(This was originally published at Bolt Prospects and being logged here.)
For many, including myself, the 2011-2012 Player Usage Charts [PDF] released by Robert Vollman (and friends) have proven invaluable, as the foreword suggests, for putting “last year’s player production into context”. Based on zone start and quality of competition data, these charts help us to see how a team’s players were utilized by their coach in relation to each other.
The graphic leading into this piece helps interpret the significance of a player’s bubble (the size of which reflects his Relative Corsi, blue being a positive value and white a negative value) on a team’s chart.
Again, Clare Austin of Raw Charge has already done an excellent job assessing the Lightning’s player usage last season under coach Guy Boucher based on the Hockey Abstract charts. However, these excluded all players with less than 10 games played which meant that Mike Angelidis (6 games), J.T. Brown (5 games) and Evan Oberg (3 games) were not shown on the Lightning’s chart.
Regardless of the extremely small sample sizes, it seemed worthwhile to generate usage charts that included them, even if only for the sake of a little extra discussion:
Despite registering just a single assist, Brown’s play earned rave reviews for brief end-of-the-year stint. The buzz he created seems particularly justified when you consider that, when he did hit the ice, he ate up some very tough even-strength minutes. He did register a very high (unsustainable) on-ice save percentage (.971) so perhaps he got a bit lucky as his PDO (1059), similar to BABIP for baseball, would indicate.
Angelidis, we can see, was somewhat sheltered in his extremely limited action in that he faced relatively easy competition. He, too, took advantage.
Oberg, we can see, benefited from the favorable zone starts but also benefited from a perfect on-ice save-percentage that, of course, wouldn’t hold up with more action.