Updated Visualized Corsi

Justin Azevedo
March 25 2014 08:00AM

As we finish the season, I figured it was time for an update of our visualized Corsi charts. As a reminder, we look at the visualized Corsi charts for two reasons: to identify patterns and to determine if ice time is being distributed properly. The first time we looked at this, the Flames were struggling in basically every facet of the game. Now? Not so much. Charts are sorted by EV TOI, and every player has played at least 20 games and 120 minutes with his counterpart. If the cell is blank, they haven't played enough together to get a good enough sample. If you want or need a primer, or want to see the last article, click here.

The first chart is once again our standard Visualized Corsi chart - under 50% is blue, 50%-55% is orange, above 55% is red. You'll notice something we didn't have last time...

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 6.50.07 PM

We have red!

It's pretty obvious as to who is driving the bus on the blue line. Brodie and Giordano are a legitimate number one pairing and they certainly play like it. Look at the vast amounts of red and orange in their names and the lack of blue. The amazing thing is that Giordano and Brodie play against the toughest comp the league has to offer and they're still doing as well as they are. Backlund, Cammalleri and Galliardi all make their team mates better than average. There's some numbers here that might look out of place, but that's likely due to a combination of smaller sample size and competition/deployment - but I'm not quite able to adjust correctly for those things just yet. Hudler and Stajan are also guys who move things forward, but not as much. Somehow Wideman and Jones are almost 52%. Not totally sure how that happened, aside from circumstances. Jones, McGrattan, Monahan look to make their teammates worse.

The second chart shows the Corsi% relative to the team's Corsi%. Last time we did this, the number was just 43.9% - now it's all the way up to 47.0%, so you might see a little less red than you did last time. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 6.54.14 PM

We get a good picture of the Forwards and their impact here. Backlund, Cammalleri, Galliardi and to a lesser extent Byron and Glencross seem as though they're able to drive their teammates past the water mark. I like this chart because it allows us to see who is "hurting" the team and who is "helping" it. Usually those numbers are as simple as "under 50%" and "over 50%" but every team is different. Generally, the guys in red are making the team better while the guys in blue are making it worse. It's no coincidence that the guys Butler and Wideman are above-average with are the guys who are also driving play away from them. Butler has spent more time with TJ Brodie as his defensive partner than anyone else, and his results are still sub-par - like his WOWY, which goes from 49.7% with Brodie to 42.7% without him. That's from "top-4 level" when considering his comp with Brodie to "ECHL level" without him. Lots of parallels to the situation where Butler and Bouwmeester were partnered. Wideman was probably Calgary's best defenseman by the underlying and counting numbers from the point he was signed until he hurt his hand earlier in the year. Since then, he's been the same ol' Wideman: okay counting stats buoyed by circumstance (ZS still well over 50%) and poor underlyings since he's miscast as a #3 guy who can carry his partner. At best, Wideman is a 4 who probably doesn't need to be carried. 

The last chart is the duo's CF% relative to the rest of the team. The cells are grouped in tens - darker blue, worse; deeper red, better. The two white ones are right in the middle.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.02.46 PM

Hard to tell if Giordano's dominance here is a product of him alone or of him and Brodie sharing the ice together. The reason the second can be true is simply because about 65% of the time Giordano's been on the ice it's been with Brodie, while Brodie has to share between Giordano (45%), Butler (25%, which means Butler is a 42.7% Corsi player 75% of the time he's on the ice) and Russell (20%). Obviously, the latter two are not as good at the hockeys as the former.  Backlund and Galliardi look excellent once again here. Smid, however, does not. He has 6 of the 10 worst percentages on the team, and based on who they're with, there's no way deployment has anything to do with it, (and after spending a little more time on it) his quality of competition doesn't seem to matter either. He's an interesting case because before this year he had legit top-4 numbers and now he's absolutely cratered. His CF% is 14th worst in the league among regular skaters (i.e. 50% of team's GP). You might say "well, he was in Edmonton for so long" or "his CF% is bad because of the Flames' CF% is bad". Unfortunately, there's been only marginal improvement since Edmonton (while everyone else around him has been getting better at a faster rate) and his relative CF% is in the bottom-25 of regular skaters. If the Flames weren't in danger of not being able to hit the cap floor, he might be a compliance buyout candidate.

Conclusion

We'll find a little more context behind these numbers later on in the week as we update the adjusted Corsi, but things are looking up for the Flames so long as Giordano, Brodie, Cammalleri and Backlund continue to lead the team in ice time and they reduce the amount of time Butler and Smid can harm the team. 

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#1 piscera.infada
March 25 2014, 06:19PM
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@mattyc

Jesus, tough crowd! The kid's played 9 (!!!) freaking NHL games, no one's saying he's the next Bourque (Ray - the good one, not the "cross-check someone in the throat with two minutes left in a tie game" one). They're saying "he might be the real thing" (again, not the "real" number 1 defenceman, but more likely a "real" NHLer). For Christ sake, this is a kid who we all agreed should probably stay in the AHL all of this year, and probably all of next year. He gets his taste in the show and he's improving every game. Sure, we (as Flames fans) have been hurt before, but I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to get excited about another young guy coming up and playing well.

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#2 TheoForever
March 25 2014, 07:23PM
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Every single kid that is coming up clearly has very little experience, and yes the sample is small. As long as we don't call them the next savior, it is ok to get excited if they show some skills and/or improvement.

Level of opposition means absolutely noting, they are in the big league so they cannot be that bad.

It is so deflating to hear over and over the words of caution, yeah we get it.

Is there some kind of a virus that has spread like a wildfire or are the people criticizing all the time just hedging their bets, so they can one day say - 'I told you so'.

Same goes for calling Flame players all kinds of names. There always has to be some idiot who has to pick on somebody. If it wasn't JI then it was JB, Stajan, Butler, Glencross, Westgarth, Galiardi, Jones etc.

Have I missed anyone?

And there is my favorite he is only a top pairing D-man or top 6 forward because it is Flames. On a contending team.......

Give me a break, pathetic.

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#3 Primo
March 25 2014, 04:47PM
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Wotherspoon is an excellent example of the quality coaching Bob Hartley has to offer. I suspect Wotherspoon has been told his entire career to play safe conservative hockey and take care of his own end. Hartley has made it clear to him that there will be no "one trick Pony's" on the Flames and very quietly Wotherspoon is making some creative offensive plays. He was out on the 4 on 4 in OT which speaks to his confidence level.

This kid will no longer see the AHL.

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#4 Jeff Lebowski
March 25 2014, 11:29PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

what's the difference, exactly, between a defensive defenseman and an offensive defenseman? seems to me that one is lacking in 1/2 areas and the other provides in both areas. what's the point of having defensive defensemen if they're just going to provide a built-in disadvantage?

Why? Because offensive defensemen contains both words? So you call what Justin Schulz does as providing defence?

What, exactly, do you call defence? Skating backwards?

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#5 The Last Big Bear
March 25 2014, 10:53AM
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Corsi stats are a great way of evaluating forward, but meaningless for defencemen.

Edmonton's own Martin Marincin leads the entire league in CorsiRel. With other defensive luminaries such as Anton Strahlman, Mike Green, and the re-animated corpse of Kimmo Timonen, being in the top 10.

CF% also oes not tell you which defenceman on a team is better than the others. Here's the list of defencemen who lead their team in CF%.

LA: Muzzin

SJS: Vlasic

Chi: Seabrook

NYR: Strahlman

NJD: Greene

BOS: Krug

EDM: Marincin

PHI: Timonen

CBJ: Wisniewski

OTT: Karlsson

STL: Shattenkirk

TBL: Hedman

CGY: Giordano

PIT: Niskanen

DET: Smith

FLO: Campbell

VAN: Edler

WSH: Green

MIN: Spurgeon

CAR: Sekera

ANA: Lindhol

DAL: Goligoski

PHO: Yandle

NSH: Ellis

WPG: Enstrom

NYI: Hickey

MTL: Subban

COL: Barrie

BUF: Erhoff

TML: Gardiner

Maybe 1/3 of those guys are even in the discussion for best defenceman on their team.

Yes, Giordano leading the Flames in CF% makes sense, but he's not even close to Jake Muzzin, who leads the Kings and the entire league. Smid having a low CF% also means nothing. Ference is the best defender on the Oilers and he's last on the team in CF%.

In fact, a quick glance suggests that having the team's WORST CF% is might be a better indicator of a team's best defenceman (ie Weber, Ekman-Larsson, Ference, Orpik, Carle, Carlson, McDonald, etc).

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#6 beloch
March 25 2014, 02:38PM
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When Smid was first acquired it was to shore up the blueline after Giordano was injured. Feaster implied that Smid would be a third pairing defender, but he was splitting his time across all the pairings with nasty results. In early December, when both Wideman and Giordano were out, things got downright ugly. Those were dark days for the team. Once Giordano and Wideman returned Smid settled into a pairing with Wideman. When Wideman was injured earlier this month, Smid's minutes were not smeared across the other pairings (thank goodness!). Instead, Wotherspoon repaced Wideman with Smid.

Here's something pretty amazing: Smid's CF% improved significantly when he was paired with Wotherspoon. Smid's QoC didn't really change. His TOI didn't really change. All that changed was Wotherspoon in and Wideman out. The latest example is last night against the Sharks. Wotherspoon's 5on5 CF% was a stunning 53.8% despite the team's being just 36.4%[1]! Smid's was 47.5% (It's lower because he got some extra shifts with Butler[2], who faced slightly lower QoC than Wotherspoon!).

It's still too early to tell, but Wotherspoon might be the real deal. He's had to adjust to the NHL game while being paired with one of the team's worst defenders. Not only has he improved Smid, he's starting to kick a little butt!

[1]http://www.extraskater.com/team/calgary-flames/2013
[2]http://shiftchart.com/

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#7 Burnward
March 25 2014, 10:07PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

what's the difference, exactly, between a defensive defenseman and an offensive defenseman? seems to me that one is lacking in 1/2 areas and the other provides in both areas. what's the point of having defensive defensemen if they're just going to provide a built-in disadvantage?

Seriously? You're detaching yourself from reality here.

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#8 Baalzamon
March 25 2014, 06:01PM
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@Primo

IMO the puck moving tendencies started to emerge in Wotherspoon's game in his last WHL season. Everyone remember his performance on team Canada that year? He was the only dman (other than Harrington) who didn't disappoint (and the only one who exceeded expectations).

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#9 gussey
March 25 2014, 08:52PM
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mattyc wrote:

Is the only thing different between the last two charts just that you binned the colours?

Also, how come TJ Galiardi gets no love from the coaching staff?

Tj gets no love because he has 3 goals in 54 games...

Who knew shea weber wasn't the best defenseman on nashville.

Thank god for corsi

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#10 beloch
March 25 2014, 05:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Err, I suggest you take look at Wotherspoon's othe 9 NHL games before getting too excited:

http://www.extraskater.com/player/1407/tyler-wotherspoon

We'll see how he does for the rest of the year.

I did. Let's all look.

Game | 5on5 CF% | TOI
Islanders 3 at Flames 4 26.70% 11.2
Flames 1 at Canucks 2 36.70% 12
Kings 3 at Flames 2 23.50% 10.4
Ducks 2 at Flames 7 17.60% 12.1
Flames 4 at Stars 3 (SO) 30.40% 13.4
Flames 2 at Coyotes 3 33.30% 8.1
Sabres 1 at Flames 3 42.10% 14.2
Predators 6 at Flames 5 40.90% 15.2
Flames 8 at Oilers 1 50.00% 17.1
Sharks 1 at Flames 2 (SO) 53.80% 16.9

His first few NHL games were very rough. His fourth NHL game was a lowpoint, but it was against the Ducks. Since then he's steadily improved and steadily been given more TOI. Hist last two games were excellent.

Was he merely lucky/on-fire last night? Even bad players have good games. Like I said, the sample size is insufficient and it's still too early to tell. However, the trend is very promising, especially when you consider that he's playing almost exclusively with Smid, a guy who makes everyone he plays with look worse.

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#11 Jeff Lebowski
March 25 2014, 02:48PM
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beloch wrote:

When Smid was first acquired it was to shore up the blueline after Giordano was injured. Feaster implied that Smid would be a third pairing defender, but he was splitting his time across all the pairings with nasty results. In early December, when both Wideman and Giordano were out, things got downright ugly. Those were dark days for the team. Once Giordano and Wideman returned Smid settled into a pairing with Wideman. When Wideman was injured earlier this month, Smid's minutes were not smeared across the other pairings (thank goodness!). Instead, Wotherspoon repaced Wideman with Smid.

Here's something pretty amazing: Smid's CF% improved significantly when he was paired with Wotherspoon. Smid's QoC didn't really change. His TOI didn't really change. All that changed was Wotherspoon in and Wideman out. The latest example is last night against the Sharks. Wotherspoon's 5on5 CF% was a stunning 53.8% despite the team's being just 36.4%[1]! Smid's was 47.5% (It's lower because he got some extra shifts with Butler[2], who faced slightly lower QoC than Wotherspoon!).

It's still too early to tell, but Wotherspoon might be the real deal. He's had to adjust to the NHL game while being paired with one of the team's worst defenders. Not only has he improved Smid, he's starting to kick a little butt!

[1]http://www.extraskater.com/team/calgary-flames/2013
[2]http://shiftchart.com/

I agree. It is early days but Wotherspoon gives the impression of a guy who can control the game.

Hartley spoke of it already but Wotherspoon and Monahan share this trait imo. Not flashy but they control the game.

Obviously these are just fan love musings but that kind of 'backbone' is so tantalizing.

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#12 EugeneV
March 25 2014, 05:15PM
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Primo wrote:

Wotherspoon is an excellent example of the quality coaching Bob Hartley has to offer. I suspect Wotherspoon has been told his entire career to play safe conservative hockey and take care of his own end. Hartley has made it clear to him that there will be no "one trick Pony's" on the Flames and very quietly Wotherspoon is making some creative offensive plays. He was out on the 4 on 4 in OT which speaks to his confidence level.

This kid will no longer see the AHL.

Great pass to Colborne for the goal against the Sharks.

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#13 Craig
March 25 2014, 08:09PM
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I noticed the flames website referencing corsi with regards to Backlund today. step in the right direction.

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#15 Lordmork
March 25 2014, 10:08AM
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Great post. I really enjoy seeing the visual representation of where the team is at in these kind of statistics.

The Smid trade still boggles me. Hopefully he's just having an off season and next year he improves.

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#16 Jeff Lebowski
March 25 2014, 11:37AM
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Is there any way to analyze the impact of left/right shot balance on a team?

Calgary has a dearth of RH shots. What does that do to performance for the d-crops if you got guys not on their strong side.

This is an organizational need imo. Calgary needs more RH shots - for optimizing offensive chances but also eliminating mistakes (bobble puck on backhand, soft backhand passes or trying to backhand puck out of zone)

I'm curious what the real effect is - why Team Canada was insistent on having that balance on D.

Rigorous because you have to quantify and then qualitatively describe mistakes/plays.

-I'd appreciate in the future that when mods change my posts (deleting links to newspaper articles or changing words) that they could also do a spell check for me. I'm in a rush sometimes.

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#17 Robear
March 25 2014, 08:53PM
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@Southern_Point

I think I'm more with The Last Big Bear on this one. I wouldn't say that the CF% for a defenceman is useless, I would say that it is definably weighted against your standard stay at home defenceman, and weighted TOWARD more offensive defencemen. Its too simplistic to say that the defencemen that lead their team in CF% are their "best" defencemen. Sometimes they are, but sometimes they are their team's most Offensive defencemen.

I recall an evaluation of this very subject that was conducted on this site about 2 years ago or so. Cant truly recall when it was written, who by and have had no luck looking through the last 700 odd posts either :( Regardless the point of the blog was to evaluate a variety of ways to compare defencemen that wasn't so skewed toward offensive defencemen. As I recall Babchuk was showing as a good defencemen on a couple stats, outperforming Regher, your prototypical stay at home guy. Regher was of course hamstrung with the offensive instincts of a gibbled snail.

Obviously that's an absurd comparison. But it proved a pt to me that CF% is weighted against defensive defencemen.

Ahhem, none of this has to do with my 12+ yrs as the aforementioned defensive defenseman. It was all statistically proven... just no evidence to back that up currently...

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#19 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 25 2014, 09:50AM
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mattyc wrote:

Is the only thing different between the last two charts just that you binned the colours?

Also, how come TJ Galiardi gets no love from the coaching staff?

I guess galiardi is in the 'unsung hero' category.

As for Buttler, many people, myself included, seem to think that he has improved over this season - is this eye test a fail? or has he improved, just not enough to drive play positively?

Smid has always fascinated me - he seems an average at best defenseman, just ok for 5/6 duty and depth, but a good team guy. I just don't get to this day why Edmonton dumped him? Yes, he is making big bucks, but was it purely a salary dump to make room for the three big powder-puff-superstar contracts? I'm still baffled.

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#20 Kent Wilson
March 25 2014, 10:55AM
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@mattyc

With Smid or O'Brien. The SOB/Butler pairing that started the year was league-worst bad.

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#21 Southern_Point
March 25 2014, 03:32PM
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@The Last Big Bear

"Corsi stats are a great way of evaluating forward, but meaningless for defencemen...Maybe 1/3 of those guys are even in the discussion for best defenceman on their team."

LA: Muzzin

SJS: Vlasic- Their best defencemen

Chi: Seabrook- an excellent defencemen who plays with Duncan Keith

NYR: Strahlman

NJD: Greene- Probably their best defencemen

BOS: Krug- Buttery soft competition

EDM: Marincin- was at the olympics i'm not surprised he is leading the team

PHI: Timonen- Their best defenceman

CBJ: Wisniewski- their best defenceman

OTT: Karlsson- one of the best defencemen in the league

STL: Shattenkirk- easier competition as Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo get the tough match ups

TBL: Hedman- Their best defenceman

CGY: Giordano- Our best player

PIT: Niskanen- Easier competetion, plus Letang hasn't played a whole alot.

DET: Smith

FLO: Campbell- Probably their best defenceman

VAN: Edler- Their best defenceman

WSH: Green- Their best defenceman

MIN: Spurgeon-

CAR: Sekera- I have heard he has been one of their best players all year

ANA: Lindholm- been excellent for ducks

DAL: Goligoski- Probably their best defenceman

PHO: Yandle- Their best defenceman

NSH: Ellis- Faces softer competition than Weber

WPG: Enstrom- Their best defenceman

NYI: Hickey- Faces softer competition than Hamonic

MTL: Subban- Won a Norris trophy

COL: Barrie

BUF: Erhoff- Their best defenceman

TML: Gardiner- Gets a bad rap from toronto coaching staff. A legit top 4 guy now.

There is around 15 guys on that list who are their teams best defenceman, The rest are mostly top 2 guys and the occasional top 4 guy. At least three of those guys are probably their team's best skaters in general (Giordano, Karlsson, Subban), and a couple guys like Marincin, Gardiner and Muzzin are young and on upward trajectory.

"Yes, Giordano leading the Flames in CF% makes sense, but he's not even close to Jake Muzzin, who leads the Kings and the entire league. Smid having a low CF% also means nothing. Ference is the best defender on the Oilers and he's last on the team in CF%."

A guy like Muzzin benfits from playing on a different line than Drew Doughty, as Muzzin gets favorable zone starts and easier competition. Plus the kings are an actual good hockey team. Can you imagine what Gio's numbers would look like this year if we had an elite level forward, or just a top line in general. Plus, Muzzin's ability to direct pucks at the opposition net is still and indicator of his ability as a defenceman. Shane O'Brien had some of the easiest zone starts on the flames and his underlying numbers were always bad because he was a bad NHLer. None of those guys who lead their team are bad NHLers in fact most of those guys would walk into a top four on any team in the league. Ference on the other hand wouldn't, there is a reason the oilers are awful and its because the only player on their blue line that can drive play is Marincin.

If the goal of a defencemen is to limit shots at the opposition net, than defencemen who have a high CF% are by definition better defencemen than those who have a low CF%. CF% measure shots directed at the opposition net vs shots directed at your net while you are on the ice. Literally measuring your ability to mitigate defensive chances in your own zone.

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#22 beloch
March 25 2014, 03:54PM
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@The Last Big Bear

"Ference is the most grotesquely overpaid defender on the Oilers and he's last on the team in CF%."

Fixed. No charge this time.

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#23 Kent Wilson
March 25 2014, 04:56PM
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beloch wrote:

When Smid was first acquired it was to shore up the blueline after Giordano was injured. Feaster implied that Smid would be a third pairing defender, but he was splitting his time across all the pairings with nasty results. In early December, when both Wideman and Giordano were out, things got downright ugly. Those were dark days for the team. Once Giordano and Wideman returned Smid settled into a pairing with Wideman. When Wideman was injured earlier this month, Smid's minutes were not smeared across the other pairings (thank goodness!). Instead, Wotherspoon repaced Wideman with Smid.

Here's something pretty amazing: Smid's CF% improved significantly when he was paired with Wotherspoon. Smid's QoC didn't really change. His TOI didn't really change. All that changed was Wotherspoon in and Wideman out. The latest example is last night against the Sharks. Wotherspoon's 5on5 CF% was a stunning 53.8% despite the team's being just 36.4%[1]! Smid's was 47.5% (It's lower because he got some extra shifts with Butler[2], who faced slightly lower QoC than Wotherspoon!).

It's still too early to tell, but Wotherspoon might be the real deal. He's had to adjust to the NHL game while being paired with one of the team's worst defenders. Not only has he improved Smid, he's starting to kick a little butt!

[1]http://www.extraskater.com/team/calgary-flames/2013
[2]http://shiftchart.com/

Err, I suggest you take look at Wotherspoon's othe 9 NHL games before getting too excited:

http://www.extraskater.com/player/1407/tyler-wotherspoon

We'll see how he does for the rest of the year.

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#24 seve927
March 26 2014, 08:30AM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

what's the difference, exactly, between a defensive defenseman and an offensive defenseman? seems to me that one is lacking in 1/2 areas and the other provides in both areas. what's the point of having defensive defensemen if they're just going to provide a built-in disadvantage?

"One is lacking in 1/2 areas, and the other provides in both"

Lacking logic in that sentence. Why does an offensive defenseman provide both while a defensive defenseman only provide one? Seems that only a two-way defenseman would provide both. If you need equal amounts of offense and defense, and there aren't 200 good two-way defensemen out there, it would seem to me that there is a place for a defensive defenseman.

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#25 MichaelD
March 25 2014, 11:27AM
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@The Last Big Bear

I agree, I think it's great for forwards. But I don't think it's a very fair evaluation of certain D that will go out and make some very solid defence plays, get it up to the forwards or out of the zone, and then change for a guy with more offensive upside.

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#26 Parallex
March 25 2014, 11:47AM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

Personally, I think Butler still looks bad. I think he's made less obviously gigantic errors (which would account for someone thinking he's "improved"). He's still bad IMO, just not really memorably bad.

I mean... ask yourself this question: In the final minutes of a tie game with a defensive zone faceoff coming up, rank the order of Flames d-man who you want thrown over the boards? I'll take Butler over O'Brien amoungst guys that started the season (+Smid) but that's it.

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#27 mattyc
March 25 2014, 06:10PM
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@beloch

His quality of competition is also right up there with Brian McGrattan. It's still early days, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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#28 Parallex
March 26 2014, 08:38AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Why? Because offensive defensemen contains both words? So you call what Justin Schulz does as providing defence?

What, exactly, do you call defence? Skating backwards?

Sure... but a guy whose labelled a defensive-defenseman that's on the ice for a lot of shots against isn't exactly providing the "defensive" part of that hyphan either.

Ultimately everyone other then the goalie is a skater and their jobs are at a basic level is to leverage the shot count in the positive, be it by contributing to preventing shots attempts (which lead to shots which lead to scoring chances which lead to goals) by the opposition and by contributing to the generation of same by their side. I have sympathy to adjusting their performance appraisals based on ZS and Qualcomp but if after you make that adjustment some guy is found to be constantly on the ice while the puck is continually being fired in the direction of his net relative to his peers then he's probably not doing his job very well.

Personally I dislike the labels (O-defenseman & D-defensemen). Mostly I feel like a lot of defensemen get the defensive-defenseman label only by their inability to accumulate individual counting stats regardless of their actual "defensive" ability.

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#30 exsanguinator
March 25 2014, 02:05PM
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mattyc wrote:

Butler has looked alright to me with Russell too this year. The only time I thought he was really brutal was with Smid (how/why we made that trade...).

They probably had to take on Smid to get Roy. Not sure yet who is the better of the two between Broissoit and Roy but really, Horak was never going to have a full time job with this team and while Smid may not be the best D man in the world he's certainly not the worst.

Personally I like Smid in a 6/7 position, maybe with a more mobile shutdown defender on the 5/6 pairing.

To be perfectly honest if Smid sticks around next season and the coaching staff doesn't change then I would not be at all surprised to see him drastically improve in his role. It's kinda what happens when a player gets out of Edmonton.

Not playing him with Butler ever would probably help quite a bit too.

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#31 Demko
March 25 2014, 08:22PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Err, I suggest you take look at Wotherspoon's othe 9 NHL games before getting too excited:

http://www.extraskater.com/player/1407/tyler-wotherspoon

We'll see how he does for the rest of the year.

Agreed. You can't judge a person on such a small sample size. Rediculous.

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#32 Ssamz
March 25 2014, 09:38PM
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@Robear

Would you say then Fenwick could be a better tool to evaluate defenseman? In theory, subtracting block shots should give a more favorable % for defensive defenseman, who blocks a lot of shots like Butler (though I'm not sure Butler is your prototypical defensive defenseman, but just for the argument sake, let's say he is).

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#33 the forgotten man
March 25 2014, 10:18PM
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TheoForever wrote:

Every single kid that is coming up clearly has very little experience, and yes the sample is small. As long as we don't call them the next savior, it is ok to get excited if they show some skills and/or improvement.

Level of opposition means absolutely noting, they are in the big league so they cannot be that bad.

It is so deflating to hear over and over the words of caution, yeah we get it.

Is there some kind of a virus that has spread like a wildfire or are the people criticizing all the time just hedging their bets, so they can one day say - 'I told you so'.

Same goes for calling Flame players all kinds of names. There always has to be some idiot who has to pick on somebody. If it wasn't JI then it was JB, Stajan, Butler, Glencross, Westgarth, Galiardi, Jones etc.

Have I missed anyone?

And there is my favorite he is only a top pairing D-man or top 6 forward because it is Flames. On a contending team.......

Give me a break, pathetic.

Longtime Flames Fan back to the Corral Days...as with everything in life, respect and reputation is earned...25 years with the playoff record below would make any pro franchise the deserved butt end of jokes and criticism. Thank God for the Oilers and their relative ineptitude. That said, there are glimmers of Hope in the distant horizon and some young players to root for and hope they develop into solid pros...however, I have been spurned too often by this Franchise to blindly drink the kool-aid and cheer mindlessly for every little perceived achievement they make. Based on what the Franchise is now selling and the majority of comments on this site, this Team should make appreciably gains in the standings over the next 3 years. I will follow and cheer for the Flames, but in this relationship the oweness is now on the Club to prove to its fan base that there is a solid foundation going forward sans the 'smoke and mirrors, dog and pony show' that we have been privy to the bulk of the last quarter century.

2009 -- lost to Chicago, 4-2, Western Conf. quarterfinals

2008 -- lost to San Jose, 4-3, Western Conf. quarterfinals

2007 -- lost to Detroit, 4-2, Western Conf. quarterfinals

2006 -- lost to Anaheim, 4-3, Western Conf. quarterfinals

2004 -- defeated Vancouver, 4-3, Western Conf. quarterfinals defeated Detroit, 4-2, Western Conf. semifinals defeated San Jose, 4-2, Western Conf. finals lost to Tampa Bay, 4-3, in Stanley Cup Finals

1996 -- lost to Chicago, 4-0, Western Conf. quarterfinals

1995 -- lost to San Jose, 4-3, Western Conf. quarterfinals

1994 -- lost to Vancouver, 4-3, Western Conf. quarterfinals

1993 -- lost to Los Angeles, 4-2, Smythe Division semifinals

1991 -- lost to Edmonton, 4-3, Smythe Division semifinals

1990 -- lost to Los Angeles, 4-2, Smythe Division semifinals

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#34 mattyc
March 25 2014, 11:18PM
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@Burnward

All he's saying is that scoring a goal is just as valuable as preventing one. Tough to argue with that.

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#35 piscera.infada
March 26 2014, 09:46AM
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@Parallex

"Personally I dislike the labels (O-defenseman & D-defensemen). Mostly I feel like a lot of defensemen get the defensive-defenseman label only by their inability to accumulate individual counting stats regardless of their actual "defensive" ability."

I agree, but I also take it the other way...

Often with "offensive" defensemen, many look at their counting-stats and think "hell, that's a good defenseman right there". I use Erik Karlsson as an example, the guy scores and generates rush like a man possessed in most games. That said, he's a complete tire-fire in his own zone - he's horrible, and I often wonder when I watch Ottawa games why no one seems to bring this up. We're sold that he's one of the "best defensemen in the league", yet I don't buy it - even if his underlying numbers lend credence to that idea. When you watch a Sens game, you see he's hot garbage in his own zone, and the wreckless abandon with which he rushes into the offensive zone leads to a ton of odd-man rushes the other way.

I understand the value in a guy like Karlsson - I think he's a really good hockey player. I just wont argue that the term "defensive-defenceman" is a crutch and "offensive-defenceman" isn't - I realize now that that's basically what you were saying, so yes, I agree the terms are more or less meaningless.

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#36 mattyc
March 25 2014, 08:57AM
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Is the only thing different between the last two charts just that you binned the colours?

Also, how come TJ Galiardi gets no love from the coaching staff?

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#37 mattyc
March 25 2014, 10:33AM
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@Justin Azevedo

Butler has looked alright to me with Russell too this year. The only time I thought he was really brutal was with Smid (how/why we made that trade...).

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#39 SmellOfVictory
March 25 2014, 02:04PM
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@The Last Big Bear

You have to take into account factors like which pairing they play on, who they play behind, their O/D zonestart percentage, etc. but I disagree that it's useless for evaluating defencemen. It just requires closer consideration.

I also think Corsi should honestly be thrown out in favour of Fenwick. While a blocked shot does indicate that the shooting team has possession of the puck, shot blocking is also a defensive skill, so if we're talking about player ability (not just how good they are at puck possession) then blocked shots should be ignored.

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#40 TheoForever
March 25 2014, 02:24PM
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@ exsanguinator

you mean had to take Roy to get Smid, right?

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#41 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 25 2014, 05:57PM
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@Kent Wilson

party pooper! :-D

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#42 Ssamz
March 25 2014, 10:01PM
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@Ssamz

I've noticed 2% jump of FF% when compared to CF% for Russel, Butler, and Smid. Interestingly, Gio's number slightly dipped, and though Brodie's number increased, the difference was only 1%.

Not that the former three have now become bonafide defensemen, but fenwick makes them less horrible.

http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?team=cgy&sort=fenwick_pct&pos=D.

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#43 TheoForever
March 25 2014, 11:11PM
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@ forgotten man

I have been Flames Fan as long as you and believe me I share your pain.

In the past one of the problems was weak Canadian Dollar.

It boils my blood but.... They were cutting corners on everything: farm, scouting, management, coaching, players.

Idiotic managers/coaches like Risebrough, still hate that guy.

Completely incompetent drafting and development.

List goes on....

Here is what's wrong with Flames, this is a recent conversation.

One of the Calgary reporters, can't remember which one was talking with Ken King. During the conversation Ken King said something like:

- 'We make money, building is full, we are involved in the community. I think we are a successful franchise. Don't you think so?'

The reporter told him - 'frankly no, because successful franchises win cups, effort is made to be competitive most of the time.'

Ken King was taken aback and was disappointed to hear that answer.

Anyway:

I have no problem with criticizing players for lack of effort, but getting personal and calling them the worst kind of names is uncalled for.

Being exited about young players and supporting them is not equivalent with bending over and putting up with the bull#### that this joke of a franchise has put us through for years.

BTW. GFG :)

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#44 mattyc
March 25 2014, 11:20PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Jesus, tough crowd! The kid's played 9 (!!!) freaking NHL games, no one's saying he's the next Bourque (Ray - the good one, not the "cross-check someone in the throat with two minutes left in a tie game" one). They're saying "he might be the real thing" (again, not the "real" number 1 defenceman, but more likely a "real" NHLer). For Christ sake, this is a kid who we all agreed should probably stay in the AHL all of this year, and probably all of next year. He gets his taste in the show and he's improving every game. Sure, we (as Flames fans) have been hurt before, but I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to get excited about another young guy coming up and playing well.

I think we agree. I have no hate-on for Wotherspoon, and I agree he may one day become a (good?) NHL player, but it's still early days, and he's showing some signs that he's still not at an NHL level.

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