Current love of Coach Bruces life Matt Beleskey vs the wrecking ball that is Devante Smith-Motherfucking-Pelly (may be actual name?) is an interesting debate as the entire ducks fandom has give up on ever having a half-way decent second line, particularly after giving away the brilliant superstar winger that once made his abode there.
Firstly, Steckel is awesome…. but i digress. Bleskey appears to help his line mates produce more shots to the opposition, creating a "chemistry" like environment where the sum of the parts are better than each of the parts individually. DSP does not have this effect and is somewhat of an anchor. Perhaps this is just his youth speaking and he would/will improve with more game time, or perhaps he sucks the life out of the offence and can't hold onto the puck. That DSP has played a lot with WinCo (generally good at fetching puck) suggests that he really might just suck at this part of the game. Beleskey however seems to thrive in this role. Perhaps he is a good puck hound and can play an able role in the offence?
|Together||Beleskey apart||Teammate apart|
|Together||DSP apart||Teammate apart|
Secondly, who do these majestic players compete against. The table below is a sample of the that found on Hockey analysis, with both players having more players against. The first thing you should notice (aside from the tiny minutes and thus small sample size) is that Beleskey has a lot more players on his, and his minutes have been spread out against many different opponents. Largely speaking, those opponents are not recognised top 6 talent. Bels pretty much destroys his competition (if you like using corsi that way) when pitted against lesser talent, but gets more or less torched when playing against better players. I guess to me the take home message is that Beleskey is a good at playing against bottom 6 talent - that he mostly plays with Selanne probably doesn't hurt. However it seems that Beleskey shoots the puck more, and takes a more active role against better players…. which doesn't seem to work in his favour considering CF%'s. It could be a failing of his line, or it could be Bels trying to do more than he should…. someone else's problem to answer!!
DSP on the other hand plays the bulk of his minutes against elite talent (makes sense considering he was mostly used with WinCo)… and comparatively plays a lot of minutes against them when pitted against Beleskeys spread out minutes. When using corsi he doesn't seem to come out on top of any of these exchanges and he does seem to do his better work against "lesser" competition - he shoots more and is a little stronger in the CF% mould.
So the question is, is why does coach use these players so differently? Both players should be used in a bottom 6 role right now, which we can see that Beleskey excels in. We have no idea what DSP will be like since he has been thrown to the wolves against some of the leagues elite talent and stronger teams (you'll find minutes against Malkin on his list as well). Seems to me that DSP has been given the rough end of the stick in a lot of regards. He doesn't have the chemistry that Beleskey has with Selanne and MP22 (who cares they don't score much), but he has contributed an equal number of goals (sad face, its only one!) and doubled Beleskeys point total (and is 5 up, on bels +/-) despite taking a lot less shots at goal. He's also taken less penalties if that means anything to you. One has to wonder why a good coach would give the "veteran" "easier" opponents, although his chemistry with our "2C" and mainstay 2RW helps his cause. My thinking is that Coach is using beleskey with those two and against lesser players to try and get Selanne and MP going again, before Silver surfer comes back. However why he used a inexperienced young player against the leagues toughest opposition with two of our best checkers…. blows my freaking mind. I got nothing. talk about throwing a kid to the wolves and crushing his offensive development.
Anyway the simpsons has just come on…. discuss