Saturday, September 8, 2012

Habs: Quantifying each player's short-handed contribution

This post will focus on multiple short-handed statistical categories. It will show how each returning Canadiens player performed while short-handed during the 2011-12 season.

Graphs shown include:

-Short-handed defensive-rating
-Successful short-handed defensive plays per-minute
-Successful short-handed puck-possession plays per-minute
-Short-handed tendencies with the puck in the defensive-zone
-Short-handed blocked shots per-minute played
-Short-handed intercepted opposition passes per-minute played
-Short-handed puck-battles won per-minute played
-Short-handed loose-puck recoveries per-minute played
-Short-handed dump-outs per-minute played

The Montreal Canadiens had the second-best penalty-killing unit in the NHL during the 2011-12 season. Mathieu Darche and Hal Gill are not included here, but were huge parts of the PK success last season. Also not included here are newcomers Brandon Prust and Francois Beauchemin, who should contribute to the Habs PK unit this season.



SHORT-HANDED DEFENSIVE-RATING

This graph represents each player's success-rate when engaging in short-handed plays that require them to remove or acquire puck-possession from the opposition. Events tracked in this percentage include such defensive-zone plays as; puck-battles, loose-puck recoveries, blocked passes, blocked shots, and successful stick-checks. Expressed more simply, the players with higher ratings were more successful when engaging in plays attempting to get the puck away from a player on the other team.

This rating can be skewed by low event totals. As we see, two of the leaders (St. Denis and White) have far fewer short-handed events than many of their teammates. Among those with substantial minutes we see both Josh Gorges and Raphael Diaz leading the defensemen, while Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec led the forwards.

 SUCCESSFUL SHORT-HANDED DEFENSIVE-PLAYS PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph represents how many times per-minute of short-handed ice-time each player is able to remove or acquire puck-possession from the opposition in the defensive-zone. Plays used in this calculation include; puck-battles, loose-puck recoveries, blocked passes, blocked shots, and successful stick-checks.

In relation to ice-time, Diaz removed or acquired puck-possession from the opposition more often than any other player. Most surprising, is that his number was higher than Gorges. Among forwards, David Desharnais averaged the most successful short-handed defensive-plays. Other forwards with high totals include; Brian Gionta and Lars Eller.

At the other end of the spectrum, both Tomas Plekanec and PK Subban's totals per-minute were lower than expected.


 
SUCCESSFUL SHORT-HANDED PUCK-POSSESSION PLAYS PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph represents how many successful plays each player makes per-minute of short-handed ice-time (once they have acquired puck-possession). The higher the number, the more often that player either successfully dumps the puck out of the defensive-zone, successfully passes the puck to a teammate, or beats an opposing player 1on1 with a deke. 

Once the puck is on his stick, Subban makes more successful plays per-minute than any other player. Other players with high numbers include Yannick Weber, Diaz and Brian Gionta.

Rene Bourque and David Desharnais made the least amount of successful plays with the puck among players with substantial PK ice-time.




SHORT-HANDED TENDENCIES WITH POSSESSION IN DEFENSIVE-ZONE

This graph breaks down the above graph, and shows us how many times each player completes each of the three main puck-possession plays (dump-out, pass, deke) per-minute of short-handed ice-time. This graph also helps us determine each players tendency when in possession of the puck while short-handed in the defensive-zone.

Not surprisingly, all player's first thought when in possession of the puck in the defensive-zone (while short-handed) was to dump the puck out of the zone. That said,  Desharnais was as likely to pass as he was to dump the puck out, while Fred St. Denis was twice as likely to attempt a deke as any other player (including Subban). Among defensemen, Gorges was the most-likely to attempt a pass.



SHORT-HANDED BLOCKED SHOTS PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph shows us how many blocked shots each player averaged per-minute of short-handed ice-time. It helps us breakdown each player's strength, and where they most helped the penalty-killing unit. 

It's no surprise to find Gorges at the top of this list. Gorges blocks almost twice as many shots per-minute of short-handed ice-time as any other player. Other d-men with high totals include; Weber and Alexei Emelin. Subban blocked the fewest shots per-minute played among d-men. Among forwards, White was the most active shot-blocker, followed by Travis Moen, and Brian Gionta.


SHORT-HANDED INTERCEPTED OPPOSITION PASSES PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph shows us how many intercepted opposition passes each player averaged per-minute of short-handed ice-time. It helps us breakdown each player's strength, and where they most helped the penalty-killing unit. 

Subban was the only player to manage more than 0.25 intercepted passes per-minute of short-handed ice-time, while Gorges was a close second. Other players who demonstrated an ability to block passing lanes include; Diaz, Plekanec, and Eller.

Weber had the lowest total among d-men, while White and Bourque had the fewest intercepted passes (per-minute played) among forwards.



SHORT-HANDED PUCK-BATTLES WON PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph shows us how many won puck-battles each player averaged per-minute of short-handed ice-time. It helps us breakdown each player's strength, and where they most helped the penalty-killing unit.

In relation to his ice-time, Diaz was able to remove puck-possession from the opposition (while short-handed) more often than any player. Gorges had the second highest total, while Desharnais led the forwards.
Bourque had the lowest total among forwards, while Subban and Emelin had the lowest total on the back end.



SHORT-HANDED LOOSE-PUCK RECOVERIES PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph shows us how many loose-pucks each player recovered per-minute of short-handed ice-time. It helps us breakdown each player's strength, and where they most helped the penalty-killing unit.

This is where Subban's speed, and willingness to go into corners first allows him to shine. He recovers far-and-away more loose-pucks short-handed than any other player.  Weber has the second highest total among d-men, while Ryan White led all forwards. Other forwards with high LPR totals per-minute played include Lars Eller, and Tomas Plekanec.



SHORT-HANDED DUMP-OUTS PER-MINUTE PLAYED

This graph shows us how many successful dump-outs each player averaged per-minute of short-handed ice-time. It helps us breakdown each player's strength, and where they most helped the penalty-killing unit.

Subban once again led all players in successful dump-outs per-minute of short-handed ice-time. This combined with his ability to recover loose-pucks allowed Subban to clear the  puck out of the defensive-zone more often  than any other player. Weber averaged the second-most dump-outs per-minute played, while Brian Gionta led all forwards.


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