By The Numbers: Measuring The Winnipeg Jets' Effectiveness - Defensemen Edition

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There is a longstanding and heated debate on what makes an effective hockey player.

Some argue that it's size.

Others argue that it is skating or vision, or better yet, that it's something indeterminable like "hockey awareness".

In reality, players require the right mix all these skills -- both in smarts and athleticism -- to have success at the NHL level.

While what makes for an effective player certainly remains debatable, who is and isn't effective shows up on the ice and, ultimately, in a players' measurables (ie: statistics).

While there are arguments against this logic, it seems logical to measure a player based on how they impact shots and goals for their respective teams.

Offensively, a player should be expected to generate shots and goals for his team. On defense, a player should be expected to prevent both shots and goals. If a player nets more offensive opportunities than defensive lapses, it's reasonable to call that player effective as he makes positive on-ice contributions to his team.

Note: Statistically, shot totals have been proven to be more repeatable than goal totals as they rely less on chance, but scoring and preventing goals are the aim of players. Therefore, it will also be included in this analysis.

In order to remove small samples, this analysis will be limited to players who played twenty games or more.

So without further ado, here is a look at the goal defense / shot production at even strength of Winnipeg Jets defensemen.

Click any heading to sort the table:

NAME

GF On/60

GA On/60

SF On/60

SA On/60

DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN

2.88

3.21

31

27.8

ZACH BOGOSIAN

2.35

2.68

28.3

27

TOBIAS ENSTROM

2.87

2.72

31.3

26.1

GRANT CLITSOME

1.72

2.13

23.4

27.9

MARK FLOOD

1.69

2.12

26.2

26.5

MARK STUART

2.14

2.62

25.3

27.3

RON HAINSEY

2.49

2.05

26.6

26.2

RANDY JONES

2.94

2.47

22.4

25.2

All sabermetrics taken from Behind The Net.

Of note:

  • The Jets did far better from a shots perspective than they did from a goals perspective. Some would suggest this relates to subpar goaltending. I would agree with that assessment.
  • Tobias Enstrom had the best shot differential on the team.
  • No surprise here, but Dustin Byfuglien and Enstrom are gifted offensively.
  • Considering the minutes they played, Zach Bogosian and Ron Hainsey both had productive 2011-12 seasons'.
  • Hainsey had the best goal differential of any Jet, which is best reflected by his plus/minus rating.
  • Enstrom and Hainsey are the only two players who were effective by both measures (shots and goals). Both achieved this despite the fact that they don’t hit anybody. They also played against tough opponents. Is there a possibility that people overvalue hitting? Quite probably. The numbers don’t lie. To say that Hainsey and Enstrom are ineffective because they don't hit is dead wrong.
  • Bogosian performed quite well for a player his age. He, along with Hainsey, were given very tough minutes and the results were solid. If he can heal quickly and continue to grow into his position, fans will have a fantastic, young defenseman to follow.
  • Byfuglien pours plenty of shots on the opponents' net, but his goal differential wasn’t so hot. Having said that, it's possible he bares too much blame for his errors. While he did make some major gaffes last year, it should be noted that they were more memorable than they were plentiful.
  • Grant Clitsome, Mark Flood, Randy Jones and Mark Stuart all played sheltered minutes at 5-on-5 and they still failed to post favorable numbers. This explains why they spent most of their time rotating into the teams' third pairing.
  • Shot differential tell us a little more about Jones than his goal differentials. I don’t think many would disagree with the "Ran_y Jones" moniker we handed to him. Over time, his goal ratio would have surely regressed too.

Does anything on this list stand out to you? Or is there anything that may have been overlooked? Let us know in the comments section!

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