Quality of Competition in 5v5 Close Situations

I have been wondering about the benefits of using 5v5 close data instead of 5v5 when we do player analysis and player comparisons.  The rationale for comparing players in 5v5close situations is that we are comparing players under similar situations.  When teams have a comfortable lead they go into a defensive shell resulting in fewer shots for but with a higher shooting percentage and more shots against, but a lower shooting percentage.  The opposite of course is true when a team is trailing.  But what I have been thinking about recently is whether there is a quality of competition impact

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Which version of Jay McClement are the Maple Leafs getting?

The only real dip into the unrestricted free agent market yesterday by the Toronto Maple Leafs was the signing of 3rd/4th line center Jay McClement.  Jay McClement’s best season in the NHL point wise was in 2009-10 when he had 11 goals and 29 points and last year he had 10 goals and 17 points for the Avalanche so clearly he wasn’t signed to produce offense.  The question is, how good is he defensively.  Let’s take a look at how McClement compares to his Avalanche team mates last year in terms of goals against per 20 minutes of ice time.

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