I think I like Nikita Zaitsev* (*so far in this series)

I think this site has more than enough content on it speaking ill of Nikita Zaitsev that we probably owe the guy a post talking about the things he seems to be doing well. That thing is doing well just so happens to be holding his own against the best line in hockey.

That’s pretty darn good and dare I say the best that any of us could ever hope for. What’s pretty interesting is that when Zaitsev has been away from that line, he’s gone back to regular Zaitsev.

Zaitsev CF% Away
David Pastrnak
39.02
Charlie McAvoy
45.24
Brad Marchand
40.48
Patrice Bergeron
39.53
Zdeno Chara
36.36
Wait, that might be worse than regular Zaitsev and we should have concerns about Zaitsev having a 26.67 CF% against Krejci and a 27.27% CF% against DeBrusk, but dammit, we’re giving Zaitsev his moment, at 5 on 5 he’s been fantastic against his assignment. Of course, we’ll have to also consider who is on the ice with him…
With
TOI With
TOI Away
CF% With
Zaitsev CF% Without
Off. Zone Start %
Jake Muzzin
41.30
5.48
46.38
55.56
33.33
John Tavares
26.48
20.30
58.70
36.59
30.77
Zach Hyman
26.47
20.32
53.19
42.50
30.77
Mitchell Marner
25.85
20.93
55.56
40.48
30.77
Still, it doesn’t matter that Zaitsev has an outstanding supporting cast, he is going up …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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