I meant to write about this last week, but with all the other stuff going on I forgot. In any event, the Jeff Finger story is one to watch and keep updating. All the experts bashed the shit out of the signing at the time and not much has been said about Finger since he got hurt early on. The folks over at hockeyanalysis.com do a phenomenal job at that which the media in general don’t ever do in this town, analysis…
So, with that in mind, i recommend you take a look at their report on Finger last week which led to a pretty quick plunge in his performance. However, with all things being cyclical lets assume the points are still relevant:
“The Leafs have a 5-7-0 record with Jeff Finger in the line up so far this season. They have given up a combined 44 goals against since he’s rejoined the team following a broken foot earlier this season. That’s the bad news. The good news is, despite the fact that he has averaged over 25 minutes a game, only 10 of those 44 goals have come while he’s been on the ice. That’s less than 1 goal per game against (0.83 actually) while Finger is out there, and considering that 7 of those have come while the team is short handed, that’s relatively impressive. If you compare those numbers to those of Tomas Kaberle (1.26 Goals Against Per Game), Luke Schenn (1.26 Goals Against Per Game), and Pavel Kubina (1.21 Goals Against Per Game) and it begins to make Finger look downright solid in his own end.”
Not too shabby indeed, and keep in mind that he had a brutal night vs. Chicago and I am not sure about last night either…. The reality here is that the guy is what we were told he is…solid in his own end..He doesn’t appear to be a disaster as some claimed he would be….
“If you factor in his minutes played it again paints an impressive picture. Finger has gone an average of 24.5 minutes between goals against overall. Kaberle has gone an average of 19.71 minutes between goals against, Kubina has gone 16.65 minutes, and Schenn has gone 16.56 minutes. On the PK, Finger has gone 4.88 minutes between goals, Kaberle has gone 5.67 minutes between goals (which sort of disproves the whole Kaberle sucks on the PK argument), Schenn has gone 6.54 minutes between goals, and Kubina has gone 4.63 minutes between goals. Of all four defenders being discussed, Schenn has played by far the most PK time, sitting around an hour of short handed ice time at this point. Jonas Frogren has gone 9.07 minutes between goals on the PK, so he is probably the best defensive D man on the team at this point.”
That says quite a bit. From the sound of things he is a quiet guy who just does his job. The fact that we don’t hear about him that often means he is doing well. Was he worth the money?? Well who in the NHL really is. Here is what we all have to remember, he is only worth what the market will pay him. I don’t think Cliff said hmmmm, let’s make this guy rich and overpay him (like JFJ did with Blake right eye?)….
20 games in, he hasn’t been the embarassment to Cliff and Ron that was predicted. I don’t buy the Hanky story that the Leafs are actively trying to trade him any more then i do that they are about to acquire Khabibulin….
You can read the rest of the HA story here…