Almost three years ago I borrowed an idea from Fancy Stats legend Tyler Dellow and made a chart that helped us see how well the Blue Jackets were performing. I’ve decided to revisit that idea. The goal of this exercise is to help us see who is performing up to our expectations and who we need to examine at a closer level; good and bad. I also wanted to get an idea of who has been really helping push up the Blue Jackets Corsi this season. As of right now NHL.com says that the Jackets have a corsi close of 51%.
The chart I’m presenting is separated by most common pairs and lines. For example Jones and Werenski are next to each other because they are paired up together most frequently and Foligno, Wennberg and Saad are lined up together due to their frequent usage next to each other. Previously I had players separated by their total TOI. The numbers inside the boxes are the players Corsi For percentage when they are on the ice together at 5v5.
Remember, Corsi is the sum of blocked shots, missed shots and shots on goal. Corsi for percentage = Corsi for / (Corsi for + Corsi against).
Corsi has also been proven to correlate with scoring chances and winning (unless your goalie is Cam Ward).
Green = elite
Blue = good
Red = bad
Yellow = players have not met the minimum of 50 minutes on the ice together
The first takeaway from this chart is that Jack Johnson has been laughably bad even having played next to David Savard so often. Unfortunately that is due to being paired with Ryan Murray for 149 minutes. When Savard and Johnson are on the ice together (200 minutes) they have a CF% of 52%. Together with Murray they are only pulling 44%.
Murray has been playing alongside Nutivaara for 71 minutes this season and they are at an even 50%. So the pairs, as they are, do not look as bad as this chart suggests.
Savard looks amazing. He’s the only defender who seems to be able to keep Cam Atkinson above water, who is the player he’s seen the most shared TOI with aside from Johnson. He’s also pushing the first line into the 60’s!
Zach Werenski and Seth Jones are doing well together. They’ve shared 250 minutes together and have a 51% CF%. Savard and Werenski have a 55.2% share, by the way.
Overall, the defensive pairs are doing well. Perhaps moving Savard around could produce some better results overall, but I’ll get into that in a little more detail in the future.
What happened to Brandon Dubinsky? This is a player who’s making $5.85 million until 2021. Well, it appears that John Tortorella is using Dubinsky in shutdown roles. The players he’s played against the most this season are Patrick Kane and Marc Vlasic, two incredibly dominant players.
Aside from Dubinsky the biggest surprise here is Lukas Sedlak. He’s been snake bit this season when it comes to goal scoring but this kid can play. He’s a positive possession player with everyone he’s played with this season except Scott Hartnell (48.3%).
Overall this chart provides us with some context but I’ll have to dig deeper over the next few days and throughout the season to see who is really performing at a level that is acceptable and who isn’t. Right now it appears that Saad, Sedlak, Karlsson, Savard and the Jones – Werenski pair have been the biggest contributors to the Jackets early season success (that and some great special teams play). Along with some crafty usage by Tortorella, which is something else I’d like to explore later on. There is enough evidence here to suggest that the team has a fantastic amount of depth and role players to keep this team above water and performing well throughout the rest of the season.
Chart data from stats.hockeyanalysis.com. Please take a look around at the data here
A semi-related piece on the Jackets season has recently been published at Buckeye State Hockey