Sunday, March 4, 2012

Habs: Josh Gorges; by the Numbers

Gorges' ratio speaks volumes

Josh Gorges is the Montreal Canadiens top defensive-defenseman. He is the top-rated defensemen in multiple categories, and accomplishes these impressive numbers while facing the oppositions best players. Never afraid to sacrifice his body for the sake of his team, Gorges is the team leader in blocked shots.



REFERENCE POINTS

These averages have been calculated over hundreds of games and approximately 2000 individual scouting reports:


Average grade: 67

Average ratio: 2.03
Average risk/reward: 1.31
Average offensive-zone risk/reward: 0.30
Average defensive-zone risk/reward: 0.62
Average neutral-zone risk/reward: 0.30




Gorges has earned an above average overall risk/reward rating in 35 games this season. He has produce 2 overall ratings above 2.00, and has only 1 rating below 0.50. His numbers are carried by his work killing penalties, while he also has an impressive d-zone passing percentage, and defensive-zone puck-battle winning-percentage. Gorges numbers have been trending down slightly as the season progresses. This is likely due to fatigue, as Gorges has been playing continues to log huge minutes against the league's best players.

Despite limited offensive numbers, Gorges still has the second-best overall grade among defensemen. He also has the third-best overall risk/reward rating among defensemen, behind only Tomas Kaberle and PK Subban. Keep in mind Subban and Kaberle's numbers are padded by substantial powerplay time.

He has the team's top success-rate when engaging in plays that require him to acquire puck-possession. Plays in this calculation include puck-battles, blocked shots, etc. He also has the Habs second-best success-rate when engaging in plays that require him to maintain puck-possession. Plays in this calculation include passes, dekes, shots, etc.

He has far-and-away the team's best even-strength ratio at 2.67 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play. 

SHORT-HANDED

Among defensemen with substantial short-handed ice-time, Gorges has the second-highest short-handed risk/reward rating, and the top short-handed ratio. His SH ratio of 2.11 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play makes him the only d-man with a ratio above 2.00. With the departure of Hal Gill, Gorges is now the leader in short-handed ice-time. He also leads the team in short-handed blocked shots, blocked passes, and is second only to Subban in successful dump-outs. He's won 55% of his defensive-zone puck-battles while short-handed, and has been successful with 63% of his short-handed pass-attempts.


OFFENSIVE-ZONE

Understandably, Gorges has only the sixth-best offensive-zone risk/reward rating (0.14) among defensemen. He has an o-zone ratio of 1.77 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play, and is involved in in a team-low 0.50 offensive-zone events per-minute of ice-time. He wins 57% of his offensive-zone puck-battles, and is successful with 68% of his o-zone pass-attempts. He has intercepted 43 o-zone passes by opposition players, but has gotten only 36% of his shot-attempts through to the net.


DEFENSIVE-ZONE

Gorges has the third-best defensive risk/reward rating (1.00) among defensemen; behind only Kaberle and Subban. Gorges is obviously the better defensive-player than Kaberle, but Kaberle's high risk/reward is the product of a high d-zone passing percentage combined with a substantially lower amount of ice-time. Gorges' defensive-zone ratio of 2.71 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play  is easily the team's best, as is his 134 blocked-shots. He wins 60% of his defensive-zone puck-battles; second only to Yannick Weber, and is successful with 77% of his d-zone pass-attempts; second to Kaberle.


NEUTRAL-ZONE

Gorges has the second-best neutral-zone risk/reward rating among Canadiens defensemen; behind only Subban. That said, his absolutely incredible neutral-zone ratio of 4.34 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play is far-and-away the top ratio on the team. He wins a team-high 62% of his neutral-zone puck-battles, and is successful with 73% of his n-zone pass-attempts. He has intercepted 38 opposition passes in the neutral-zone, and his 92% success-rate when attempting to dump the puck deep into the offensive-zone makes him the only Canadiens player with a success-rate in this category above 86%.

Evaluating Gorges only by looking at his risk/reward does not do justice to his play. His ice-time is so high compared to other d-men not named Subban, that his risk/reward is hurt by his playing minutes. But, when we break his numbers down to a simple ratio of successful plays to unsuccessful plays (2.67 compared to a team-average of 2.02), we discover just how impressive and valuable number 26 is to this team.

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