Roles and Stats Part VI: Who’s Who?

This is part six of my series on the relationship between roles and statistics. I recommend you read some or all of the previous posts before reading this one starting with my first post where I provide a background and the overall methodology of this research project.

In this sixth post I want to look at which players are in some of the more extreme roles that have the most significant impacts on save percentage. Since we found there isn’t much of a relationship between roles and save percentage for defensemen I will focus on forwards. As a refresher, here is the chart showing the relationship between 5v5 Leading TOI%, 5v5 Trailing TOI% and save percentage relative to a players team. I have numbered some of the cells I want to look at.

Lead_vs_Trail_vs_SvPct_numbered

Here are the players and their statistics for each group.

Group 1

Player Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
ALEX_OVECHKIN 200810 0.82 0.19 8.98 -0.81 1.77 -0.87
ILYA_KOVALCHUK 201012 0.28 0.44 2.45 3.06 0.69 -0.95
ILYA_KOVALCHUK 201113 0.14 0.09 3.14 2.23 0.04 0.04
JAROME_IGINLA 200810 0.15 0.42 -0.77 3.71 0.42 -0.73
MARTIN_ST._LOUIS 201012 0.53 0.08 1.26 3.26 1.75 0.41
MARTIN_ST._LOUIS 201113 0.64 0.38 1.36 2.64 2.14 -0.90

Group 2

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
COREY_PERRY 200911 0.61 0.15 3.08 -0.67 1.70 -0.38
DANY_HEATLEY 200709 0.80 0.34 5.02 2.81 2.40 -0.72
EVGENI_MALKIN 200709 0.57 0.45 2.80 1.44 1.18 -1.21
ILYA_KOVALCHUK 200911 0.43 0.54 -1.31 2.88 1.84 -0.96
JAROME_IGINLA 200709 0.43 -0.05 2.49 0.77 0.74 0.45
JAROME_IGINLA 200911 0.32 0.40 0.15 2.08 1.02 -0.97
JAROME_IGINLA 201012 0.63 0.28 -0.67 4.43 2.47 -0.15
MARTIN_ST._LOUIS 200709 0.71 0.51 3.93 2.19 1.62 -0.92
PHIL_KESSEL 201214 0.56 -0.17 5.27 2.20 0.65 0.58
RYAN_GETZLAF 200810 0.73 0.43 7.67 -0.91 1.51 -1.45
RYAN_GETZLAF 201012 0.13 -0.35 3.72 -4.20 0.31 0.54
STEVEN_STAMKOS 201113 0.75 0.39 4.10 0.17 1.76 -0.99

Group 3

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
ALEX_OVECHKIN 201012 0.26 0.09 4.95 4.45 0.27 0.26
ALEX_OVECHKIN 201113 0.44 0.43 2.54 7.71 1.45 -0.30
BOBBY_RYAN 200911 1.05 0.00 6.19 -3.18 2.54 -0.47
COREY_PERRY 200810 0.75 0.34 7.66 -0.87 1.26 -0.94
EVGENI_MALKIN 200810 0.10 0.35 -1.42 2.95 0.50 -0.95
JOE_THORNTON 200709 0.84 -0.17 5.42 -2.38 1.82 0.82
JOHN_TAVARES 201214 0.61 0.05 7.30 1.49 1.16 0.12
JOHN_TAVARES 201315 0.00 0.28 6.01 2.39 0.70 -0.29
MARIAN_GABORIK 200810 0.78 0.04 2.26 -0.21 2.00 -0.12
PATRICK_KANE 201113 0.59 0.36 2.15 0.68 1.33 -0.87
PATRICK_KANE 201214 0.28 0.41 1.56 1.50 0.60 -1.53
SIDNEY_CROSBY 200810 0.81 0.33 7.65 2.13 0.91 -0.70
SIDNEY_CROSBY 200911 1.11 0.37 7.39 3.22 2.06 -0.83
SIDNEY_CROSBY 201214 1.33 0.05 10.35 -0.67 2.52 -0.10
STEVEN_STAMKOS 201012 0.83 0.02 4.85 1.48 2.09 0.73

Those are the three biggest minute groups. As this series of posts is primarily to show that influencing save percentage is a talent I have bolded only those player/seasons that have had a positive impact on save percentage. For those counting only 9 of the 33 player/seasons in these three groups showed a positive impact, the other 24 were negative. The average was -0.43 which admittedly is not a large number but it isn’t nothing either (a 92.0 save percentage goalie is 91.57 under these players).

For these three groups their average GA60 Rel is 0.23 which means they give up nearly a quarter goal per game extra when they are on the ice. If they play 15 minutes of 5v5 ice time per game that would equate to an additional 19 goals against over the course of the season. Luckily they, on average, would score an additional 47 goals over the course of a season.

Group 4

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
JORDAN_EBERLE 201113 1.11 -0.03 4.43 -1.69 2.89 0.05
MIKE_RIBEIRO 201315 0.00 0.41 9.11 -0.66 0.39 -1.39
MIKE_RIBEIRO 201416 0.72 0.39 9.47 -2.94 1.19 -1.17
RYAN_NUGENT-HOPKINS 201113 0.64 -0.05 4.45 -0.22 1.28 0.19
TAYLOR_HALL 201113 0.83 -0.02 8.98 -0.58 1.05 0.29
VIKTOR_KOZLOV 200709 0.87 0.28 5.65 2.92 2.00 0.03

Group 4 is an offensive group that is given fewer defensive minutes protecting a lead. Mike Ribeiro is definitely holding back this group in terms of negative impact to save percentage but the other four look decent.

Group 5

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
ALEXANDER_FROLOV 200810 -0.09 0.43 1.61 -1.09 -0.35 -1.97
DAINIUS_ZUBRUS 201214 -0.11 0.13 -0.24 -0.25 -0.68 -0.79
DAVID_LEGWAND 200810 -0.54 0.12 -0.08 -1.50 -1.78 -0.63
DAVID_LEGWAND 200911 -0.21 0.02 0.12 -1.45 -0.66 -0.09
DUSTIN_BROWN 200810 0.04 0.29 2.61 3.17 -0.18 -0.48
HENRIK_ZETTERBERG 201113 0.31 0.42 3.56 0.46 0.38 -1.05
JEFF_CARTER 200709 0.56 0.11 5.23 4.12 0.93 -0.07
JOFFREY_LUPUL 201214 0.44 0.49 0.42 5.27 1.78 -0.74
JOFFREY_LUPUL 201315 0.00 0.29 0.72 4.31 0.82 -0.29
JOHAN_FRANZEN 200810 0.20 -0.11 4.29 -4.58 -0.17 -1.20
KRISTIAN_HUSELIUS 200911 0.23 0.13 0.66 -1.02 0.95 -0.30
MIKE_RICHARDS 200709 0.53 -0.34 1.81 -0.85 1.44 0.93
NAZEM_KADRI 201416 -0.24 0.27 5.22 -0.88 -1.19 -0.83
RYAN_KESLER 201214 -0.04 0.09 4.00 1.04 -0.67 -0.14
RYAN_SMYTH 201012 0.01 0.11 1.52 -1.70 0.16 -0.36
RYANE_CLOWE 200810 -0.07 0.01 4.57 1.96 -0.79 0.25
STEPHEN_WEISS 201113 0.31 0.81 -1.21 0.33 1.54 -2.30
TRAVIS_ZAJAC 201214 0.28 -0.11 5.46 -2.14 0.27 0.39

Group 5 is an interesting group in that they get more minutes protecting a lead but probably don’t deserve it. Only Mike Richards (in 2007-09 when he was a good two-way player), Ryan Clowe and Travis Zajac (a noted two-way player) were able to post a positive impact on save percentage and only Franzen, Richards and Zajac were able to post a positive impact on goals against. On average they had a -0.54 Sv% Rel and a +0.18 GA60 Rel.

Group 6

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
ROB_NIEDERMAYER 200709 -1.04 -0.05 -7.59 2.36 -3.14 0.63
ROB_NIEDERMAYER 200810 -0.49 0.14 -10.35 2.43 0.26 -0.19
SAMUEL_PAHLSSON 200911 -0.87 -0.59 -7.08 -1.32 -2.48 1.71
SAMUEL_PAHLSSON 201012 -0.49 -0.39 -7.36 -0.90 -1.01 1.02
SAMUEL_PAHLSSON 201113 -0.16 -0.33 -5.71 -0.61 0.21 0.86

This is basically the Ducks third line during the Randy Carlyle era though it is interesting they were here in different seasons. They were generally able to boost their teams save percentage which led to a reduction in goals against (they didn’t have a significant positive impact in reducing shots against).

Group 7

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
BEN_GUITE 200709 -0.27 -0.18 -3.77 -2.13 -0.17 -0.19
BJ_CROMBEEN 200911 -0.75 0.19 -3.21 1.40 -2.14 -0.21
BOYD_GORDON 200709 -0.69 -0.38 -10.32 -4.02 -1.21 0.59
DANIEL_WINNIK 200810 -0.48 -0.70 -4.78 -1.76 -0.96 2.26
JAY_BEAGLE 201315 0.00 -0.42 -2.42 -1.36 0.05 0.97
JERRED_SMITHSON 200810 -0.49 0.00 -8.17 -2.46 -0.70 -0.40
JERRED_SMITHSON 201012 -0.94 -0.28 -8.34 -0.66 -2.15 0.74
JIM_SLATER 201113 -0.84 -0.37 -9.24 7.14 -1.74 1.47

Group 8

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
DAVID_STECKEL 200911 -0.91 -0.21 -5.56 -5.35 -2.72 -0.22
DAVID_STECKEL 201012 -1.00 -0.35 -5.50 -3.00 -3.25 0.37
MATT_BRADLEY 200709 -0.89 -0.50 -6.15 -3.26 -2.24 1.44
PATRICK_KALETA 201113 -0.84 -0.56 -4.43 -6.89 -2.49 1.02

Group 7 and 8 are not unlike the Ducks group above except they get a little less ice time. They boost save percentage by an average of 0.65 which combined with an ability to reduce shot attempts against (if we ignore Jim Slater anyway) they end up reducing goals against by an average of 0.31 goals per 60 minutes of ice time.

Group 9

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
BLAIR_BETTS 200911 -0.97 -0.08 -15.00 1.14 -0.66 0.13
COLIN_FRASER 200810 -0.43 0.12 -3.93 -1.29 -1.12 -1.42
CRAIG_ADAMS 201315 -1.00 0.04 -15.45 -1.02 -2.39 -0.54
DAVID_LEGWAND 201416 -0.48 -0.32 -5.66 -1.31 -1.28 0.97

I included this group because they buck the trend by having an negative average Sv%Rel. There are only four guys in this group so sample size is pretty limited so I wouldn’t put too much stock in these results.

Group 10

PlayerName Season GF60 Rel GA60 Rel CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Sh% Rel Sv% Rel
CODY_MCLEOD 201113 -0.11 -0.97 -3.34 -0.47 0.32 2.91
ERIC_BOULTON 200709 -0.26 -0.19 -4.54 2.05 -1.17 0.57
ERIC_BOULTON 200911 -0.62 -0.53 -9.22 -0.91 -0.84 1.13
ERIC_BOULTON 201012 -1.02 -0.35 -11.08 3.80 -2.58 1.26
JAMAL_MAYERS 200911 -0.27 -0.18 -13.39 3.31 0.69 0.97
JAMAL_MAYERS 201012 -0.41 -0.36 -9.76 4.04 0.03 1.63
JARED_BOLL 200810 -0.53 -0.16 -4.66 -1.98 -1.28 0.52
MICHAEL_RUPP 201012 -0.83 -0.45 -6.52 1.04 -2.23 1.59
NICK_TARNASKY 200709 -0.86 -0.35 -6.66 1.86 -2.84 1.40
TIM_JACKMAN 201113 -1.04 -0.22 1.24 -4.68 -3.73 -0.15
ZAC_RINALDO 201315 -1.00 0.70 -10.25 -0.01 -2.15 -2.26

Group 10 is basically your fourth line tough guy category. They are a bit more than pure fighters but definitely role players. Of the guys in this group only Tim Jackman (slightly) and Zac Rinaldo (significantly) had a negative impact on save percentage. All the rest were well in the positive impact territory and despite generally giving up more shot attempts against all but Zac Rinaldo had a positive impact in reducing goals against. They are likely getting protected minutes but at least these guys weren’t hurting their teams with a ton of goals against (aside from Rinaldo which I am sure will amuse many in hockey twitter world).

Brandon Sutter

On numerous occasions I have touted Brandon Sutter as a forward who is really good at boosting his goalies save percentage so that begs the question, where does Brandon Sutter fit on these charts? The following chart shows where Sutter’s 2-season pairs fit.

lead_vs_trail_vs_svpct_sutter_fixed

Interestingly, he actually fits mostly in red cells, or among those players that generally have a negative impact on save percentage. This is because he generally gets more ice time than the typical defensive 3rd liner. If role impacts results more than talent drives their assigned role that would suggest Sutter’s ability to boost save percentage is even better than his raw statistics suggest.

We an also look at where Sutter sits in our other role-defining methods.

DZFO_vs_OZFO_vs_SvPct_Sutter

He is definitely getting a defensive zone face off bias here. One thing to remember is that this likely means he is lining against forwards that boost shooting percentage. The 15 forwards he lines up most against over the last 9 seasons are Ovechkin, St. Louis, Stamkos, Tavares, Moulson, Backstrom, Lecavalier, Giroux, Okposo, Semin, Hartnell, Kovalchuk, Johansson, Kessel and Plekanec so definitely some of the top offensive forwards in the league.

PK_vs_PP_vs_SvPct_Sutter

This is indicating heavy defensive usage as well we see Sutter is is in more blue areas, or where we expect players to be able to boost his goalies save percentage.

Summary

I wanted to show you some of these groupings so you you can put together a bit of a profile of the players in some of the more extreme groups. I didn’t discuss the impact on the offensive side of the game but they are pretty much inversely correlated to the defensive side.

The Brandon Sutter charts also show that some of these groupings are not perfect in that some defensive players do play higher up in the lineup or get more ice time. There are a lot of factors that go into how coaches assign roles and every coach may choose to use his lineup in different ways and teams have different talent distributions from top to bottom of the lineup. The result is players may not get used in optimal ways so roles, talent and results won’t always perfectly align.