Unconventional Wisdom - 2013-14 Hockey Analysis Rating Offense

Justin K. Aller

Last week we checked out the team's Point Shares through one month of play, so this week we will see how they have been stacking up based on their Hockey Analysis Rating Offense.

Last week we took a look at the Point Shares for the 2013-14 Pittsburgh Penguins since our other fancystats were not up to date. However, since David Johnson returned from vacation his site is back up to date and we can now take a look at the Hockey Analysis Rating through the first 18 games of the season. We originally took a look at the past 3 seasons and attempted to explain HARO back in our Unconventional Wisdom Part 3, so feel free to refresh your memory if need be.

This time we will look at not just the standard Goals based HARO, but also the possession based Fenwick and Corsi versions. It is worth noting that since the formulae that calculates this stats has TOI factored into it, there is a distinct bias towards small sample sizes, which is one reason I chose not to use the usual Close data because there is simply not enough available this early in the season. Even using standard 5-on-5 there are 4 forwards who played less than 50 minutes, so their numbers may be a bit skewed by sample size and they do not have Corsi-based metrics available. So for Neal, D`Agostini, Conner, and Zolnierczyk make sure you take the results with a grain of salt.

Goals-based Hockey Analysis Rating Offense

The top forwards unsurprisingly have been our 1st line, Kunitz and Crosby with Dupuis slightly below. What is surprising, however, is that the only other forwards with positive HARO are Megna and Bennett, and even they may be somewhat skewed by sample size as they each played in less than half the games so far this season. That is really indicative of the Pens offensive struggles so far this season, relying primarily on the top line to provide offense and struggling to score when the opposing team succeeds in shutting them down.

The next highest and barely in the negatives is Vitale, with a step down to Kobasew, and then another leap to Adams. After him comes Glass and then Jokinen and Malkin tied. Then we have Sutter and Jeffrey, and way down at rock bottom we have the 4 forwards with under 50 minutes of 5-on-5 TOI who have provided absolutely no offensive output in their limited exposure.

On D, oddly enough it is Scuderi that leads the way, with Niskanen not far behind. Orpik is the only other D in the positive range, and he is just barely over. Again this is pretty indicative of the team's recent offensive struggles as they haven't played as well since the Scuderi-Niskanen combo was broken up. Leading the way for the negative D is Martin, then Bortuzzo and Maatta. Way at the far end below even all but the last 4 Forwards are Engelland and then Letang. Hopefully that is mostly a sample size issue, but Letang's struggles this season have been quite troubling.

Fenwick-based Hockey Analysis Rating Offense

Of course that is just Goals, which we already know are strongly influenced by small sample sizes, so perhaps the possession-based metrics will be more promising. Leading the way in FHARO is D`Agostini, followed by Crosby, and then a little ways down we have Kunitz and Dupuis. A bit further down we find Bennett, and then Jokinen, and Megna, and just barely into the positives is Vitale. This is more promising than the Goals-based metric, as we see a number of the various 2nd line wingers appear to be getting chances and making shots even if they haven't quite done as well at finding the back of the net as we would like.

On the negative end of the spectrum we have Neal, followed by Adams and Malkin, and then Kobasew. After them is Jeffrey, then Glass and Zolnierczyk, then Sutter, and way at the end is Conner. Neal we can chalk up to sample size, as we should expect him to improve as he plays more often, although Malkin's struggles so far this season are a bit troubling. Sutter, if we look at the 3rd line as a new scoring line and expect something close to the production that Staal brought to the team, his massively negative possession is quite troubling. However, if he were to be utilized in his role as a Check line Center, responsible for shutting down the opponents' top lines, then it wouldn't be particularly troubling. We'll have to keep an eye on him as the season progresses.

On D the most surprising result so far is that Bortuzzo leads the way when it comes to controlling possession, and almost equally as surprising is that Scuderi is not far behind. After them we have Niskanen, and then a little further down Maatta. The rest of the D are all negative, with Letang followed by Orpik, Engelland, and Martin. Again we see that Letang's early season struggles are a bit troubling as he is normally one of the top possession players on the entire team.

Corsi-based Hockey Analysis Rating Offense

Continuing on with our look at possession-based metrics, the top CHARO forward is Crosby, with Kunitz and then Dupuis a bit further down. After them comes Bennett, and then a steep drop off to Jokinen and then Megna. The rest of the team falls into the negative end of the spectrum and once again we see that the primary issue is that while the 1st line is continuing to be pretty dominant offensively there is very little offensive output beyond them, although our remaining 2nd line wingers do show some promise.

The negative side of the spectrum is led by Vitale, with Malkin and Kobasew a bit further down. Then we have Jeffrey and Adams and finally Glass and Sutter. For the most part those are players we expect to find on the low end, defensive forwards that are used to shut down the opponents' offense. Once again it appears to be Malkin who sticks out like a sore thumb as an underperforming Top 6 forward. And of course Sutter and to a lesser extent Kobasew, if we expect them to play a more offensive role as a 3rd scoring line their numbers would be considered quite troubling as well.

On D we have Scuderi leading the pack, with Niskanen not far behind. A little ways further down is Bortuzzo and then Maatta. The rest of the D are in the negatives, with Letang leading the way, followed by Orpik, with Martin and Engelland bringing up the rear. I'm still quite surprised by Bortuzzo's offensive acumen this season, he seems to have a number of chances where he steps on and chips in offensively. Although while he is generating chances he still doesn't really cash in and find the back of the net, but as a shutdown defensive D we can forgive him for that. Letang, on the other hand, he is expected to be leading the charge offensively and having one of the top possession numbers on the team, so once more we see that his early season struggles stand out on the stat sheet.

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