In 2022-23, Trevor van Riemsdyk rose from being Washington’s seventh defender to – for a minute there – a top-pairing guy.
|19.1||time on ice per game|
|51.1||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage|
|52.4||5-on-5 expected goal percentage|
|+7||5-on-5 goal differential|
For on-ice percentages, 50 percent means even: both teams possess the puck evenly. Higher is better, lower is worse.
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows how the player has impacted play when on the ice. At the top of the image is the team’s offense (even strength at left, power play at right) and at bottom is the team’s defense (with penalty kill at bottom right). In each case, red/orange blobs mean teams shoot for more from that location on the ice, and blue/purple means less. In general, a good player should have red/orange blobs near the opponent’s net at top, and blue/purple bobs near their own team’s net at bottom. The distributions in middle show how the player compares to league average at individual finishing, setting up teammates to score, and taking and drawing penalties.
About this player card: This image from Evolving Hockey shows an overview of the player across different parts of their game. At top right are the players percentile rank (1 is worst; 100 best), overall and on offense and defense separately. Higher numbers are in blue. Below are the player’s contributions in different compartments of the game using the goals-above-replacement or GAR metric. Higher numbers (again in blue) mean the player adds value compared to an average AHL call-up player.
About this player card: This image from All Three Zones shows how the player compares to league averages in different microstats, especially ones regarding entering and entering zones. Blue bars mean the player has a higher rate of the statistic compared to league average, and orange means a lower rate. The numbers are Z-scores, also known as standard deviations, indicating how far the number is from league average, where two standard deviations means the player is on the extreme edge of the league.
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.
The Bad Year Tax did not come for TVR. A guy who was an extra defender just two years earlier became a mainstay for the 2022-23 Capitals, and he filled the role marvelously. He played more per game than at any time since he was 24. He was the team’s only defender not to be underwater in shot attempts (50.6 percent) after the trade deadline. The only Capital with a better five-on-five on-ice goal differential was Erik Gustafsson, who didn’t have to play those last two miserable months.
I’d imagine coaches love this guy. He’s a conservative but hard-working player in the defensive zone – maybe not great at fending off zone entries, but effective at keeping chances to the outside – at least on his (non-Gustafsson) side of the ice.
All of that suggests to me that van Riemsdyk could play a more defensive role in the future, especially if paired with a similarly stout partner. With the Capitals looking very thin on their blue line next season, I think we’ll see TVR busy once again.
Obviously the top pairing was the result of injuries and the cursed season, so where do we see TVR in the lineup long-term? Better than bottom pair, right?
This article would not be possible without HockeyViz, Evolving Hockey, Natural Stat Trick, and All Three Zones. Please consider joining us in supporting them. For people interested in learning more from those resources, we recently published video walkthroughs.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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