People only notice Nick Jensen when he does something wrong, which isn’t often.
|17.8||time on ice per game|
|51.3||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|51.1||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|49.2||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows lots of information for the player over the season. A short description of each chart:
Nick Jensen is way too easy to overlook. He just doesn’t stand out much, except maybe when things go badly. That’s why he was such a whipping boy in the early part of 2019-20, and why he became such an underrated highlight later on. A big factor in his reputation might be the variation in results depending on who he skates with.
In a lot of minutes with Dmitry Orlov (aka still Washington’s best defender), Jensen did just fine. But Orlov did better away from Jensen, particularly with John Carlson (55.5 percent of expected goals in 216 minutes). Jensen’s numbers with Jonas Siegenthaler were not great and similarly depressed his partner’s numbers, but then there were those 100 sterling minutes with Michal Kempny.
That’s a messy jumble, and it only got messier in the postseason, where Jensen excelled with Orlov (69 percent of shot attempts and 62 percent of expected goals in 36 minutes) but below 50 percent in both in 52 minutes with Siegenthaler. It was that latter pairing that really had a hard time shifting into offense. The breakout passes the Caps needed and expected from Jensen simply did not come through. But while that was frustrating, it’s not like Jensen went minus-7 or minus-6 in on-ice goal differential like Carlson and Siegenthaler respectively.
All of which is to say that Jensen’s not here to be a star. His playing style makes him noticeable in just two circumstances: when he makes a mistake (not often) or when he’s getting stuck with bad saving percentages (kind of a lot, especially early last season). He’s clearly a top-six defender, and once the Caps get their neutral-zone mojo back he’s going to be integral. I just want that to happen soon please.
What are your ideal D pairings from the players coming back?
Read more: Japers Rink
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