Our Islanders report cards continue with the next unrestricted free agent defenseman: Mark Eaton.
Remember, these are part analysis, part fun, part fodder, and part forced look back. As explained in Milan Jurcina's report card, we ask you to grade each player on an "expectations" curve -- that is, try to remember your preseason expectations of a player and then judge him on how well he lived up to them. The point of the curve is to avoid grading players based purely on talent, and to get us reflecting on what we reasonably expected of a player.
The challenge with grading someone like Mark Eaton is that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about Mark Eaton. I mean really ... he doesn't even stink in a dramatic way.
His 600th NHL game was quite noticeable though: He scored the OT winner ... from Milan Jurcina, naturally.
Eaton focuses on keeping things simple, and that is certainly a way to maintain an NHL job -- he was a Predator and a Stanley Cup-winning Penguin before joining the Isles -- but it isn't enough. Not anymore, not now. It's all well and good to keep things simple, but I'm not sure Eaton's brand of K.I.S.S. is helping the Islanders.
|2011-12 - Mark Eaton||62||1||3||4||-17||10||16:03||1:58||114||53||44||2.3%|
So Eaton doesn't hit much, doesn't even block all that many shots for his role, and as we know he doesn't contribute much on offense. We knew all of this when he signed two summers ago, but the hope was territorial defense and penalty killing would make up for it. It hasn't.
In advanced stats, Eaton's quality of competition was the lowest of the six regulars, and his Corsi Rel was by far the lowest.
Since I believe in digging up any pros and cons you can find for each player, I will point out that Eaton's role was heavily weighted to the defensive side, with just 47.1% offensive zone starts. Still, there's not much defending his season and not any numbers I can find to paint it in a better light.
I will note he never really had the benefit of quality partners -- it was a whole lot of Mike Mottau and Milan Jurcina for him. Which begs the need for a blueline upgrade, whether from within or without. (I'm sure when the Isles let him walk he'll join a contender and be a key third-pairing guy on a Cup winner though.)
The Poem / Lyric
Cheesy poem or lyric is done for most report cards. Then you make a better, funnier one in comments if you dare.
Is Mark Eaton
...and why not?
This was explained at the top, but you are asked to vote your grade based on your preseason expectations. And if you defy these instructions? Well, Internet democracy isn't clean. The will of the masses made Michael Jackson the alleged "king of pop."