Anthony Mantha came in like a wrecking ball. But then — not so much.
|17.8||time on ice per game|
|57.5||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|59.7||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|61.5||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 hereby promise not to make this review a re-litigation of the Vrana trade. That trade was good and necessary, but only because the circumstances preceding it were so wretched. Let’s move on.
Anthony Mantha came to Washington like he was shot out of a cannon, scoring four goals in four games. Then he called it a day, scoring no more for the rest of the season and postseason. What are we supposed to make of that? Well, I’ve got a few thoughts, and they all start from this graph of Mantha’s cumulative goals vs his expected goals (using Natural Stat Trick’s reckoning).
Let’s be weird and start all the way at the right side of the graph. In the end, Mantha generated 4.8 individual expected goals at all strengths and scored four goals. That makes him only slightly under-rewarded.
But way back on April 18, Mantha scored his fourth goal with just 1.1 expected goals, making him vastly over-rewarded at the time.
Hockey is a stupid sport, and we are stupid for loving it. Games are decided by goals, which are decided by unfaithful bounces unaccountable to us, with our minds that understand the flow of time in just the one direction. (By the way I saw Tenet last night.) Mantha’s effort and his ultimate output on the scoreboard are two different things that are not always closely correlated.
Which is why I now call your attention to Game Three against the Bruins — the sharp vertical blue line. That night, in 23 minutes of ice time, Mantha attempted eight shots. All eight were on target — none blocked, none missed. Six of them were in high-danger situations. We’d expect that individual offense to yield 1.26 goals. From hockeyviz:
Tuukka Rask stopped them all. The game ended with a heartbreak in OT that we’ll talk about soon.
Hockey is a stupid sport, and we’re stupid for watching it.
But Anthony Mantha is good. He’ll be fine. I like his dog. See you tomorrow.
Whatever I prompt with here, you’re just gonna argue about Mantha/Vrana again, so have at it.
Read more: Japers Rink
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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