Kris Letang and the magic number 25

A lot of chatter around Kris Letang this week. A lot of it has to do with Dejan writing a piece in The Trib suggesting the Penguins should trade him. [ Trib ]

Also, a lot of it has to do with Kris Letang just being so damn polarizing.

At this point, trading Letang is a misguided thought in our opinon. There was a time to trade Letang; it was last summer. 

The problem with Letang is that there is no middle ground. He either makes you really happy or makes you want to jump off the Smithfield Street Bridge. His defenders can't hear anything bad, and his haters can't hear anything good.

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But we're out to find the middle ground, and over the last few games we've noticed a trend.

The lower the minutes, the better Kris Letang is evening himself out.

What we mean

Turnovers are damning for an NHL defenseman. The more you have, the worse it is going to be. This is especially true for Kris Letang. 

But Letang has the ability to trade points for turnovers, which, honestly, is why he is so highly regarded. We built this chart out at sportingcharts.

The interactive chart is here.

We used the following parameters:

-Points
-Time on ice
-Giveaways

An interesting trend developed.
In games Letang plays over or at 25 minutes, he has one point, 18 turnovers

ONE POINT. 18 turnovers

In games he plays under 25 minutes, he has 17 points and 18 turnovers.
 
Stil, a ton of turnovers, but he is basically canceling that out with points. And that is the main point here. Letang is going to make his mistakes, but if he is going to trade off mistakes with points, the Penguins are going to hedge their bets on him.
 
And we will, too. Letang is often cited with Paul Coffey in terms of risk and reward. And while Letang hasn't yet gotten to Coffey's level, the potentional is there. 

* If any of our calculations are off, let us know, or if you build a better chart send it our way. Sportinggraphs is amazing.

 
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