Today’s poll question comes curtesy of Dano, one of our dedicated commenters. Dano wants to know; if you had the choose between having either goal-less Ville Leino or rookie Johan Larsson on the Sabres roster right now, which player you would choose.
Regarding veteran forward Ville Leino there really isn’t too much to say. He has yet to score a goal this season and has been some-what of a disappointment since signing a huge contract to come to Buffalo. If you want to get technical and look at the advanced stats, Leino has been on the ice for 8 goals for and 12 against while maintaing a 43.7% corsi in 22 games.
There have been more than a few people calling for the Sabres to buy-out Leino’s massive contract since he is not and has not produced.
It is quite disappointing to see a 0 in the goal column of a player making $4.5 million a year, but some of it has to be poor luck. Just being around the net will get you a couple goals a season. Whether it bounces off your skate, your stick, you tip a point shot or are in the right place at the right time to pounce on a rebound, goals will come. Unfortunately for Ville Leino that luck has yet to come and he still sits goal-less on the 30th placed team in the NHL.
Now we move on to the second player in the debate and the player more likely to stick with the club through the rebuild, Johan Larsson. The Buffalo Sabres acquired Larsson, through the Jason Pominville deal at last years trade-deadline. When one team acquires another teams prospect you can never be too sure what you have acquired, but when the other teams fanbase is upset to lose that prospect it’s generally a good sign.
Rich wrote the other day talking about why Johan Larsson needs to be recalled by the Buffalo Sabres and he’s right. I won’t use too many advanced stats which Rich already covered, but we’ll stick to the typical corsi. Larsson’s corsi rating is an outstanding 49.5% and although he has only suited up for 17 games, thats still a pretty impressive corsi over a solid stint of action.
The Sabres need offence right now, and if you’re looking at the stats, Leino gives them the better chance to score. Leino has been on the ice for 8 Sabres goals this season, but starts his shift in the offencive zone 34.2% of the time giving him good chances to score. Larsson is more of a defencive minded forward. Larsson was on the ice for just 2 Sabres goals and starts 43.2% of his shifts in his own end.
If you want a shutdown forward who will contribute a little Larsson is your guy, if you want the best chance to score statistically speaking Ville Leino gives you the best option.
Now it’s up to you guys. Would you rather have in the Buffalo Sabres line-up- Ville Leino or Johan Larsson?