## Defining the performance of NHL lines: Defensemen (part 3)

So in Part 1, I looked tried to define 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line forwards and separate them based on performance.

In part 2, I used that information to compare the average 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th liners to theWinnipeg forwards.

In part 3, I am going to define 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pair defensemen based on performance.

I explained the process in part 1, but I'll go over again what I did for D-man. Again, big props to Tyler Dellow for giving me this idea and overall having a awesome site.

I took every defensemen from the 2007-2008 season to the 2011-2012 season and sorted them by time on ice per game (highest to lowest). I then separated the defensemen from 5 seasons (note that defensemen are represented by individual seasons, thus a D-man who played all 5 years show up 5 different times in the data) by games played. Thus, the first pair defensemen played roughly the same amount of games as the third pair of D-man. This is of course why there are far more third line d-man in the below chart, since third pair d-man often rotate in and out of the lineup.

Remember this is all even strength data.

 Defensive pair players avg GP TOI/60 even strength Max minutes per game Min minutes per game Rel Corsi / 60 min Corsi On / 60 min Rel Corsi QOC Corsi QOC On ice SH % On ice SV% PDO GF/60 GA/60 Rel GF/60 Rel GA/60 (negative is a good) GD/60 Rel GD/60 O zone start % 1st pair 352 71.74147727 17.48838593 21.49 16.47 0.68761384 0.691795348 0.715717521 0.448747114 8.39795733 0.916580519 1000.560092 2.502115948 2.445598587 0.154972491 0.087696219 0.056517361 0.067276271 49.08908723 2nd pair 418 60.50956938 15.62084332 16.47 14.61 -0.963722073 -0.809065039 0.402220131 0.201651636 8.323145421 0.917916874 1001.148328 2.413527844 2.403049431 0.019958403 -0.015137789 0.010478413 0.035096192 49.51587898 3rd pair 742 34.02830189 12.71675314 14.61 0.75 -1.567546742 -1.337033594 -0.351731758 -0.387606206 7.838371554 0.919147322 997.5310377 2.213804245 2.343676275 -0.277210131 -0.105208568 -0.129872031 -0.172001563 51.7430893

Quick notes on some of the columns. Each column is how the average 1st pair, 2nd pair, and 3rd pair D-man performed. All stats are weighted by minutes played, thus a player who played 10 games will not affect the averages as much as someone who played 70 games. Rel GF/60 and Rel GA/60 are the weighted averages of the players On ice GF (GA)/60 minus Off ice GF (GA)/60 (basically similar to Rel Corsi). For Rel GA/60 , a negative number is a good thing. This means you are letting up less goals while on the ice then the team is when that player is off the ice. A positive number is bad.

We see some pretty obvious trends. 1st pair d-men play more games, more minutes, play tougher competition (Rel Corsi QoC), drive possession forward more (rel Corsi), and have better Goal differential numbers than 2nd and 3rd pair defensemen.

So this data tells us what an average 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pair defensemen should look like (statistically).

This next chart breaks up each of my 3 groups into three smaller groups by Rel Corsi. Again, I tried to make the games played equal in each group. Thus, now we have a way of determining at what level a player is performing versus other 1st liners, 2nd liners, 3rd liners, or 4th liners.

<!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment-->
 Defensive pair players avg GP TOI/60 even strength Rel Corsi / 60 min Corsi On / 60 min Rel Corsi QOC Corsi QOC On ice SH % On ice SV% PDO GF/60 GA/60 Rel GF/60 Rel GA/60 (negative is a good) GD/60 Rel GD/60 O zone start % 1st pair 1 115 73.3826087 17.68304657 8.429150471 6.217541377 0.611658744 0.290742993 8.503792175 0.914946432 999.984354 2.693878322 2.425696704 0.428138127 0.103061475 0.268181618 0.325076652 51.58772029 1st pair 2 121 69.80991736 17.50151178 0.795163001 0.845449839 0.699993129 0.475354498 8.474577684 0.916350382 1001.096159 2.51672013 2.450971274 0.161357518 0.066628071 0.065748857 0.094729446 49.29758871 1st pair 3 116 72.12931034 17.27879885 -7.413193895 -5.169014674 0.839206568 0.584631288 8.210364396 0.918502558 1000.606202 2.289244556 2.460647384 -0.13351883 0.093379909 -0.171402828 -0.226898738 46.29678463 2nd pair 1 138 61.02173913 15.66942525 6.761671205 4.757114474 0.217235005 0.038209389 8.345848698 0.914759723 998.2182096 2.552742004 2.4026877 0.250820874 0.006176033 0.150054304 0.244644842 52.15612386 2nd pair 2 133 63.54887218 15.57248462 -0.868147939 -0.997679749 0.316305312 0.093411316 8.348373995 0.918849046 1002.332786 2.402851146 2.375499397 -0.035912929 -0.024769878 0.027351749 -0.011143052 49.68160091 2nd pair 3 147 57.27891156 15.6207981 -8.809725302 -6.204489098 0.673777751 0.473937784 8.275122636 0.92015141 1002.902636 2.284547856 2.430981534 -0.155740031 -0.026881708 -0.146433678 -0.128858323 46.70126329 3rd pair 1 285 29.55087719 12.82657801 7.118500577 3.83672941 -0.45498925 -0.379337321 7.814065686 0.917178553 995.3192098 2.335560957 2.287794431 -0.088407675 -0.217207887 0.047766526 0.128800212 54.17927397 3rd pair 2 187 44.8342246 12.70327648 -2.016533121 -0.235248009 -0.356305946 -0.476787564 7.815025296 0.920669555 998.8198084 2.198221724 2.250613989 -0.328690616 -0.166590155 -0.052392266 -0.16210046 51.84147617 3rd pair 3 287 29.41811847 12.62058392 -9.924641072 -9.768633556 -0.242477927 -0.306850746 7.886347716 0.919621749 998.485226 2.105943011 2.493346431 -0.417161276 0.069687717 -0.38740342 -0.486848993 49.17495992

So now we not only can determine what pair a defensemen is (in terms of minutes played), but we can now compare his performance to other guys who play similar minutes.

This concludes part 3. In part 4 I will use the above charts to look at the the Jets defensemen.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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