Michal Kempny hasn’t looked 100 percent since that hamstring injury back in 2019.
|18.6||time on ice per game|
|50.7||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|49.9||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|57.7||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:
Everything changed for Michal Kempny on March 20, 2019. His hamstring injury required surgery and months of recovery. Once he came back for 2019-20, he didn’t look quite as spritely as he did before. He stopped taking top-pairing minutes and started dragging his team’s performance down. The line graph below shows what percentage of total expected goals were generated by Kempny’s team when he was on the ice (solid blue line) and on the bench (light blue dashed line).
I held out hope for a long time that all Kempny needed was sufficient time to rest and recover, and then we’d seen his performance improved. But over time I became less confident that would happen. Todd Reirden apparently felt the same way, as Kempny’s ice time plummeted late in the season, as illustrated by Hockey Viz, with my annotation in pink.
But that downturn coincided with Kempny being paired more with Radko Gudas, which was a bad idea.
Kempny-Gudas is literally the only "avoid at all costs" pairing on the Caps roster pic.twitter.com/YSfJfgGtEE
— Peter Hassett (@peterhassett) February 21, 2020
So again I held out hope that the pandemic pause would give Kempny more time for recuperation, and maybe we’d see a renaissance in the bubble. That did not happen. During 5v5 play in the postseason, the Caps controlled 40 percent of expected goals and 42 percent of shot attempts when Kempny was on the ice.
Kempny has another year on his $2.5 million AAV contract. I’m not sure he’s capable of anything beyond third-pairing minutes anymore, but I’d be so happy to be wrong about that.
I think, maybe we should just share some Kempny pics. I know my audience.
Can Kempny turn it around? Who would you pair him with?
Read more: Japers Rink
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