He's huge. He's mean. He's ugly. He turns like a oil tanker in open water. He throws hands like an angry Norse god. He's Derek Boogaard, enforcer extraordinaire for the Minnesota Wild. Depending on who you ask around the NHL, Boogaard has been the most effective enforcer and fighter in the NHL for a number of years because unlike Georges Laraque, Boogaard goes out of his way to hurt people. With an elbow here, a knee there, and a forearm over there to go with his fists, Boogaard's time on the ice is rarely low-event, but does his time spent striking fear in the hearts of lesser men throughout the NHL worth it? Do his fists cover the goals against? Let's investigate below the jump.
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While researching an upcoming article on the value of goons, I compiled the goals for and goals against data for all goons over the last three years and found that the average yearly even strength +/- of an NHL goon is -6 in just under 6:00 minutes of even strength time per game. As Tyler at MC79hockey has shown, a differential of just shy of six goals is approximately one win or loss per year. Compare that to the performances of other 4th liners around the league and on his team. the average yearly even strength +/- of an NHL 4th liner is -3.5 in just over 9 minutes of even strength time per game, including time spent with the goon on ice. So the average goon costs his team one loss per year. Is Boogaard better or worse than that?
#24 / Left Wing / Minnesota Wild
Jun 23, 1982
|GP||G||A||P||ES +/-||TOI||Corsi ||Corsi Rk ||QC||PM||ESTOI/G||Shifts|
|2007 - Derek Boogaard||34||0||0||0||-5||133:42||-15.88||13/14||14/14||74||3:53||247|
|2008 - Derek Boogaard||51||0||3||3||+3||254:53||-13.21||13/14||11/14||87||4:54||419|
|2009 - Derek Boogaard||45||0||4||4||-9||285:02||-8.52||11/12
Over three seasons, in 713:37 of icetime, Boogaard has accumulated a -11 goal differential, including an awful -9 in 285:02 this season. In his short stints on the ice, Boogard has cost his team about two wins over the last three years. His minutes have been butter soft - he's never played anything more difficult than bottom line minutes and his Corsi has been mostly terrible as you can see above.
Boogaard has less time on ice per game over the last three years than the average goon - 5:09 per game to be exact. He was especially protected under ex-coach Jacques Lemaire, averaging about 4:30 per game. New coach Todd Richards has given him a couple of extra shifts per game and bumped his ice time. Boogard's Corsi has improved slightly, though it's likely that he will regress to the negative double digits sometime soon, but his EV sv pct is pretty terrible - he ranks 334 out of 338 forwards in on ice sv pct.
Essentially, Boogard's results are no better or worse than your average goon, that is, terrible. Against the softest possible competition, he spends his time in his own zone, giving up shots against. He tries to hurt people and pick a fight and costs his team about a win per year.