Tag: compare and contrast

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Matt Carkner #39 of the Ottawa Senators and Brian Boyle #22 of the New York Rangers are at the bottom of the pile in this first period battle in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Matt Carkner will miss a game for fighting Brian Boyle


Just moments ago, the New York Rangers lost valuable winger Carl Hagelin for three games – the most severe suspension of the 2012 season – for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson. With that in mind, Rangers fans might not be especially happy that Ottawa Senators tough guy Matt Carkner received a single game suspension for beating the daylights out of Brian Boyle.

(Slow motion doesn’t do Carkner many favors, does it?)

I’ll be honest; I’m not totally sure that the NHL’s developing an intelligible pattern with its disciplinary decisions. Does this punishment seem fair to you? Did Carkner deserve more games, no suspension or was this A-OK? How about if you look at it without thinking about Hagelin’s punishment, if possible? Share your observations in the comments.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: the next Erik Karlsson?

Phoenix Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings
1 Comment

Judging by the fact that he currently has a point-per-game, there’s really only one defenseman quite like Ottawa Senators star Erik Karlsson. (In fact, there are just six forwards who have more points than his 70 this season.)

Still, the NHL is brimming with young talent and former general manager Brian Lawton pegs Phoenix Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson as just a season behind the Senators stud.


Interesting thought, but how does that comment stack up? Let’s look at some of the similarities between the two:

  • They’re both Swedish (and their last names end in -sson, which is super-relevant, I know).
  • Each guy was drafted in the first round. Backing up Lawton, Karlsson was selected 15th overall in 2008 (and is 21 years old) while the Coyotes tabbed the 20-year-old Ekman-Larsson at No. 6 in 2009.
  • Strong sophomore seasons: after partial rookie seasons, both played well in their second (and first full) campaigns. OEL is at 28 points while Karlsson finished with 45, although Ekman-Larsson’s -1 rating is more palatable than Karlsson’s -30 from 2010-11. (Naturally the two situations aren’t the same, which is why plus/minus is a shaky stat.)

Sure, there are some differences – most obviously, Karlsson has a right-handed shot while OEL shoots with his left – but Lawton doesn’t seem out of his mind or making the comparison.

Ekman-Larsson may struggle to flirt with Karlsson’s crazy numbers in a less wide-open system in Phoenix, yet it seems like there are some intriguing similarities between the two players’ paths. What do you think – is OEL on his way to becoming a star close to Karlsson’s scale?

(Either way, the Coyotes and Senators must be delighted to have stars who are so bright at such a young age.)

Comparing current Rangers to the Cup-winning ’94 version


NBC Sports Talk posed an interesting question last night: how do current New York Rangers compare to the Stanley Cup-winning 1993-94 version? Before PHT goes a little deeper with this, here’s the video of that discussion.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

(Henrik Lundqvist isn’t a money goalie? I dunno … he did kinda win a gold medal in one of the few instances in which he had a truly elite team in front of him. Just saying.)

Anyway, that video touched on Mark Messier and intangible type stuff, but I thought it would be more fun to take a quick-and-dirty comparison between the two.

source: AP1993-94 New York Rangers

Record: 52-24-8 for 112 points; first overall in the Atlantic Division; Goals For: 299 (fourth overall); Goals Against: 231 (third overall); PP%: 23.02 (96 goals); PK%: 84.6 (67 allowed); 20 shorthanded goals for, five against

Leading scorers: Sergei Zubov (89 points), Mark Messier (84), Adam Graves and Brian Leetch (79)

Goalies: Mike Richter (42-11-6 in 68 GP; .910 save percentage and 2.57 GAA with five shutouts) and Glenn Healy (10-12-2 for .878 save percentage, 3.03 GAA and two shutouts)

To help correct for the different scoring paces of the times, Richter’s save percentage was eight overall, his GAA ranked fifth among goalies and he was an All-Star in 93-94.

2011-12 New York Rangers

source: APRecord: 37-13-5 for 79 points; first overall in Atlantic Division; Goals For: 156 (12th overall); Goals Against: 110 (first overall); PP%: 14.81 (28); PK%: 87.15 (23); seven shorthanded goals for and three against

Leading scorers: Marian Gaborik (49), Ryan Callahan (42), Brad Richards (39) and Derek Stepan (37).

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (27-11-4 with a .941 save percentage, 1.77 GAA and seven shutouts) and Martin Biron (10-2-1 with a .919 save percentage with a 2.03 GAA and two shutouts).

Similarities: The teams certainly share some common traits. The ’94 Rangers had a coach who liked to yell at people (Mike Keenan) and the current version certainly does (John Tortorella). Both teams have an All-Star goalie and fairly balanced scoring, without having anyone who threatened for the Art Ross Trophy. Oh yeah, the current Rangers are sitting atop the Atlantic Division, which the 1994 ones won.

Differences: That doesn’t mean there aren’t big differences, though. As you can see from Zubov and Leetch being in the team’s top four scorers, the old version produced a lot more points from the blueline. (Not to say that Mike del Zotto is chopped liver offensively, but the gap is glaring.)

The current team also isn’t quite as balanced, but the biggest difference might be in special teams. The 2011-12 team’s power play is pretty punch-less while the older one was strong, especially in scoring an impressive 20 shorties to just five allowed.

Captains: Finally, both teams have a heart-and-soul captain, although one’s more famous and the other has quite a bit more hair.


Overall, I think there are some interesting parallels, but the current Rangers might be a few strides behind. (Unless they nab Rick Nash and become a more potent offensive team, perhaps.)