So, yesterday, I made a point of mentioning some of the useful/cutting edge stuff that Vic Ferrari's doing over at Irreverent Oiler Fans. Today, he topped all of it
, providing a bunch of data about where players were taking faceoffs, data that I've been wondering about for a long time. He broke down where draws occured, awarding a +1 for a defensive end draw, and a -1 for an offensive end draw. On his blog he looks at how this affected defensemen, and gave us this list:
See anything interesting there? Because I do. Ferrari points out that Matt Greene (allegedly a shutdown defender) does badly by this metric, although he neglects to point out that with all that offensive zone start-time Greene was getting, he sure wasn't adding much in the way of offense, so he was depriving a player who could actually help score a goal of ice-time on the right side of the redline. He also points to the ridiculous number of draws Staios took- if there were any question about which of that group MacTavish/Huddy trust in their own end, it should be gone. And those who ripped on Staios this season should take a look at that number.
Beyond that, I think these numbers show some nice things about Smid and especially Gilbert going forward, and help temper the excitement about Denis Grebeshkov (at least a little bit).
For some reason, though, Ferrari didn't do a similar chart up for forwards. Let me give some highlights in this area now, from the data
he provided a link to on his website:
What do we notice? For starters, the kids, Penner, Hemsky and Glencross were put into offensive situations, and for the most part succeeded. Beyond that, the two centres who recieved a ton of criticism this year, were "human sacrifices" (I can't remember who said it first, but it was a good line) to keep the kids from getting torched.
Stoll and Reasoner's numbers stand out for two reasons; the first being that their numbers this year (and this includes errors, Mr. Staples) were influenced in a huge way by the position they were placed in, a position to fail. The second thing is that somebody has to take all those draws this year; Horcoff's going to be spread awfully thin, and I think one of the kids (probably Brodziak, maybe Pouliot) is going to get tossed into this position and just killed.
It might not be a bad idea, from a development standpoint, to pick up a Chris Gratton or Brian Smolinski, to keep kids with relatively fragile confidence from having it destroyed. I know I've been against a Smolinski signing previously, based on his footspeed, but that shouldn't be a huge problem if he's the guy always deployed in the defensive end.