As he continues to build momentum towards the Hart Memorial Trophy, the talking heads have started to analyze how Jonathan Toews compares to some of the game’s other elite players.
Today, in the third part of a series comparing Toews to other potential Hart finalists, we’ll look at why Toews is more valuable than another MVP candidate: Anaheim’s Corey Perry.
In our first piece, we compared Toews to Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and the second compared Toews to Steven Stamkos. The latest name to be added to the growing list of Hart Memorial Trophy candidates is Perry, who has been having an outstanding year and certainly deserves consideration.
But he isn’t having a better year than Jonathan Toews. Here’s proof.
First we’ll look at the surface level statistics that tell you about 25 percent of the story.
As you can see, there isn’t much difference between these two. Perry has scored nine more goals and has six more points, but has played in two more games than Toews. They average comparable ice time, and both are among the league’s leaders in game-winning goals.
What is the most striking number from this graphic, though, is Perry’s plus-minus. Plus-two? Really? That’s terrible.
Now let’s dig a little deeper. While the major comparing point between Toews and both Stamkos and the Sedins was Chicago’s captain actually plays defense, how does he compare to Perry?
This is a significantly better comparison than next to either Sedin brother or Stamkos. Perry takes ice time while the Ducks are short-handed (which is often), and has actually blocked more shots than Toews.
However, this graphic presents three bold numbers. Toews has almost twice as many takeaways as Perry; he ranks second among all NHL fowards in that category. Toews also has 17 more hits than Perry despite playing fewer games, a surprising number considering the physical style of play employed by Anaheim.
When you take both of those numbers and then consider that Toews has taken 20 penalty minutes versus Perry’s 100, the quality of the defense being played by Chicago’s captain becomes more impressive.
One final piece of this puzzle that cannot be ignored is Toews’ contributions in the faceoff circle. While we cannot hold a lack of faceoff success against Perry because he isn’t a center, the fact that Toews has taken the fourth-highest number of draws in the league and is winning an astonishing 57.1 percent adds