The Revealed Value of Daymond Langkow

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 28: Daymond Langkow #22 of the Calgary Flames skates with the puck past Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the first period of the NHL game at Arena on January 28, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


One of the more interesting coaching decisions by Brent Sutter thus far has been the matching of Olli Jokinen, Rene Bourque and Niklas Hagman against the other team’s top lines. The season didn’t begin that way, but Sutter has settled into that routine lately.

This is interesting because it gives us an opportunity to compare Daymond Langkow to Olli Jokinen. The former played with Rene Bourque (and a rotating cast of LWers) in almost the exact same circumstances for a chunk of the season.The latter is doing it currently – as best as he’s able at least.

Right now, the Flames only have one group of regular forwards under water in terms of possession. That is, of course, the Jokinen trio. They’ve been deployed against the best more often than not and have started out in their own zone more than any other forward group. Here’s their varoius advanced stats:

Jokinen: -4.45 corsi/60, 49.4% zone start

Bourque: -10.94 corsi/60, 46.8% zone start

Hagman: -5.75 corsi/60, 45.1% zone start

Yeesh. To be fair, those are tough circumstances. Of course, this is the reason that Langkow is so well thought of in some circles:

Langkow: +7.65 corsi/60, 47.7% zone start

Bourque: +5.19 corsi/60, 52.4% zone start

Dawes: +7.80 corsi/60, 50.5% zone start

These are the results from the "second line" last year (or it’s most frequent iteration). Bourque and Langkow mostly played together when the two were healthy and they positively ran things possession-wise. This year, Bourque is playing roughly the same role, except with Jokinen instead of Langkow and the pairing is getting buried.

There’s obviously limitations to this comparison – the current season’s sample size is tiny. Knowing what we know about Jokinen though, I have serious doubts that the results for that trio will improve if Sutter continues to match them up against the big boys. We’ll see if that continues (my thinking is "no", even though the other options are less than ideal as well), but even now I think we’re seeing some of the consquences of Langkow’s absence from this club.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Unfortunately Langkow’s true value at the moment is nil. If he were to miraculously come back, I wonder how lines would shift up. I’m not opposed to Stajan staying on the “First Line”, myself, and dropping Jokinen to the third line.

  • Great stuff Ken’t.

    It’s interesting to note that when you compiled scoring chances from last year, Langkow also finished well above water.

    Ken’t counted most games last season, and Langkow finished with 202 chances while on the ice at ES and 160 against. Pretty good.

    With Bourque and Langkow together, similar results at ES: 106 for and 89 against.

  • It’s tough when you watch Joker play, he seems to work really hard, but just can’t seem to make much happen. In comparison to Langkow I think Joker just does too much, Lanks sees the ice better and seems much better positionally and he keeps things simple.

  • everton fc

    I think Langkow may be done, as well. He was/is one of my favorite Flames.

    If Jokinen finds a groove… and can stay in the groove… he could be dangerous.

    Here’s hoping Jokinen finds his groove soon. Like against the Wings. I sense it may be coming. Hard work should pay off, shouldn’t it?

    • Nah. At 30 years old, Jokinen is what he is at this point in his career. He has some nice tools (size, speed, nice shot) but his computer is faulty. He also can’t handle the puck worth a damn and has some pretty terrible vision.

      • SmellOfVictory

        I’ve said it before: if someone can convince him to just skate straight up the middle and blast the puck at the net everytime he has it, he’ll do some damage. He’s big and fast enough that he can still plow through guys with reasonable frequency, and that way his weaknesses would be minimized.

        • Sworkhard

          He’s actually been driving straight to the net quite a bit the last few games, though mostly without the puck, and he’s been quite effective as a result. He gives the rest of the players more room to move this way, and provides a reasonably good screen. He’s been rewarded with some goals the last couple of games as well.

  • I’ve had an inkling that Daymond was done for a while, dating back to early summer. Darryl’s (panic) signing of Jokinen raised red flags – a one year deal, under the circumstances, would have made a hell of a lot more sense than the 2 years he gave him. Throughout training camp, I had reason to believe he would be out at least until the new year, and on opening night in Edmonton, I got word he may be done for good.

    It’s unfortunate – watching a player with the passion Daymond has come to grips with his career quite possibly being over – but I suspect he’s been hanging on, pushing himself physically hoping things will turn around. I have ZERO expectations that he will be back this season, and quite frankly, based on things I’ve heard from people close to Daymond, believe his career is over. Eric Francis’ article today just seems to confirm this.

    I’d like to wish the VEGREVILLE product good luck in his quest for a return to a health life.

  • There is no way an injury like Lanks has doesn’t leave long term side effects. Even if he is able to return for some time, he will have problems whether it’s soon or later in his life. Knowing the very limited amount we can know, it would most likely be best for him and his family for him not to come back.

    Best of luck to him one way or another.

  • BobB

    Kent, I have a lot of respect for the work that you put into your analysis, and have not only learned much from your efforts, but also appreciate your willingness to stay fairly even with your analysis.

    With that said, I think this is a really unfair time to do this comparison, and can only hope that it continues going forward, and that this is not the last word.

    Afterall, it’s been only 11 games (which you disclose), and comparing Jokinen to Langkow based on corsi/60 after three humiliating losses can potentially sway that number hugely. (I haven’t looked into it.)

    Add to it, that the trio has only played together for 7? games. AND that Bourque the highest money-maker on the line seems to get a free ride as all negativity points to Jokinen.

    Look, we both know that in terms of a complete game Jokinen is never going to stack up against Langkow. However, that doesn’t mean that Joker is worth a bag of pucks.

    Putting this idea out there at this juncture is opportunistic in timing and one sided in criticism.

    Jokinen may not deserve much, but he deserves unbias analysis.

    Why not point out that the trio have the best CorsiRelQoC, with Jokinen’s being the best.

    Why not point out that Jokinen’s CorsiRelQoC at 3.628 is, best on the team AND substantially higher than Iggy’s at 1.444 (7mil), than Stajan the next best centre at 1.106, Morrison at .342 or Backlund at -1.038.

    We could go on.

    If the Flames need Jokinen to be their best centre, we’re in trouble. If they need him to replace Langkow, we’re in trouble. If they need to get the best out of Jokinen that we can under much less than ideal circumstances…we may STILL be in trouble.

    Let’s not just throw him under the bus yet.

  • BobB

    Oh I forgot to add…that during the entire 2009 season Daymond Langkow’s CorsiRelQoC was 1.107, which was worst of the trio of Bourque, Dawes and himself.

    Langkow – 1.107 vs. Jokinen – 3.628

    We all miss Langkow, but let’s give Jokinen some credit…and a chance at least.

    • Yup, the analysis is premature because we’re 11 games in. That’s a fair point for sure.

      But Jokinen gets no benefit of the doubt from me. None. If he proves me wrong, I’ll post a Mea Culpa, but why the hell any of us has to “give Jokinen a chance” is beyond me. He was horrible at this gig last year and he’s bad at it again this year. Frankly, it’s not his fault he keeps getting thrown to the big dogs, but there it is.

      I’ll admit that Bourque hasn’t been all that good either. I didn’t like his play at all last week. but he DOES get the benefit of the doubt from me, because he has some sort of track record in these circumstances.

      Also, are you comparing Langkow’s Corsi Qual comp last year to Jokinen’s this year (after 11 games)? because we both know that doesn’t work.

      • BobB

        Nope, simply pointing out that last year Langkow was making 4.5million, while Dawes was making 700k and Langkow had the worst CorsiRelQoc of the three of them inclu. Bourque.

        This year, it’s similar as you’ve pointed out, only Dawes is out with Hagman in, and Joker is in for Langkow.

        Jokinen now has the best (in 11 games albeit, but hey…I didn’t begin the analysis) the BEST of the three, amongst RBQ and Hagman.

        As I understand it…CorsiRelQoC is really only useful comparing amongst the team.

        If people think Jokinen is a piece of junk…well

        I ask, who’s doing it better than Joker, who has a better CorsiRelQoC?

        Nobody, on the ENTIRE 10/11 Flames. Nobody.

        Would Langkow be better? I dunno, probably, BUT last year, Lanks was the WORST of the three, this year Jokinen is the BEST, and is tied for being the lowest paid @ 3mil with Hagman.

        Whether I’m the only one giving him the benefit of the doubt or not, the numbers support it.

        EDIT: You say Jokinen is “bad at it again this year.” BASED on what? Every criticism of him, can be equal of RBQ or Hagman. He’s the BEST of the three by corsi. He trails by only 3 pts to Bourque, and is equal to Hagman. He’s not a minus player…Hagman is, so is Iggy. He has the second most shots on the team. He has a better pts/60 than Hagman So… based on what? What you see?

        Every game Joker gets criticized. Why not Hagman? Nobody is saying Meyer is better than Hagman. Why not?

        • SmellOfVictory

          I appreciate all the analysis provided by Kent who does a lot of the “heavy lifting” in order that we can provide observations and comments. However I must side with Lawrence on this one. There is consistently in every analysis and a majority of quotes from Kent a hot or more at Jokinen.
          We are all entitled to our opinions, especially you Kent however when I try to make an objective observation re Jokinen I see a guy who started the season horribly but seems to be improving each game. He is one of the few willing to provide a net front presence. He gives a full effort out there although he seems to spin his wheels a lot and doesn’t think the game the best. In my books effort is always worthy of credit-heck he even dropped the gloves.
          He is lacking in a number of areas but hopefully he continues to improve and go to the net like he has been in the last 6 games or so. For sure I don’t see where he deserves the constant belittlement and criticism which has been levelled at him sine July.
          Keep up the good work!

    • SmellOfVictory

      I will call it an honest effort and as stated not always a smart effort. There is much that we can critique still about his game (and others as well) but his deficiencies have been well documented. I do think is play is improving and he has been generating scoring chances in recent games. His faceoff % is also not good but Langkows was a team worst last year (correct me if I’m wrong).

      On another note Phaneuf should have ran for Mayor in TO in the recent elections-he may have won however the bloom is off the rose. He has no goals is a -6, the boo birds are out and TO fans are questioning his comittment to defense. See as well as Eric Francis’ column in today’s Sun.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I’d also like to throw in my 2 cents regarding Joker vs Langkow. I think Lawrence has a point, however it’s also important to keep in mind that numbers used to represent real-world phenomena need always be taken with a grain of salt (especially composites such as Corsi). I do believe strongly in the usefulness of advanced statistics to measure on-ice effectiveness, but I don’t think you can say, for example, that nobody on the Flames is doing as good a job as Jokinen simply because his CorsiRelQoC is the highest. It gives us an idea of what he’s doing, but you still have to combine that with the context of what can be seen on the ice.

    From what I’ve seen, both on the ice and from the underlying numbers, Jokinen isn’t doing as well as the numbers that Lawrence quoted suggest, nor is he a complete failure in his current role. And really, he isn’t getting as much help from Hagman and Bourque as you would expect. I honestly think they could settle into being an okay second line (even being fed to the wolves) through the season.

    • PrairieStew

      The numbers do not reveal on ice judgement. Jokinen’s corsi may be flattering because of his tendency to shoot from any place on the ice. I do not believe there is a statistic that measures the “What the @^ were you thinking?” moments generated by a player. With Langkow, those were rare; with Olli, one never knows what’s going on in that big pumpkin.

  • SmellOfVictory

    On an unrelated note, there are rumours being spread about Parise being discontented with the Devils. HOW AWESOME WOULD IT BE IF THE FLAMES GOT HIM NEXT SUMMER?

    Answer: really awesome.

  • Sworkhard

    Well Mr. Wilson,
    First off, it totally sucks that Langkow got hurt and is really messed up. That being said, come on there’s no way that second line of Lanks, Dawes & Bourque, played better than the oppositions top lines. All in the plus? Yes they played well and were probabley Calgarys best line on most nights. If Dawes was that good on that line than why did they buy him out? Why is it Bourque is playing good with Hagman and Morrison? Once again the stats don’t tell truth of the matter at hand.
    What Calgary has been dealing with is life with out Langkow. Not bad in fact seeing they could sign Giordano for 5 years @ 20 million. Hey, is that what Langkow got three years back? No wait, four years @ 20 million.
    I wish Lanks could get healthy, come back and score thirty plus goals. But it’s just not going to happen any time soon.

  • Greg

    So assuming Langkow doesn’t come back, does that mean our cap issues are OK for the season now? Or do we still have an issue once Moss and Kotalik are back?

    Any updates on Kotalik by the way? I haven’t heard boo since he went down.

  • PrairieStew

    28 guys counting against the roster, and a full $5.6 over the cap at this point.

    On the return of Moss, you can send down Sutter which will save $400 K or so. On the return of Kotalik, it could be Meyer or Ivanins, and that would bring it pretty close to the $4.5 allowable over for Langkow. At this point sending Staios down saves only LTIR room, not real cap space.

  • In his last 5 games, Jokinen has 2G, 3A and is +2. Seeing as we just lost 7-2 & 6-5, I really don’t think he’s our biggest problem right now, goals aren’t getting scored against him when he’s on the ice.

    If anything I would say that the Joker line has been very opportunistic as of late. Even if they are getting outchanced, they are finding ways to score.

    Give the guy some credit, guys like Iginla & Bouwmeester are the ones who are shitting the bed right now.

  • In his last 5 games, Jokinen has 2G, 3A and is +2. Seeing as we just lost 7-2 & 6-5, I really don’t think he’s our biggest problem right now, goals aren’t getting scored against him when he’s on the ice.

    If anything I would say that the Joker line has been very opportunistic as of late. Even if they are getting outchanced, they are finding ways to score.

    Give the guy some credit, guys like Iginla & Bouwmeester are the ones who are crapping the bed right now.

    • PrairieStew

      Jokinen’s best statistical game as a Flame was as I recall a 3 goal, 2 assist effort in Toronto in a game that was lost 8-5 or something. I don’t have any stats to back it up, but it just seems to me that his production often lacks meaning, that is, it is not in clutch situations.

      I agree that lately he has been better, and I hope for him to produce that type of effort consistently, but to this point he is for me the singularly most aggravating guy ever to wear the Flaming C. That is saying alot considering we’ve had lots of guys over the years that you would want to strangle : Bryan Marchment, Kari Eloranta, Nick Fotiu, Trevor Kidd, Valeri Bure….