The John Carlson problem: a conversation with HockeyViz’s Micah Blake McCurdy
John Carlson has 605 career points. He’s a two-time all star. He has finished in the top five for Norris voting three times. He scored 20 points in Washington’s Stanley Cup run. He’s a very good player with a very distinguished career.
He’s also often the subject of criticism for his defense. He’s been on the ice for 17 opponent goals during five-on-five play, behind only his current partner, Erik Gustafsson. Among 157 NHL defenders with 240 minutes played, Carlson ranks 146th at limiting high-danger chances for the opponent. According to HockeyViz, opponents get 11 percentage points more offense when Carlson is on the ice compared to the league average.
For the conclusion of the twenty-games-in series, I spoke with Micah Blake McCurdy, creator of HockeyViz, about the mystery of offensive defenders, what makes Carlson so dangerous at both ends of the ice, and why his recent results may be falling short.
By Peter Hassett 4 months ago