Brenden Dillon plays a sturdy and dependable game, but he sure got dusted in the playoffs.
|18.9||time on ice per game|
|51.2||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|52.1||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|56.7||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:
About this visualization: At three times during the season (end of January, end of March, and end of May), RMNB shared an open survey with fans, asking the following question for each player:
On a scale from 1 to 5, how HAPPY are you to have this player on the team?
1 means VERY UNHAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
2 means UNHAPPY
3 means NEITHER HAPPY NOR UNHAPPY
4 means HAPPY
5 means VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
The numbers above show the average score for the player in each survey period.
I have to admit I have a hard time understanding and appreciating the appeal of Brenden Dillon. He’s a big, physical defender without much speed or offensive edge. While that skillset can make him unpleasant to play against, it doesn’t necessarily make him hard to win against. HockeyViz says Dillon’s impact is to lower opponents’ offense by 10 percent and his own team’s by 4 percent. In short, at his ideal, Dillon can slow down a game — a bit like Backstrom or Jensen can. Except slowing down game pace is only a good thing in some conditions (e.g. protecting a lead), and when it fails — like it did for Dillon in the postseason when Boston scored five goals against Washington’s one — it’s a catastrophe.
It’s not critical that every player have a clear-cut role. At least, it’s not important to me. But Dillon’s role feels ambiguous to me, and his success within it, debatable. If the Caps didn’t shoot 11.7 percent when Dillon was on the ice — highest among all defenders — he would not have sported that gaudy 56.7 on-ice goal percentage.
If this feels like I’m unfairly picking on Dillon, you’re right. But the player is very well compensated with term (almost $4 million a year through 2024) for a skillset that is respectable but unremarkable. And as the team has hit a wall in three consecutive postseasons against faster and younger teams, I get leery of Dillon depriving other, younger defenders of ice time. I guess maybe I’ll just take a chill pill and we’ll see what happens with Fehervary next season.
Why is Peter being such a grumpus about Dillon?
Read more: Japers Rink
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