Pilots Logbook 2013-14: Eric Tangradi

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 season has been laid to rest. This series will take an in-depth look how the team and its players have performed, and some decisions that could push the Jets forward in the future.

Eric Tangradi is an interesting player for the Winnipeg Jets.

The Basics

GP G A P TOI/60 S/60 Sh% PenD
55 3 3 6 8.5 6.6 5.8 -1

Numbers are for all minutes.

Eric Tangradi was generally on the fourth line for the Winnipeg Jets during the past season. He had limited ice time, averaging only 8.5 minutes per game.

Usage

Screen_shot_2014-06-04_at_4.09.02_am_medium

Player usage chart from extraskater.com.

EV Percentage of Team's Available TOI 5 on 5
ZS% ZS%rel EVTOI% PPTOI% SHTOI% QoC TOI% QoT TOI%
55.5 5.5 17.0 2.5 0.2 27.6 26.6
3rd 3rd 15th 10th 13th 11th 11th

Rankings are given for team out of 15 forwards to play 20 or more games.

Consistent with the limited, sheltered usage of the fourth line, he had a high percentage of offensive zone starts, and generally faced the opposition's third or fourth line.

Even with his limited ice time, there are some interesting stories in Eric Tangradi's statistics...

Underlying Numbers

Tangercorsi_medium

The y-axis is given to show the typical 40-60 sustainable spread seen for NHL calibre players. Players are compared to particular line/pair depending on 5v5 TOI per game. Population mean (average), median (50th percentile), and other percentiles are relative to player performance between 2007-12.

5v5 TOI Corsi% relCorsi% dCF/20 dCA/20 dCorsi%
8.49 53.8% +4.0% +0.497 -0.190 +4.199%

RelCorsi is the team's percentage of shot attempts with player on ice minus shot attempts with player off ice. Delta Corsi values are team's shot attempt rates with player on ice, but relative to league norm given similar usage (quality of teammates, quality opponents, zone starts, and TOI). dCF/20 is shot attempts for -where a positive number is above average-, dCA/20 is shot attempts against -where a negative number is above average-, and dCorsi% is percentage of shot attempts.

Despite his limited, sheltered usage, Eric Tangradi was an effective player for the Jets. The Jets were good at controlling the play while he was on ice, with 53.8% of shots directed at the net. In fact, the Jets were 4% better in terms of overall possession when Tangradi was on the ice - although the sheltered minutes and offensive zone starts need to be factored into this statistic. This wasn't just a statistical aberration - Tangradi had about a 55% Corsi in his two years with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's never been below 50%.

How is this possible with a forward who has never had more than 6 points in an NHL season? Clearly he's done a decent job of limiting opposition shots and goals. I must say that I was mildly surprised by the statistics, since my own perception of Tangradi was not that of a defensive forward. But the fact is, Tangradi did a good job of keeping the puck in the opposition end, more often than not. It's interesting to note that Tangradi was generally a good scoring forward in his junior and AHL career. Despite the lack of offence, he appears to have made a modestly positive contribution for the Jets' fourth line.

Conclusion

Eric Tangradi hasn't achieved much in terms of goals and assists, but he's helped the Jets fourth line control the overall play in their limited minutes.

Keep or lose?

I would say keep, but my own opinion is the Jets need to get better depth and effectiveness on their third and fourth lines. He might be one of the better players among the group that the Jets employed on their fourth lines last year. I would keep him instead of Wright, for example, but I'm hoping the Jets acquire some other players that can make Tangradi a depth player.

Bonus: Could Tangradi score more?

I think that Eric Tangradi has the ability to score more goals for the Jets. He's scored a few nice goals that make you sit up and take note. (I'm thinking of a goal he scored in Tampa Bay during the strike-shortened season). If he does get a regular role on the fourth line, I think he has the ability to score about 12 goals.

All numbers are from Extra Skater, Behind the Net and Hockey Analysis

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