The Bruins had two players finish in double digits in fighting majors in 2010-11 -- Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell -- and both those players finished in double digits in goals as well. Thornton had 10 goals and 14 majors; Campbell had 13 and 11.
Let me put into perspective how impressive this is: there were only seven players in the entire NHL that reached 10 goals and 10 majors in 2010-11, and Boston had two of them.
Remember how I said that Boston is an above average hockey team? Is there any way that Thornton and Campbell experienced better season totals as a result of the talent surrounding them? Even as fourth-liners, their chances for offensive production are much better when Marchand or Seguin are between them. Either way, I don't see why there is such a high value being placed on these two.
As we near the halfway point in the 2011-12 schedule, with most teams having played 41 games now, the numbers of players projected to reach the milestone is even lower.
So unfortunate. Does that mean we have to overvalue the three players that manage to light ten lamps and earn 50 PIMs with their fists? New Jersey will have to let go of Parise in order to forward $7.5 million a year to David Clarkson.
...Would you believe that it's rarer to post 10 goals and 10 fights than to score 30 goals? There were twenty-nine 30-goal-scorers last season. Heck, fighter-scorers are almost as rare as 40-goal scorers, of which there were five.
And they're almost as vital to deep, successful teams.
The title of this article, "The fighter-scorer is as rare as the 40-goal scorer, and almost as valuable", is ridiculous. A 40-goal scorer is often the best player on the roster and typically seen as a team leader. The label of "fighter-scorer" is a premature distinction for knuckle-knockers who apparently need to score ten goals a season in order to earn said label. This means Tim Jackman and Ryane Clowe are basically the same player, right? David Clarkson for (potentially) Matt Martin would be an equal swap, right? I understand the point trying to be made here, and I will agree that some of the players mentioned in this article are valuable assets to their respective teams. Regardless, you're not going to convince me that Tootoo, Downie and Lapierre are (almost) as significant as Erat, Stamkos and Willard.
What the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks and the 2010-11 Boston Bruins have shown us is that there isn't room in a Stanley Cup-winning lineup for a player that can't take regular shifts. You need four complete lines that can score, as those teams boasted, and you simply can't waste spots on one-dimensional pugilists.
Bravo! This is part of why I haven't had much to write about lately. While I want to bash him for putting too much value on fighters that score, he recognizes that pure fighters are a waste of space.
Nowadays, if you want toughness (and you need toughness), you either get a guy who can fight and play, or you willfully dress a flaw. Last I checked, the team that wins is the team with the fewest flaws, so starting with a one-flaw handicap is hardly efficient.
I feel silly for getting mad at you. Can we still be friends?
The scoring fighter, however, very much is.
I'll call this a work in progress. For the sake of argument, Ryane Clowe is a power forward, while Tim Jackman is a fourth-line player who will likely never score ten goals in one season for the rest of his career. Until then, I hope you enjoy this pathetic excuse of a blog post; it might be the last one for 2012.