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  • Line Chemistry: Should Vanek Be Reunited With Pominville?


    It's been well noted that Vanek and Pominville are good friends since playing eight seasons together in Buffalo. There's also been a lot of talk about the great chemistry the two have together. It may seem obvious to just stick them on a line with either Granlund or Koivu centering and the two wingers will find their magic connection again.

    Former Chemistry

    The stats in this post use WOWY (with or without you) to show a players' stats when a teammate is on the ice with him and when he is not. All stats are 5v5 only.

    The first chart here shows Pominville's and Vanek's stats in comparison to each other for the years of 2007 to 2012. I did not include 2013 because a) it was a shortened season, b) Pominville was traded at the deadline and c) Vanek missed 10 games due to an injury.

    One thing you'll notice is that there really isn't much of a change in stats between when the two are together and when they are not. Their possession numbers drop but only very slightly. In Pominville's case, his Goals For % actually goes up without Vanek.

    Again, the two are better together but it's only marginal. In terms of Corsi, Pominville was slightly better without Vanek and Vanek was only slightly worse without Pominville. Yes, they both scored a lot of points, but that is expected. They are both solid veteran players who can find ways to put up points no matter who their linemates are.

    A Better Option?

    No matter who Vanek skates with this year, he will score goals. He proved this last year when he put up 68 points on three different teams. His chemistry with Pominville really shouldn't matter. However, Pominville has other chemistry that the Wild need to take advantage of.

    With Parise, Pominville was a dominant possession player with 58.3% Corsi for percentage. Without Parise, he dropped to 48.3%. That's a sizable gap that is way more significant than the gap with Vanek. Their Goals For % was 65.2, higher than Pominville and Vanek's best year of 59.5 in 2010-2011.

    Mike Yeo recently hinted that he will most likely keep Pominville with Granlund and Parise to start. This is a smart move. Thomas Vanek should be able to put up comparable numbers playing alongside any of the Wild's top-6 forwards. Vanek with Koivu and Coyle/Niederreiter is still a stong line.

    Pominville with Parise however has the potential to be one of the league's best. The two not only have chemistry, but they make each other better players. They play a similar game that can drive possession and score goals. As long as that connection is still there, Yeo should continue to keep the combination together.


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