Season 5 profile: Berlin Smurfs

profileadBerlin

GM: Guybrush Threepwood (only GM in team’s history)

Coach: Adam Oates

Last season: 6th overall

Ins and Outs

(Season 4 to Season 5)

Out:  Matt Read (trade), Slava Voynov (trade), Martin Erat (trade), Ville Peltonen (free agent), Shawn Horcoff (free agent), Josh Holden (free agent)

In:  Dion Phaneuf (trade), Tony Martensson (trade), Martin Havlat (free agent), Tom Gilbert (free agent), Ryan Clowe (free agent), Christian Dvorak (draft), Julius Bergman (draft),

In Place

(Key players signed past Season 4)

David Krejci, C; Ryan Callahan, RW; Logan Couture, LW; Dion Phaneuf, D; Alex Edler, D3qs

 
Three Questions

1. What is their best asset? TheBerlin Smurfs could be the league’s best all-around team. When you sort Season 4 team statistics by the 7 categories, they are the only team that shows up in the top 6 of all of them. That’s goals per game (4th in the league), goals against per game (4th), shots for (5th), shots against (1st), powerplay efficiency (6th), penalty killing efficiency (6th) and fewest penalty minutes per game (2nd). So going by those numbers, their best asset would be their ability to keep the other team from getting shots on goal. Logan Couture was a big part of that success. Not only did he steal and intercept 151 pucks from opponents, he blocked 72 shots. The put him in the top 10 in both categories among EURO League forwards.

2. Who will be visible in the magnifying glass that Papa Smurf will be holding? General Manager Guybrush Threepwood will have his eye on several Smurfs this season, particularly one-half of the defense corps. Gerhard Unterluggauer, Josh Gorges and Matt Carle are all 31 years old and in the final year of their Type 3 contracts. They have been together the last two seasons and have been a big part of the team’s success. If the Smurfs do well, they will likely be asked back for Season 6 and beyond. A drop in the very difficult Southern Conference standings, and one or more of the three could be packing their bags. The Berlin defense corps did better than any other in keeping opponents from getting shots on their goalie, but they are far from one-dimensional. They will be an important part of the offense. Alex Edler, for example, scored 14 goals or more in each of his four years in the league. In fact, if you take the top 5 defensemen on their roster – including newcomer Dion Phaneuf – and look at their 19 seasons’ worth of stats lines, you’ll see that the players scored at least 10 goals 16 times.  The sixth defenseman, Nicklas Hjalmarsson, scored 9 goals last season.

3. What can stop the Smurfs from reaching the Cup? Last year, the Athens Greeks ended the Smurfs’ season. Berlin is good throughout the lineup, but so are several other teams in the league. The Smurfs have three good forward lines with 9 players of 77OV or higher. The fourth line has potential, but that’s the hole to exploit if you want to beat Berlin. Team captain Logan Couture is good for 300 shots on goal and 35 scores, so you need to negate him if you want to truly anger the Smurfs. And did you know that third-line center Nathan Horton has the best shooting percentage among active players who have taken at least 150 shots on goal? Better keep him from shooting too. But the key to the Smurfs’ season might be goaltending. Jimmy Howard is never bad, but in three of his four seasons with Oslo and Berlin, his numbers dropped once the playoffs started. He might need a little helpful advice from coaches and mentors after Game 82. He needs the GM to talk to him – not to go off on bare bear brawls – during the playoffs.

History

Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 4               6            106         19.7        83.8        33.17      26.79      3.62        2.74      8.46

Season 3              3             107          20.7        83.8        34.32     27.62       3.74       2.95      9.82

Season 2              18             83         16.1        81.1        30.05      30.62      3.27        3.59       9.80

Season 1              16             87         18.3        81.1        30.56      28.84        3.17        3.24       6.37

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Logan Couture, C, current age 26. Games played 302; Points 351, -5

Season 2: Mikko Lehtonen, RW, age 22. GP 236, Pts 74, -5

Season 3: Aleksander Barkov, C, age 20. GP 43, Pts 7, -4

Season 4: Leon Draisaitl, C, age 19

Season 5: Christian Dvorak, C/LW, age 18.

Trade History

Season 2

Traded Mikhail Grigorenko, R.J. Umberger, Brayden Colburn and Round 2 pick later traded (Josh Morrissey?) to Madrid for Slava Voynov, Round 1 pick later traded to Stockholm in the Loui Eriksson deal and 2014 Round 2 pick (later traded) (Robert Hagg)

Traded Brian Campbell, 2014 Round 3 pick (Marko Dano) to Madrid for Erik Ersberg

Traded Colton Gillies to Helsinki for Jarkko Immonen

Traded Mikko Lehtonen and 2014 Round 1 pick (Madrid’s) (Sean Monahan) to Stockholm for Loui Eriksson

Traded Mikka Kiprusoff to Athens for Nathan Horton and 2014 Round 2 (Brian Flynn)

Traded Tim Erixon, Andrey Bykov and  2014 Round 2 pick  (Robert Hagg) to London for Semyon Varlamov *Apparently missing some trades here, although that first trade with Madrid might actually be several.

Season 3

Traded Joakim Lindstrom and Mathis Olimb to Milan for Matt Read and Gerhard Unterluggauer

Traded Semyon Varlamov and Jarkko Immonen to Oslo for Jimmy Howard

Traded Ryan Wilson to Munich for 2015 Round 3 pick (David Pastrnak)

Traded Kris Versteeg to Moscow for 2015 Round 1 pick (Leon Draisaitl)

Season 4

Traded Matt Read to Edinburgh for Tony Martensson

Traded Slava Voynov, Martin Erat and 2017 Round 3 pick to Copenhagen for Dion Phaneuf

Traded 2016 Round 2 pick (Marc Peninou- (name changed to Alexander Kerfoot)) to Edinburgh for 2017 Round 3 pick

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