Robb Tufts (@robbtuftshockey on Twitter) from St. Louis Game Time (stlouisgametime.com and @StLouisGameTime on Twitter) and I decided to have a little fun with the fancy stats ahead of today’s NHL All-Star Game. This basically game about from a joke on Twitter, but it sounded like a good time so here you. Robb took Team Foligno and graciously allowed me to take Team Toews. Enjoy.
The player usage chart does not bode well for Team Foligno. They drafted players who are predominantly either in the shut down quadrant (less oz starts and tougher competition) or the sheltered quadrant (more oz starts and weaker competition). Considering that they are going up against the best of the best in the NHL, it would be nice to see the player spread a bit more evenly between the shut down and two way (more oz starts and tougher competition) quadrants. The big question for Team Foligno is whether or not the players in the sheltered quadrant will be able to handle the quality of competition they’ll be facing on Sunday.
Looking at Team Foligno’s Corsi stats combined with points per 60 and PDO doesn’t make things look too promising for this team either. A third of their team has above league average Corsi Against per 60. And while Ekman-Larsson might be above league average in Corsi For per 60 and below league average in CA/60 he also has the lowest points per 60 out of all the players on the team. As one of the players mentioned during the fantasy draft, defense is somewhat meaningless during the all star games. So having someone like Larsson on the team could be a drag. The team is 50/50 when it comes to PDO. Half of the team is above 100.0 while the other half is below. Most of the sub 100.0 players are in the prime quadrant for Corsi (above league average CF/60 and below league average CA/60). It could be we’ll get to see what these players are really capable of when paired with other high caliber players. This is Team Foligno’s bright spot in what could be a very challenging team.
I started to look at the Quality of Competition based on TOI (Time On Ice) for Team Toews but there was very little difference in the players. This is pretty predictable since All-Star Game players for the most part are some of the best players on their teams. Many of the forwards face the toughest competition and if they are not being used in a tough QoC situation, their teams are giving them offensive zone starts to optimize their unique offensive abilities. As Robb mentioned above, defense in an All-Star Game is not really the focus of the event. The defensemen selected all have very good offensive skills so it is likely we will see them activating into the offense a lot during what is sure to be a high event game.
The graph above shows each of the teams as well as the league average for players with at least 300 minutes of TOI during the season for comparison. Team effects on these rates are heavy so these are to be taken with a grain of salt. As you can see, most of the defensemen selected are fairly aggressive offensively (CF60) so this should make for a fun game.
Team Toews has a nice mix of players, both defensemen and forwards, who are used to working out of the offensive and defensive zones. Team Toews ended up with some of the hottest shooters in the league through the mid-season mark, particularly Tarasenko, Forsberg and Nash, as you can see by their high PDO marks. All of the defensemen and nearly all of the forwards are above the league average in P/60 (Points Per 60) at 5v5, again pointing to what should be a fun goal-filled game.
The goalies for both teams are all having good seasons thus far. Below is a look at their Save Percentage at 5v5 versus league average (of goalies with 500 or more minutes TOI) as well as their SA60 (Shots On Goal Against Per 60). Price and Crawford have been facing shots at a higher clip than the others, although it is important to remember that Score Adjusted metrics include all score situations so some of the rates you see there are affected by teams having big leads and other teams pressing to get back in the game. Regardless of what is included, Halak has routinely faced shots against at a lower pace than the others. Elliott has the highest Sv%, but also the lowest ice time. While playing the highest number of minutes at 5v5 and facing shots against at a pace higher than the league average, Carey Price has maintained a terrific Sv% of 93.78%. All of the goalies involved are probably going to give up some goals so these marks probably don’t mean all that much for this game, but it is interesting to see how they match up against each other.
*Data used herein collected from war-on-ice.com