Monday, July 20, 2009

All Decade Team 2000's

It’s just about time to choose an all decade team for the 2000’s. We’ve only got half a season left before turning the page to the 2010’s, so let’s do it now. Of course this decade will forever be missing an entire season due to the lockout which lessens the overall numbers in an already low scoring decade.

Centre has really only two choices in Joe Thornton and Joe Sakic. Thornton leads the decade by a fair margin over Jaromir Jagr for overall points. Sakic has played 114 less games than Thornton due to a few injury riddled years yet his points per game of 1.13 is equal to his as one of the tops in the decade. Other centres warranting consideration are Vinny Lecavalier and Pavel Datsyuk.

The right wing slots are also fairly easily to select with decade goal leading Jarome Iginla and second overall point scorer Jagr (even with spending last year in Russia). A case can be made for Daniel Alfredsson or Marian Hossa, but it’s hard to dispute the winners of three Lester B. Pearson trophies in the decade.

The left wing picks bring up a bit of a tough call. Firstly, Dany Heatley is a fairly easy choice, it’s the second slot that gets somewhat difficult. Ilya Kovalchuk has nice numbers with 297 goals in 545 games although carries a minus 85 rating. Markus Naslund has 296 goals as well, yet his short coming is that it took him over two full additional seasons to reach this total. The question is, has Alex Ovechkin done enough in four seasons to be considered one of the top players of the decade. Ovie has notched 219 goals in a mere 324 games…only 70-odd goals short of Kovalchuk and Naslund in 221 and 398 fewer games respectively. Naslund played more than twice as many games in the decade than Ovechkin and scored only 77 goals more. For this fact as well as back to back MVP award, I have to go with Ovechkin for the second slot on the squad.

The four defenders on the squad were comparatively easy selections. Lidstrom, Pronger and Gonchar are pretty much givens and I gave the fourth slot to Brian Rafalski who finished third in d-men points AND +/- for the decade. Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Zubov round out the best defenders but fail to make my decade team. Incidentally the second best +/- among defensemen (and fourth overall) in the 2000’s belongs to none other than Chris Chelios at +153, not enough to make the all-decade team Chelly, sorry.

The goaltenders may have been the easiest position to select two players. Brodeur could allow eight goals a game between now and the New Year and still be a lock (really, he would still have a GAA under 2.50 and be more than 100 games over .500). The second spot came down to Evgeni Nabakov and Marty Turco. Nabby has 9 more wins and 11 more shutouts but also 28 more losses and a higher GAA. The deal breaker toward Turco though was his winning percentage being over 30 points higher. Once again, Chris Osgood is tossed by the wayside with a 223-127 won/loss record yet a GAA of 2.55. Roberto Luongo is tied with Nabakov for second in shutouts yet his GAA is higher than Osgood’s and he STILL has a sub .500 record for the decade.


Barx said...
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Geoff_9 said...

those draft photos are too embarrassing ... those hats are aweful

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