2010-11 Season Advance Stat Recap Part 2: Defensemen at Even Strength

 

We continue our advance stat recap with the defenders at ES.

I had difficulty deciding who to profile, with the many injuries and mid-season additions. In the end I left out Sopel and Mara who were not significant factors and spent much of their year on other teams. Wisniewski’s numbers are not directly comparable to the others in some instances because he spent half his season in Long Island but was too important to leave out completely.

 

Glossary

Corsi: Number of shots directed towards the net for minus those against per 60 minutes ice-time. Used as a proxy stat for puck possession.

RelCorsi: Corsi relative to team (compiled for each game).

Corsi Rel QoC: Quality of competition metric based on Rel Corsi. Probably the best quality of competition stat out there if you're looking for one number to judge a player's average opponent.

Ozone%: Percentage of offensive faceoffs compared to offensive + defensive zone faceoffs.

Team Shooting: Shooting percentage of entire team while player is on the ice. Looking at the entire league I hazard to guess the median player had a team shooting of ~8.05 last season. Shooting tends to regress heavily to the mean so expect outlying players to regress to the mean.

SVP: Team save percentage while on ice. Montreal's average was .928 last season at even strength on the back of a remarkable season by Carey Price.

Penalty Diff: Differential of penalties drawn minus penalties taken at ES per 60 minutes. Forwards will tend to have a positive differential while defensemen tend to have a negative one.

 

Top Pairing:

TOI

Corsi

Rel Corsi

Corsi Rel QoC

P/60

GF/60

GA/60

+/-  / 60

Team Shooting

SVP

Ozone%

Penalty Diff.

Wisniewski

16.64

-0.29

6.5

0.478

0.96

2.16

2.74

-0.58

6.62

0.915

51.1

0.5

Hamrlik

17.02

-0.18

-5.6

0.844

0.71

2.19

2.05

0.14

6.6

0.935

51.6

-0.9

Hamrlik, simply put, was the rock the Habs defense rested upon last year. Just like Plekanec for the forwards, he was counted on for the most difficult assignments and also big minutes. Unlike Plekanec, he wasn't able to be a plus possession player as well, but that would probably be asking too much.  As it was, with some stellar goaltending behind him, Hamrlik was very strong in preventing goals against, almost reaching the 2 goal per game threshold. This came at the expense of offense, although Hamrlik's personal scoring was high for a defenseman with a very respectable 0.71 points per 60. The black mark on his record was the penalties, no player had as much to do with the Habs terrible penalty differential than Hamrlik.  He will be missed, although nothing he did here can't be replicated and improved on by Markov taking his place on ES.

Wisniewski's numbers are a bit off since his data is for the whole season instead of just in Montreal. Nevertheless, it is clear that he was a strong point producer for a defenseman at even strength (0.96). He lead the Habs there and was good for 26th in the league for regular defensemen by rate. His overall corsi is hurt from his time in NYI but was good compared to the average on his teams. His negative +/- seems to be a result of bad percentages rather than poor possession, particularly at goaltending. Most impressively, he was a large positive on penalties, which is quite rare for a defenseman. He faced middling opposition and was largely equal to the task making him a decent to good second pairing defenseman over the course of the year. I wish I had just his numbers from Montreal , as I believe they would be even stronger. Another player that will be missed, although I wouldn't want him at 5.5 million for 6 years.

 

Second Pairing:

TOI

Corsi

Rel Corsi

Corsi Rel QoC

P/60

GF/60

GA/60

+/-  / 60

Team Shooting

SVP

Ozone%

Penalty Diff.

Subban

16.05

10.3

9.23

0.381

0.87

2.23

2.57

-0.34

6.62

0.911

48.5

-0.3

Gill

15.53

-2.47

-8.1

0.790

0.31

1.91

2.47

-0.56

6.67

0.916

45.9

-0.3

The advanced stats love Subban almost as much as the eye does. He was the defense's leader on corsi and RelCorsi despite a negative zone start and a strong point producer at even strength (47th among league regulars). He played pretty big minutes on ES although with a middling quality of competition for the course of the year. This is reflective of how he started the year on the third pairing with Picard whose league leading corsi for players with more than 40 games reflect how dominant that pairing was against week opposition, I think we can tell who was driving those results.

TOI

Corsi

Rel Corsi

Corsi Rel QoC

P/60

GF/60

GA/60

+/-  / 60

Team Shooting

SVP

Ozone%

Penalty Diff.

Picard

14.42

19.7

18.57

-.884

0.58

2.23

2.13

0.10

6.65

0.912

52.5

0.1

 These numbers don't show how he was doing against top lines towards the end of the season although Oliver has a great month by month breakdown of his scoring chances and corsi by quality of opponent by month that shows that he was doing quite well in a top pairing role to end the year.  As it stands, his possession numbers and quality of competition are near clone of Buffalo's top defender Tyler Myers. His negative plus minus seems to be a result of bad goaltending luck and the collective Montreal bugbear of poor shot conversion. He had an acceptable penalty differential for a defenseman despite leading the league in minors, demonstrating his excellent penalty drawing skills.

Gill, like Hamrlik, took a heavy defensive assignment. Notably he was the one most relied upon in the defensive zone (45.9% zone start). His offensive numbers are terrible and his possession numbers are bad but these are to be expected given perhaps the hardest minutes on the team. The team was losing both by goals and shots when he was on the ice, but that was due to being used as a sacrificial lamb rather than an actual deficiency in ability. Still, the team would be much better served if improved defensive depth allows Gill and easier assignment or at least a dominant partner like Subban to keep him in the black.

All in all, Gill-Subban looks to be a quality 2nd pairing next year, either as a shut-down unit against the toughs to free Markov for a more offensive role or as a second matchup pairing to share the defensive responsibilities. They would make for an excellent defensive zone start pairing to give the rest of the defense an easier time.

 

Third Pairing:

TOI

Corsi

Rel Corsi

Corsi Rel QoC

P/60

GF/60

GA/60

+/-  / 60

Team Shooting

SVP

Ozone%

Penalty Diff.

Spacek

15.09

2.7

-5.8

0.695

0.67

2.22

1.95

0.27

7.04

0.934

50.5

-0.2

Weber

13.18

10.66

10

-0.618

0.78

2.11

1.89

0.22

6.76

0.911

58.3

-0.2

The third rock for the defense after Hamrlik and Gill was Spacek with lesser minutes but still against strong opponents. Montreal player very low-event hockey with him on the ice but came out ahead both on possession and goals, with a low shooting% cancelling out a high save percentage.  He is slated for the third pairing next season, he should be able to anchor that unit and play spot duty in the top-4 without much difficulty unless he falls off a cliff in ability.

Weber was eased into the NHL with a very easier role. Low minutes and very weak opponents with a favorable zone start. He handled them well however. Elite corsi numbers and points production with a positive plus minus, he could have been even more impressive if both his save and shooting percentages weren't so dismal. Weber is poised to be a useful third pairing puckmover and offensive defenseman next year if paired with a quality defender like Spacek to baby-sit him.

 

The Sadly Injured Top Pairing:

TOI

Corsi

Rel Corsi

Corsi Rel QoC

P/60

GF/60

GA/60

+/-  / 60

Team Shooting

SVP

Ozone%

Penalty Diff.

Gorges

16.36

-2.14

-12.9

0.717

0.51

2.04

2.34

-0.3

7.49

0.921

47.4

-0.3

Markov

17.15

8.49

1.6

1.065

1.0

2.5

1.5

1

7.25

0.959

57.1

0

Markov (previous season)

17.24

-3.48

5.8

0.428

1.24

3.33

2.24

1.09

10.35

0.935

52

-0.2

The much missed and lamented defenders, Gorges and Markov. Big minute eaters, capable of tough matchups.

Gorges mirrors Gill as a tough opposition sacrificial lamb, who he partnered with to start the season. He was a slight loser in possession and goals against while facing very difficult opposition in a shutdown role.  His injury forced that role onto others who could have had an easier assignment. Returning from injury he should help solidify the top two pairings next season.

Markov was stellar in the limited time he played last year.  Strong possession numbers against top-level opponents, big minutes played and very strong offense from a defenseman. Was not so strong defensively as 1.50 GA implies, he got a lot of luck with goaltending and could easily have been 2.50 GA. His previous season has been added for context, as 7 games is a poor sample size. There he played second tier competition and did very well, although getting big help from the percentages. His possession stats reflect how terrible the 2009-10 Habs were at shots for/against and should not reflect poorly on him as his RelCorsi shows. Every bit the number one defenseman, the combination of Markov and Subban should be a terror.

As a group, the Habs defense was very solid on defense although helped by all world goaltending by Price. They all suffered from the inability of the Habs to convert their shots into goals. Also, the many injuries forced more players into tough minute situations than there should have been, with Hamrlik, Spacek, Gill, Subban, Gorges and Wisneiwski all forced into top pairing roles at some point, and top 4 roles for the majority of their time. This was necessary to shelter lesser players like Weber, Sopel, Mara and Picard who filled in for those in sickbay by playing soft minutes.

Stats courtesy of behindthenet.ca

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Eyes On The Prize

You must be a member of Eyes On The Prize to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Eyes On The Prize. You should read them.

Join Eyes On The Prize

You must be a member of Eyes On The Prize to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Eyes On The Prize. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker