Upshall vs. Carcillo by the numbers
In his Breakaways portion of yesterday’s Red Wings-Flyers wrap up, Sam Carchidi pointed out that both Scottie Upshall and Daniel Carcillo have contributed 3 points to their respective teams since the trade deadline and are equal in plus/minus. Sounds like an okay deal for the Flyers, right? Swapping players, taking less salary back, and getting the same amount of production?
Carchidi’s thought missed two additional key statistical factors to consider when weighing the trade value of role players – time-on-ice and time in the box.
In Phoenix, Upshall is playing top six forward minutes, typically playing 17-18 minutes and seeing time on the power play. Three points in seven games is adequate, especially on a struggling team like the Coyotes.
Carcillo, on the other hand, managed to put up his three points as a third-liner with only 10 mintues a night and no special teams time. True, it might just be a reflection of the Flyers’ depth at forward. But it’s good sign that Carcillo is finding ways to adapt his game into Stevens’ system. That trade looking any better now, Flyers fans?
It shouldn’t. What the most penalized team in the NHL this season needed least at the trade deadline was another player who would take costly penalties at crucial moments in the game. And unfortunately, that’s just what they got.
Upshall has only two penalties during his time as a Coyote, one of which was taken late in the third period of Buffalo’s 5-1 rout of visiting Phoenix. I wouldn’t call that particularly harmful in the grand scheme of things.
In addition to his three assists in the Orange and Black, Carcillo has racked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, three roughing minors, a fighting major, and a game misconduct. One of those roughing minors was taken Tuesday night in Detroit; his actions cost the Flyers a rare power play opportunity against one of the least penalized teams in the league.
If we only learned one thing from last year’s playoff series between Philadelphia and Washington, it was that maturity makes a difference in the critical moments of the battle for the Stanley Cup. The Flyers had enough veterans who understood the necessary sacrifices and self-discipline. That alone sustained them against a red-hot Capitals squad with youthful exuberance and a hell of a lot of talent.
Carcillo would do well to take note. Preferably before we hit April.