What can be said about Tom Wilson that has not already been said about Joseph Stalin?
|16.5||time on ice per game|
|49.7||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|50.4||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|59.2||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.
Wilson’s an extraordinarily divisive player, simultaneously unfairly persecuted while also somehow repeatedly escaping justice.
And both of those notions are fair — from different perspectives. It’s clear now that the league handed down punishment for the Carlo hit that could not be justified by the rulebook. DoPS could be considered to be on Wilson’s side, but the same can’t really be said of the league’s top brass — or of on-ice officials. Wilson’s ability to generate a ton of power plays has diminished over the last few years.
All of which invites the question of what kind of role Wilson can fill. For now that question is answered simply.
Tom straight-up puts points on the board. At five-on-five he generates primary assists at a solid-but-not-elite level (ranking 24th of 341 forwards). His goal-scoring this season was great too, though it owed a lot to his work down low on the power play, accounting for 4 of his 13 goals.
But everything we hear about Wilson is how he needs to adjust — or more ominously, how he needs to be smarter — and that suggests a change is coming for his play. Can Wilson remain effective if he’s not finishing every check? There’s already some evidence to the contrary (and I bet Japers’ Rink has some thoughts on the matter in their review).
Finally, what will the league do to Wilson next season, what will Wilson do to himself, and what will he do to other players? Whether it’s through dirty hits or just plain powerful hits, he’s got a body count dating back at least to Visnovsky. I could only see that number staying put only through three scenarios: a massive change in the player’s style, a throw-the-book-at-him suspension, or the latter resulting in the former.
Oh god. Here we go.
preview for the normies pic.twitter.com/MYUkTiOI0J
— RMNB (@russianmachine) May 5, 2021
Can Wilson stay a valuable player without the big hits?
Read more: Japers Rink
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