Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alex Ponikarovsky is underrated:

This guy is a very complete player. I couldn't believe a conversation I had today with a guy who called Ponikarovsky a "weak defensive player." After reading a post on hockeytraderumors.com last night saying that Poni has been weak this year, I decided enough is enough.

Here are the hard facts for you. First of all, admittidly plus/minus can be a very misleading stat, but it can also be a very telling stat. Especially when the same guy is at the top of his team, year in, year out:

Leafs in....

2010 - 5 games in the Leafs are winless, Poni leads the team in goals (3), points (4) and plus minus at +4 (Only other player in the plus is Ian White).

2009 - Poni was 2nd on the team in goals (23), 2nd in points (61) and was 1st @ +6, on a team full of minus's

2008 - 18 goals in 66 games and 6th on the team in plus minus at +3 (only 7 player had a + rating)

2007 - Poni ranked 4th on the team in scoring with 45 points (21 goals), 3rd on the team with a +8

2006 - 3rd on the team with 21 goals (behind Sundin and Tucker only), posted 38 points, and ranked first on the team in plus-minus at +15 (Antropov 2nd +13, Sundin a distant 3rd was +7). There were only 4 regulars with a plus rating that year (Stajan +5). Everyone else was minus, some of the guys brutally minus (Tucker -12, O'Neil -19)

2004 - Just 28 points in his rookie season, but 3rd on the team with a +14 rating (behind only McCabe and Kaberle)

2003 - As a call up, Poni played 13 games spread throughout the year and had 3 assists and a plus 4 rating.

Looking through the Leafs since Ponikarovsky joined the team, the one constant statistic is Ponikarovsky's plus-minus, always on top.

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