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thefiestygoat

Member Since 04 Nov 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 03:57 AM
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Topics I've Started

Travis Zajac

04 February 2015 - 04:24 PM

There were some references in the trade deadline thread about Zajac being similar to Richards which I strongly disagree with. Rather than hijack that thread  I figured I'd start a new topic. I personally feel that while Zajac is a bit underwhelming from a points perspective, he does a lot of other things well defensively and away from the puck that go unappreciated. To compare him to Richards this season to show how they aren't the same player:

 

Zajac plays with better teammates but against tougher competition with less favorable zone starts and their stats aren't identical.

TOI Stats
Zajac: 19:55 TOI/GP, 2:21 PP TOI/GP, 2:01 SH TOI/GP
Richards: 13:41 TOI/GP, 1:23 PP TOI/GP, 0:49 SH TOI/GP

Relative Stats
Zajac: 2.0 Scoring Chance For%, 4.2 Corsi%, 6.4 Fenwick%
Richards: -3.9 Scoring Chance For%, -2.9 Corsi%, -5.1 Fenwick%

Shot Based Stats
Zajac: 50.2 Shots For%, 5.8 Relative Shots For%
Richards: 48.6 Shots For%, -6.5 Relative Shots For%

Goal Based Stats
Zajac: 46.2 Goals For%, -6.1 Relative Goals For%
Richards: 43.9 Goals For%, -12.6 Relative Goals For%

Faceoffs and Zone Starts
Zajac: 55.5 FO%, 48.3 ZS%
Richards: 48.0 FO%, 52.9 ZS%

 

If you want to see how different their usage is in than check out the chart from War-On-Ice.

 

Using Own the Puck's Horizontal Evaluative Ranking Optics further illustrates all of this:

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The point is neither of these guys are going to light it up offensively but Zajac does a lot well defensively and away from the puck to help out his team, unlike Richards who was a drain on his team. I know I'm ranting a bit but I really think Zajac gets a lot of criticism that he doesn't deserve. The problem is this team is so depleted of talent up front, that Zajac is asked/expected to do more from a points perspective than what should really be expected from him. I'm sure their are teams out there that would love to have a guy like Zajac on their roster.

2015 World Junior Championship

23 December 2014 - 03:03 PM

This year's tournament will take place in Montreal and Toronto from Dec. 26 - Jan. 5. NHL Network will be broadcasting the games in the US. Here is their live broadcast schedule and here is one with the tape-delayed games mixed in. Here is the WJC home page.

 

Group A: Finland, Canada, United States, Slovakia, Germany
Group B: Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Denmark
 
Hockey Prospectus has this preview which highlights a drafted and undrafted player from each team. Future Considerations has this article on the draft eligibles in the tournament.