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Season in Review: Ben Lovejoy

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2014-15 season review of one Reverend Lovejoy.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 31 (February 20, 1984)

Contract Status: Signed through 2015-16; $1,100,000 cap hit

2014-15 Stats

GP

TOI/GP

Goals

Assists

Points

60 (40 / 20)

19:26 (18:33 / 21:13)

2 (1 / 1)

12 (10 / 2)

14 (11 / 3)

CF%

CF% Rel

QoC (CorsiRelQoC)

Zone Start %

PDO

52.0 (50.6 / 54.3)

-0.1 (0.0 / -1.8)

-0.005 (0.460)*

49.3 (48.3 / 51.0)

98.7 (100.0 / 95.0)

Because Lovejoy played 40 games for the Ducks and 20 games for the Penguins, his numbers are shown as follows: TOT (ANA / PIT); *, TOT only.

I chose to show Lovejoy's numbers broken down between Anaheim and Pittsburgh so that we could note any changes between the two sets of games he played. Although he played almost 3 extra minutes per game in Pittsburgh, his already modest production decreased even further, although the underlying possession numbers don't look too terrible.

Most Frequent D Partners

Partner

Goals For %

Corsi For %

Total 5v5 time

Derrick Pouliot

44.4%

56.2%

116:16

Paul Martin

50.0%

52.6%

99:59

Christian Ehrhoff

0.0%

56.4%

47:36

Ben Lovejoy started out his second tour of duty with the Pens paired with Derrick Pouliot and things looked pretty solid early on. He was playing reasonable, somewhat sheltered minutes while Letang and Martin did the heavy lifting, and things seemed like they would work out. Then Ehrhoff, Pouliot, and Letang all went out and Lovejoy found himself playing longer minutes against tougher competition to less than desirable results.

Usage

PensDefense1415

The player usage charts are awesome because they tell you the whole story in one picture. Ben Lovejoy is your decent #4/5 defenseman. Force him into #2 minutes, zone starts and QoC and he's bound to struggle.

GIF of the Year

medium

This was Ben's only goal in 20 regular-season games this year. Hopefully when he's playing his normal role next year we get to see some more of that.

Preseason Post-trade Expectations

Hahaha. On trade deadline day I was just about ready to go back to doing some actual work and refreshed Twitter one more time on my phone. Jim Rutherford couldn't leave good enough alone, and Ben Lovejoy was coming back to Pittsburgh in exchange for Simon Despres. My expectations were that he was going to be on the second pairing and be fine there. He didn't meet these expectations, but not because he was worse than I thought he was. He was just not better than I thought he was.

Verdict

In his time away Ben Lovejoy has gone from a #7 guy to a #4/5 guy, but that's his ceiling. Use him in that role, and he is going to give you what you need, being durable and dependable. I don't think it's fair to judge him based on the fact that he was traded for a much younger player with a much higher ceiling, and that by the tail end of the season there was only Martin on the depth chart ahead of him. Better injury luck for the team next year, and Ben Lovejoy is going to be OK. Welcome back to Pittsburgh, Reverend.

***

Feel free to vote in the poll below to grade Ben Lovejoy's season stretch on the Pens on a scale from 1 to 10. Vote based on your expectations for him following the trade, i.e., 1 being "he was incredibly disappointing and I want him out now", 10 being "he was outstanding even beyond my craziest expectations".