David Staples and I (and any other volunteers) are going to try our hands at grading the players again this season. Here's the original marking sheet from last season, which I'll be again using. Some of the descriptions are a bit dated, considering they were based on the team two years ago, but you get the point. Last season, David went to a more simplified version, but it's pretty much the same:
10. For a player to get a perfect score, he'd have to have a Gretzky or an Orr of a game, multiple goals and assists, at the very least a hat trick, or maybe four or five assists, that kind of night, something utterly extraordinary. For a goalie, it might mean saving 40-plus shots, many of them tough, but getting a shut-out and winning in a shoot-out.
9. In this case, the player would have to have a Messier or Coffey or a Fuhr of a game. So we are talking at least a few points, exceptional offensive and defensive play, a truly dominant performance. For a goalie, this would be an outstanding performance.
8. A great game, an Anderson, a Pronger or a Ranford of a game. The forward would have to be involved in at least one scoring play, and also show dominating two-way play. The defenceman wouldn't have to score, but would have to be a tower of power all over the ice. For a goalie, he could let in a few goals, but no weak ones, and he would have to steal the win for his team.
7. A good-to-great game, a Tikkanen, a Lowe or a Roloson (vintage 2006) of a game. The forward will likely put up one point and he definitely must be effective at both ends. As for the goalie position, they might let one bad one sneak by them in such a game, but still would need to make the key saves to get this score.
6. A good game, a Pisani, a Spacek, a Salo of a game. Maybe the offence wasn't great but the defence was superlative, or the other way around. Maybe there were a few bad moments, but, overall, things balanced out. Maybe the goalie let in a marginal goal, but otherwise he was competent enough.
5. An average game, a Kevin McCelland, a Don Jackson, a Ron Low of a game. Not good. Not bad. Competent. A few mistakes, maybe one that leads to a goal against. Good enough to stay in the NHL.
4. A Dave Hunter, a Pat Price, a Ty Conklin of a game, where the bad outweighs the good. A game where a big forward only makes a few aggressive plays but is otherwise passive, where the mistake-prone defenceman looks jittery, where the creative but erratic forward gives away the puck too much. A goalie would have to let in a bad goal at a key moment and let his team down.
3. A bad-to-terrible game. A game where a player is generally ineffective at both ends of the ice. It's the kind of game that has fans calling for a young player to be sent to the minors. The forward generates little offence and is weak in his own zone. The defenceman gets beat consistently. Thoughts of trading a veteran player are sparked. The player is usually involved in at least one massive blunder that directly contributes to a goal against.
2. A terrible game. This player is just totally out-to-lunch in the game. He makes multiple blunders that lead to goals against or excellent opposition scoring chances.
1. An utterly atrocious game. The player shows zero hustle or intensity and makes mistake after mistake that lead to excellent scoring chances and goals against.