We heard a lot of skepticism about Justin Schultz when the Caps signed him last October. Finally we get what those people were talking about.
|19.0||time on ice per game|
|49.7||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|48.4||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|60.5||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.
Justin Schultz is a tough one. He is, without a doubt, the best defender named Schultz the Caps have had since 2013, but his first season with the club wasn’t very good.
But before we gripe, Schultz led the team — not just the defense, the entire team — in primary assists (19). Going by rate, that’s the best best primary production of Schultz’s career, and not exactly what we expected when he joined the team in October.
Back then, the big question was how good Schultz would be once he got free of Jack Johnson. The answer: still not great.
Up-and-down shows Washington’s offense (using Natural Stat Trick’s expected goals), and left-and-right shows opponents’ offense.
There isn’t a clear pattern here except that opponents got better looks than the Caps did. Schultz didn’t compellingly drive possession despite cushy (Kuznetsovian) deployments.
It’s odd. It was my impression that Schultz was added to shore up Washington’s weakness on the right side and to help with breakouts. He didn’t really do either, and then the playoffs happened.
Against Boston Schultz was paired with Brenden Dillon, and they got walloped. Under forty percent in expected goals, one shot attempt above 40 percent in shot attempts, and outscored 4 to 1. And then there’s the Game Three disaster, in which Schultz didn’t pick up Ilya Samsonv’s (errantly left) puck behind the net, giving Craig Smith the easiest OTGWG of his career.
I still think Samsonov bears the majority of the blame there, but Schultz’s play was reckless too.
So aside from all those apples, this was a bummer of an outing for the 30-year-old defender. He’s got one more year on his $4 million AAV deal with Washington, and then I suspect he’ll be facing the open market.
How much blame does Schultz deserve for G3? How should he be used next season?
Read more: Japers Rink
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