Free Tyson Barrie!
12 Mar 2013
CopperandBlue sent me an appropriate clip after I learned Tyson Barrie was being sent down:
That about sums it up. Aside from Duchene and Parenteau, Tyson Barrie has been the nicest story for this Avs team, a rookie who was expected to maybe contribute who quickly became one of the Avs best defensemen. Just like that, Avs management/coaching ruin it because old time hockey guys are dumb and think being a rookie and making a couple mistakes is dar worse than being a veteran and making a ton of them.
But how good has rookie Tyson Barrie been for the Avalanche? Very Very good. How bad a decision is this by Avs management? Barrie Barrie bad. What does sending him down prove: The Avs are a bunch of incompetent nincompoops.
Speaking of decisions Avs management botched so magnificiently they may make a Dennis Quad disaster flick about it: Earlier this year I showed a graph on how good Ryan O'Reilly was last year for the Avs, based on O'Reilly's Corsi with teammates and without them. Here's what Tyson Barrie's graph looks like (full size):
For comparison, here's every defenseman on the Avs (save Ryan Wilson, who's been hurt)
So Tyson Barrie only makes everyone he plays with better, or more accurately, when his teammates are on the ice with him, they possess the puck more. Like a lot more. Let's highlight a guy who hasn't been a healthy scratch this season Ryan O'Byrne:
This is Ryan O'Byrne. Notice how, when everyone else is on the ice they somehow are worse at possessing the puck. It's because Ryan O'Byrne isn't very good this season. (Tonight he had 4 PIM, and a terrible pinch that started the Oilers the other way for their 1st goal. So Kudos to him for proving my point)
Now lets look at the numbers for Avs defensemen straight up:
Barrie - 1st in Rel Corsi, 2nd in Corsi on, & second in Dzone starts.
O'Byrne - Last in Corsi on, Last in Corsi Rel, 3rd in dzone starts. (he is, apparently, playing tougher competition somehow, although as of 3 games ago that wasn't the case. Qualcomp is a weird one)
It's pretty conclusive that Barrie contributes to puck possession more than O'Byrne (and Zanon, Hejda, and Hunwick for that matter)
What makes this even more baffling is that it's pretty clear that, up until a couple games ago, the coaches saw the same thing. They saw a very good player in Tyson Barrie. Don't believe me: He led the Defense in ES TOI/game & PPTOI/game. As recently as the game prior to the one he was benched he was being sent out against Datsyuk and Zetterberg extensively. In fact 70% of his ES ice time was against those two forwards. And how did he do against those two? Well he was +7 in Corsi on the night (led team).
So the coaches trusted him up until his second to last game in the league. Yeah he had a couple bad plays against the best team in the league, in his last game. Specifically Patrick Sharp used him a couple times 1v1. But Barrie has been, on average, a splendid player.
So one bad night for Barrie (or even two, as he was bad in Columbus. but EVERYONE was bad in Columbus) and he's sent back to the minors. That's ridiculous.
Seriously, my blood is boiling about this. Barrie was in the middle of a breakthrough year and Sacco and Sherman just sent him to a league he doesn't belong in. Barrie is an NHL player, a pretty good one too. Yes, he makes some mistakes, as rookies do. But he takes care of the puck, and is able to move it out of his own zone, which is something that not many players on the Avs can say. Going back to the OZone starts and finishes, look at where he finishes his shifts: he finishes his shifts in the Ozone 62% of the time, despite starting in the Ozone 45% of the time. He's moving the puck up the ice damnit.
Ryan O'Byrne barely is able to get it out of his own zone when he gets it (this isn't just stats, but a very noticeable problem with him). The goal against in Barrie's first game was all on O'Byrne and Hunwick being unable to get the puck out of their own zone. Tonight Ryan O'Byrne had the puck on his stick, after it was passed backwards to him, under minimal pressure and he still managed to give up a scoring opportunity (and take a penalty) all because the guy cannot handle the puck. At all. Zanon has the exact same deficiencies, except he's worse positionally than O'Byrne. Barrie may be a little weak in 1v1 defense, but 1v1s happen maybe once every other game. Defensemen handle the puck dozens of times a game. Being able to execute simple passes is a more valuable skill than 1v1 defending, even if it isn't as glamorous.
The stats are just screaming off the page: TYSON BARRIE IS A QUALITY NHL PLAYER. The eyeballs are screaming off the page: HE IS A QUALITY NHL PLAYER. Now, he's a superb AHL player, which isn't right.
Avs management are a bunch of nincompoops.