Dmitry Orlov might be the best pure defender on the Caps roster, and his game is about to undergo a major change.
|22.2||time on ice per game|
|53.3||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|53.1||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|48.9||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:
At this point, Dmitry Orlov is at least the most dependable — if not best overall — defender on the Capitals roster. Among all full-time D, Orlov has the strongest relative numbers for pushing shot attempts and expected goals in his teams favor: meaning when he’s on the ice the Caps see an improvement of 2.9 percentage points in shot attempts (compared to the other team) and 3.1 points in expected goals. That improvement mostly comes from depriving opponents of the shooting free-for-all that’s way too common among other Caps defenders, especially Carlson and Kempny.
Here’s how HockeyViz measures Orlov’s impact on the ice last season:
One has to think that Orlov’s style of play would be the centerpiece of Peter Laviolette’s defense. Orlov is certainly a more reliable player than Carlson, accolades aside, upon which to build. The lone downside I can see is Orlov’s significantly lower level of direct involvement and the possible depression it may have on finishing. Orlov’s not a shoot-first player, but he is a big part in transitioning to offense. We know Laviolette likes to get the blue line involved in offense; that will either be an obstacle for Orlov — or an opportunity for him to take his game to the next level.
I’m definitely rooting for the latter.
What effect do you think Lavs will have on Orlov?
Read more: Japers Rink
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