Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Room at the Inn - Carter and Nash a Good Fit on the Top Line

Rick Nash 
Our colleague at Light the Lamp has suggested there may not be room for Rick Nash and Jeff Carter on the same line, in a post during early euphoria on the Carter acquisition.  I highly value LTL's opinion, but it often conflicts with my own opinion.  That folks, is where perspective comes from.

Rick Nash has been going it alone, lo these many years.  From my perspective, one of the problems with our team last year was a lack of shooters.  Everyone seemed content to make a pretty pass to Nash.  Then they would lean on their sticks, and watch to see if Nash could turn it into a goal, 1 on 3.  The amazing thing was that sometimes he did.

Carter is a shooter.  And that will take huge pressure off of Nash, and I think allow him to create.  But what if LTL is right?  What if there is not enough puck to go around?

Perhaps we should look at the numbers, eh?

Last year, Juice was injured most of the time.  Plus, history tells us that Juice hits more pipes than a crack addict.  His shots are essentially irrelevant (Juice is gonna have a bucket load of assists in 2011-12 folks.  You read it here first).  So let's look at the other main top line players last year, Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek.

Combined last year, Voracek and Brassard generated 366 shots combined, and scored at a 7.7 and 9.3% pace, respectively.  That would average to less than 10%.  Jeff Carter took 335 shots and scored at a 10.7% clip.  Upgrade there folks, no way around it.  The funny thing, although I want to discount Juices scoring, he actually scores around a 14% clip, and took a total of 162 shots on net in 2009-10 when he was not injured. When Juice shoots, its a good shot.

The acquisition of Jeff Carter should raise our shot total (305 Nash + 335 Carter +162 Juice versus 305 Nash + 183 Brassard + 183 Voracek) from 671 to 802, while raising our shot percentage.

More goals folks.  Ya know, that's the kind of stuff that wins hockey games.

I think we will find room on the top line for Jeff Carter!



  1. Right on, brother. My folks and I were talking about this at dinner tonight. Juice is the perfect linemate for Nash & Carter, setting them up with passes and shots from the point. Juice played hurt more than I think he let on and I expect great things from JuiceBox this season.

  2. With shots, comes rebounds, face offs, and goals. Nash is the best wing Carter has ever played with, and Carter is the best center Nash has ever played with...should be fun.

  3. For me it's not a question of top line versus second line -- if you put Nash on one line and Carter on the other then we have two top lines which makes the matchups more difficult.

    A poor man's version of Zetterberg/Datysuk, Marleau/Thornton, Malkin/Crosby -- etc, etc.

    Those guys play more apart than they do together.

    Why I love this trade is there is no question to me that Carter will upgrade the primary scoring and even more importantly - the PP - which is an area I expect them to see a ton of time together (similar to those listed above).

    Don't get me wrong -- if those two end working great together on the same line -- then hell yeah! I personally don't think it will happen with regularity as they are both shoot first pass second players but don't care either way as long as primary scoring has a significant impact.

    Should be fun to watch it unfold!



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