Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 9, 2014
We knew it would happen and it's neither good nor bad. It is what it is. The limited chances Sven Baertschi had to prove himself in 14 games this season is laughable at times. Barely getting power play time, top-six minutes, or even really playing more than 10 minutes a night has lead to this.
So what to make of the rest of the year for Sven?
Well he's probably going to get top-six minutes in Adirondack. The Baby Flames are not the most offensively gifted this season due to their slow start and all of the call-ups that Calgary has made this season. So this is a good thing for them...providing he finds his scoring touch.
Currently the Adirondack team is sitting 5th in the Western Conference (I had no idea Adirondack was in the West but whatever) posting a 14-10-1 record and a 6-4-0-0 record in their last ten. Their -5 goal differential could change with Sven's arrival but we'll bite our tongues for now. Ben Hanowski is leading in scoring...so that speaks volumes about the offensive wows down there.
The best option may be playing him with Emile Poirier and Bill Arnold as those two seemed to have found some great chemistry at times. That would give him an opportunity to really find his game and contribute. We might not see him again at all this season or if there is an injury. Preferably let's just leave him down there to find his offensive touch and see what happens later this season.
So what has Sven accomplished this year?
Prior to the call-up, he played 10 games in Adirondack and registered 3 assists. Nothing impressive yet. The same can be said with his 14 games with Calgary; only posting 3 assists in a predominately 4th line role. He averaged 8:55 TOI/GP along with 14.5 shifts a game. Hell, Brandon Bollig is averaging more ice time this season than him. His 11 shots on net aren't anything to write home about either.
From the underlying numbers perspective, he isn't supremely horrible albeit his sample size and TOI are huge factors to this end. In all situations this season he is 46.08% CF and surprisingly -1.64 Corsi Rel. Fenwick in all situations, he is sitting at 45.52% which in all seriousness isn't that bad. He slots ahead of many other prominent fixtures in the line-up here.
When it comes to even strength numbers, he's sitting at 44.29% CF and -1.67 Corsi Rel. Also nothing horrible when you consider the team being near the league's bottom with regards to possession. Even strength Fenwick has him at 43.97%; also nothing horrendously different than much of the team.
To that end, if we examine his deployment and who he played with it shows that Hartley never trusted this young man with much. Even though he had 48.57% offensive zone starts (much more padded than others on the team like Curtis Glencross, David Jones, Paul Byron, and Josh Jooris), his line-mates were nothing to write home about at times. These included:
- Paul Byron (TOI together: 56:18) - Not a knock at all against him, but he was the best player Sven had a chance to play a lot with. OZS%: 38.89%
- Dennis Wideman (TOI together: 54:08) - He is what he is. Either really good at times or an enigma at playing in his own zone. OZS%: 35.71%
- Kris Russell (TOI together: 45:35) - Russell has emerged this season as a late bloomer who is turning heads around the league. So it's easy to say he played predominately with the 3rd/4th lines and 2nd pairing more so than anyone else. OZS%: 13.64%
- Brandon Bollig (TOI together: 41.42) - No comment. OZS%: 43.48%
- Devin Setoguchi (TOI together: 36:56) - He'll join his former teammate down in Adirondack. Gooch is horrible. OZS%: 22.73%