

 

Point production for 2012-13

 

Total Points for David Desharnais : 27

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - PACIORETTY,MAX

13

48.15%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX

3

11.11%

PP

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX

2

7.41%

PP

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - PACIORETTY,MAX

2

7.41%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX - PRUST,BRANDON

1

3.7%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GALLAGHER,BRENDAN - PACIORETTY,MAX

1

3.7%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - ELLER,LARS

1

3.7%

PP

BOURQUE,RENE - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX

1

3.7%

PP

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - ELLER,LARS

1

3.7%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - DUMONT,GABRIEL - PACIORETTY,MAX

1

3.7%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GIONTA,BRIAN - RYDER,MICHAEL

1

3.7%

 

Point production for 2011-12

 

Total Points for David Desharnais : 60

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX

20

33.33%

PP

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX

14

23.33%

EV

CAMMALLERI,MIKE - COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID

5

8.33%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX - PLEKANEC,TOMAS

3

5%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - KOSTITSYN,ANDREI - PACIORETTY,MAX

2

3.33%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID

2

3.33%

PP

CAMMALLERI,MIKE - COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID

1

1.67%

PP

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PLEKANEC,TOMAS

1

1.67%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DARCHE,MATHIEU - DESHARNAIS,DAVID

1

1.67%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - MOEN,TRAVIS

1

1.67%

PP

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX - PLEKANEC,TOMAS

1

1.67%

EV

CAMMALLERI,MIKE - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - KOSTITSYN,ANDREI

1

1.67%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - LEBLANC,LOUIS - PACIORETTY,MAX

1

1.67%

PP

CAMMALLERI,MIKE - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - KOSTITSYN,ANDREI - PLEKANEC,TOMAS

1

1.67%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX - WHITE,RYAN

1

1.67%

EV

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GEOFFRION,BLAKE

1

1.67%

PP

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX - PLEKANEC,TOMAS

1

1.67%

EV

BOURQUE,RENE - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - GOMEZ,SCOTT

1

1.67%

EV

DESHARNAIS,DAVID - PACIORETTY,MAX

1

1.67%

PP

COLE,ERIK - DESHARNAIS,DAVID - KOSTITSYN,ANDREI

1

1.67%

 

Looking at these numbers, there are two main concerns with Desharnais’ production:

 

1) Desharnais depends a lot on Pacoretty. As shown above, 70 of Desharnais’ 90 points over the past three seasons have come with MaxPac on the ice. It’s great that they have chemistry, but when a coach needs to split the duo up, or when Pacioretty is injured, it means DD is not going to deliver. And that’s a big problem when a coach needs to shuffle his lines.

 

2) As he struggles to score, Desharnais is quickly getting passed by the younger centres who are performing. Lars Eller has had a hot start to the season. Alex Galchenyuk hasn’t played a lot at centre but is projected to be the superstar of the future at that position. And with Plekanec already established as a top-six centre, that pushes Desharnais down to the bottom six. That doesn’t bode well for his future, and makes it harder for Desharnais to put up points.

 

This is reflected in Desharnais’ ice time: He went from an average of 18:23 TOI two years ago to 16:27 last year to 15:17 this year. His power play ice time has also seen a big dip, going from 3:17 a game in 2011-12 to 2:53 last year to 1:36 this season.

 

And Desharnais needs to get points, because he doesn’t contribute anything else to his hockey team or your fantasy squad: Desharnais doesn’t hit (just four in 20 games so far this year), doesn’t get you penalty minutes (just six pims) and doesn’t block a lot of shots (just 13 this year).

 

Desharnais is also not great in faceoffs. He’s at 50 per cent this year. Last year, he was 50 per cent. The two years before that were 49.5 and 49.7 per cent.

 

Desharnais isn’t a goal scorer — he averages a goal once every six games — despite having some decent shooting percentages. His shooting percentage for the previous three years combined was 15.5 per cent, but he only took 219 shots in 172 games, good for 1.27 shots per game. This year, he’s only taken 22 shots in 20 games, for a paltry 1.1 shots per game, and has zero goals to show for it.

 

So if Desharnais is not getting you points, he’s not getting you anything.

 

There is one final point that gets neglected when you look at Desharnais’ career season two years ago. Erik Cole had a big influence on Desharnais. Cole was on the ice for 51 of Desharnais’ 60 points in 2011-12. Since Cole was traded to Dallas last year, Desharnais has managed only 21 points in 49 games (not including playoffs).

 

Maybe the chemistry didn’t come from Desharnais and Pacioretty. Maybe the real chemistry was between Desharnais and Cole.

 

Remember, in that great season, every thing went right for Desharnais: Hot linemates having a career year; an injury to Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez having a horrific season which opened up spots in the top six; and the Canadiens being really bad in the standings and losing a lot of games (meaning the top offensive line was on the ice late in games as opposed to defensive players used to protect a lead).  All of these factors led to more TOI, PP time and offensive opportunities for Desharnais.

 

Desharnais’ two-point effort on Tuesday night was an anomaly for the Montreal forward, and he should be avoided in all types of leagues except for the very deepest of fantasy leagues.  

 

Previously in Frozen Pool Forensics:

 

Nail Yakupov

Brad Marchand


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Comments (6)add comment

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... Thanks for the comments everyone. As mentioned, I don't choose the photo. However, it reminds me of Katniss in the Hunger Games for some reason, as it looks like he has a bow and arrow.

@mojavedesert: It's funny you mention faceoffs, because I remember earlier this year being impressed that he had improved his faceoff skills so much over the summer. Was shocked how much he dropped when I looked it up for the article.
November 23, 2013
Votes: +0

MolsonX said:

MolsonX
... LOLOLOL - Guys, in Tom's defense, he doesn't post the photos for these articles. Regardless, that picture is priceless.

@Gabor and mojave - great comments, thanks for the laugh.


Tom - nice article. Great breakdown of Desharnais' historical dependence on Cole and MaxPac.


Cheers.
November 22, 2013
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
FOW cont'd... Somehow my comment was cut off, but to continue:

...with most nights seeing him win fewer than 50% of faceoffs, including tonight's game which saw him win 29% of his faceoffs.
November 22, 2013
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
FOW Desharnais had an impressive faceoff record prior to his benching earlier in November. Since that time his faceoff acumen has sunk tremendously, with most nights seeing him win
November 22, 2013
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
... 100% agree with Gabor. Nobody wants to repeatedly see Desharnais trying to launch himself into the upper deck by the power of flatulence. New picture please.
November 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Gaborlick said:

Gaborlick
Picture For the love of all that is holy, stop using that picture of him!
November 22, 2013
Votes: +1
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