Sunday, March 04, 2007

UFAs To Target: Kimo Timonen.

I think Kimo Timonen would be an excellent free agent for Kevin Lowe to go after this offseason. In his post defending Smyth's value, Rivers commented that he has "a sneaking suspicion that if the Oilers do get a UFA, they'll make a major mistake on someone obviously not elite like Timonen." This got me thinking, is Timonen an elite player? From what I can tell, if Smyth is considered elite then so should Timonen. Frankly, I think that 5.5/5 would be spent wisely if we went after Timonen this offseason. He's 31, and I think it's widely agreed that defensemen begin to peak somewhere around 30 years old.

Let's shoot high here, and compare Timonen's and Lidstrom's 2006-2007 campaigns:

Numbers are courtesy of Gabe Desjardins via his site behindthenet

On ice GF/GA

Lidstrom: GF: 3.76 GA: 1.59 Ratio: +2.18
Timonen: GF: 3.90 GA: 2.50 Ratio: +1.40

Both players' numbers are very impressive. However, it's clear that Lidstrom holds a significant advantage.

Quality of Competition:


Lidstrom: 0.0818
Timonen: 0.0793

This is pretty much a wash, both players are playing tough minutes and outscoring their opposition.

Powerplay +/- over 60 minutes:

Lidstrom: +6.05 | Teammates: +5.04 | Ratio: +1.01
Timonen: +7.20 | Teammates: +5.40 | Ratio: +1.80

A clear advantage for Timonen. Moreover, his superiority is still evident when you take into account the superior teammates Timonen is on the PP with.

Shorthanded +/- over 60 minutes:

Lidstrom: -4.50
Timonen: -3.86

Another clear advantage for Timonen.

All and all it appears that Kimo Timonen is an elite player. He significantly outscores his competition while playing the tough minutes and excels on both the PP and the PK. Moreover, when compared to a future HHOF like Lidstrom, Timonen not only holds his own at ES, but looks like the better player on special teams.

15 comments:

Black Dog said...

Interesting stuff.

Keep it coming.

Although I think its the trade route not UFA that Lowe will take.

Slipper said...

Kinger, I'm not clear totally on what to make on all those Dejardins values. In this particular instance, wouldn't the difference between Timonen's/Lidstrom's Opponent +/-, and their Linemate +/- almost make up the difference between thier GD. If that's the case, and factoring in the extra 21% of minutes Lidstrom's played, doesn't that tip the scales back in Lidstrom's favour?

I'm not really trying to nit pick your point, but alot of the number pumped out don't come with Coles notes and I'm not positive what I'm looking at all the time.

Slipper said...

*I should mention that I"m talking about the PP numbers

kinger said...

If you factor in the difference of Opponent +/-, Lidstrom makes up 0.44, which still gives the advantage to Timmonen.

+1.80 to +1.45.

And no, I don't think the extra minutes that Lidstrom logs make up that difference. They both log significant PP time on their respective teams, just because Lidstrom has more opportunity to succeed doesn't make him the better player on the PP.

RiversQ said...

Interesting stuff. You should probably credit Desjardins when you're using his stuff though. One thing I can't remember from his site - does he pull the 6V5 situations out of his GF/GA data? It's not relevant to this issue, just wondering if anyone has seen it?

This is an interesting year for Timonen. It's funny I think Vic likes the player and I respect the guy, but I flipped through about 25 NSH shift charts last year and I wasn't too impressed. Trotz was consistently using Markov/Eaton for top opposition ahead of Timonen's pairing - especially for the SJ games. This may have been due to Timonen's partner at the time (changed a lot last year IIRC) and might be due to his size, but I took it as a bad sign. I'm still a little suspect about his defensive ability and one year isn't going to change my mind. I'm not sure he's worth paying $6MM especially not over an impact forward, when MacT will probably have to worry about his matchups.

As for the PP, his numbers this year have been quite good. Probably better last year though. The Lidstrom comparison isn't really fair though - there's a significant gap between their PPP/hr rates. ie. Lidstrom's driving the scoring on the PP at least a little bit more. Lidstrom's ahead by nearly 1PPP/hr over the past two seasons while playing more minutes.

Since this is partially about Smyth, I should mention that Smyth's been posting a better PPGD/hr number than that all year. I'm not sure if there's a difference between what Desjardins' uses and what I've got but Smyth was up around 8.0 this year and was at 8.2 last year. He's also got better PPP/hr rates this year and will probably post better numbers over the next few years. Just saying.

It's all moot anyway. Philly will buck up I think.

kinger said...

Interesting stuff. You should probably credit Desjardins when you're using his stuff though. One thing I can't remember from his site - does he pull the 6V5 situations out of his GF/GA data? It's not relevant to this issue, just wondering if anyone has seen it?

You're right about giving credit, I'll throw an edit up.

As for the 6vs5, I'll send him a PM on HF to find out. I'm assuming you mean within the PP numbers? I'm fairly sure he doesn't include 6vs5 in his On ice/Off ice +/-.

As for Lidstrom's PPP/hr rates, if we take quality of teammates into consideration, should PPP/hr be valued over PP+/-/hr? Isn't that somewhat along the lines of valuing points over adjusted +/-?

kinger said...

To add to my last post, don't you have to do an analysis based on PP+/- to do justice to a guy like Smyth? That's really the only place that "standing in front of the goalie pissing him off" will show up on the score sheet.

RiversQ said...

kinger said...

As for the 6vs5, I'll send him a PM on HF to find out. I'm assuming you mean within the PP numbers? I'm fairly sure he doesn't include 6vs5 in his On ice/Off ice +/-.


No i'm talking about 6V5 and EN goals at 5V5 only. 6V4 is a possibility I hadn't thought of - does he filter those out too?

As for Lidstrom's PPP/hr rates, if we take quality of teammates into consideration, should PPP/hr be valued over PP+/-/hr? Isn't that somewhat along the lines of valuing points over adjusted +/-?

Nope. First off the PP is almost exclusively about scoring and not about preventing SHG. SHGs are pretty much like random occurrences. (Note that Lidstrom takes a beating there.) SHGf/GA rates fluctuate wildly from year to year from player to player. Personally, I don't think this is all that much like EV+/- for those reasons.

I think both PPGF/hr and PPP/hr are valuable things to consider for a PP player. Personally I value the former a touch more and then consider the points rate second. The players that assist the PP should have good PPGF/hr, the ones that DRIVE the PP should have good PPP/hr rates on top of that.

Oh and I found one difference already - GD uses just 5V4 PPGF/GA. My PP numbers aren't split up because i don't have the 5on3 TOI.

kinger said...

OK, well as I said, Lidstrom is widely considered one of the top 3 defenseman in the game. I don't there is an argument that can be made that says Timonen isn't at the very least keeping pace in terms of special teams.

Sure, Lidstrom beats him out 5vs5, but Timonen's numbers are pretty impressive as well. My point is, and I think you'd agree, that this season Timonen has at the very least PLAYED like an elite player.

RiversQ said...

kinger said...
To add to my last post, don't you have to do an analysis based on PP+/- to do justice to a guy like Smyth? That's really the only place that "standing in front of the goalie pissing him off" will show up on the score sheet.


Yup, Smyth is almost definitely elite by this measure. It's a lot of work for me to get leaguewide numbers for this so I haven't bothered much. Smyth has two straight seasons of impressive PPGF/hr rates and they've been better than those put up by Hemsky (twice) and Pronger (once), so we can be pretty sure his contribution in this area is sound. I think I've got his 03/04 numbers somewhere too - I'll dig them up some time if i get a chance.

RiversQ said...

I don't there is an argument that can be made that says Timonen isn't at the very least keeping pace in terms of special teams.

Sure there is. I just made it - there's a pretty wide gap between their actual PP production. Lidstrom makes the plays.

One other thing too - the PP minutes definitely matter. Regression to the mean happens for the PP as well. PP dmen seeing heavy point time usually have their numbers regress to the team rate. We saw this with Pronger last year.

kinger said...

"In terms of special teams" concedes that Lidstrom may have better results on the PP, but Timonen makes up the difference on the PK.

You disagree?

kinger said...

One other thing too - the PP minutes definitely matter. Regression to the mean happens for the PP as well. PP dmen seeing heavy point time usually have their numbers regress to the team rate. We saw this with Pronger last year.

Doesn't the adjustment for quality of teammates successfully account for this?

Anyways, the point was that Timonen can keep pace with the king of kings on the blue line. Moreover, based on quality of competition, adjusted 5vs5 +/-, powerplay +/- and PK +/-, Timonen is ahead of anyone not named Lidstrom, Pronger, or Niedermayer.

If that isn't a case for elite status, what the hell is?

Slipper said...

Is there anywhere on-line that has a database for the PPP/hr numbers and stuff like that?

I'm sure I've seen them somewhere before.

Kyle said...

That's a nice analysis you've got there, and I think Kimo is one of those good defenceman that flies under the radar. That said, it's hard to say where he'll slot in on D unless we make a trade somewhere.