Over the next few months, we'll be grading each player that played a significant number of games for the Dallas Stars in the 2008-2009 season. What's different about this feature is that you, the reader, determine the overall grade for each individual player. This is something we'll continue doing each season, and is a tool we can use to determine a player's progress year by year.
#3 / Defenseman / Dallas Stars
Mar 03, 1977
$1,500,000 cap hit in 2009-10; UFA after 09-10
|2008 - Stephane Robidas||72||3||23||26||10||76||1||0||0||0||158||1.9|
All stats used in this post courtesy of BehindTheNet.ca.
Key Stat: Robidas had the highest BTN rating (1.23) among all Dallas Stars regulars.
The Good: Looking back upon the 2008-2009 season, it feels as if he had a relatively disappointing year. Yet he improved in nearly every statistical category, while seeing his TOI/60 jump from 15.30 in 07-08 to 17.13 this past season, good for best on the team. His official +/- rating jumped up to a +10, the best he's had since 2005-06. His GFON/60 went from 2.63 last season to 3.06 in 08-09 but more importantly his GAON/60 dropped from 2.49 in 07-08 to 2.43 in 08-09, the best among all Stars defensemen. This means that while he was on the ice, anytime, the team allowed fewer goals and scored more often than they did the previous season. Those are pretty telling numbers for a defenseman, especially for one who was forced to step up into the #1 role this past season.
Statistically, he did all that you could ask of your top defenseman. He had the best overall +/- on the team, giving him the best ratio of goals scored to goals allowed when he was on the ice at any time. His BTN rating was best on the team, and his quality of competion went up while his quality of teammates went down.
The Bad: While all the talk about his overal +/-, his GFON and GAON and his BTN rating is great, there was definitely something missing from Robidas in 2008-09 that was a major disappointment. After becoming a weapon on the power play in 2007-08, when he scored 10 goals with the man-advantage in the regular season and playoffs, Robidas mustered just one power play goal all season. In fact, he had just three goals total, down from nine last season. When Sergei Zubov went down for the season, the coaches hoped that Robidas would be able to continue his power play magic and step up into the void left by Zubov. Unfortunately, it seemed he regressed and lost the vision that made him such a dangerous weapon in last year's playoffs. It also seemed that he faded as the season wore on, perhaps under the strain of putting in the most ice time on the team for the first time in his career.
Bottom line: While Robidas' goal production fell far short of what you want from a #1 defenseman, he still had one of the best seasons of any Dallas Star. Logging more ice against tougher competion, the team scored more and allowed less than they had in past seasons when he was on the ice. He finished with a career high in assists, and while it was nowhere near that which you want from your top blue-liner, it's all that you can ask for a defenseman who is quite honestly more suited for a #3 or #4 role.
The Vote: Rate Robidas below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.