New Tool: Player Usage Charts

Robert Vollman
April 01 2013 08:39AM



There's a fantastic new interactive resource out there for hockey fans that lets you put together  customizable Player Usage Chart.  I'm pleased to have been invited to tell you where you can find it, what you can do with it, and even a little bit about where it came from.

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Picking Through Second Pairing Defensemen

Robert Vollman
June 29 2012 04:42PM



In a previous piece we looked at top line defensemen and found out two keys facts: there will be very few available through free agency, and some of the most effective top pairing defensemen were elite defensemen paired up with guys who were previously on 2nd or 3rd pairings. 

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Number Chains - June 9, 2012

Robert Vollman
June 09 2012 08:41AM

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web every week.

Player Usage Charts are here!

2011-12 NHL Player Usage Charts for every NHL team, accompanied by expert insights from a field of 20+ analysts, are now available for download here

Obviously we believe very strongly in the usefulness of these charts. We've already used Player Usage Charts repeatedly on NHL Numbers, like when Josh Lile looked at the Dallas Stars, or when I looked at last year's rookies, or the league's top defensive pairings for example, and very rarely does an article go by without at least some mention of one of its core components (Offensive Zone Starts, Quality of Competition or Relative Corsi).  In fact, we might be giving away our secret by providing these ground breaking statistics in such an understandable fashion - we might have to soon rely solely on Wanye's wit for our readership.

Others have picked up on Player Usage Charts since it was unveiled June 1st, including:

Several of us contributed to this project, including me, Kent Wilson, Jonathan Willis, Eric Tulsky, Corey Sznajder and Josh Lile, and we almost all use them on a regular basis, so we're quite proud to have unveiled this last Friday. So download the PDF, print it off, grab a cold one, sift through it this week-end, and let us know what you think.

Also unveiled this week was this year's look at zone entries over at Broad Street Hockey. The fine folks over there, including Eric T and Geoff Detweiler, examine every single Philadelphia Flyer zone entry and then conduct some fascinating analysis on the consequences of various strategies. Truly ground-breaking stuff here.
Part 1
Part 2

While on the topic of how teams act differently depending on the score and the impact that it can have, the imcomparable Tyler Dellow over at MC79 hockey looked at the most dangerous lead in hockey.

"The really funny thing about this is that playing conservatively seems to have little in the way of benefits for the team leading. If you calculate the points on the basis of regulation win being worth two points and a regulation tie being worth 1.5, you would expect the teams leading by one to average 1.66 points. Actual average points collected by teams leading by one heading into the third: 1.67. The real beneficiaries are the teams trailing by one heading into the third period. Their expected points per game is 0.56. They actually averaged 0.64 points per game."

Finally, Brodeur is a Fraud took a look at Darryl Sutter's effect on goalies

"Throughout his career, Sutter's goaltenders have routinely been above average. Sutter-led teams have only posted a below-average save percentage in two out of his dozen seasons as an NHL coach, and in every one of the remaining ten his team was at least .006 above the league benchmark in save rate"

We'll end this week with a cheap plug of my own work over at Hockey Abstract where I've collected lots of raw statistical data, including Player Usage Charts, for every single pending Unrestricted Free Agent. Download a copy and figure out who should go where.



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Top Defensive Pairings

Robert Vollman
May 30 2012 12:14PM

The Norris Trophy is awarded every year to the defenseman who "demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position", but how can you truly separate a defenseman from his regular partner? The model adopted by the William Jennings trophy, which is handed out to both goalies despite the fact that you truly can separate their performances, is the one I prefer.  

But which defensive pairing was last year's best, and how can that be determined?

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Rookie Usage Charts

Robert Vollman
May 26 2012 10:15AM

 Photo byKmf164 via Wikimedia Commons


In his excellent recent article on 2011-12 rookie scoring, Jonathan Willis hinted how the situation in which a player is used can give them either a great advantage (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) or put them at a great disadvantage (Sean Couturier). One way to graphically represent these advantages and disadvantages is with Player Usage Charts.

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