Friday, August 9, 2013

Caps TOIComp 07-10

In case you missed it, yesterday I broke down TOIComp for the three recent Caps coaches (Boudreau, Hunter, and Oates) to see how they deployed their players. To follow up, I want to look at Glen Hanlon's team in 07-08, followed by Boudreau's habits during the Ovechkin-led Caps' peak.

Just a viewing note: since I'm using Google charts, you're best off viewing these in Chrome or Firefox, so you can hover over bubbles for more details. I've linked to the images of the charts if you can't view them, though.

First, 07-08, Hanlon:

Pettinger (25p), Clark, and Bradley look like they were used in a checking role (though I don't know who centered them). Ovechkin got top defensemen, Erskine was sheltered from top forwards, and aside from that, nothing looks clear to me. (Keep in mind we're only looking at ~20 games here, so I don't think that ~20sec difference in F TOIComp between Mike Green and Tom Poti is all that significant.)

I omitted Matt Bradley and Donald Brashear since they were off to the bottom left (at 14.9, 19.3, and 14.5,19.4 respectively) and stretching the scale.

Moving on to Boudreau:
Here we see a familiar picture. For me, the surprising part is how far to the right we see Mike Green, Shaone Morrisonn, and (especially) Michael Nylander.


I had to remove quite a few names with low TOI to remove some of the clutter (you'll recall that the Capitals were quite banged up that season). The only notable from that group is Brian Pothier—the rest were marginal NHL or AHL types like Chris Bourque, Alexandre Giroux, and Bryan Helmer. In case you've forgotten some of the player numbers here, 32 is Chris Clark, 87 Donald Brashear, 26 Shaone Morrisonn, 25 Viktor Kozlov, 89 Tyler Sloan, and 23 Milan Jurcina. Behind 91 (Sergei Fedorov) is 55 (Jeff Schultz), 14 (Tomas Fleischmann) is partly covered by 32 (Clark), and 26 (Morrisonn) is all the way at the back, below 89 (Sloan) and above 21 (Laich).

There's not much new here, if you looked at the 2010-11 TOIComp chart from yesterday—Boudreau ended up running a power-versus-power-ish scheme, perhaps unintentionally since he didn't play matchups meticulously enough to achieve the sort of top-six bottom-six separation that Adam Oates did. I'm not surprised to see Tom Poti off to the right again—come to think of it, his injuries and general decline could have been a significant factor in the Caps' overall decline, too.

I am a little surprised that Boudreau would match Laich, Steckel, and Bradley to Crosby's line in the playoffs considering that two of the three didn't appear to have that much trust from their coach during the regular season.


18 is Eric Belanger, 77 Joe Corvo, 9 Brendan Morrison, 53 Quintin Laing. Ovechkin's 8 partly hides Backstrom's 19, Brian Pothier (2) is behind Karl Alzner (27), Eric Fehr (16) is just below David Steckel (39) and Matt Bradley (10), and Milan Jurcina (23) is partly hiding Alexander Semin (28).

The clear division here between Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin/Knuble at the rest of the forwards makes sense to me—the first two and one of the last two were the Caps' most frequent top lines that season, by far, while there was a lot of roster juggling through the rest of the lineup. It's a little sad that Joe Corvo, in his short time here, saw a higher F TOIComp than Green-Schultz. And again, Tom Poti is playing important minutes.

In sum, matchup-wise, it looks to me like Oates is following in Boudreau's footsteps. Their best forwards see the other team's best (although perhaps for different reasons). Oates looks like pays a little more attention to D-matchups than Boudreau—it looks like the current Anaheim bench boss had a clear preference for one shutdown defenseman or pair and didn't differentiate all that much otherwise (a trend which continued in Anaheim, with Souray-Beauchemin his new Poti or Carlson-Alzner, it looks like), while Oates looked like wanted his top-four facing good players, without a single clear preference in the longer run.

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