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Are these minutes sustainable?

December 6, 2007

I really wanted to title this post, “Can Adam Foote keep it up?”, but I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger.  Too many obvious sophomoric jokes, and this is a family oriented hockey blog.  Ha!

As noted in Truth Serum’s last column, Adam Foote has been playing some serious minutes.  He wants to know if Adam can continue to play that much for the rest of the season.  While I don’t have the answer to that particular question, it does raise a related item for me.  Specifically,

Just how many minutes does he pull, and against whom?

The first part is not hard to find, the TOI info is available at the league website, among many other places.  Over at Behind the Net, you can find out who the most common opponents are during 5 on 5 play.  Right at your fingertips, you can see who Foote is shadowing for each game.  Combine this with a quality of competition rating (we’ve discussed this metric before), and you can get a rough idea of how tough (or not, we’ll see) his job is.

Below I’ve listed each game through last Saturday (@ Calgary), how many total minutes Foote played, his quality of competition rating (for all oppenents faced at 5v5), and who his two or three most common forward opponents were at 5v5.

  1. 17:03, 0.16, Corey Perry / Ryan Getzlaf
  2. 21:42, 0.11, Brian Rolston / Marian Gaborik
  3. 22:54, -0.28, Steven Reinprecht / Daniel Winnik
  4. 19:21, 0.32, Andrew Brunette / Joe Sakic
  5. (OT) 25:24, -0.07, Mike Modano / Jere Lehtinen
  6. 22:39, 0.14, Jochen Hecht / Jason Pominville
  7. 18:19, -0.15, Daniel Sedin / Taylor Pyatt / Henrik Sedin
  8. 28:40, 0.34, Robert Lang / Jason Williams / Patrick Kane
  9. 23:36, -0.02, Brad Boyes / Paul Kariya / Keith Tkachuk
  10. 24:56, 0.34, Milan Michalek / Joe Thornton
  11. 22:31, -0.11, Mike Cammalleri / Dustin Brown / Anze Kopitar
  12. (OT) 28:36, 0.17, Corey Perry / Ryan Getzlaf
  13. 21:42, 0.36, Paul Kariya / Brad Boyes / Keith Tkachuk
  14. 20:28, 0.55, Patrick Kane / Tuomo Ruutu / Jonathan Toews
  15. 25:03, 0.42, Pavel Datsyuk / Henrik Zetterberg / Tomas Holmstrom
  16. (OT) 25:21, 0.83, Jason Arnott / JP Dumont / Martin Erat
  17. 23:33, 0.55, JP Dumont / Jason Arnott / Martin Erat
  18. 22:50, 0.41, Jonathan Toews / Patrick Kane / Tuomo Ruutu
  19. 22:25, 0.19, Paul Kariya / Brad Boyes / Keith Tkachuk
  20. (OT) 24:36, 0.59, Henrik Zetterberg / Tomas Holmstrom / Pavel Datsyuk
  21. 22:49, -0.12, Olli Jokinen / Jozef Stumpel / Richard Zednik
  22. 19:30, 0.01, Marian Gaborik / Brian Rolston
  23. (OT) 22:52, 0.20, Henrik Zetterberg / Mikael Samuelsson
  24. 21:23, 0.14, Sam Gagner / Ales Hemsky / Shawn Horcoff
  25. 24:29, 0.12, Daniel Sedin / Henrik Sedin / Markus Naslund
  26. (OT) 26:01, -0.07, Daymond Langkow / Kristian Huselius / Jarome Iginla

Looking through the list, there are quite a few “big names”.  This isn’t surprising, as Foote is on the top defense pairing, but it does illustrate the type of player he’s facing on a nightly basis.  And if you look at the second number (quality of competition, the one bolded), you can see a particularly brutal stretch from games 13-20 (also known as the eight game Central guantlet).

The last two games (not included above) Adam has played 30:54 in the shootout loss to Dallas, and 27:40 in last night’s stunner against the Avalanche.  I’m guessing that having Adam play this many minutes is not part of the long term plan for this team, and looking at the numbers above this seems to mostly confirm my suspicions.  Only in games 15 and 16 and also the last four games has Adam played more than 24 minutes in consecutive games.  If the trend does continue, I think Truth is correct to wonder what Foote will be able to provide in the last 20 games of the season.

Thanks for stopping by the End of the Bench.  Come back soon.

– Drew

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