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Old 09-10-2015, 04:21 PM   #1
Street Pharmacist
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Default You Don't Have To Be Chara to be an effective NHL Defenseman (Warning Advanced Statis

Interesting read by TSN analytics columnist Travis Yost. By looking at opposition shot numbers only from the slot vs the crease per 60 minutes and comparing each defensemen to the league average for each area, you can get an idea where the defensemen are weaker at suppressing shots.




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There are 30 seconds left in the game, and your team is up a goal. You need to ensure that the final wave of attacking forwards are kept off of the scoreboard, deterring them from those prime scoring areas where goals are frequently scored.
What kind of defenceman are you putting on the ice?
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The top-right and bottom-left quadrants are really the ones of interest here. The top-right quadrant contains the guys who have leaked more shots from near-the-crease area and slot area than the league average. The bottom-left quadrant contains the opposite – guys who have successfully deterred shots from near-the-crease and slot areas relative to the league averages.
Let’s start with the top-right section. Quick sanity check: most of these names are guys you wouldn’t in a million years want on the ice for a high -leverage shift. Andrew MacDonald and Dennis Wideman are two of the worst performers here, which I’d submit falls right in line with what we have qualitatively observed for years now. MacDonald gives up about 1.5 more shots per 60 near the crease than the league average. Wideman gives up about two shots per game more from the slot than the league average. If you’re trying to figure out where it went south for these guys defensively over the years, you can probably start here. Forwards live in front of their goaltender.
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ow let’s look at the bottom-left quadrant, where our plus-plus defenders sit. It is no surprise to see the likes of Chara, Duncan Keith, P.K. Subban, and Mark Giordano in here. I asked at the beginning of this post what defender you’d have out on the ice in such a key situation. I’m guessing many of you responded with one of these names. If you did, pat yourself on the back!
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The graph also shows what Bob Hartley already knows and Mike Babcock is going to quickly learn. They’re in possession of monstrously underrated defenders in T.J. Brodie and Jake Gardiner, respectively. Again, I think this speaks to how defencemen can be effective in myriad ways. Brodie and Gardiner are giving up 40 pounds to a similarly-strong defender in Methot, and yet they’re able to shut the door to these quality chance areas in the same manner.
http://www.tsn.ca/you-don-t-have-to-...ceman-1.358467

I disagree a bit with Yost on a minor point in that he explains if you suppress shots from the crease, you're therefore good at clearing the crease. I'd say it's not that simple. If you're Kris Russell for example, you allow a ton of shots period, so it's not fair to suggest he's bad at clearing the crease, just that due to getting hemmed in, more shots from the crease get taken.
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