stafford

 

Forensics - Drew Stafford - After getting through high-school math I never thought I would have to deal with charts, graphs, and percentages again. Then along came Frozen Pool and that all changed. At least this time it's for something I'm actually interested in and can analyze with a goal in mind.

 

Drew Stafford had a breakthrough season last year by scoring 31 goals and 52 points, while finishing at plus-13 in just 62 games. If you project that out for a full 82 games that turns into a 69 point campaign.

 

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

Pace

+/-

PIM

Shots

GW

PPG

PPP

SHG

SHP

%PP

%SH

%TOI

62

31

21

52

0.84

69

13

34

179

5

11

19

0

0

52.3

5.8

27.2

 

 

This year however is a different story, as he is currently on pace to register just 39 points and sits at a minus-6. Which actually makes perfect sense considering I drafted him this year. There seems to be a unique correlation between players I draft, and a decrease in their production.

 

At a $4,000,000 cap hit, the Sabres aren't getting much for their investment. Currently their are 44 players in the NHL that are making between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000 million a season, and Stafford ranks 27th on that list in points per game at 0.48.

 

My touch of death not withstanding, there are other factors at play here for Stafford. The main issue for the Sabres right winger is who he played with last year as opposed to this year. Here are his even strength line combinations and productions from Frozen Pool for the 2010-11 season:

 

Even Strength Line Combinations

Freq

Line Combination

25.3%

BOYES,B - ENNIS,T - STAFFORD,D

23.7%

ROY,D - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

21.2%

CONNOLLY,T - ENNIS,T - STAFFORD,D

21.1%

ENNIS,T - HECHT,J - STAFFORD,D

8.6%

HECHT,J - POMINVILLE,J - STAFFORD,D

 

 

Note his ice-time with Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly. Stafford played with either Vanek or Connolly 44.9% of the time. Now look at his power play line frequency from last season:

 

 

Power Play Line Combinations

Freq

Line Combination

34.3%

CONNOLLY,T - POMINVILLE,J - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

19.8%

CONNOLLY,T - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

17.6%

CONNOLLY,T - GAUSTAD,P - STAFFORD,D

17.4%

POMINVILLE,J - ROY,D - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

11%

ENNIS,T - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

 

 

This is even more telling, as all of Stafford's power play time was with either Vanek or Connolly, and 51.1% was with the two of them together. In fact 19 of his points last year came with the man advantage and 41 of his 52 total points came while playing with either Vanek or Connolly.

 

Let's jump to Stafford's struggles this season. Connolly is now gone to Toronto, and his ice-time with Vanek in 2011-12 has decreased significantly.

 

 

Even Strength Line Combinations

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

20.11%

EV

23 LEINO,VILLE - 9 ROY,DEREK - 21 STAFFORD,DREW

17.44%

EV

42 GERBE,NATHAN - 9 ROY,DEREK - 21 STAFFORD,DREW

14.63%

EV

63 ENNIS,TYLER - 9 ROY,DEREK - 21 STAFFORD,DREW

12.87%

EV

22 BOYES,BRAD - 23 LEINO,VILLE - 21 STAFFORD,DREW

3.44%

EV

22 BOYES,BRAD - 9 ROY,DEREK - 21 STAFFORD,DREW

3.07%

EV

72 ADAM,LUKE - 23 LEINO,VILLE - 21 STAFFORD,DREW

1.9%

EV

9 ROY,DEREK - 21 STAFFORD,DREW - 26 VANEK,THOMAS

 

 

Power Play Line Combinations

Freq

Line Combination

42.8%

POMINVILLE,J - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

18.4%

ADAM,L - LEINO,V - STAFFORD,D

17.4%

POMINVILLE,J - ROY,D - STAFFORD,D - VANEK,T

11.8%

LEINO,V - ROY,D - STAFFORD,D

9.5%

GERBE,N - ROY,D - STAFFORD,D

 

Stafford is still getting some power play time with Vanek, but you can see the two of them are playing on a line together less than 2% of the time in even strength situations. That translates into a more than 20% drop from last year. What has replaced this is over 35% of even strength ice-time for Stafford with Ville Leino. And with Leino's play this season, that's the equivalent of trading in a Porsche for a wood-panelled station wagon.

 

Now there are certainly other factors involved in Stafford's low production as well. The Sabres as a whole have performed well below expectations so far and that can typically affect a player's production. Derek Roy missed substantial time last season and that no doubt contributed to Stafford receiving increased minutes and opportunities in key situations.

 

At just 26 years of age, Stafford still has time to turn it around and become a consistent pro. Unfortunately probably not in time to add anything to my fantasy squad for this season. Unless Brian Burke acquires Stafford and Vanek in order to reunite them with Connolly. A guy can dream can't he?

 


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Comments (2)add comment

Robert Esquire said:

bullwinkle
Personal Problems Stafford has admitted to personal issues this season which affected his performance. Details were not revealed.
January 31, 2012
Votes: +0

OILSLICK said:

OILSLICK
Hudler or Stafford Do I waive this struggling guy (30 goal man last year!!!) so frustrating or do I dump Hudler....and wait it out some more with Stafford.

15 team league, getting Sharp back tonight need to make room,

Thanks
January 31, 2012
Votes: +0
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