Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alzner vs Carlson

I had a feeling that Carlson would get more ice time when the Caps are trailing, skewing his numbers positively. I did an Alzner WOWY, but limited my dataset to score-tied Corsi events only.

Link. I removed all players with whom Alzner did not have at least 100 Corsi events with. That got rid of every defenseman except for Carlson. Yeah, you could say they played together a lot.

Looking at their numbers breakdown (which I linked to above), with the two separated, Alzner probably faced tougher competition than Carlson, and with worse zone starts than Carlson. Yet, the only Corsi% advantage Carlson could muster (with a small sample size caveat) was only 2.2%.

Even if I bought it earlier, it's fair to say Carlson was not carrying Alzner. In fact, I'm not even so sure Carlson is a better even strength defenseman anymore. He has more scoring ability, but Alzner looks just as capable of tilting the ice in the Caps' favor.

Note how much better Bradley, Hendricks, Gordon, and Steckel were (with the score tied) with Alzner on the ice. Wow. Granted, they probably faced harder zone starts, but also lesser competition. I hope Green/Wideman-Hamrlik can provide similar support to their forwards.


  1. You have a serious problem with a tiny sample size when you look at the time Carlson and Alzner are not together. You really cannot make the conclusions you claim.

  2. Ehhh, I'd looked at (but not published a piece on) all-score data before and the Alzner/Carlson deltas for all scores (over more than double the sample I have here, over 500 events each apart) are still under 5%. I think it's fair.

    At any rate, I don't see anything to suggest that one was carrying the other, which is what the behindthenet empty-net-inclusive tables suggest.

    A link to all the WOWYs so far: