Sbisa: the Squeak of the Anaheim Ducks?

Disclaimer: This is all Daniels and Thymes fault for making me think, and look stuff up. Bastards. Also its rambling and has no answers, so dont expect any.

The age old problem of good versus evil has shown many faces: god vs satan, Dracula vs van helsing, bart vs skinner etc. etc. The new challengers of the battle royale.....

Sbisa vs Allen

Debating the virtues of Luca Sbisa and Bryan Allen seems somewhat like picking the best of two evils, yet its something that Daniel and I have discussed most recently. Because Daniel challenges me, ive been forced to actually go look at stats and stuff to make sure im not losing my mind, and see if im actually pushing shit up hill. So in my half-arsed manner....

This season it seems that the young upstart has played more even strength minutes than old veteran to the tune of 0.25 (TOI/60 according to behind the net). One assumes this is due to his offensive capabilities as the GF/60 for him was 2.38 which was good for 4th of all our defencemen, behind our top pairing (beauch and Souray), and the Rev. However Sbisa himself delivered very little putting up a mere .44 P/60, at a 0.19 PPG clip. This however had Allen beat as the offence stagnated while Allen was on the ice GF/60 dropped to 2.06. a full third of a goal per game (0.32 difference). Surprisingly, Allen pushed a high point total overall (and thus P/60 = 0.54).

The defensive game however is Allens world, and did he hold up his end of the bargain? Well Allen may have had lower minutes and faced a less QoC (for what thats worth), yet his Corsi relative to his competition level was far better comparatively to Sbisa’s, at -0.231 and -0.569 respectively (good for 3rd and 7th on the team). In addition Allen held a GA/60 number of 1.97 per game (making him 0.09 in the positive on the season), with a 929 on-ice SV%. For what its worth he was a +4.

Despite the increase in scoring while Sbisa was on the ice, goals allowed also went up. His GA/60 (2.46) was the worst on the team by 0.41 of a goal a game, and actually cancelled out his offensive output by 0.08 (very near the total Allen improved by). The argument can certainly be made that Sbisa faced a better competition, however he didn’t perform against them so who really cares?

Basically im calling this season a wash between the two (at even strength at least).

Sbisa Games TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC GF/60 GA/60 P/60 on/SH% on/SV% BF/60 Zone start Zone Finish Shots Shots per game SH% plus minus GF/GA differential
2010-2011 68 13.68 -0.781 1.48 2.45 0.52 5.84 926 15.9 56.2 48 76 1.11 2.6 -11 -0.97
2011-2012 80 15.13 -0.288 2.25 2.47 0.89 8.17 916 13.4 52 49.5 88 1.1 5.7 -5 -0.22
2012-2013 41 16.62 -569 2.38 2.46 0.44 9.51 903 16.1 50.4 49.3 39 0.95 2.6 0 -0.08

Allen Games TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC GF/60 GA/60 P/60 on/SH% on/SV% BF/60 Zone start Zone Finish Shots Shots per game SH% plus minus GF/GA differential
2010-2011 19 15.65 0.594 2.77 2.98 0.85 9.24 912 15 45.3 51.3 8 0.42 0 4 -0.21
2011-2012 82 16.27 1.014 2.11 2.43 0.58 7.94 921 16.8 40.3 46.5 87 1.06 1.1 -1 -0.32
2012-2013 41 16.37 -0.231 2.06 1.97 0.54 8.52 929 15.9 49.1 45.4 25 0.6 0 1 0.09

So assuming Murray keeps both around what can we expect next season? I looked at the last 3 seasons to get an idea of improvement or an atrophy of skill.

Interestingly both players increased the number of minutes they played this season. This was a curiosity for me since i assumed that allen was firmly entrenched in the top 4 elsewhere, perhaps his minutes came from the PK?

Offensively Sbisa, has improved every year in the past 3 (at least in terms of facilitating the offence). His on-ice SH% and GF/60 have improved incrementally each year. For a supposed 2-way defenceman this is bloody brilliant, perhaps this is the potential i keep hearing about but never notice. Interestingly his shots per game, and points per game are the lowest in the past 3 years, perhaps hes catching a case of the Fowlers and no longer wants to shoot? Alterntively his on-ice SV% has dropped equally with his rise in SH%, and his GA/60 has remained on average of 2.46/60 minutes (exactly what it was this year). So sbisa in the past 3 years is giving up the same number of goals per game, he hasn’t gotten any better at defence, his primary job role. Im particular the SV% while he is on the ice has dropped year to year, which fits with qualitative evidence that hes getting beat and giving up easy shots.

Allen is almost a mirror image to Sbisa. His GF have dropped each year, yet his GF have dropped at the same rate. Truly a man refining his defensive art. However of the past few years this is the first where his GF/GA differential is in the positive numbers.

To me this has drawn more questions than answers. Do we assume that Allens scoring has atrophied as much as its going to? Has he hit is straps defensively? Defensively (in terms of ES goals against) hes improved each year, yet is it smart to think he can drop it any further. Similarily can sbisa hope to increase his scoring rate any further? It seems unlikely that his defence should increase, since every coach pushes this facet of the game more than any other with young players. And i say that as, his GA hasnt improved even marginally. It seems to me that Allen could improve his Corsi (rel Qoc) back to where it has been the previous years, but really that seems to be his only recourse to improve. Sbisa it seems has hit around his average for the past 3 years in everything except minutes and GA/60, and considering Sbisa’s poor point showing i wonder if that has more to do with playing with a better quality of player who is putting up the points and hes the beneficiary? I have doubts he can improve the GA/60 margin (he may put up more points himself, but that would likely take points away from someone else, or rob peter to pay paul so to speak. I wonder if Sbisa has hit his peak?

As a point of interest i compared Sbisa and Allens first 5 years in the league. They both are first round picks, both defence, and both were meant to be a little offensive when drafted. Also that was Sbisa’s 5 years in the league season.

It makes for interesting reading (and keep in mind the short season we had this year- robbing Sbisa of 40 odd games potentially). Sbisa has Allen beat in games, points and shots. However Allens plus/minus is FAR better than Sbisa’s and Allen also owns a better shooting percentage (that is around his average over his career.

If we look into the future and wonder what Sbisa might become, we can hope that his SH% increases, his +/- may slightly improve, and hes likely to put up more points per game. This is of course based on Allens career path thus far. So we can infer that Sbisa still wont be able to defend (based on +/-), but may score at a better clip per game. The question is does Sbisa scoring more give him more value to the team?

Sbisa Games Points Plus minus shots shots per game SH% (as per NHL) PPG
2008-2009 34 7 -6 38 1.1 0 0.2
2009-2010 8 0 -1 3 0.37 0 0
2010-2011 68 11 -11 76 1.1 2.6 0.16
2011-2012 80 24 -5 88 1.1 5.7 0.3
2012-2013 41 8 0 39 0.95 2.6 0.19

TOTALS 236 50 -23 244 1.03 2.18 0.13

CAREER 236 50 -23 244 1.03 2.18 0.13

Allen Games Points Plus minus shots shots per game SH% (as per NHL) PPG
2000-2001 6 0 0 2 0.33 0 0
2001-2002 11 0 1 4 0.36 0 0
2002-2003 48 8 8 43 0.89 11.6 0.16
2003-2004 74 7 -10 70 0.94 2.9 0.09
2004-2005 77 17 4 88 1.14 8 0.22

TOTALS 216 32 3 207 0.96 4.5 0.09

CAREER 642 124 8 626 0.97 4.6 0.19

Overall, i feel that Sbisa has hit (or come close) to hitting his peak, and i think the best value we can hope for is to move him on. Allen, i don’t think is earning his 3 million at this time and should likewise be moved on, based on his likely deteriorating skill set and current levels of play.

But can we move a fairly recent free agent signing on? And can we afford to give up on Sbisa? with Vatanen and Lindholm in the system, and Fowler improving year to year i think we have to. Beauch wont be around forever, and Souray....oh god souray :'( Lovejoy seems to be an adequate replacement for either Sbisa or Allen, and clearing room for one of, or both of Vatanen and Lindholm seems to be prudent, while we still have beauch to lean on and protect them.

So which one gets moved first? My vote is Sbisa since i think his best help to the team will be to get a asset in return that is worth something. I think his on ice play is easily replaceable, and while hes cheaper than allen thats about all he brings that we cant find elsewhere (offence replaced by vatanen, and even lovejoy who scored well).He seems to me like hes sqeak. He provides a little offence, and no defence at all. He is on paper part of he team yet is coop and remers bitch.

Also upon re-reading this, this makes very little sense, but im not deleting it now and no one reads these things anyway, so...there

This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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