Monday, October 31, 2005

Calder Watch: October Recap

In a season that some are speculating may have the most talented crop of rookies the League has ever seen, and with a big dog in the fight for the Calder Trophy, The Rink will keep monthly tabs on the front runners for the coveted award. For now, though, this post is just a front for the "Ovechkin is better than Crosby" argument.

Sure Henrik Lunqvist, Jason LaBarbera and Ryan Miller are off to great starts. Ditto Dion Phaneuf and Fedor Tyutin. But maybe we'll take a look at goaltenders and d-men next month, when hot streaks have ended and the grind of the season has worn players down a bit. For now, though, let's look at the last two #1 overall picks and what they've been able to accomplish through 11 games (and nearly identical ice time per game):
Are there any important stats that we're missing on either side of the argument? Or, put another way, is there any way to look at the Calder race thus far and not see El Ocho ahead of Sid the Kid? And yet at least one (not surprisingly Canadian) news outlet still has Crosby leading the pack. It seems that if AO outscores Crosby, that won't be enough. If he plays better defense and leads his team to more wins, that won't be enough. One wonders what Sasha is going to have to do to win the hearts and minds of Canadian journalists.

* If you subtract from each player's total the number of secondary assists, Crosby has 9 assists and Ovechkin has 3, evening the players' point totals at 11. Why do this? Because rarely is a secondary assist as directly critical to a goal as the primary assist or the goal itself and thus, should be counted separately. But that's another post altogether.


Shayne said...

Alternative headline for the calder watch: Caps aren't going to contend for a playoff spot and we want to cheer for something other than winning the draft lottery

JP said...

This coming from a fan of a team that seems destined for mediocrity in the "new" NHL - not good enough to contend, not bad enough to help itself through the draft.

But yeah, to answer your initial point, that's all it is.