I have really struggled with what to write this week. The team's numbers haven't really changed very much since they broke out of that losing streak in January. A post arguing that it's too soon to come to any conclusions about Dustin Tokarski's play is now most likely moot with the acquisition of Sebastien Caron out of Germany. The amazing run by the Norfolk Admirals deserves better treatment than I can give it in a couple of hours.
I'm not including Mattias Ohlund in the following analysis, although the absence of an experienced defenseman was particularly noticeable in the early parts of the season. However, since he has 0 games played this year, I have no way to know how he might have been used by Boucher.
|Player||Injury Dates||Games Missed||Injury|
|Marc-Andre Bergeron||Jan 12 - Feb 7||9 games||UBI (back)|
|Feb. 7 - pres||19 games*||Back|
|Bruno Gervais||Mar. 6 - pres||7 games*||UBI|
|Adam Hall||Jan 7-Feb 7||12 games||forearm|
|3/19 - pres||1 game*||undisc.|
|Victor Hedman||Dec. 29 - Jan 31||13 games||concussion|
|Feb. 26 - Mar 6||4 games||UBI|
|Vincent Lecavalier||Feb, 21 - pres||13 games*||hand|
|Ryan Malone||Nov. 9- Nov. 19||4 games||UBI|
|Jan. 3 - Jan. 7||2 games||LBI|
|Jan. 24 - Feb. 14||8 games||UBI|
|Brendan Mikkelson||Feb. 28 - Mar. 2||1 game||flu|
|Tom Pyatt||Jan. 20 - Jan. 31||3 games||LBI|
|Ryan Shannon||Dec. 23 - Jan. 31||15 games||knee|
|Feb. 25- -Mar. 2||3 games||UBI|
|Mar. 19 - pres||1 game*||undisc.|
|Martin St. Louis||Dec. 8 - Dec. 21||5 games||broken face|
|Nate Thompson||Dec. 8 - Dec. 10||1 game||UBI|
|Dec. 21 - Jan. 3||5 games||LBI|
|Feb. 28 - Mar. 2||1 game||flu|
|Mar. 17 - pres||2 games*||UBI|
|Dana Tyrell||Jan 24 - pres||25 games*||knee|
|J.T. Wyman||Jan. 7 - Jan. 31||9 games||finger|
In addition Steve Downie (3 games in Nov., UBI), Pavel Kubina (4 games in Dec., LBI) and Matt Gilroy (4 games in Dec., LBI & 2 games in Feb., UBI) all missed time.
All in all 16 different players missed at least one game due to illness or injury. And most of these players are not the team's leading scorers, so it's easy to underestimate what their loss means to the team. Of the seven skaters who are currently still out, there are team leaders (players with more than 10 games) in :
TOI/60: Marc-Andre Bergeron and Vincent Lecavalier are fifth and sixth on the team in TOI/60. The players ahead of them--Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer, Steven Stamkos, and Martin St. Louis--are being asked to play more than other players in their absence. They are all in the top 40 players in the league in TOI/60 right now.
CorsiRel/60: Marc-Andre Bergeron (13.3), Bruno Gervais (11.3), and Ryan Shannon (7) are 1st, 2nd, and 4th in Relative Corsi. That means that when they are on the ice the shots go towards the opponents net more than when they are off the ice. Lecavalier (2.7) is 8th.
CorsiRelQoC/60: Adam Hall (1.26) and Nate Thompson (1.21) are 1st and 3rd in CorsiRelQoC. They face the toughest competition on the team. Ryan Shannon (0.7) and Dana Tyrell (0.54) are 9th and 10th.
Offensive Zone start %: MAB (71.2) and Bruno Gervais (62.5) are 1st and 3rd in offensive zone start %, meaning that they've been used in specialized offensive roles. For MAB, this is especially pronounced. Conversely, Adam Hall (33) and Nate Thompson (34.3) have the 2nd and 4th lowest O-Zone start rates, meaning they've been specializing in defensive roles.
Zone Start-Finish Ratio: Dana Tyrell and Adam Hall have the highest Offensive Zone Start to Offensive Zone Finish rates on the team. Both finish shifts in the offensive zone significantly more often than they start them there, meaning that they are very good at transitioning from defense to offense. Nate Thompson is 5th and Shannon and Lecavlier both have positive ratios. In fact, 5 of the top half of the team in this rate are out, as opposed to 2 of the bottom half.
Team FO%: Lecavalier, Hall, and Thompson together take 58% of the team's faceoffs. Hall and Thompson take mostly defensive zone faceoffs, which are critical to supressing shots against.
Essentially, in the injured players, the Lightning have lost players who are defensive or offensive specialists and players who face some of the toughest assignments on the team. The loss of defensive players and territorial players are especially pronounced.
The Lightning have been struggling with puck possession and the transition game all season, and the loss of these particular players has to be seen as troublesome. It should be noted, of course, that even with them in the line-up, the team struggled. However, they are doing much worse without them than they did in the period between the middle of February and the early March when these guys were healthy.