With training camp very likely kicking off tomorrow, I figure now is a good time as any to tie up a loose end from two posts I did during this lockout. Not too long ago, I decided to closely review each and every one of the assists credited to Patrik Elias from the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs. When I think of a "playmaker" on the roster, Elias is the first one to come to mind. His assist totals from last season justified He led the Devils in the regular season in assists with 52 and he was very close to being the team leader for the season and playoffs with 55.
I did this kind of review of Ilya Kovalchuk's assists first because he had just a few more even though I intended to do it with Elias. I'm glad I did decide to do it for him as I was pleased with what I discovered. For example, the vast majority of Elias' twenty secondary assists came from legitimate passes; his totals weren't boosted by too many cheap ones. For a second example, I realized not all of those secondary assists were to the teammate who got the primary assists. I wonder whether those should actually count for a secondary assist at all? For a third example, I identified that only five Devils scored more than two goals off Elias' assists last season and playoffs. They are David Clarkson (11, 8 from primaries, 3 from secondaries), Petr Sykora (11, 7 from primaries, 4 from secondaries), Zach Parise (10, 7 from primaries, 3 from secondaries), Kovalchuk (10, 6 from primaries, 4 from secondaries), and Dainius Zubrus (7, 4 from primaries, 3 from secondaries). You'll note that two of them aren't Devils right now and Clarkson's not likely going to repeat his goalscoring ways like last season. In the interest of showing my work, the following are the two charts I put together that led to each post.
The following is the secondary assist chart. Elias had twenty of these, all in the 2011-12 regular season. All assists were captured in the NHL.com video of the goals he helped on.
|Date||Assist To||Goal By||Type||Pass?||To Primary?||Situation||Video|
Here's the other, larger chart for Elias' primary assists. Elias had 33 of these in the 2011-12 regular season and all three of his assists in the playoffs.
|12/31/11||Parise||Centering Pass||Yes||ES - EN||Link|
|1/6/12||Parise||Touch||No||ES - EN||Link|
Elias really was a straw that stirred the drink for the Devils last season. You'll see that in watching all or even of these videos. I invite you to check out those posts ahead of the upcoming 2013 season. I wanted to put it up last weekend, but the announcement of a tentative agreement took precedence. Don't worry, we'll get into the schedule and other 2013 matters in very-near-future posts. Thank you for reading.