Grading the Islanders: Mark Streit, Swiss Workhorse

Last season at age 32 Mark Streit's minutes increased over his debut year with the Islanders. He logged 680 more minutes than the next guy on the Isles, Jack Hillen. It's no wonder that, after captaining Switzerland at the Olympics once again, Streit chose to sit out the World Championships for the first time in 13 years.

The question before you today is the question of every report card here: Did he do what you expected of him in 2009-10?

At first I was going to make a pretty graph comparing his three-year point production, shots and ice time. But then I remembered I am clueless with graphing software his Montreal numbers were skewed by time at forward and time on that incredible 2007-08 Canadiens powerplay.

Plan B: Show his numbers in Year 1 and Year 2 of his Islanders contract (after the jump), ask yourself whether the "drop-off" was significant enough to dock his grade. Discuss.


Mark Streit

#2 / Defenseman / New York Islanders

6-0

197

Dec 11, 1977

5

$4.1 million through 2012-13

8.6

"All hail our lone All-Star and Olympian."




GP G A P +/- PIM PPG Shts/GP TOI PPtoi SHtoi Sh%
2008 - 09  Mark Streit 74 16 40 56 6 62 10 2.03 25:13 5:09 2:29 10.7
2009 - 10  Mark Streit 82 11 38 49 0 48 2 2.28 25:42 5:12 1:47 5.9

First thing I'd note is that Streit's 2008-09 was unreal. (Which is why he got Norris consideration, right? Oh wait...) He went from a good team to a last-place team, a stellar powerplay to a pedestrian powerplay, yet only put up six fewer points than the 62 he put up as a point man/wing hybrid with the Habs.

Second thing I'd note is that I'm observationally clueless, because I could have sworn that Streit shot less this past season. Turns out, by the end at least, he'd shot a slight bit more -- both in total (187 vs. 150 on goal) and in his per-game rate (2.28 vs. 2.03).

I was thinking he got his shot off less, because opponents keyed on it more -- and while the latter might still be true, the former obviously is not. Streit had his chances this past season, he just either was less of a marksman or had less luck. (Probably both: The most shot-happy NHL defenseman are generally above Streit's 5.9 percent in 2009-10, but no one not named Mike Green touches the 10.7 figure Streit hit in 2008-09.)

Another "drop" occurred in his penalty minutes -- he was never a ruffian to begin with, but he took six fewer minors (in 8 more games) and remained one of the least penalized heavy-minute defensemen in the league.

 

Usage

As mentioned, Streit's minutes went up -- about 30 seconds per game -- this year. But his PP time was level, while his PK time dropped by about 40 second per game.

As far as assignments, his Quality of Competition was third among Isles D-men -- though since he plays so much, it makes sense that he's behind his tough-minutes partner Andrew MacDonald (and Jack Hillen -- poor Hillen, saddled with the worst partners on the club). Streit still drove play though, as we all saw with our own eyes; his Corsi relative to QualComp was second only to Hillen [edit: Ben points out I read this wrong, though the spirit holds].

On the PK, he was on for two more goals against 4-on-5 (20) than last season (18), despite logging fewer minutes. But the Isles PK was awful on all fronts this year, 29th in the league, so it's tough to find anything that was Streit's fault there. I do think for a guy who logs so many minutes, it makes sense to limit his PK minutes -- particularly if the guy is not a clear dominant force on the PK. His and the whole unit's performance bears watching this coming season.

To go by the traditional, reporter/Norris voter-friendly metrics: Streit's 56 points were seventh among all defensemen, ahead of names like Shea Weber, Brian Campbell, Chris Pronger and Dion Frankeneuf -- and behind only Mike Green, Andrei Markov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski and Dan Boyle.

The Poem

Dear Mark,

We love you.

Please help Nino become just as lovable.

Mad respect to all the world's neutrals.

Love,

Your #1 fans.

P.S. Help with Swiss bank account? Okay nevermind. Maybe another time.

 

The Grade

Stalker love letter non-poems aside, consider what you had in mind for Streit before last season, and grade how his performance measured up to your expectations.

Oh, and a hint for next year, and today's discussion: Think about what you have in mind for him in 2010-11. I would think some more PP success would be in order, but it all depends on that unit's growth.

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