Desharnais, Cole and Pacioretty: What Might We Expect From Them Next Season?

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April 5, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Erik Cole (72) against the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in the shoot out. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

One of the lone bright points of the 2011-12 season for Habs fans was how the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole line performed. The trio played upwards of 70% of their 5 on 5 shifts together, collectively producing 84 goals, 66 at 5 on 5 play. As a line that averages to 28 goals a piece, 22 at even strength.

To compare this to the rest of the league I made a list of the lines that comprised their teams top even strength goal scorers and played about 45%+ of each player’s even strength their even strength shifts together. The even strength goals and total goals of each 3 man forward unit was put together under the name of the line’s top scorer. This method largely eliminated any players that played less than ~65 games last season and tended to only included those playing a full (70+ games) season. Games lost and different circumstances makes this useless as an absolute ranking but it should give a ballpark idea of where good primary scoring units clock in at.

Even Strength

ES + Powerplay

Stamkos

85

109

Malkin

80

116

Pacioretty

66

84

E Kane

66

72

Eriksson

63

77

Spezza

61

85

Bergeron

61

76

Zetterberg

61

69

Sedin

59

72

Tavares

58

85

Kessel

58

80

Kovalchuk

57

74

Thornton

56

78

Perry

55

76

Giroux

54

84

Iginla

49

67

Fleischmann

49

58

Erat

47

58

Pomminville

46

70

Whitney

46

66

Kopitar

40

66

Finally there are the lagging seven, either stars having disappointing seasons (Kopitar) or lesser talented groups that are their teams top offensive group (Fisher, Weiss)The twenty lines fall into three continuous groups on even strength. Firstly, the two even strength superstar driven units with Malkin and Stamkos. They get around a goal per game (~82) on even strength. Next is the pack of twelve lines all around 60 goals scored. Basically 3 goals per 4 games. This is where a large portion of the league’s top forward talent resides and most of these 3 man units contain at least one recognizably star player (e.g. Zetterberg) or at least 2 obvious “1st line talents,” (Bergeron+Seguin, Riberio+Eriksson).

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Topics: 2012 NHL Off-season, David Desharnias, Erik Cole, Fancy Stats, Habs, Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens, NHL First Lines, Tomas Plekanec

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  • DP222

    why wasn’t Desharnais’ name listed? He is the centerman for that line.

    • Stephan Cooper

      There was a typo from a previous draft left in (now corrected). Its now listed by top even strength point scorer. That did a better job of showing at glance what line we we’re talking about.