Thursday, August 8, 2013

Caps TOIComp

It took awhile, but I finally got this done. (I'm still tweaking the code, so it'll be a few days before I publish it here.)

A few notes:

a) I calculated TOI/60 by dividing individual 5v5 TOI by team 5v5 TOI (only counting games in which the player played). This differs from Behind the Net's TOI/60, which is 5v5 (and 6v5) TOI per game.
b) The bubble size is total 5v5 TOI this season (well, almost—it's actually the amount of man-seconds played against forwards. Let's just say that this only differs from time on ice when a team does not put three forwards on the ice).
c) Small sample caveats apply to the smaller bubbles, and remember context and line changes and such will play a role.

Red is forwards, blue are D. Hover over a bubble for additional information.

Some observations:
  • This isn't straight-up power versus power, but it looks similar. Top-six forwards face other top-six forwards, bottom-six forwards face other bottom-six forwards.
  • There's a huge difference between Mike Ribeiro (who is behind Martin Erat, a little to the left of Marcus Johansson) and Mathieu Perreault (who is near the bottom to the left of center). I'll be the first to say that Perreault deserves a shot at 2C (unless the Caps pick up Grabovski), but I don't think he'll be a huge success—he scores at a borderline top-line rate in sheltered minutes, and it's not much of a drop-off from borderline top-line (say, ~30 among centers) to middling second line (~45 among centers).
  • Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich (in small sample) are already all the way to the right. Martin Erat has been there in the past, ranking first among forwards in F TOIComp faced in 2011-12. I hope Adam Oates uses them in that role...
  • ...he sure didn't put Joel Ward there, even though Ward has a history of playing defensive minutes. Granted, when your fourth line is sheltered like that (Beagle, Volpatti, and Crabb are the three red circles in the bottom left), I guess you need a solid player like Ward to help them out. This is a change from the Boudreau days, when Gordon, Bradley, Steckel, and company could go out his fourth line against good opponents (see below).
  • Steve Oleksy was good in sheltered minutes. If the Caps are going to have no one better at 3RD, well, you could do worse. Hopefully Kundratek takes a step forward (or the Caps sign Gilbert on the cheap—he was a 1D in Edmonton and now can't even make any "best UFAs left" lists).
  • Seeing Erskine face higher F TOIComp and D TOIComp than Green makes me sad.
  • Also, if Wolski wasn't worthy of being in the lineup, why is he closer to the top-six than the bottom-six?
Let's compare this to 11-12, Hunter-era only (removing Joel Rechlicz, who was by himself near the bottom, and Cody Eakin, who is just outside the picture, on an island by himself at the bottom left): Karl Alzner is the one being cut off on the right side (I wanted to use the same scale for each chart). Also, notice John Erskine on the left. Now, 10-11 (removing DJ King, who is far off to the left, and Sean Collins, who was far off to the bottom and left, who were stretching the scale): It's tough to see, but Ovechkin is right behind Backstrom and Carlson and Alzner are basically the same circle, unsurprisingly. 44a is Jason Arnott, 44f Brian Fahey.

 Maybe Boudreau ran more power-on-power than I give him credit for (or he just didn't care that much). It's certainly interesting to see how this became trusting the grinders with tough defensive minutes, to trying a (I'd say) power-on-power approach, and something that bears watching into the future—if Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom can post solid ES numbers while playing against top lines or second lines, let's just say that bodes really, really well for the future success of this team.

1 comment:

  1. It's linked to above, but I should note explicitly that this is Eric Tulsky's approach that I've adopted.