(This post is part of a fundraiser for 826 Boston, a non-profit tutoring and writing center. For $50, readers can get me to write anything about hockey they want, so donate today to make me say stuff by clicking here. I probably don’t believe the nonsense below, which was requested by Cameron.)
I know for sure that Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald is and should be a candidate for the Norris Trophy this season. You just have to look at the stats.
We all know that things were a horror show on Long Island. No one is disputing that. That’s why his corsi was 43.4 percent with them. But we all also know that the Islanders are terrible and always will be, so it’s no surprise at all that his numbers with them were garbage (so garbage, in fact, that they were below the team’s average by a decent margin). But since going to Philadelphia, he’s been great, posting a corsi of 50.4 percent. You can’t argue with the numbers.
And all they had to do to get him there was significantly increase the number of offensive zone starts he received (by about 10 percent), scale back his even-strength time on ice, and give him slightly softer competition. No problems with that.
Look, this all makes sense if you’re paying attention. He’s been out there for as many goals for as goals against (six) over his 12 games in Philadelphia, and if he was such a bad defenseman, would his on-ice save percentage be 94.2? I don’t think so. At all.
But it goes beyond that: MacDonald has been with the team for 12 games, and do you know how many of those games they got points out of? That’s right: Nine. 7-3-2. Can’t mess with that. That’s a pace for 146 points. Such is the calming influence of MacDonald, whose new team went just 23-24-6 without him, a pace for just 80.
Now, maybe you’d say it’s not reasonable to attribute all of Philadelphia’s recent success to the MacDonald acquisition, which by the way cost the team just a second- and third-round pick. Because look at it this way: If he wasn’t so good, why would the Leafs want to sign him for $33 million? That’s only a 1000 percent raise!
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