I thought it would be interesting to evaluate the various lines that were used through this season and how each line produced. I evaluated even strength only production only. I may look at the PP lines at another time.
TP: % of Time Played
P: % of Points Produced
D: Differential between time played and points produced.
FORWARDS: The Big Guns
Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla: TP (2.05%) P (3.95%) D (192.68%)
Tanguay-Stajan-Iginla: TP (3.18%) P (5.59%) D (175.79%)
Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla: TP (3.74%) P (6.25%) D (167.11%)
Glencross-Jokinen-Stempniak: TP (2.02%) P (2.96%) D (146.53%)
Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla: TP (9.35%) P (13.49%) D (144.28%)
Glencross-Jokinen-Bourque: TP (2.15%) P (2.30%) D (106.98%)
Glencross-Jokinen-Moss: TP (3.58%) P (3.29%) D (91.90%)
Tanguay-Backlund-Iginla: TP (2.01%) P (1.32%) D (60.20%)
Cammalleri-Backlund-Iginla: TP (1.26%) P (0.00%) D (NA)
The most productive line at EV was Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla. However, they also saw the most ice time by a wide margin. The Glencross-Jokinen combo also produced at a similar pace with just about any RW on their line. Their production was identical with Stempniak on the wing and only dropped when anchored by the underachieving Bourque. In short, Iginla was wasted on that line.
The Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla line was the most productive in terms of points relative to ice time. However, the sample size of time played is relatively small. The line may be worth a look next season, but more time is needed to determine if it will ultimately be successful.
Perhaps surprising is the production of Tanguay-Stajan-Iginla. They were the second most productive line relative to time played and the third most productive line overall. For a team going into the season with two relatively unknown centres (Backlund, Cervenka) Stajan should be seriously considered to play between Iginla and either Tanguay or Cammalleri.
One of those unknown centre's, Mikael Backlund, had a disappointing season in terms of point production. That is really shown here where his lines failed to produce despite the presense of the big gun wingers in Iginla, Cammalleri, and Tanguay.
FORWARDS: The Rest
Byron-Horak-Stempniak: TP (1.15%) P (2.63%) D (228.70%)
Kostopoulous-Morrison-Jackman: TP (1.93%) P (1.64%) D (84.97%)
Comeau-Backlund-Stempniak: TP (2.94%) P (2.30%) D (78.23%)
Kostopoulous-Horak-Jackman: TP (1.74%) P (0.99%) D (56.90%)
Kostopoulos-Stajan-Jackman: TP (4.48%) P (2.30%) D (51.34%)
Kostopoulos-Jones-Jackman: TP (1.06%) P (0.00%) D (NA)
This was a dogs breakfast due to the number of line combinations made throughout the season. I recorded the most common lines.
One item of note is that Stempniak seems to be able to get the most out of the rookies getting production with Byron, Horak, Comeau, and Backlund. Something to consider if the Flames are planning on getting younger. Especially considering the lack of depth on RW and how injury prone Moss is.
It is also interesting that noboody except Morrison seems to be able to get production from the fourth line. Not that you expect amazing production from the fourth line. But in its present form it doesn't appear to be a hospitable place to park players like Horak, Byron, Stajan, or even Jones. If the Flames continue to go big, bad, and ugly on their fourth line players like Bouma may be better fits.
Babchuk-Giordano: TP (0.94%) P (3.75%) D (398.94%)
Brodie-Smith: TP (2.34%) P (5.00%) D (213.68%)
Babchuk-Smith: TP (2.15%) P (2.50%) D (164.93%)
Giordano-Hannan: TP (19.66%) P (25.00%) D (127.16%)
Babchuk-Hannan: TP (2.39%) P (2.50%) D (104.60%)
Bouwmeester-Butler: TP (26.99%) P (25.00%) D (92.63%)
Brodie-Sarich: TP (11.29%) P (10.00%) D (88.57%)
Hannan-Smith: TP (4.46%) P (3.75%) D (84.08%)
Sarich-Giordano: TP (2.73%) P (1.25%) D (45.79%)
Sarich-Smith: TP (2.85%) P (1.25%) D (43.86%)
Point production is less meaningful for the D. However, there are a couple of notable trends.
First, Sarich doesn't produce with anyone. Despite relatively soft circumstances and a variety of partners he is a point vacuum. His lack of offense and mobility should be seriously considered before signing him to an extension.
Second, Brodie and Babchuk produce with anyone (except Sarich). They should given the soft circumstances they faced and their offensive focus. Babchuk was seriously underutilized last season. Hopefully a new coach will rectify that.
One also has to wonder if Brodie gets an opportunity to play with Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester managed to keep Butler's head above water under very tough circumstances last season and he could be a very good mentor for Brodie. Also, Brodie and Bouwmeester were by far the most productive tandem on the PP last season accounting for 28.57% of points among D on the PP despite only getting 12.69% of the PP time. That tandem, combined with slightly softer circumstances, could bring Bouwmeester out of his offensive slump.