Hockey’s Mendoza Line

EV points per 60 is a nice line in the sand for all players, and when looking at rookies I think it gives us another angle to view when taking a guess about the future.

Since Craig MacTavish took over as coach through last summer, there were four rookie forwards who were 2.00/60 or more (Comrie, Horcoff, Pisani and Hemsky).

This season, two more forwards joined the list. Here’s the complete rundown by season:


  1. Mike Comrie 2.52
  2. Shawn Horcoff 2.24
  3. Dom Pittis 1.24
  4. Brian Swanson 0.82 (small sample)
  5. Michel Riesen 0.63 (small sample)
  6. Jason Chimera 0 (small sample)


  1. Jason Chimera 1.65 (small sample)
  2. Brian Swanson 0.98 (small sample)
  3. Jani Rita 0 (small sample)


  1. Ales Hemsky 2.26
  2. Jani Rita 2.22 (small sample)
  3. Fernando Pisani 2.13
  4. Jarret Stoll 2.00 (small sample)
  5. Jason Chimera 1.90


  1. Jarret Stoll 1.39
  2. Peter Sarno 1.19 (small sample)
  3. Mike Bishai 0.98
  4. Tony Salmelainen 0.51 (small sample)
  5. Jani Rita 0 (small sample)


  1. Marc Pouliot 0.92 (small sample)
  2. Brad Winchester 0.54 (small sample)
  3. Kyle Brodziak 0.00 (small sample)
  4. Jean Francois Jacques 0.00 (small sample)


  1. Brad Winchester 1.19
  2. Marc Pouliot 1.17
  3. Patrick Thoresen 1.15
  4. Zach Stortini 0.31
  5. JF Jacques 0.00


  1. Andrew Cogliano 2.37
  2. Kyle Brodziak 2.08
  3. Sam Gagner 1.96
  4. Rob Schremo 0.00
  5. Liam Reddox 0.00

The Oilers rookie trio of 07-08 does very well in this little exercise, which I think bodes well for their future in Edmonton. Of the 4 players mentioned above who exceeded 2/game before the lockout, three of them (Horcoff, Pisani and Hemsky) remain on the hockey club.

Also interesting that the guys who managed to finish at or around the Pouliot number (1.17) have a hard time finding fulltime NHL employment (save Stortini). Where IS the offensive line in the sand? What should we call that line? The Pouliot line? The Dom Pittis line? The Mendoza line?

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21 Responses to "Hockey’s Mendoza Line"

  1. Scott says:

    I like 2.00 as the hockey Mendoza line (although I can’t think of a better name). That said, I’d give the player two seasons or 100 games (whichever comes first) to see if they can hit that target, not necessarily just the rookie campaign.

    That should account for those initial jitters and working their way into the lineup. If not for injury (accelerating that working in time), who is to say that Cogliano and Gagner can produce near the Mendoza line this season?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Well the Mendoza line in baseball is the line between a low batting average and one that is no longer acceptable for a major league regular.

    So the line for points-per-60 at EVs would probably be 1.20 or so. A 2.00/60 for a rookie is very good.

    Oilers had only 5 forwards above 2.00 this season, and those below 1.25 were Stortini (1.24), Torres (1.22) and Moreau (1.21).

  3. Oilman says:

    There has been no player in NHL history to score fewer points in more games that Luke Richardson. We could use the Richardson Line in hockey….honorable metion to Ludwig, Bergevin, and Buchburger though. Bucky might have the lowest pts/game ratio amongst forwards with 1100+ career games played…so the Bucky Line would work just as well.

  4. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think the Mendoza line would be somewhere around 1.00, as Mendoza is traditionally well-below any sort of employment.

    1.00 is Mendoza
    1.25 is probably hitting .233

  5. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    I believe the new Gold Standard is the JFJ Line and he’s still refining it.

  6. Vic Ferrari says:

    This link is a simple list of the average EV/60 for every player that played all the years in a seven year period. Hopefully that helps.

  7. rickibear says:

    Vic’s info parralels what I looked at on behind the net for this years EV numbers.(around 6:00 before I put together my kids new twin bed.)

    I Looked at guys with Min 10:00 EV TOI and at least 50 Games. You had to be greater than these number to rank in these positions and volume of play.

    Top 30 LW 2:01/60
    Top 60 LW 1.50/60
    Min req LW 1.20/60

    Top 30 C 1.97/60
    Top 60 C 1.57/60
    Min req C 1.30/60

    Top 30 RW 2.00/60
    Top 60 RW 1.48/60
    Min Req RW 1.10/60

    We have current data to support what LT states as the Mendoza line 1.20/60.

    What is interresting is the line for top 30 EV per position. (first line) That value of 2.00/60 is bang on. how many of our guys are near or above that line. 7

    The more interesting question is what gets you in the top fifteen for there position:

    RW 2.26/60
    #11 Hemsky 2.36, #10 Nilson 2.37
    C 2.27/60
    #11 Horcoff 2.59, #15 Cogliano 2.28
    LW 2.25/60

    Not bad at all.

  8. Scott says:

    Not too bad at all, and if Cole plays LW, I bet we slide on in there as well.


    I’m not a baseball guy so I assumed the Mendoza line had something to do with predicting future stars, not maintaining a place in the league. 1.2 makes more sense in that context. What name do we give to young/rookie players who can hit 2.0?

    I want to say the Gagner line, but:
    a) he didn’t actually quite hit it
    b) that’s a big time homer vote

  9. rickibear says:

    After I typed “not bad at all.” last night, I forgot to add, “Now if we could get our GA/60 down.”

  10. Bank Shot says:

    Bundesliga Line, because that’s where you’ll end up playing if you can’t beat NHL goalies.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    Min req LW 1.20/60

    Heh. My instincts is good. I said 1.25 is hitting .233

    So Mendoza is 1.

  12. doritogrande says:

    Off topic: Vishnevski's on waivers, seemingly to be bought out by the Devils. I've argued that we don't need another defenseman, but if he's available on the uber cheap (<700K, or a two-way contract) he'd be a great fit to take some tough sledding and address team toughness.

  13. HBomb says:

    Off topic: Vishnevski's on waivers, seemingly to be bought out by the Devils. I've argued that we don't need another defenseman, but if he's available on the uber cheap (<700K, or a two-way contract) he'd be a great fit to take some tough sledding and address team toughness.

    I’d be all for that. He was a guy I originally had hoped for in return for Mike Comrie, of all guys, way back five years ago.

    After the Pronger trade, I had suggested that Lowe would have been smarter (rather than this “five assets” business), DEMANDING Getzlaf and taking Vishnevski as a throw-in as salary relief for the Ducks. Yes, it’s only two assets, but it would have been FAR more in the way of immediate help AND they would have got the blue chipper in Getzlaf that they should have.

    Hindsight’s a great thing. If Nash and Eberle pan out (both essentially “products” of the Pronger deal), I’ll feel a lot better about that deal. Even now, with things seemingly on the upswing in Oilerville, thinking of that trade still gets me angrier than Dennis in a bar full of Habs fans.

  14. Dennis says:

    The Oilers would be absolutely Set if that trade had panned out.

    Now let me enjoy the rest of this fleeting summer;)

  15. HBomb says:

    The Oilers would be absolutely Set if that trade had panned out.

    Now let me enjoy the rest of this fleeting summer;)

    You think you’ll get off that easy? ;)

    Seriously, Stauffer’s taken me to task for suggesting Getzlaf should have been in play on a couple of occasions.

    All I say is this: it was CHRIS FUCKING PRONGER. Every damn player on the Ducks roster should have been in play.

    The fixation with “quantity” instead of “quality” lead to a situation where we got a one-dimensional forward who lasted here a year and a defenseman who might still be 4 seasons from “prime time” (i.e. top pairing minutes in the Mattias Ohlund mould – that’s what I’ve got Smid’s upside pegged as). And said d-man might not get there.

    In other words – the best D-man in the world among mere mortals at the position (i.e. everyone not named Nik Lidstrom) for zero immediate help. Jesus….still pisses me off when I think about it.

  16. Lowetide says:

    There was another element to that trade: The MONEY spent on Pronger.

    If you make the Pronger deal and then deal for Redden it’s a lot easier to see what you’re doing. When you trade an impact defender for a deadass rookie you’re primed for a big fat air pocket.

  17. PDO says:

    Nice parting gift from the EIG fresh off making a huge profit on the run. Cheap bastards.

    I will never, ever, be able to talk about the trade with any amount of objectivity because it was that fucking ridiculous.

  18. Dennis says:

    What’s the point of listening to anything that Stauffer says that’s Lowe related?

    He’s never gonna bash Lowe; plus, his boy Lupul came back in that deal and the only other guy that believed in Lupul like Stauffer did WAS Kevin Lowe.

    Oh, and some guy named Lain something or other.

  19. Doogie2K says:

    he’d be a great fit to take some tough sledding and address team toughness

    Team toughness, maybe, but tough sledding? No.

  20. uni says:

    From everything I’ve seen of Vish’s numbers, and from the posts by NJD fans, I wouldn’t want anything to do with the guy.

    His 3rd pairing easy competition goals against is horrid. And all the NJD posters don’t seem to miss him at all with the sentiment being, good riddance to his horrible defensive play and we can do without his gaffes and turnovers.

    I guess there was a reason why Burke got rid of him for a pick after the arbitration hearing.

  21. Master Lok says:

    Besides – who would really want to give Stauffer fits for calling Vishnevski passes to Visnovsky?

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