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Pre-Season Production: Fantastic Forwards

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A continued foray into who did or did not perform up to expectations during the 2014-15 Training Camp.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins have finished up all of their exhibition games and are finishing up Training Camp with team building exercises in the Poconos. Yesterday we looked at how they performed at the team level, so today we will dig a little deeper and see how individual players fared.

The Pens currently have 17 forwards on their Training Camp roster, so there are still a couple more moves that need to be made over the weekend. We know that Bennett is injured and should begin the season on LTIR, but as of yet we are still uncertain about Malkin. The team has said they plan to carry just 21 active players on the opening night roster, so we can expect another 2 to 4 players to get cut from amongst the forward options.

Player Usage

Before we get bogged down in production we should take a look at how they were used during their games. There were 28 different forwards that played at some point during the pre-season, so let's start by looking at their 5-on-5 TOI per game.

The highest 5-on-5 TOI was skewed due to playing single games, as Payerl 14.7 and Kostopoulos 13.8 led the way. However, after that we see a solid assortment of Top 9 options: Sutter 13.5, Bennett 13.3, Crosby 13.2, Hornqvist and Kunitz 12.9, Downie 12.7, and then Spaling, Dupuis, and Kapanen 12.5. Next we have single use Rust at 12.4, followed by Bottom 6 Goc 12.0, Comeau 11.9, and Sundqvist 10.8. Finally we finish off with an assortment of one hit wonders and 4th line grinders: Zlobin 10.7, Adams 10.5, Carcillo 10.4, Ebbett and Kuhnhackl 10.1, Sill 9.5, Megna 9.1, Uher 8.3, Wilson and Farnham 7.9, Archibald 6.7, Leblond 6.6, and Dea 6.4.

The other thing we can examine is Zone Starts, so we have a bubble chart featuring O-Zone percent on the X-axis, D-Zone percent on the Y-axis, and ZS% for the bubble size, all represented as relative values. White bubbles represent negative values, and players whose names are in red have already been cut.

I centered the chart to focus on those player who are still on the roster, but added arrows pointing out the general direction where the cut players would appear had that not been so far off the chart. Players in the bottom right quadrant are the most sheltered, as they saw both more O-zone time and less D-zone time than their teamates. Players in the top left quadrant were used as stay at home shutdown options, seeing more D-zone time and less O-zone time than their teammates. Players in the top right quadrant are two-way players that see significant time in both zones. Then lastly players in the bottom left quadrant are somewhat sheltered, they tend to either get less O-zone time because they are less effective scorers, or less D-zone time because they are less effective defenders.

Goal Scoring

There was not enough 5-on-5 scoring to really read too much into, so we have very few forwards that were involved in point production.

At 5-on-5 Sundqvist led the way with 2 Goals, while Bennett, Comeau, and Ebbett had 1 each. Expanding this by adding in Assists we see Sundqvist leads the way with 3 Points, followed by Comeau and Spaling at 2, and then Bennett, Ebbett, Sutter, and Adams with 1 each.

On-ice Goals For then we have Sundqvist and Spaling leading the way with 3 GF, then Comeau with 2, and finally Bennett, Ebbett, Sutter, Adams, Kapanen, Goc, and Zlobin with 1 each.

On-ice Goals Against the ones that allowed the most were Sundqvist and Downie with 2 GA, then Comeau, Sutter, Adams, Goc, Hornqvist, Rust, Carcillo, and Kuhnhackl allowed 1 each.

Fenwick

First we have a bubble chart with Fenwick For per 20 on the X-axis, Fenwick Against per 20 on the Y-axis, and bubbles based on FF%, once again all represented by relative values.

Just like we had above with Zone Starts, white bubble represent negative values and red names are players that have already been cut. The chart is centered on those that are still on the roster, with arrows pointing out where cut players would be somewhere off the chart. Players in the bottom right quadrant were the most effective, shooting more often and allowing the opponent less chances. Players in the top left quadrant were the least effective, not only did they not generate much of their own but they also got peppered by shots from the opponent. Then the top right quadrant was more effective offensively whereas the bottom left quadrant was more effective defensively.

Next we have a chart examining individual player contributions to their team's possession numbers. The X-axis is unblocked shot attempts per 20, the Y-axis is the percentage of the on-ice Fenwick events that came from the player's own stick, and the size of the bubbles are the on-ice FF20 relative to league median.

The axes cross at the league wide median for all skaters, with an additional set of blue axes representing the median for forwards and a set of red axes representing the median for defensemen. Players further up and higher right are more likely to be driving possession while they are on the ice, whereas those towards the lower left are more likely to be passengers that rely on their linemates production.

Corsi

The bubble charts here are the same setup as we had for Fenwick, with CF20 on the X-axis, CA20 on the Y-axis, and CF% for the bubble size, all using relative values.

Once again we see the same thing, white bubble represent negative values and red names are players that have already been cut. The chart is centered on those that are still on the roster, with arrows pointing out where cut players would be somewhere off the chart. Players in the bottom right quadrant were the most effective, shooting more often and allowing the opponent less chances. Players in the top left quadrant were the least effective, not only did they not generate much of their own but they also got peppered by shots from the opponent. Then the top right quadrant was more effective offensively whereas the bottom left quadrant was more effective defensively.

Then we do the same thing to look at individual player contributions to their team's possession numbers. The X-axis is shot attempts per 20, the Y-axis is the percentage of the on-ice Corsi events that came from the player's own stick, and the size of the bubbles are the on-ice CF20 relative to league median.

The axes cross at the league wide median for all skaters, with an additional set of blue axes representing the median for forwards and a set of red axes representing the median for defensemen. Players further up and higher right are more likely to be driving possession while they are on the ice, whereas those towards the lower left are more likely to be passengers that rely on their linemates production.