Black Box: Week 26

Robert Vollman
April 02 2012 09:29AM

 

 

When you're a play-off bubble team whose top lines can't quite compete with opposing teams, you rely on catching a few breaks in order to qualify for the post-season.  If instead your team loses 5.5 points on the random OT/shoot-out chance, and are among the league leaders in man-games lost to injury, then you need to build a far better team to be playing hockey in mid-April.

Here's the current status of the race, according to three separate sites each using slightly different statistical models.  Phoenix and Los Angeles are practically in, with San Jose and Dallas in a dead heat for that final spot.


Team         1   2   3
Phoenix     91% 93% 89%
Los Angeles 88% 90% 84%
San Jose    62% 62% 62%
Dallas      54% 49% 54%
Colorado     6%  5% 11%

OZQoC Charts (explanation)

Our little OZQoC Charts have really taken off this year.  Fifteen separate team fan sites around the league have adopted them since we first introduced them over at Arctic Ice Hockey this summer.

Even-Strength Scoring (explanation)

22.8% of Calgary's on-ice attempted shots result in scoring chances with David Moss on the ice, compared with 37.0% with Alex Tanguay.  It would be an interesting study to determine if this difference is persistent from season to season.


Top-Six Forward ESP/60 CEF CEA  CE% SCF SCA SC%   GF   GA    G%
David Moss        1.5   57  50 53.4% 13 16 45.5% 1.79 2.28  44.0%
Mikael Backlund   0.9   53  50 51.6% 16 14 51.7% 1.57 2.92  35.0%
Mike Cammalleri   1.8   49  55 47.4% 17 21 45.2% 2.37 2.91  44.9%
Curtis Glencross  2.1   49  57 46.3% 14 18 44.3% 2.62 3.38  43.7%
Alex Tanguay      2.0   49  58 45.5% 18 17 51.1% 2.85 2.44  53.9%
Olli Jokinen      1.8   49  58 45.5% 15 19 44.7% 2.85 3.21  47.0%
Jarome Iginla     2.1   49  60 44.8% 16 19 46.6% 2.69 2.92  48.0%

Lee Stempniak had a solid season, and could arguably be a top-six forward on some of the league's weaker teams.  On Calgary he's a useful and low-cost utility forward – let's see what kind of contract he'll get July 1st.


3rd Line Forward ESP/60 CEF CEA  CE% SCF SCA SC%   GF   GA    G%
Lee Stempniak     1.6   54  50 52.0% 16 14 52.3% 2.26 2.58  46.7%
Blake Comeau      0.8   50  51 49.9% 13 15 46.4% 1.20 2.08  36.6%
Matt Stajan       1.3   51  51 49.8% 13 14 48.8% 1.71 2.42  41.4%
Blair Jones       0.8   47  52 47.3% 17 17 50.0% 0.93 1.54  37.7%
Roman Horak       1.1   41  51 44.7% 12 11 51.6% 1.85 1.54  54.6%
Lance Bouma       0.8   43  55 43.5% 12 12 50.5% 0.75 2.01  27.2%

With the return to something resembling full health there were mot a lot of opportunities for depth talent this week – only Tim Jackman and Tom Kostopoulos saw action, which they performed in their usual adequate form, save for the Colorado game where, joined by Blair Jones, they were easily Calgary's top line.


Depth Forward  ESP/60 CEF CEA  CE% SCF SCA SC%   GF   GA    G%
Krys Kolanos     0.5   54  49 52.5% 11 10 53.7% 1.04 1.57  39.8%
Greg Nemisz      0.0   44  43 50.5% 10 11 48.0% 2.61 1.74  60.0%
Tim Jackman      0.7   50  50 50.0% 11 12 47.9% 0.75 2.54  22.8%
Tom Kostopoulos  0.6   50  53 48.4% 12 13 48.1% 1.41 2.54  35.7%
G. Desbiens      0.0   34  45 43.0%  7  7 50.0% 0.00 0.84   0.0%
P-L. Leblond     0.0   46  58 43.9%  8 12 40.0% 4.16 0.00 100.0%
Paul Byron       1.1   35  51 41.1% 11 11 51.3% 1.63 0.54  75.1%
Sven Baertshi    3.5   31  48 38.8% 12 15 43.5% 3.52 1.17  75.1%
Raitis Ivanans   0.0   27  65 29.4%  5 27 16.7% 0.00 5.41   0.0%

The Flames simply won't score with Jay Bouwmeester on the ice.  They get the shots, they get the chances, but do not get the goals.  If only the team scored as easily with Bouwmeester on the ice (3.8% of attempted shots, 12.5% of scoring chances) as opponents do with Scott Hannan on the ice (5.3% of attempted shots, 16.9% of scoring chances).


Top-4 Defense  ESP/60 CEF CEA  CE% SCF SCA SC%   GF   GA    G%
Mark Giordano    0.8   49  55 47.0% 14 16 45.6% 2.44 2.50  49.4%
Chris Butler     0.6   49  57 46.2% 16 18 47.4% 2.19 2.50  46.7%
Jay Bouwmeester  0.5   48  56 45.9% 15 17 46.2% 1.82 2.47  42.4%
Scott Hannan     0.5   45  57 44.3% 13 18 42.7% 2.29 3.00  43.3%

Great week for the depth defensemen – Clay Wilson, Cory Sarich and Anton Babchuk.  Granted their ice-time is soft, but they all did very well, which comes as a surprise in all but one case.


Depth Defense  ESP/60 CEF CEA  CE% SCF SCA SC%   GF   GA    G%
Brett Carson     0.0   70  41 63.4% 19 11 63.6% 0.00 5.41   0.0%
Clay Wilson      0.0   49  44 52.9% 14 12 54.2% 1.09 1.09  50.0%
T.J. Brodie      0.6   50  47 51.5% 15 13 53.3% 2.40 2.02  54.3%
Cory Sarich      0.4   49  48 50.3% 13 12 51.9% 1.70 1.84  48.0%
Derek Smith      0.6   49  53 48.1% 15 13 53.5% 2.00 2.27  46.8%
Anton Babchuk    1.0   50  55 47.6% 12 15 44.7% 1.88 1.88  50.0%
Joe Piskula      0.0   50  59 45.9% 19 14 56.7% 0.00 5.54   0.0%

Special teams (explanation)

A good week on the power play - finally some power play points for Mike Cammalleri, and a boost for Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla.


Primary Forwards    TOI/GP PTS/60 CE/60
Mike Cammalleri      3.0     3.2   92.9
Alex Tanguay         3.1     4.5   81.0
Olli Jokinen         3.0     5.9   80.7
Jarome Iginla        3.3     4.4   80.3

If Olli Jokinen is going to retain his team power play scoring rate crown for yet another season, he's going to have to hold off Curtis Glencross, who is trailing by only 0.09 points per 60 minutes despite the team's inability to generate shots while he's on the ice.


Secondary Forwards  TOI/GP PTS/60 CE/60
Mikael Backlund      1.1     3.9   85.0
David Moss           0.9     0.0   84.9
Lee Stempniak        1.8     2.8   84.2
Blair Jones          0.7     2.1   75.0
Blake Comeau         0.7     0.0   70.1
Krys Kolanos         1.0     0.0   68.4
Curtis Glencross     2.1     5.9   68.4

Anton Babchuk got some serious power play ice-time, and while his personal scoring rate is low, the team has done well whenever he's served with the man advantage.  It's odd that they didn't use Clay Wilson with the man advantage this week.


Defensemen          TOI/GP PTS/60 CE/60
Clay Wilson          1.9     0.0  131.0
Anton Babchuk        2.4     1.7  101.7
Chris Butler         0.7     3.7   81.8
Jay Bouwmeester      2.2     3.4   81.2
Mark Giordano        3.3     3.1   77.8
T.J. Brodie          1.7     3.9   68.0
Derek Smith          1.0     5.1   65.8

Penalty killing

Calgary has a lot of usable penalty killers, and tends to spread out the opportunities rather than lean on a small handful of specialists like most teams.


Primary Forwards TOI/GP CE/60
Lee Stempniak     1.5    75.9
Blake Comeau      1.3    79.7
Curtis Glencross  2.1    84.0
Alex Tanguay      1.3    88.7
Tom Kostopoulos   1.4    89.6
David Moss        1.4   103.4

The Flames got peppered this week in limited penalty-killing action with Blair Jones on the ice.


Depth Forwards   TOI/GP CE/60
Mike Cammalleri   0.6    68.7
Mikael Backlund   1.0    90.5
Olli Jokinen      0.4    93.4
Blair Jones       0.6    97.0
Matt Stajan       1.0   114.6
Lance Bouma       0.4   128.3

There maybe a dozen teams that exclusively use two-way defensemen in their front-four, all of whom can be trusted killing penalties – and Calgary is one of them.


Defensemen       TOI/GP CE/60
Scott Hannan      2.7    84.9
Mark Giordano     2.0    88.4
Jay Bouwmeester   3.1    92.5
Chris Butler      2.2    92.7
Cory Sarich       0.8    97.7

Goaltending (explanation)

A rare off-week for Miikka Kiprusoff, who went 1-for-3 in Quality Starts.  Henrik Karlsson missed his 2nd Quality Start of the season by only a couple shots (or by only 62 seconds) in the OT loss to the Canucks – a bad break in what was certainly a quality start to the subjective eye.


Goalie           GS QS   QS%  ESSV%
Miikka Kiprusoff 67 41  61.2%  .927
Leland Irving     7  5  71.4%  .911
Henrik Karlsson   6  1  16.7%  .905

Obviously next week's Black Box will be the final edition for this year, and I'd like to thank you in advance for following it throughout its inaugural season.  We've obviously got some work to do this off-season to find ways to make this simpler and more accessible next year, and appreciate any suggestions you might leave for us in the comments.
 

781445e1560a4e1d0d641bc270a7eedc
Rob Vollman of www.HockeyAbstract.com is a regular feature writer on ESPN Insider, co-author of Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 and 2011-12, and regular contributor to NHL Numbers, Flames Nation and Arctic Ice Hockey. Innovator of Player Usage Charts, Quality Starts, GVS (Goals Versus Salary), the Snepsts Projection System, and known for work in League Equivalencies (NHLE). Twitter: @robvollmanNHL
Avatar
#1 mattyc
April 02 2012, 11:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Robert - Thanks for the great work - I have been enjoying it all year.

From this is seems like you have calculated some "conversion rate" for players from how many shots are taken w/ them on the ice vs. scoring chances? Has work also been done to see if there are players who have widely different conversion rates from scoring chances to goals?

It seems to me that the strict 'everything in the polygon is equal' may undervalue passers (like tanguay) who try to set up the 10-bell shots all the time.

Avatar
#2 SmellOfVictory
April 02 2012, 12:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@mattyc

I don't know if anyone's done any extensive looks into it, but it 'feels' accurate to me that a player's ability to create a larger number of scoring chances from a smaller number of shots could be repeatable to some extent (e.g. better players do tend to have slightly better on-ice shooting percentages). That would help explain why the correlation between Corsi/Fenwick and scoring chances is good, but not near-perfect.

Avatar
#3 everton fc
April 02 2012, 01:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So the comparison of Moss vs. Tanguay with regards to even-strength socring... Does this mean Moss is less valuable, or more valuable, even-strength?

I do think we'll re-sign Stempniak. He'd be nice on a third line w/Glencross and Jokinen (note I am supporting the re-singing of Jokinen, as well)

Avatar
#5 RexLibris
April 02 2012, 02:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Good article, Robert. I find I'm enjoying these more and more. The articles have always been good, but I think I've started warming to the stats as a fan.

A few things: "your team loses 5.5 points on the random OT/shoot-out chance"

I wouldn't categorize the shootout as random chance any more than so many other factors in the regulation game (faceoff, deflections, hits, passing completion, etc). It is a reflection of some player's specific skill set, however, that does not always translate to the larger part of the game, which is why some curious supporting players have average to above-average shootout percentages.

"Lee Stempniak had a solid season, and could arguably be a top-six forward on some of the league's weaker teams. On Calgary he's a useful and low-cost utility forward – let's see what kind of contract he'll get July 1st"

While I agree that Stempniak's value on July 1st will be an interesting one to watch, especially given the shallow free agent pool this summer, I would argue that he has been playing on one of the league's weaker teams. His lack of time as a top-six option with the Flames would likely be, in my mind, more the result of a veteran-laden squad with an abundance at his position and a tendency within the coaching staff to defer to certain players sometimes in spite of their lack of achievement.

An area in which Flames fans can find solace this season could be special teams. The NHL has them ranked 11th on the powerplay and 9th on the penalty kill. For a team of their standing and with their noted offensive difficulties, success for this team next season will need to begin and end with their special teams.

Avatar
#6 Tach
April 02 2012, 05:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Re: Suggestions for next year

I know the timeonice.com data presentation may make this prohibitively difficult, but a week to week + overall on the year for both the OzQoc and possession numbers (at least at EV) would be useful in understanding changes over time.

For example, this would help us trace the moment that Iginla fell back to second toughest comp, which the total year data lags behind quite a bit.

Thanks again for all your interesting and dedicated work.

Avatar
#7 flamesburn89
April 02 2012, 05:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Robert Vollman

Which fan sites use OZQoC Charts?? I'd love to compare players from around the league.

Avatar
#8 flamesburn89
April 02 2012, 05:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@RexLibris

@Rex

"I wouldn't categorize the shootout as random chance any more than so many other factors in the regulation game (faceoff, deflections, hits, passing completion, etc). It is a reflection of some player's specific skill set, however, that does not always translate to the larger part of the game, which is why some curious supporting players have average to above-average shootout percentages"

I don't necessarily agree with you Rex. I'm of the opinion that the shootout is, above all, a game of chance. Are there teams and players that do well in the shootout. Sure, the shootout does have a small part that is skill and talent based. However, how do you explain guys like Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen who had good success in the shootout last year but have been bad this year? Last year the Flames were 9-7 in the shootout, the Kings were 10-2 , and the Bruins were 2-6. This year, the Flames are 3-9, the Kings are 6-8, and the Bruins are 8-3.

Comments are closed for this article.