Friday, July 22, 2011

Giveaway King

NHL.com says Ilya Kovalchuk is the NHL's giveaway king.

Scott Cullen says it's Joe Thornton.

NHL.com would say Hal Gill is the worst in Montreal, Cullen would say Spacek.

But there's a revelation here. The NHL tracks giveaways for the whole team, but NHL.com does not. At some point, the website takes certain stats kept for goalies and throws them on the trash heap.

Last season, Hal Gill had a whopping 62 giveaways. But even he was eclipsed by the free-passing Carey Price for whom the league noted 77 giveaways.

77 giveaways for our goalie places him at the distinguished rank of 11th in a tie with Drew Doughty. It's unclear if he was surpassed by other goalies (because I neither have the time nor the interest to compile that many stats), but chances are based on games played and impressions that very few if any beat him to the mark.

Considering also that every one of Carey Price's giveaways was in the defensive zone and that unlike Thornton who offset his GvA with 114 takeaways, Carey had a single act of out of crease thievery. Never mind that he, unlike defenders, is rarely obligated to handle the puck. He must surely be the leader in unnecessary giveaways if nothing else.



For me, no discussion of giveaways in the NHL should take place without mention of our local leader in this regard. And, hey, who wouldn't want to be in the heady company of guys like Kovalchuk, Thornton, St. Louis and Keith with all the trophies they've won. Price is keeping some good company with his puck handling.

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