In the wee hours of Thursday morning, we learned that David Johnson of hockeyanalysis.com and puckalytics.com had been hired by the Calgary Flames. His sites, long-running vital resources of hockey statistics, have gone dark. It’s a tremendous loss for the analysis community.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) August 3, 2017
In a stroke of good luck, just a few hours before the sites disappeared, I did a final bit of research using David’s SuperWOWY tool. What I came up with is a fond farewell to a great resource — and also a word of caution for Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s 2017-18 expectations.
The Caps’ second line was tremendous last season. Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Justin Williams outscored opponents 29 to 12 – a dominant 70.7 goals-for percentage. That ratio was bolstered by both high shooting (10.8 percent) and saving (94.5 percent), but the Caps still owned nearly 54 percent of shots during their time.
Now that Williams and Johansson are gone – one to free agency and the Hurricanes, the other a desperate salary-dump to the New Jersey Devils – center Evgeny Kuznetsov will have to work with new partners. After enjoying so much success in the 82 percent of his 5-on-5 time that he spent with Williams and Johansson, Kuznetsov might find his new circumstances sobering.
|with 90 and 14||514.0||29||12||70.7||53.7||10.8||94.5|
|without 90 and 14||266.3||13||10||56.5||51.1||9.9||93.2|
When apart from his main linemates, Kuznetsov’s goals-for percentage drops from inhuman levels (70.7 percent) to still-really-good levels (56.5 percent). More concerning: Kuznetsov’s possession as measured in shot attempts drops from a sturdy 53.7 percent to an unremarkable 51.1 percent.
In both circumstances, Kuznetsov enjoyed very high shooting and saving percentages (sums of 105.3 and 103.0 respectively). Together these stats are sometimes called PDO, a notoriously volatile stat that has a huge impact on players’ on-ice goal differential. A stark regression for Kuznetsov in 2017-18 is both possible and daunting.
If Kuznetsov plays 82 games next season with 51.1 percent of the shot attempts and an even PDO, his differential could drop from plus-20 to just about even. It’s imperative that Barry Trotz and Brian MacLellan find partners for Kuznetsov that enable him to be productive. With Kuznetsov’s annual cap hit just shy of $8 million, the team is basically banking on it.
In the wake of David Johnson’s sites going offline — as well as the inimitable datarink getting a job with the Hurricanes, we face a dearth of good statistical resources. I know of no sites that currently provide multi-player with-or-without-you (WOWY) comparisons that Johnson’s SuperWOWY, but puckiq.com still has a good tool for one-on-one comparisons.
In the meantime, here are some other great places to go:
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen
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