Is Calgary Flames winger Mike Cammalleri the best playoff bet at the deadline?
On February 27, 2014, Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet wrote a piece called "Cammalleri best playoff bet at deadline". He compares other potential trade deadline players to Mike Cammalleri and suggests that because of his past playoff performances that he would be the better purchase for and NHL team.
He comes to this conclusion basically from the point totals from two playoff seasons. The 2009-10 season , where Cammalleri scored 13 goals and six assists for 19 total points in 19 games and the subsequent 2010-11 season where he picked up ten points in seven games. As Ryan states, "Tally it up and the 31-year-old has exactly 29 points in his past 26 playoff outings."
Compare that to Thomas Vanek's career NHL playoff totals of 20 points in 36 games or Matt Moulson's three points in six games and it looks outstanding. Comparing Cammalleri to Ryan Miller is always going to be different because Miller is a goalie but his career NHL playoff stats are 25 wins in 47 games, with a goals against average of 2.46 and a save percentage of 0.916. Still looks like Cammalleri has the edge.
What is not said though is that in Cammalleri's 11 year NHL career he has made it to the playoffs only three times. The two seasons mentioned earlier and the 2008-09 season, for a total of 32 points in 32 games. He does not, however, seem to help teams get into the playoffs and when those teams do manage to get in, he is not the main force as to why they succeed, if they succeed at all.
Using his own words, "In 2010, the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens managed to make their way to the Eastern Conference final, with most of the accolades reserved for the spectacular goaltending of Jaroslav Halak." Not for Cammalleri's point production.
Also the 2010 playoffs featured a boat load of first round upsets. Montreal was victorious over the Washington Capitals, the seventh-seeded Philadelphia Flyers upset the New Jersey Devils, and the sixth-seeded Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres. Eventually the Conference finals were between Philadelphia and Montreal. In comparison, the Western Conference Finals were between Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. Not to take away from Cammalleri's totals, but this looks more like he was simply in the right place at the right time. A perfect statistical storm.
The very next season, there was no such luck as Cammalleri and the Canadiens were knocked out of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins. Carey Price did statistically better than Halak's stats the year before, but he could not out do Tim Thomas. It is great that the Canadiens pushed them to game seven but Cammalleri's team leading ten points were not enough.