Brandon Sutter and his performance in comparison to other teams’ 3rd & 4th line center men. Check out my second & updated article on this topic, in order to learn about the hard truth regarding to the performance of Pittsburgh’s 3rd line center.
Around 4 months ago I have evaluated Brandon Sutter’s overall mid-season performance by comparing him with EVERY NHL team’s 3rd AND 4th line center man, playing on these two positions during that time. You can check out this article here: Brandon Sutter By Comparison – The Plain Hard Truth
No matter of what kind of statistics you looked at, Brandon Sutter was not playing like a good 3rd OR 4th line center man might & should have played. In order to see, if Brandon Sutter’s performance noticeably improved during the second half of the 2014/15 NHL season, I updated most of the statistics, which I used in my first article. I compared Brandon Sutter with the same players, as I did in the article “Brandon Sutter By Comparison – The Plain, Hard Truth”, using the following statistics:
– Corsi For Percentage of Total (CF%) at Even Strength
– Points Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time (P60) at All Situations
– Goals Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time (G60) at All Situations
The players I compared Brandon Sutter with, are mostly players who played as 3rd and/or 4th line center man during the time of January, February & March. In the course of of this comparison, I evaluated 67 players and their performances! (Used statistics reflect the state of data as of June 30)
Brandon Sutter vs. other 3rd line players:
These graphs show, where Brandon Sutter ranks amongst other 3rd line center men regarding to CF% at Even Strength and regarding to Points & Goals Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time:
Brandon Sutter vs. other 4th line players:
These graphs show, where Brandon Sutter ranks amongst other 4th line center men regarding to CF% at Even Strength and regarding to Points & Goals Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time:
To sum the graphs up: Brandon Sutter didn’t really improve at all regarding to the “CF% at Even Strength” and regarding to the “Points Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time” statistics.
Yes, his “Goals Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time” stats have been pretty solid this season. And yes, it’s great when your 3rd line center man scores a lot of goals. However, in my opinion a center man should at least record around the same amount of assists than he scores goals. The huge gap between Sutter’s assist and goal totals is the simpliest stat, showing that BOTH wingers have to help Sutter, have to set him up for goals. However, the center man is the player controlling the ENTIRE play of his line. The center man has to make plays happen, the center man hast to set up his wingers for goals & not vice versa for most of the time!
Again usually ONE player on a line (the center man) should help the other two players (the wingers) to score a lot of goals. It shouldn’t be vice versa! It shouldn’t be the way, that two players (the wingers) set up ONE player (the center man) all the time, so that this player is able to score some goals. But that’s unfortunately the case with Brandon Sutter, no matter of whom he plays with … Let’s remember, that Sutter actually played a lot of games as Malkin’s center at the beginning of the last season!!!
“But Brandon Sutter is a great penalty killer!” – No, he actually isn’t!
Regarding to “allowing shots” (CA60) & “blocking shots” (FA60), Brandon Sutter ranks 98th and 107th out of 118 forwards with more than 100 minutes of shorthanded ice time!
In my opinion, “penalty killing” isn’t a “skill” I would set great store on anyway! Every NHL player who is good at playing defense, is also able to successfully kill penalties! It’s definitely NOT a “skill” I’d use in order to value a player, yet alone a reason to give a player a contract just because of this perception that he’s a “good penalty killer”!
“But Brandon Sutter is still young, has a lot of potential and a lot of upside in his game!” – I wouldn’t bet on it!
No matter of, if you are looking at Sutter’s “CF% at Even Strength” or “Points Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time” statistics, recorded in the course of his career. It’s both characterized by up and downs, but not by any kind of consistent upwards tendencies!
“But he’s a playoff performer, showing up when it matters most” – Another false perception!
Brandon Sutter just showed up during ONE playoff series, in ONE season of his 7th season lasting NHL career!
Points Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time during the Playoffs: 1,48
CF% at Even Strength during the Playoffs: 46,99
With those statistics, Sutter is far away from being a stellar playoff performer!
As I already have mentioned in my last article … The good news: There is an area in which Brandon Sutter ranks in the Top Ten (8th place). The bad news: You don’t want him to rank in the Top Ten in that area!
Comparison of the 3rd & 4th line center men’s Salary Cap Hits:
So why is Brandon Sutter still with the Pittsburgh Penguins? There’s little doubt, that Sutter will ask for $ 4 + Mio next season. While he’s already not worth his current $3,3 Mio, the Penguins definitely can’t afford $4 + Mio because of some highlight-reel goals and a few great shorthanded goals! His career-high 21 goals don’t justify this amount of money either, especially if looking at all aspects of the game! However, thanks to those 21 goals, Sutter’s perceived value is currently way much higher than his actual value! Time for the Penguins to take advantage of this fact. They’ll probably never get more in return for him …
To sum it up: Brandon Sutter By Comparison – The Plain, Hard Truth Hasn’t Changed!!!
(“Corsi For Percentage of Total” & “Points Recorded Per 60 Minutes of Ice Time” statistics taken from: http://war-on-ice.com/)
(All used statistics reflect the state of data as of June 30)
– Benedikt Bäumler