Production by Top 6 Wingers: How Do the Leafs Stack Up?

1169
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

During my interview with Scott Gordon, the Leafs assistant coach said something that caught my attention when he noted: “This year our top six is [made up of] guys who have had pretty good track records of scoring goals.”

The injury to Joffrey Lupul for the majority of the shortened season really put the lineup out of whack. As Grabovski played a shutdown role, the Leafs second scoring line was basically MacArthur-Kadri-Frattin for quite some time until Lupul returned and the line turned into Lupul-Kadri-Kulemin, a unit which no doubt did some serious damage.

This summer the Leafs threw big money at David Clarkson to round out the top six forwards while adding some jam to the group, and it’s pretty safe to say the Leafs top six wingers will be Kessel, JVR, Lupul and Clarkson to start the season.

I thought it was interesting of the Leafs to allocate so much cap space to the wings and for Gordon to then bring up their track record with us at MLHS. With that, I wanted to see how the Leafs stacked up against teams across the league. Here are the results based on the 2011-12 and 2013 seasons (max GP/player within these parameters is 130):

TeamsTop Six WingersGoals/Points/GamesTotal GoalsTotal PointsGamesPPGTotal Cap Hit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
PittsburghNeal61/117/1201793955100.77$14,600,000
Kunitz48/113/134
Dupuis45/97/134
Jokinen25/68/122
BostonEriksson38/100/1341633795080.75$20,750,000
Lucic33/88/127
Marchand46/91/121
Iginla46/100/126
ChicagoKane46/121/1291493654710.77$23,775,000
Hossa46/108/121
Sharp39/89/102
Bickell18/47/119
New JerseyElias40/114/1291463644910.74$17,850,000
Jagr35/89/118
Clowe20/64/116
Ryder51/97/128
WinnipegWheeler36/105/1281613544970.71$18,250,000
Kane47/90/122
Ladd46/96/130
Setogouchi32/63/117
TorontoKessel57/134/1301673454310.8$20,150,000
JVR29/56/91
Lupul36/85/82
Clarkson45/70/128
EdmontonHall43/103/1061433394440.76$20,812,500
Eberle50/113/126
Perron31/67/105
Hemsky19/56/107
CapitalsOvechkin70/121/1261513374850.69$17,705,129
Johansson20/68/114Johansson RFA
Brouwer37/66/129
Erat24/82/116
DallasBenn28/96/1121243364590.73$17,500,000
Whitney35/106/114
Cole44/74/129
Peverley17/60/104
ColoradoTanguay24/76/1041153304600.72$16,075,000
O'Reilly24/75/110
Parenteau36/110/128
Landeskog31/69/118
FlyersHartnell45/78/1141633254880.67$13,875,000
Simmonds43/81/127
Voracek40/95/126
Read35/71/121
DetroitZetterberg33/117/1281313244970.65$17,337,878
Alfredsson37/85/122
Franzen43/87/118
Abdelkader18/35/129
Tampa BaySt. Louis42/134/1251103103840.81$15,500,000
Purcell35/101/129
Malone26/56/92
Killorn7/19/38
MinnesotaParise49/107/1301363024140.73$20,518,462
Heatley35/74/118
Pominville44/107/129
Coyle8/14/37
NYRNash51/101/1261443004670.64$15,625,000
Callahan45/85/121
Hagelin24/62/112
Pouliot24/52/108
San JoseMarleau47/95/1301362884890.59$18,660,000
Burns20/57/111
Torres22/44/118
Pavelski47/92/130
CalgaryCammalleri33/73/1101322844480.63$15,050,000
Hudler35/77/123
Stempniak23/60/108
Glencross41/74/107
CarolinaSemin34/98/1211192834330.65$19,075,000
Tlutsy40/74/127
Ruutu22/43/99
Skinner23/68/86
VancouverSedin42/107/1191312824490.63$16,200,000
Burrows41/76/127
Booth17/33/74
Hansen26/66/129
OttawaRyan42/87/1281342804700.6$13,500,000
Michalek39/74/100
MacArthur28/63/113
Greening25/56/129
NYIMoulson51/113/1291322774590.6$10,933,333
Bouchard17/42/80
Okposo28/69/127
Grabner36/53/123
KingsBrown40/83/1281352704420.61$12,585,227
Williams33/92/130
Carter47/67/103
Frattin15/28/81
ColumbusGaborik53/103/1291232694490.6$21,600,000
Umberger28/58/125
Dubinsky12/54/106
Horton30/54/89
PhoenixVrbata47/90/1111232654860.55$10,800,000
Doan35/77/127Boedker RFA
Boedker18/50/130
Korpikowski23/48/118
MontrealPacioretty48/104/1231172574090.63$16,833,333
Briere22/65/104
Gionta22/41/79
Bourque25/47/103
BuffaloVanek46/102/1161072464160.59$18,455,357
Stafford26/48/126
Leino10/31/79
Ennis25/65/95
FloridaFleischman39/96/1301032443860.63$15,094,167
Versteeg25/58/81
Kopecky25/59/127
Huberdeau14/31/48
NashvilleStalberg31/66/1261022254350.52$11,250,000
Hornqvist31/57/100
Wilson22/54/93
Smith18/48/116
St. LouisSteen23/55/83902143580.6$12,854,167
Oshie26/74/110
Stewart33/66/127
Tarasenko8/19/38
AnaheimPerry52/96/124851743300.53$12,991,667
Palmieri14/28/60
Silfverberg10/19/48
Penner9/31/98

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Note: Not every team has a clear cut group of top six wingers. If I wasn’t sure about who to fill out the group with, the general rule of thumb I went by was taking the next highest scoring winger on the team; to me, that best indicates the fire power a team has. For example, with Pittsburgh I’m betting Beau Bennett eventually claims the final top six winger spot, but going into camp that spot is up for grabs between a bunch of players such as Bennett, Matt D’Agostini and Jussi Jokinen (yes, I realize he played mainly center in Pittsburgh, but he can do both). I wrote in Jokinen since he was the highest scorer. Even for the teams where I’m fairly confident about the composition of their top six wingers — like Yakupov in Edmonton over Hemsky — I stuck with the guy who has more points to better represent the scoring prowess of teams across the league.

Quick thoughts:

– First thought: If the Bolland line is the excellent shutdown unit the Leafs seem to think it can be, the Leafs should win enough games. They have good goaltending and can clearly score, so they should be in good shape if they have those two things and an excellent shutdown line to complement them. That seems to be the plan.

– The Leafs’ 0.80 PPG ranks them second to only Tampa Bay’s 0.81 in scoring by top 6 wingers. Their $20,150,000 allocated to their top 6 wingers is sixth most league wide. Their 167 goals stand second to only Pittsburgh.

– Would be nice if Lupul could stay healthy. He’s missed 48 of the last 130 games.

– Kessel is unbelievable. If you didn’t catch this stat, he is tied with Martin St. Louis for the most points by a winger over the last two years.

– You can see why the Ducks want Teemu Selanne back.

– New Jersey probably surprised quite a few people with their ranking. Their top six is old, but they still know how to score. The Devils have a strong one-two punch down the middle with Zajac and Henrique, plus they have Schneider now. I believe they will be better than people think.

– Winnipeg’s problem is goaltending, but most people have known this for a while.

– For one reason or another, I thought Ottawa would be higher. Ryan is a big name, MacArthur is a decent scorer and Michalek has been good when healthy, but who the final top six winger will be is unknown. Michalek hasn’t been able to stay healthy either which has hurt them.

– Not that it’s all the current GM’s fault, but Columbus sure spends a lot of money on subpar(?) production from their top six wingers.

– Even though the top three teams on this chart are elite, I don’t necessarily believe there is a strong correlation between having a high scoring group of wingers and winning. That said, it’s nice to see those teams rank well because the Leafs are clearly putting their eggs in this basket.

  • MaxwellHowe

    I like the mixed skill set of the top 6 Leaf wingers.  You got the speedster and sniper in Kessel, the hands and timing in Lupul, the size and determination in JVR, and the strength tenacity in Clarkson.  Thats a wide range of styles for an opponent to cope with.  Throw in Kadri’s puckhandling and Bozak’s… uh… OK I’m done.  Anyway, Leafs are gonna score some goals this winter.

  • daniel marois

    Agreed.  Leafs should get good production again out of JVR and Kessel on the wings.  With Lupul, it all comes down to health but he has proven to be a PPG type player.  Clarkson? Well, safe to say jury is out on him.  Not sure who on the Marlies could possibly crack the top-six so this is the group they are counting on. It’s production from the bottom six that will swing the tide with winning games.

  • Great Dane

    Anthony – excellent work. 
    Could you please make the same for centers, then we would a very good idea about where we are.

  • daniel marois

    Again, I think centre is where we are weak.  Unless Bolland can fill a second line scoring role if Kadri or Bozak go down with injuries.

  • Burtonboy

    Isn’t it amazing the Leafs wingers do so well in goal scoring yet they are an absolutely pathetic possession team who spends way to much time in their own end. Has to be luck . There is no other answer. What would they do if that improve their team Corsi even just a little. :)))

  • Great Dane

    Quick look at Kadri and Bozak (not included kadri 11-12):
    Total 122 point; 170 games; 0.7 ppg;  prize 6.5 – 8.0 mill.
    And then we have to hope that Bozak 0.6 ppg will compensated by continuing to have at Kadri’s 0.9 ppg

  • 4evrblue

    daniel marois Colborne could possibly fill that role on an injury basis. Maybe full time in the future.

  • Dink

    Huh

  • 4evrblue

    https://twitter.com/dchesnokov

    https://twitter.com/dchesnokov/status/371963708773113857

    Kovalchuk on NHL return: “I
    didn’t forget about the Stanley Cup. It is still a goal. I’m only 30 and
    everything is ahead of me.” (RIAN)

  • Burtonboy

    4evrblue Neat way to get out of one of the worse cap circumvention contracts ever

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe Bozak has the flow

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks, How’s things ?

  • 4evrblue

    Burtonboy 4evrblue I can’t help but laugh at it all BB. They’re making a mockery of things right now.

  • 4evrblue

    Mind Bomb Mornin MB

  • MaxwellHowe

    Loric76 MaxwellHowe And the hair, can’t forget the hair

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy they’d lose

  • Loric76

    Mind Bomb morning

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Bonjers

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe Loric76 that’s what I meant.  Flow = hair

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 MaxwellHowe He cut it all off lol

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Loric76 MaxwellHowe lol ok he’s crap then

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy Several Leaf forwards do have a crazy high shooting percentage.  Too many chalk that up to luck.  Watch Lupul’s goals from last year and it doesn’t seem like luck to me.

  • 4evrblue

    Burtonboy Loric76 MaxwellHowe so now all he has is a fat pay cheque?

  • MaxwellHowe

    4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 MaxwellHowe uh, he scores on shootouts, so thats something.

  • 4evrblue

    MaxwellHowe 4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 its a waste though as nobody else ever scores on shootouts lol

  • Loric76

    So I checked my twitter feed this morning and the first tweet I see is from our very own mORRganRielly:https://twitter.com/mORRganRiellyhttps://twitter.com/mORRganRielly/status/371967792452354048
    The last time I saw an ass that saggy, that flat, I went to the wrong porn site. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LemonParty&src=hash

    Scrolled down to see what it was about but couldn’t find another tweet from him…wth lol

  • Burtonboy

    4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 MaxwellHowe Fuck it . I’m firmly in Bozak’s corner now . Love cheering for the underdog. :))))))

  • Loric76

    mORRganRielly an nevermind, he’s talking about Miley Cyrus…nothing to see here, going back to sleep

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe 4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 ya once :)

  • 4evrblue

    Burtonboy 4evrblue Loric76 MaxwellHowe We should all get in his corner, he’s a leaf and that contract is untradable so we need to get comfortable watching him in blue and white. GO BOZAK YOU LITTLE FUCKER GO!!!!!!! lol

  • Loric76

    Burke’s doing an interview somewhere about US Olympic Hockey, lots of quote tweets going by atm

  • MaxwellHowe

    4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 MaxwellHowe I hold out hope he really breaks out this year and proves his critics, including me, are just assholes.

  • Loric76

    “According to reports, the seven year old received a six-year free-agent contract from the Flyers moments after the fight …”

    lol

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe 4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 so proof or no proof we’re assholes either way then

  • 4evrblue

    MaxwellHowe 4evrblue Burtonboy Loric76 well he was on a 50pt pace, I’ll give him that. It’s not exactly 1st line centre production but if he could land in the 60-65pt range he would definitely shut people the fuck up. I haven’t been trash talking him very much since he signed because as a group our top 6 can score and he is on the lower end of the pay scale as a top 6 guy so that opens up money to be spent elsewhere.

  • Loric76

    4evrblue MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Loric76 yup.  In all honesty I never was all that against the signing.  I’m not crazy about it either, but it is what it is.  He’s a good player that’s on the low end (performance wise) of the role he’s been shoved into.

  • 4evrblue

    Loric76 4evrblue MaxwellHowe Burtonboy There in lies the problem. I wasn’t against signing him, I was against signing him to fill the role he is continuing to fill. I would have loved him at Bollands price to play the 3rd line, I think he can bring good defense with better offense than Bolland. It would have been really nice to see a line of Kulemin Bozak McClement as our 3rd line IMO

  • Savo43

    All things considered, of this list the Leafs wingers have had the least experienced and least talented centers for their wingers perhaps on the list. You gotta believe that Kessel, Lupul, JVR and Clarkson are even higher than the .80 clip with centers like Crosby, Malkin, Toews, Stamkos, Kane, etc. we could possibly have the best wings in the game when theyre healthy and at their best.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Savo43 Of course, like everyone I want to Kadri signed, but a hold out would likely mean Colborne gets real quality ice time. I would like to see that.  He is due to come into his own.

  • Dan39

    Bozie sucks at defense, so I don’t think he is well suited to centre the shutdown line but he could in future swap roles with Kadri and he would be in more or less the right spot at 2C.

  • Cameron19

    Pavelec wasn’t good last year, but to say goaltending is their problem is grossly inaccurate.  Team defense is a far, far bigger concern for them.

  • Cameron19

    Also, the reason why the Devils are surprising is because you have Elias out of position.  Henrique was not in their top six last season, as Elias was at center.  He’s mostly been center the last two seasons. -Otherwise, great stuff.  I love charts like this.

  • Cameron19

    Burtonboy 4evrblue So he’ll be back at 34?

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19 Burtonboy 4evrblue Yep …with the Devils too I bet

  • zombie27

    Cameron19 Burtonboy 4evrblue would he return to the current year in his contract? if not, he should

  • Cameron19

    zombie27 Cameron19 Burtonboy 4evrblue No, that contract is void.

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 zombie27 Burtonboy 4evrblue Wow I go on Vaca for a week and Kovi is coming Back ? How can that be allowed ?

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    4evrblue Who?

  • Leafs rule

    Mind Bomb Cameron19 zombie27 Burtonboy 4evrblue U snozze we lose ?

  • SkinnyPPPhish

    I think you’re numbers are skewed a bit by the inclusion of Clarkson who received more PPTOI/G than even Kessel. His PPTOI is sure to take a drastic plunge because he’s no longer the go to scoring winger and I’d wager his PPGs follow suit.