Following their disappointing 3-2 loss to the Flyers the other night, the Jets have now played one-quarter of their abbreviated 2013 season and sit at a lackluster 5-6-1. It seemed like a perfect time to combine some basic and advanced stats to grade how the Winnipeg Jets players have done so far, so here we go.
Using the numbers found at BehindTheNet, I compiled the following charts from which to assign a grade. Today, we look at the forwards and how they've fared.
To those not familiar with the advanced stats that I'm using, here are brief descriptions about what the numbers represent (hat tip to behindthenet.ca):
- TOI/60: Time on Ice per 60 minutes.
- CorsiQoC: Average Corsi of opposing players, weighted by head-to-head ice time. The higher the number, the tougher the competition the player faced.
- CorsiOn: On-Ice Shot Differential (goals + saves + missed shots + blocks). This is expressed as a rate stat per 60 minutes. A positive number means that more shots were directed at the opponents net than on their own while that player is one the ice.
- OZS%: Offensive Zone Start % = Offensive Zone Starts / (Offensive Zone Starts + Defensive Zone Starts). Records where a player started his shift.
- PDO: PDO is the sum of "On-Ice Shooting Percentage" and "On-Ice Save Percentage" while a player was on the ice. It regresses very heavily to the mean in the long-run: a team or player well above 1000 has generally played in good luck and should expect to drop going forward and vice-versa.
A lot of people get after Antro for his lack of heart and hustle. Well, I've got some bad news for those people - Antro has done a decent job this season. While some more offense would be nice, that fact that Antro has a positive CorsiOn while facing the 2nd-toughest opponents among the forwards isn't too shabby. If the Jets find themselves out of the hunt at the deadline, I could certainly see some teams interested in taking on the pending UFA. Grade: B
If you've noticed that whatever line that Burmistrov ends up on tends to have a good game, you aren't alone and the numbers agree with you. Burmistrov has the 2nd-highest CorsiOn among the forwards behind only Kyle Wellwood. The two points that he has on the season leave a little bit to be desired, but the fact of the matter is that when Burmistrov is on the ice good things tend to happen. Grade: A-
Olli has been criticized this season for a number of things, but I think that those criticisms have been unwarranted. While his offensive numbers and +/- are obviously concerns, his PDO of 915 is the lowest among the forwards and suggests that the bounces just aren't going his way. I like what Jokinen brings to the table, and expect some better puck luck to go his way soon. Grade: B
Speaking of unfairly criticized... What more do we want from Evander? He's fourth in team scoring, leads the team in shots with 45, is top-5 on the team in CorsiOn and joins Olli in the PDO basement with and an unsustainable amount of bad luck. Expect a large increase in production out him and Jokinen once the bounces start going their way. Grade: A-
Our Captain and leader has had a solid start to the year. He has one of the better CorsiOn numbers on the team while facing the 3rd-toughest competition, and he's been filling the net while taking way less penalties so far. While his PDO is a little high and his production may taper off, Ladd has been great so far and you can't ask for much more. Grade: A
Bryan Little has been pretty good so far, but his negative CorsiOn and team-high PDO of 1034 (tied with Andrew Ladd among forwards) have me a little concerned about what a regression might look like. Having said that, his +4 rating is tops among the forwards and he is the only top-6 forward on the team to have an OZS% below 50%. Coach Noel likes him in the defensive zone, so that should pull his CorsiOn down. Grade: B-
Poor Mittens. He's missed all year after sustaining an upper-body injury during training camp, and all indications are that he remains out indefinitely. Grade: INCOMPLETE
While Peluso did get into a game the other night and manged to take two penalties in the 2:49 that he played, he obviously hasn't seen the ice enough to justify giving a grade. Grade: INCOMPLETE
The now 'ex-Jet' was a cause of frustration for a few reasons. His penalties late in games have had some suggesting that he cost us two games. But now that he's gone, people are frustrated that we traded a guy with such good underlying numbers. Poni had the 3rd-highest CorsiOn among the forwards against pretty good competition, which is pretty much exactly what you would want out of a 3rd-liner. So long Poni, we hardly new ya. Grade: B+
Mark Scheifele didn't do much in his four games with the Jets, though he primarily saw time on both the 3rd and 4th lines. While he did see over 10 minutes per game on average, his lack of production against somewhat weak competition helped book his ticket back to Barrie. Still, I'm not sure how he was expected to produce with 62.5% of his starts coming in the defensive zone. And it's hard to come down too hard on him, as he managed to break even with a 0.00 CorsiOn, and I am left to wonder what he could have done with better ice-time and line-mates. Grade: C
Jim Slater has the worst CorsiOn on the Jets, which should cause me to yell at him a little bit more. But his faceoff accumen (he went 11 for 11 the other night against Philly) is very solid, and is likely the reason why is OZS% is by far the lowest on the team as he's generally taking defensive-zone face-offs. I'm not going to shred Slater here as it's tough to build a good CorsiOn when you're spending most of your time in your own zone, but I hope he can raise it a bit as the season progresses. Grade: C+
Oh, Thor. If only I had some good things to say about you. While I understand that he is playing some tough minutes with the 4th-highest CorsiQoC and is also willing to drop the mitts and protect his team, his CorsiOn is second-worst on the team, and it's just plain bad. The fact that he was a healthy scratch for Anthony Peluso the other night was not a surprise to me. Grade: D+
#TeamWelly is going to like what I have to say here. Despite not scoring a goal and not really producing much offense at this time, Kyle Wellwood not only has the highest CorsiOn among the forwards but he's done so against the toughest competition. Wellwood is simply a possession demon and he truly helps drive the play. The only thing holding him back is some offensive production, but overall Welly has been great. Grade: A-
Wheeler has some of the most interesting numbers on the team. He's tied for 2nd on the team in points with 11, but has the worst +/- on the team at -7. He is facing the the 5th-hardest competition and almost has a positive CorsiOn, but his PDO is incredibly low at 924 which suggests that he has been the victim of some bad bounces which is likely why his +/- is so low. Grade: B+
I like Wright, I really do. But I'm not sure if he's an effective 4th-liner as he has been unable to come up with a positive CorsiOn despite facing the easiest competition of all Jets forwards. The fact that he is being used on the PK is a plus, and his willingness to fight is a nice touch as well. Perhaps his low PDO of 931 suggests that his numbers may be due for an uptick, but that may be wishful thinking. Grade: C-
Overall, I would say that our forwards have done a good job in controlling the play, but their lack of puck luck as evidenced by some very low PDO's has helped contribute to only averaging 2.67 goals per game (T-17 in the league). And with the major amount of line juggling that Coach Noel has done, it's really hard to look at the trends of certain lines.
Agree with my assessments? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section. And please go easy on me, this is my first foray into evaluating advanced stats without training wheels...