Flames Scoring Chances – Jay Bouwmeester

                                  

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. 

  • BobB

    “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.

    (PS. This question may also be applicable to current debates in the evaluation of a ‘skilled’ but small pee wee defender)

  • BobB

    “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.

    (PS. Pertinent to a current evals debate re: a small but skilled pee-wee defender I like cause he gets the puck going in the right direction)

  • BobB

    cont.

    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.

    What happens when Vancouver and the twins and the asshole get ‘lucky’ and shoot 17.5, 16.7 and 12.9 the 40% we’re in our zone?

    (This is relevant to a evals. debate regarding the ranking of a small, but skilled pee-wee defender I rank high because he gets the puck moving in the right direction so well, the coaches want B-B-P.)

  • BobB

    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.

  • BobB

    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.

  • MC Hockey

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.