Can The Rat play tonight? There may be no more pressing question in Anaheim this season.
The Ducks have yet to put together any win streak this season without the services of Jason Blake, despite the fact that he has only dressed in 14 of 50 games. And consider this amazing stat: the Anaheim Ducks have more wins in the 14 games Blake has dressed than they have in the 36 games that he has not.
The Incredible Rat Comics, recycled.
When The Rat dresses this season, Anaheim is 10-3-1, outscoring opponents 40-25. When the Ducks play without him, they are 9-21-6, outscored 89-122. A lot of this disparity is coincidental, obviously, as Blake does have his flaws as a forward, but man -- as I've mentioned before, his hustle and smarts away from the top line do matter.
10-3-1 is an incredible record, by the way. If the Ducks had that win percentage through the 50 games they've played, they'd lead the league by 4 standings points right now. If the Ducks had that win percentage through 82 games, they'd have the second-highest points total since the lockout. So yes -- Blake's win results this season are terribly overstated, but still, hurry back, Rat!
After the jump, a data table that took me a while to format -- The Rat plus five other Ducks who have helped Anaheim's win percentage results this season.
To better understand the crazy table I've put together, let's look through Jason Blake's rows, which show his "impact" under Carlyle, under Boudreau, and overall:
- Randy Carlyle coached 24 games for the Anaheim Ducks this season; Jason Blake was able to dress for only 3 of them. In the games Blake dressed, the Ducks went 2-1-0 but were outscored 5-3; in the games Blake didn't dress, the Ducks went 5-12-4 and were outscored even worse. The third row shows the improvement in win percentage and goal-differential-per-game in the games Blake played in vs. the games he didn't.
- Bruce Boudreau has coached 26 games for Anaheim; The Rat has appeared in 11 of them. Similarly, we can see how much better the Kirby-led Ducks did with Blake in the lineup vs. the games he has missed.
- The third set of columns shows the entire 50-game season so far, Carlyle plus Boudreau. Overall, the Ducks are a .750 team with Jason Blake and are a .333 team without him. Go Rat.
Similarly, I've listed five other Ducks who seem to have helped win percentage results. This is not a comprehensive list -- I didn't check anybody who had played near 50 games or under 10, and I was particularly looking for players who had played under both coaches. Truthfully, I only ran the numbers for one other player -- Matt Beleskey, probably by virtue of being healthy in November, had a negative impact on win percentage.
|ANA Record with Player||Under Carlyle||Under Boudreau||Entire Season|
|W - L - O||WPct.||GF/g - GA/g||GD/g||W - L - O||WPct.||GF/g - GA/g||GD/g||W - L - O||WPct.||GF/g - GA/g||GD/g|
|Jason Blake||With||2 - 1 - 0||0.667||+1.0 - 1.7||-0.7||8 - 2 - 1||0.773||+3.4 - 1.8||+1.5||10 - 3 - 1||0.750||+2.9 - 1.8||+1.1|
|Without||5 - 12 - 4||0.333||+2.4 - 3.3||-0.9||4 - 9 - 2||0.333||+2.6 - 3.5||-0.9||9 - 21 - 6||0.333||+2.5 - 3.4||-0.9|
|Lubomir Visnovsky||With||6 - 7 - 3||0.469||+2.0 - 2.8||-0.8||11 - 8 - 2||0.571||+3.0 - 2.6||+0.4||17 - 15 - 5||0.527||+2.6 - 2.7||-0.1|
|Without||1 - 6 - 1||0.188||+2.6 - 3.6||-1.0||1 - 3 - 1||0.300||+2.6 - 3.6||-1.0||2 - 9 - 2||0.231||+2.6 - 3.6||-1.0|
|George Parros||With||5 - 4 - 2||0.545||+1.6 - 2.1||-0.5||8 - 7 - 2||0.529||+2.6 - 2.4||+0.2||13 - 11 - 4||0.536||+2.3 - 2.3||0.0|
|Without||2 - 9 - 2||0.231||+2.7 - 3.9||-1.2||4 - 4 - 1||0.500||+3.4 - 3.6||-0.1||6 - 13 - 3||0.341||+3.0 - 3.8||-0.8|
|Saku Koivu||With||7 - 13 - 4||0.375||+2.2 -3.1||-0.9||10 - 6 - 2||0.611||+3.1 - 2.6||+0.6||17 - 19 - 6||0.476||+2.6 - 2.9||-0.3|
|Without||2 - 5 - 1||0.313||+2.5 - 3.4||-0.9||2 - 5 - 1||0.313||+2.5 - 3.4||-0.9|
|Nick Bonino||With||0 - 0 - 1||0.500||+4.0 - 5.0||-1.0||9 - 8 - 2||0.526||+2.8 - 2.6||+0.2||9 - 8 - 3||0.525||+2.9 - 2.8||+0.1|
|Without||7 - 13 - 3||0.370||+2.1 - 3.0||-0.9||3 - 3 -1||0.500||+3.3 - 3.3||0.0||10 - 16 - 4||0.400||+2.4 - 3.1||-0.7|
|Niklas Hagman||With||1 - 5 - 0||0.167||+3.0 - 4.2||-1.2||12 - 11 - 3||0.519||+2.9 - 2.8||+0.1||13 - 16 - 3||0.453||+2.9 - 3.1||-0.1|
|Without||6 - 8 - 4||0.444||+1.9 - 2.7||-0.8||6 - 8 - 4||0.444||+1.9 - 2.7||-0.8|
Just a few notes:
- For some of these players, there's some overlap -- the Ducks really struggled in particular when both Jason Blake and Lubomir Visnovsky were injured. So this shouldn't be read as a "Man, this one guy by himself makes a whale of difference!" table, or even a "Wow, that guy is great!" table -- it's more a "This team has some glaring voids that these guys fill" table.
- George Parros ranks surprisingly high here, but some of that is that he was injured all of Movember (a two-win month for Anaheim). Plus it reflects a bit that he is selectively dressed -- he may not face some of Anaheim's scariest opponents.
- I like Nick Bonino, and I think his results do reflect his on-ice competence. The Ducks win better with El Niño in the lineup -- that's something I've noted even before he debuted this season.
- Niklas Hagman's a bit funny in this table, as he came to Anaheim right towards the end of Randy Carlyle's coaching reign, but at a point when the Ducks were losing every game in sight. So he has a negative impact under Carlyle, but because he's played every game Boudreau has coached, he shows a slight positive impact overall.
- Of these six players listed, only Lubomir Visnovsky is signed for next season, and only Nick Bonino is a restricted free agent -- the rest are UFAs.
So yeah -- looking at win percentage impacts like this is a totally floppy science, but it's not valueless. The Ducks need competent speed in their lower lines in order to be successful -- if Jason Blake isn't re-signed, it had better be addressed in some fashion this summer. Feel free to add your own observations in the comments.
Prediction: I should be around for game comments tonight; feel free to join in. If the Rat dresses, Ducks win 2.9 - 1.8. If he doesn't Ducks lose 2.5 - 3.4.