Flames Scoring Chances - Jay Bouwmeester

Robert Cleave
August 25 2010 03:02PM

                                  

Last time around, I had a look at Robyn Regher's 09/10 by 5v5 scoring chances. Today, Jay Bouwmeester gets his turn under the lens. It was a difficult first season in the Red and Black for the Flames' prize free agent catch, with his boxcars falling off the planet. He shot about 2% for the season, though, and since shooting percentages do fluctuate, I still wanted to see how the club's scoring chance numbers looked when he was patrolling the blue.

As with Regehr, let's stipulate what Bouwmeester's circumstances were. He mostly played against second lines, with about 10 games going against the top lines with Giordano to begin the year, and a very short stretch of games doing that sort of duty with Sarich in mid-season. He played so much that it almost seems a bit unfair to explicitly categorize his ice time in that manner, but working against the second string did constitute the bulk of his EV efforts. He did have the toughest ZoneStarts of all the defencemen, although it should be noted that he had about a ZS of about 45% when he and Giordano were a duo, and about 55% after the Phaneuf trade.

First, Bowmeester's numbers in full:

For: 282

Against: 282

SC% 50.0

Even-up against mostly second tier comp is just OK, even with a sub-50% ZS. Bouwmeester had three main defence partners over the course of the season. For the bulk of the season leading up to the Phaneuf trade, he played with Mark Giordano. Here are their numbers as a pair:

For: 103

Against: 82

SC% 55.7%

Nice work, considering the comp and starting position. Bouwmeester also played a fair amount with Cory Sarich, again with a mix of first and second line opposition:

For: 57

Against: 74

SC% 43.5%

Not optimal, that set of results. After the deadline, Bouwmeester enjoyed the company of the Steady One, almost exclusively versus second-liners. JB and Staios as a duo combined for these results:

For: 39

Against: 53

SC% 42.2 

Good lord. Combined with the fact that their ZS was well north of 50% during that period, that's utter disaster, full stop. The Flame forwards certainly had their share of issues late in the year, with Higgins, Langkow and Glencross all leaving the line-up within a one week stretch, but still, those numbers are terrible. 

As with Regehr, it seemed prudent to see how Bouwmeester's numbers looked in back of certain forwards. I like to use Langkow and Iginla because they always played against the top six. Rene Bourque was the other candidate, but he got shuffled around, especially after the mid-season trades. So, Bouwmeester with number 22: 

For: 89

Against: 67

SC% 55.7

Very good, and no surprise to anyone paying attention. Daymond Langkow ended in the black against the top lines in front of Regehr and in front of first and second lines in front of JB, and had pretty similar percentages in both scenarios. As a trio, JB, Gio and Langkow were 29/26, for 52.7%, and that's pertinent to something we'll get to in a bit. Next, Bouwmeester behind Jarome Iginla:

For: 113

Against: 107

SC% 51.4

Certainly better than what Iggy did in front of Regehr, and almost certainly due to the quality of competition being a bit lower. Beats the alternative, I suppose. The really interesting number was Iggy-JB-Gio's shared work, which came in at 41/31, for a SC% of 56.9, or better than 22-4-5 achieved.

I'd bet that most of Langkow's numbers with 4 and 5 came early on in the year, when his line was playing the other team's best, and starting in the hole a fair bit, so his set of results is actually better than Iggy's given the circumstances, but at least Iginla wasn't torched by the second string when Bouwmeester and Giordano were in tow. In contrast, when Bouwmeetser was lugging around Staios, they backed Iginla to the tune of 16/21 for 43.5%, right in line with what they did behind everyone else. Sarich and JB batted a nifty 18/25 for 41.9% behind Iginla, by the by.

All this leads me to a pretty inescapable conclusion. Jay Bouwmeester had an acceptable year going 5v5 when he had Mark Giordano riding shotgun, and the two of them even had Iginla going in the right direction, second level comp or not. Cory Sarich and Steve Staios drove Bouwmeester's numbers right into the sewer, and Staios' contribution was particularly poor given the easier ZS numbers they had.

There really wasn't any worthwhile justification for moving Giordano away from Bouwmeester's side at the expense of anyone the Flames had on the roster after January 31st, and unless the Flames go for a power duo of Bouwmeester and Regehr, that holds true for the upcoming season as well. 

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Robert Cleave is a perpetually grumpy Winnipegger.
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#1 Kent Wilson
August 25 2010, 03:07PM
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All this leads me to a pretty inescapable conclusion. Jay Bouwmeester had an acceptable year going 5v5 when he had Mark Giordano riding shotgun, and the two of them even had Iginla going in the right direction, second level comp or not. Cory Sarich and Steve Staios drove Bouwmeester's numbers right into the sewer, and Staios' contribution was particularly poor given the easier ZS numbers they had.

Related - if you interrupt any Flames messageboard discussion about Cory Sarich right now, you'll hear a lot about how he had a great last quarter of the season. Not coincidentally, that was about when he dropped down to the third pairing with Mark Giordano more or less for good.

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#2 Domebeers.com
August 25 2010, 03:48PM
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So, in other words, there is a 'keep sarich' camp? Pretty scary...

The DB crew has been chewing this over for a little bit, this being whether or not it was Gio or JBlow who contributed to that lines success. If im reading this right, Gio could make Sarich servicble but JBlow couldnt? Interesting. I suppose nobody could make Staios look good, but it is interesting to me that JBlow would be stuck with him as a partner. Brent knows how garbage Staios is and is trying to hide it by pairing him with JBlow.

Not to get too nitpicky, but I wonder what the sc of other 6.5+ million dollar defencemen look like. Maybe we will take a look.

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#3 Kent Wilson
August 25 2010, 03:57PM
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If im reading this right, Gio could make Sarich servicble but JBlow couldnt? Interesting.

Keep in mind, Sarich would be facing nobodies with Giordano. Sutter also tended to start Gio in the offensive zone a lot more when he wasn't paired with Bouwmeester.

On the other hand, playing second level competition with Sarich from your own zone is probably a much tougher gig.

The take away for me is: don't go for some forced "puck mover + stay-at-home" pairing because that seems to make sense in terms of hockey alchemy - just play guys against the competition they can handle.

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#4 dotfras
August 25 2010, 04:01PM
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So 1)Reg-White 2)Jbo-Gio 3)Sarich-Stevey?

I hope Staios gets demoted, would much rather see Pardy or Pelech in that limited ice time 3rd pairing role.

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#5 SmellOfVictory
August 25 2010, 04:27PM
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Assuming his numbers don't improve this year, I've decided that I was entirely justified in complaining that JBo was overpaid by a million dollars when he was signed.

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#6 Kent Wilson
August 25 2010, 04:45PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Assuming his numbers don't improve this year, I've decided that I was entirely justified in complaining that JBo was overpaid by a million dollars when he was signed.

First I'll say I quite like Bouwmeester as a player.

That said, you're right - the big man didn't drive results like I thought he would when he was signed. He was party to not favorable circumstances, but he didn't exactly rise above them as one would expect from a $6M defender.

I am fairly confident he'll bounce back though. His SH% was his career worst and he'll probably get more PP time next year to boot. If he sticks with Gio most of the time, the numbers should improve.

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#7 SmellOfVictory
August 25 2010, 04:58PM
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Not to argue while you're agreeing with me, but $6.7 million defender. ;) Haha.

In JBo's defence, it's pretty tough to live up to your contract when you're the 3rd most expensive d-man in the entire league. I was just taking a peek at capgeek out of curiosity, and of the top 10 cap hits, I see exactly three players who I think might be/are living up to their salaries (Lidstrom, Rafalski, Timonen), a couple of not-terrible overpays (including JBo), and then some of the worst contracts in the league (Redden, Campbell, Jovanoski).

I'll admit I've been swayed greatly by RO's discussions on forwards driving the play more than d-men - which makes sense to me in the majority of cases - but I really don't think any defenceman short of a Lidstrom/Bourque/Orr is worth more than 10% of a team's cap room.

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#8 dotfras
August 25 2010, 05:59PM
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JBo went from 15 goals on the Panthers to 3 last year with us. I'm sure last year's drop in play was related to playing in the west, the pressure of a big contract, and also who he was playing with. The whole team was pretty miserable last year. I think he's going to bounce back this year.

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#9 dustin642
August 25 2010, 06:31PM
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So, pretty much what your saying is anyone who plays with Staios against any comp will get destroyed. Is there even a positive characteristic to Staios besides his good in the locker room leadership stuff? Which is essentially worthless on this team considering the flames are a bunch of late 20's early 30's *veterans*. Every time I hear about someone being good in the locker room on this team all I picture in my head is Iggy, Staios, Regehr, Langkow, Conroy, Jokinen, Hagman, Sarich, Kipper, all huddled in a circle around Backlund saying "its gonna be ok, we've been there, its gonna be ok."

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#10 R O
August 25 2010, 06:44PM
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JBo went from 15 goals on the Panthers to 3 last year with us. I'm sure last year's drop in play was related to playing in the west, the pressure of a big contract, and also who he was playing with.

I'm sure it was none of these things.

Is it really that hard to accept bad luck for what it is?

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#11 R O
August 25 2010, 06:48PM
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I like Bouwmeester a ton, I saw him good all the time and thought I made a pretty good case for him being a very good dman last summer.

He had what appears to be a bit of a let-down season by scoring chances (with icetime context considered) along with a crapload of bad luck in putting pucks in nets.

Still, my memory keeps telling me he was playing just as much against the other team's best as Regehr. BTN shows him playing nearly 2 mins more at EVs than Regehr. I dunno, I have scripts to get all the who-was-on-the-ice data so when I get motivated enough, we can put to bed who played against who the most.

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#12 Kent Wilson
August 25 2010, 10:34PM
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I have scripts to get all the who-was-on-the-ice data so when I get motivated enough, we can put to bed who played against who the most.

Do it man and we'll publish it with fan fare.

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#13 SmellOfVictory
August 25 2010, 11:48PM
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Speaking of d-men, now that Mitchell has signed with LA, is anyone else just praying that maybe Anaheim or someone will take Sarich for a pick? I'm sure the Flames can pick up a reasonable FA defender to replace him on the 3rd pairing for significantly less than his contract.

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#14 Kent Wilson
August 26 2010, 07:46AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Speaking of d-men, now that Mitchell has signed with LA, is anyone else just praying that maybe Anaheim or someone will take Sarich for a pick? I'm sure the Flames can pick up a reasonable FA defender to replace him on the 3rd pairing for significantly less than his contract.

You never know, but I don't see it. There's still Johnsson, McKee, Mara, Exelby and Witt who can be had for nothing (and probably on a cheap contract).

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#15 Reidja
August 26 2010, 01:07PM
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If we're considering statistics and generalities here's some food for thought. Generally, forwards create scoring chances and defenseman prevent scoring chances so when comparing a defensemans sc for/against, his sc for may be affected by the quality of the opposition's defense pair. So is it logical that an important consideration for a d-man's sc for/against is the quality of the oppositions defense? But who compares competing d lines? Stats are interesting but sometimes that's as far as it goes for me.

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#16 marcus
August 26 2010, 05:14PM
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Bo better be ready to roll this season is all I have to say.

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#17 rod blogojevich
August 26 2010, 11:49PM
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This has nothing to do with Bo's scoring chances but it's pretty funny. Apparently he was offered a big endorsement deal to pimp Land Rovers, but he politely declined, saying he was content driving his Ford pickup and didn't need a new Rover. Man, what a guy!

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#18 Rain Dogs
August 27 2010, 09:14AM
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I'm certainly going to regret typing this essay out before doing my own further investigation, but hell, here goes.

I'm drinking the kool-aid that puck possession and 'moving the puck forward' are absolute essentials to the level of success the team is going to enjoy.

I do feel, at times, the the level of importance put on this one aspect around these parts is a little high, in comparison to what happens when the puck isn't moving in the right direction.

I find the scoring chances conversation hugely interesting, but I feel myself wanting it to be tempered with good ol' defensive reliability.

Cutting to the chase: My subjective eye tells me that Mark Giordano is a great defenseman for moving the puck in the right direction, and so is JBO. It also tells me that when things go wrong, Gio is two or three levels behind JBO or Regehr in his ability to cope in our end of the ice. In other words, when Gio faces toughs in the toughs, I'm not happy.

Aside: This is when Kent reminds everyone that I hold a grudge against Gio for being continuously exploited by Byfuglien and/or the Sedins.

"When you have a talented team you need just a few chances."

Perhaps if Gio was running at 70-80 SC% I'd have no complaint, but that ain't gonna happen.

I see: Gio - 101.8 PDO, a 52.0% ZS, 33GAon and also a SAON/60 of 22.7 (bookmarked by Pardy and Dawes)

If PDO regresses to 100. If players don't influence sv%, and more likely shots against/60 - which, in my mind, the latter must be hugely influenced by zone start. - then where do I go to put my subjective mind to ease with a little more objectivity for our side of the rink.

Sure it's great that JBO, Gio and Iggy are in the other zone 56.9% of the time. BUT, if bad 'luck' is what bad 'luck' is...then I'm damn concerned how effective that trio (for example) is the other 43.1% of the time if the other team ain't shooting 12.5, 9.9 and 2.3%. Say for example, if that team is Vancouver and the twins and the asshole get 'lucky' and shoot 17.5, 16.7 and 12.9.

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#19 Rain Dogs
August 27 2010, 09:15AM
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I'm certainly going to regret typing this essay out before doing my own further investigation, but hell, here goes.

I'm drinking the kool-aid that puck possession and 'moving the puck forward' are absolute essentials to the level of success the team is going to enjoy.

I do feel, at times, the the level of importance put on this one aspect around these parts is a little high, in comparison to what happens when the puck isn't moving in the right direction.

I find the scoring chances conversation hugely interesting, but I feel myself wanting it to be tempered with good ol' defensive reliability.

Cutting to the chase: My subjective eye tells me that Mark Giordano is a great defenseman for moving the puck in the right direction, and so is JBO. It also tells me that when things go wrong, Gio is two or three levels behind JBO or Regehr in his ability to cope in our end of the ice. In other words, when Gio faces toughs in the toughs, I'm not happy.

Aside: This is when Kent reminds everyone that I hold a grudge against Gio for being continuously exploited by Byfuglien or the Sedins.

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#20 Rain Dogs
August 27 2010, 09:28AM
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continued.

If PDO regresses to 100. If players don't influence sv%, but more likely shots against/60 - which, in my mind, the latter must be hugely influenced by zone start. - then where do I go to put my subjective mind to ease with a little more objectivity for our side of the rink.

I see Gio's advanced stats, his PDO a little high, his SA/60 must be influenced by his zone start. He was sheltered, yes, but his GA/60 is best on the team. Heck, he's a +17

Anyway, this is all out of curiosity, because I'm having the same debate with coaches who want Big-Body-Presence in their defenders, and I, the evaluator, rank a small but skilled pee-wee defender higher than the coaches because he gets the puck moving in the right direction far better than any other kid on the ice. The response is... he'll get killed in our zone.

I do believe Gio suffers from this, subjectively, but objectively his numbers are outstanding, especially since the categories seem to favor the offensive side of the coin.

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#21 Rain Dogs
August 27 2010, 09:52AM
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Last.

If the conclusion is Gio with Jbo, and White with Regehr, then who gets the toughs? and why? Is White better in our zone than Gio? They're more similar defenders than any other two on the team.

Is Ian White a better defenseman than Gio? When the going gets tough, what happens with Sarich? does he move up?

White's numbers are all skewed due to the Leafs. I can answer subjectively, but sometimes that doesn't match with these advanced stats.

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#22 MC Hockey
August 27 2010, 06:07PM
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Super article Kent. I still wish you guys had a seperate section on the website explaining corsi and all the stats all in one place. Because even as a rocket scientist, I don't quite grasp all of those stats.

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#23 R O
August 27 2010, 08:44PM
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Cutting to the chase: My subjective eye tells me that Mark Giordano is a great defenseman for moving the puck in the right direction, and so is JBO. It also tells me that when things go wrong, Gio is two or three levels behind JBO or Regehr in his ability to cope in our end of the ice. In other words, when Gio faces toughs in the toughs, I'm not happy.

Word.

Gio isn't a very good winner of puck battles anywhere along the boards.

It's not such a big deal against scrubs who can't keep the puck alive along the boards in tight spaces. And Gio is strong in the o-zone, genuinely helps the play keep going imo. But overall I find the package a bit unsatisfying.

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#24 Kent Wilson
August 27 2010, 09:34PM
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You're not going to get a big argument from me on this issue Lawrence. I've been looking for a way to properly evaluate defenders for awhile and nothing has really satisfied me. Frankly, I think forwards have a larger influence on corsi and possession than defenders. I wish we could elucidate the effect of the different positions a lot better.

As for bigger vs smaller defenders and preferences therein, frankly I think most of it's subjective and up to the viewer. As with forwards, there's no magic formula or set of tools that automatically makes a guy better than another. It comes down to who gets the results. For example, Giordano might lose puck battles that Sarich will win, but he'll also win more puck races and he's better able to escape tight spaces with the puck under control (rather than banging it off the glass). Overall, it comes down to how often Gio's strengths outweigh his weaknesses (similar with Sarich, Regehr, etc).

As for RO - I'm sure we'll all have this argument again this year.

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#25 Kent Wilson
August 27 2010, 09:36PM
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MC Hockey wrote:

Super article Kent. I still wish you guys had a seperate section on the website explaining corsi and all the stats all in one place. Because even as a rocket scientist, I don't quite grasp all of those stats.

Actually this was Roberts article, but thanks.

As for new stats explanations - here you go.

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