Pardy vs. Vandermeer

Kent Wilson
March 23 2009 10:56AM

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A lot of issues afflict the Flames currently: the goaltending, the penalty killing, the injuries.

Another (admittedly minor) point of contention is Jim Vandermeer playing instead of rookie Adam Pardy. The former is older, more battle tested and more expensive, but there's a growing perception that Pardy might actually be the better player.

First the qualitative: I think Pardy has the higher ceiling but is prone to greater variance in his performance. Sometimes he'll look very capable at both ends of the rink - and sometimes he'll pass the puck onto the oppositions stick resulting in a break-away (he's done that twice this season - both times with McElhinney in net). When he's "on" though, I like him more than Vandermeer - he's more mobile and better with the puck on his stick.

For his part, Vandy is tough and relatively steady. He's probably the second slowest skater on the team behind Aucoin and his puck handling and passing abilities are suspect. He's willing to drop the gloves if need be (although he almost always gets pummeled when he does).

Now, to the numbers -

Adam Pardy

Quality of Comp: -0.03

Quality of teammates: 0.07

+10 corsi, 0.87 ESP/60, 2.96 GFON/60, 2.52 GAON/60

Jim Vandermeer

Quality of Comp: -0.07

Quality of Teammates: -0.03

+9.2 corsi, 0.53 ESP/60, 3.05 GFON/60, 2.92 GA/60

Skewing these numbers is the fact that Vandermeer has played on the Flames 4th line a couple of times this year. That's likely why his quality of comp. and team. are so out of line with Pardy's even though they've both basically played the same role on the back-end all year.

Pardy is nominally the better player according to his advanced ES stats, but there isn't a lot separate the two. As added context, here's how the percentages have worked out for each guy so far this season.

Pardy: .914 ES SV%, 9.2 SH%, 100.6 PDO

Vandermeer: .892 ES SV%, 10.2 SH%, 99.4 PDO

Neither guy is too far off the mean, but we can probably say that Pardy has been luckier than Vandermeer this season - especially considering that SV% which is a couple clicks above the club's average (.909 - did I mention goaltending is an issue?).

So it looks like a lot of the difference between their underlying stats can be assigned to bounces. Their corsi rates are also very similar. Functionally, it looks like these two guys are basically the same player, except one is 29 and costs the club 2.3M in cap space while the other is a 24 year old rookie worth 500k. Personally, I would play the rookie - he's a better bet to improve and outperform his contract - but it terms of short term loss or gain, playing one over the other is probably moot.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 ngthagg
March 23 2009, 11:49AM
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I didn't realize how close they were. I think I would give Pardy the edge on defence considering that these numbers include his very first games in the NHL: those pull his numbers down a bit from what his actual performance level is.

But I'm pretty satisfied with Pardy playing a fourth line role. I'd rather see him on defense, but what really pisses me off is seeing him benched. Benching players with an upside seems like a huge waste of resources to me.

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#2 blade
March 23 2009, 01:46PM
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Pardy was coming on great early in the season and kind of backed off a bit as is common with young defencemen. Given more time in the saddle he shall either sink or swim with all indications being swim. Frankly he overworks the game a bit. His offensive upside is way higher than vandy IMO. If keenan has a vandy preference that would be erring on the side of caution. In a conference full of speedy wingers vandy is in over his head in many instances, his positional play minimizes those situations which comes with a bit of experience. Pardy did draw a few shifts on forward vs the blues which was a bit weird but hey.... that evil genius guy does have the odd quirk. Bergeron in Minny is a give away machine and has been in the league for a while... note to pardy... work on your one timer kid.

Clearly with the league getting more and more pussified the dman gig gets tougher and tougher so having superior skating skills should be your ticket up the food chain.

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#3 merzer131
March 24 2009, 08:40AM
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Excellent analysis Kent!

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#4 Kyle
March 24 2009, 11:24AM
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It could be bounces that have Pardy with the higher on ice SV%, OR it could be that Pardy tends to keep the opposition to lower quality shots. We can't say which direction the effect is going.

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#5 Kent
March 24 2009, 12:28PM
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Kyle wrote:

It could be bounces that have Pardy with the higher on ice SV%, OR it could be that Pardy tends to keep the opposition to lower quality shots. We can’t say which direction the effect is going.

Maybe. But the fact that Pardy's SV% is higher than the mean makes me think he's gotten a bit lucky this year. Vic had a post on this issue awhile ago and it showed individual defensemen seem to have a fairly negligible effect on their goalies SV% over time (something like + 0.003 for second pairing guys was the biggest effect).

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