Garnet Hathaway has a very, very, verrrryy tough job, and he does it darn well.
|12.3||time on ice per game|
|49.4||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|51.7||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|53.2||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:
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’m grateful that Dowd, Hagelin, and Garnet Hathaway have names near the front of the alphabet. Today is the last review for their line, and I think they’re super interesting. They started shifts with a faceoff 570 times during the regular season, but just 61 of them were in the offensive zone. While it’s fallen out of fashion to use zone starts to understand player context, this line’s defensive usage is noteworthy on a historic scale.
Every X below is a season played by forward. Top left are more defensively deployed forwards, bottom right are more offensively deployed. Hathaway (and Dowd and Hagelin).
Out of 5,015 player-seasons, the Caps fourth line is in the elite top-30 freakazoid zone, full of sickos who love to play hockey on hard mode, closest to their own net. And yet, despite being mega-disadvantaged, their line saw shot attempt totals like this:
In every other possession stat, they were slightly above 50 percent, including a plus-one goal differential. For a line effectively sacrificed to protect the value of the subject of Friday, June 18, that’s bananas.
Yesterday we discussed how Carl Hagelin might be a bit overpowered and overpriced for the fourth line. When we look at how offense shakes up among him and Dowd and Hagelin, that shakes out.
Note: This image has been updated from an earlier incorrect version.
Hathaway generates the smallest share of shot attempts but nudges out Dowd when that volume is combined with quality.
None of this is to say Hathaway is a passenger on the fourth line. Actually, quite the opposite. I think he plays a tremendously appealing style of hockey — I’m sure Laviolette adores him — and has surprising playmaking ability for his position in the lineup. That plus a ton of penalty-kill time plus a $1.5 million dollar deal plus a winsome attitude plus decent podcasting chops (I’m a tough judge) makes him a gem. Ugh, unintended garnet pun, but now I can’t delete it, just out of principle.
Let’s see what happens next year if Dowd and Hathaway stay together, but maybe don’t have Hagelin’s speed on the flank, but also maybe they don’t have Malhotra-tier deployments as they carry water for [Friday].
How is it that Hathaway makes 2x what Dowd makes? They’re the same player as far as I can tell. Do you think they can get a fair shake next season?
Read more: Japers Rink
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