Today, February 18, 2017, Mike Cammalleri is listed as a healthy scratch for the Devils’ matchup against the 5th place Islanders. Based his reputation as a scorer, this move may raise some eyebrows initially. However, Coach John Hynes is completely justified in sitting Cammy out a game. Here’s why:
- Toggle the sheets at the top right to switch between Gamescore and CF%. The charts are interactive. Cammalleri is highlighted in red relative the the rest of the team in blue.-
Cammalleri is pointless at 5v5 in his last 8 and without a goal at 5v5 in his last 18 games. These are condemning facts considering his role as a scorer on the team. He is not relied upon to kill penalties, protect a lead, stick up for his teammates physically, etc. He is on the team to score goals and that is what he has not done at even strength with any consistency in quite some time. To speak a bit about corsi, Cammalleri has never been a juggernaut in this measure. That being said, his chart certainly covers more negative area (under 50%) than it does on the contrary and especially so since about January 15th. There have been 12 games since that date, and Cammy carries a -31 corsi differential over that stretch. Although I do not want to make a scapegoat out of Cammalleri, it is difficult to make a case that he has played well recently. Coach Hynes is justified to sit the veteran for at least one game and send a message.
So much for dealing Cammalleri for decent return at the deadline. This move sends a message to the rest of the league that documents his lackluster play recently and severely damages his value, especially considering his cap hit (even if the Devils do retain 50% of it). Who is going to give up anything of value in exchange for a 35 year old expensive forward who cannot even crack NJ's lineup?