Garnet Hathaway is not just lowkey one of the most valuable players in Washington; he’s one of the most overlooked players in the entire NHL.
|13.4||time on ice per game|
|51.6||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage|
|52.2||5-on-5 expected goal percentage|
|64.4||5-on-5 goal percentage|
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, 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.
Straight-up: No player saw the Capitals be more successful than Garnet Hathaway did. On the ice for 38 Washington goals and 21 opponent goals, Hathaway’s 64.4 goals-for percentage was the best among full-time Caps players. And sure, part of that success is due to goaltenders saving 94.7 percent during his shifts, but the possession metrics were very strong as well. Hathaway and his fourth line pals limited opponent high-danger chances better than any other Caps skaters (around 9 per hour) with their expected-goal rate following suit at around 2.2 per hour.
According to HockeyViz, opponents had 14 percentage points less offense against Hathaway than they did against the rest of the league. The big blue blob in front of the net at bottom means opponents couldn’t shoot much from that location when Hathaway was on the ice.
That’s what you hope for when your bottom line is on the ice, but Hathaway and his pals delivered a lot more. Hathaway hit a career high with 14 goals and 26 points. He was very tough when carrying the puck, as evidenced by his 31 drawn penalties (only Wilson drew more). But we all noticed that the fourth line’s defensive tenacity had a new downside this season. They were a little loose with restraining penalties, as Hathaway’s 26 minors led the team (with Dowd not far behind at 21). Had they not also been integral parts of an elite penalty-kill unit, that discipline problem would have been more costly.
But that’s all I have to kvetch about. Hathaway’s like the platonic ideal of a grinder: physical, dependable, and adds scoring in a pinch. He’ll earn $1.5 million next year, the last of his current deal, and then I hope the Caps can find room for him to return. Either that, or I hope he gets well compensated somewhere far away. Like St Louis or somewhere.
What would you like to see Hathaway change in his game next year? More scoring, fewer penalties? Also, do you think Ian is over the spitting incident yet?
Read more: Japers Rink
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