Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Mats Sundin: The King of Consistency?

by Gőlbez

Consistent - (kən-sĭs'tənt) adjective:

  • Reliable; steady: "demonstrated a consistent ability to impress the critics."
  • One of the most overused words in sports

  • What does it mean to be consistent? If you listen to hockey people, it's a lack of effort or a bad game. ("We didn't put forth a consistent effort!")

    However, if you can consistently awful, then you aren't 'inconsistent', are ya?

    A great team can also be wildly inconsistent. Let's say the Vancouver Canucks win 5, lose 2, win 1, lose 2, win 7, lose 3, win 1, lose 1, win 5, lose 3, win 1, lose 4, win 10. Yes, they are quite inconsistent, but they are still doing great and would finish 30-15. Meanwhile, a team that loses every single game is totally consistent.

    Anyway, I was perusing Mats Sundin's career stats (Why? I don't remember) and was just amazed at how consistent his production has been over almost his entire career.

    Mats Sundin
    After his initial 3-year introduction phase, Mats settled down and has put out pretty much a consistent point-a-game pace since 1993-94! He only deviates more than .10 points-per-game in two different seasons, even if his goals and assists totals fluctuate quite a bit. Even in his late 30's, he's still putting up the same pace.

    It's also interesting that Mats has missed very little time due to injury. Apart from this season, Mats doesn't really miss any long periods of time due to injury (That 48 game season was the shortened season).

    Mats gets a lot of flak from Leafs lemmings for not being able to lead the Leafs to the Stanley Cup, as if it is his responsbility to coach and manage the team as well.

    Sundin may be the real live version of a Swedish troll, but let's give credit where it is due. Mats Sundin has to be one of the most bankable and consistent players in NHL history. A player who misses little time due to injury and puts up a point a game while playing good defensively? There's a lot of value in having that kind of certainty, and it would be nice if the media made more of a point about that.

    Forget the 'promise' that so many other players offer (Alexei Kovalev, anyone?) and give me the player that keeps performing at a consistent level.

    Here's to Mats Sundin, the true NHL's truly "Consistent" player.

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    Not a fan, but I find Sundin's numbers could have been even better given the talent he possesses.
    I've always thought of Sundin's statistical production as being hurt more then most by his linemates... poor guy has Sergei Berezin as arguably the best linemate he's ever had besides an aging Gary Roberts for a few seasons.

    Incredibly consistent though, seems to do pretty much the same thing every season with incremental variances that are pretty much right inline with the level of scoring in the NHL as a whole that season.

    Regardless, great player. And he's always been very clutch as well.

    I'm not sure the no-cup is Sundin's fault, but they did have a few seasons in which they were potential contenders, and besides a few conference finals showings there's been little to show for it.
    Berezin? Try Mogilny.

    But his linemates have little to do with his production, as this season (and last) can attest.
    His numbers have been great considering that throughout his time in Toronto he has been the target of special attention from the opposition.

    He has frequently put the team on his back and has almost never played with wingers approaching his level. Roberts and Almo were the closest but even that was not consistent as Quinn tried to find balanced lines.

    Nice to see someone outside of the legion of Leaf fans appreciating Mats.
    Looking back on the old ice time sheets Sundin didn't really play a whole lot with Mogilny outside of the PP, so I'm not sure you can really call him Sundin's linemate even he's only w/him on special teams.
    Ya, Mats had Roberts, and Mats turned Gary into a 30 goal scorer again. Look at Roberst's numbers since he left the big swede!
    Yes because the team where Roberts is on doesn't need him to score goals unlike when he was on the Leafs...
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