For all the recent talk of Anze Kopitar being atop the scoring leaderboard, there’s another Kings player doing well in a major statistical category. Davis Drewiske’s plus-minus rating of plus-10 puts him in a four-way tie for third place in the league, two behind leader Alex Goligoski of Pittsburgh (plus-12) entering tonight. (It should be noted that Wayne Simmonds is just one tick behind, at plus-9).
Drewiske has been nothing but solid this season, much as he was in his 17-game stint at the end of last season. Drewiske is averaging just more than 16 minutes of ice time and also has one goal and four assists. Last season, there was some discussion on my Daily News blog about the value of the plus-minus rating, and today Drewiske was asked if he considered it a useful stat, and how he thought his play has been reflected in the stat.
DREWISKE: “I think sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, and you’ve got to kind of take it with a grain of salt. But it’s obviously something that, you always want to be a `plus’ player. You don’t want to be a negative player. Sometimes bounces and stuff aren’t indicative of the way you’re playing, but I think it’s a good thing to be a plus. … I think in my role, as a fifth, sixth guy, I better not get scored on, right? I mean, you need to be a positive factor. Your ice time is kind of limited sometimes, and you really want to be sure you’re sound defensively.
I think it’s just an indication that our team is playing well. A lot of times, with a plus, you’re not doing anything. The forwards are doing the work. I think Greener has been doing a great job. Quickie as well. I think it’s more of an indication that the team is playing well. We’ve got a lot of guys that are plus-6, 7, so I think it’s more of an indication of the way the team is playing.”
Terry Murray also talked about Drewiske’s play, and what parts of it led to a good plus-minus rating.
MURRAY: “The play without the puck, the defensive part, the 5-on-5. The one thing that Drewiske brings, that we liked from the time he came up last year, he’s a big body. He’s a heavy man. The play below the dots, in our own end, is hard and you’ve to battle and you’ve got to dig in, and that’s the one thing that he does very, very well: defending.
“Then, on the other part of the game that he brings, when he’s able to get the puck stopped up, he’s sometimes able to get a stick on it, get his feet going and carry it out of trouble. He’s got a nice upside to his game. Whenever we see that part of it coming together, we’re saying, `Boy, here’s a young guy just getting his feet wet in the National Hockey League. He’s got, potentially, a great upside.’ That’s why we see good plus-minuses, because they’re reading, reacting and they’re heavy people and they can pin and seal players on the cycles.”