FanPost

Corsi WOWY, part 3: John Tavares' roller coaster rookie season

In case you missed it, I posted a little update in the comments of part 2. After finally having figured out all tools of Vic Ferrari's sites, I was able to deliver the exact numbers for the discussed line combinations. The conclusions remain the same, though, Bergenheim put up the most impressive numbers together with Nielsen and Hunter.

In this part 3 I'll try to get back from line combinations to individual players. I first wanted to include all the centers, but after having put something together about John Tavares, it's enough for now, I'd say. I'll be back with a summary about the rest of the centers - Rob Schremp Hockey, Bailey and Park that is, as I already looked at the brilliant numbers of Frans Nielsen in part 1, where you can also find what this is all about and how to read the tables, etc.

The centers are a very interesting topic for the Islanders right now. It's still not quite clear who of the young guys will turn out to fill what kind of role in the future. We saw a lot of them of course and more or less know what their roles were last season, but it might help to look at some numbers to get a better idea of how well they really did. Or in this part for example how bad JT exactly was during that big slump.

On the one hand, centers are easy to look at, as we pretty quickly know what some numbers mean. If you look at how certain wingers (e.g. Moulson) did without a certain center (JT), we can pretty easily tell that these numbers correspond to what Moulson did with Nielsen, as Moulson played almost exclusively with either of these two. But then again, some numbers are tough to interpret, as the centers naturally all fill different roles.

However, as we all know, JT had a bit of a roller coaster rookie season. Looking at the productive part at the beginning, the big slump in the middle and the good finish separately might be most telling in his case therefore. You can find the respective tables below, but let's first still look at his season totals. The table includes all wingers who had at least 100 Corsi events in total when on the ice together with JT. The entry at the bottom shows Tavares' overall numbers.

 

with Tavares

without Tavares

Corsi %

 

Total

Corsi %

Total

Corsi %

WOWY

Sim

116

0.474

1444

0.443

7.14%

Tambellini

103

0.427

585

0.412

3.69%

Bergenheim

239

0.498

1265

0.492

1.10%

Park

210

0.433

1741

0.430

0.73%

Bailey

268

0.481

1450

0.478

0.71%

Okposo

909

0.491

1180

0.511

-3.99%

Moulson

1222

0.494

867

0.516

-4.13%

Comeau

642

0.474

818

0.496

-4.60%

Hunter

211

0.493

1247

0.527

-6.45%

Tavares

2120

0.479

 

 

 

As mentioned, when looking at these numbers we always have to consider who the given players were on the ice against and in what kind of situations they were used. Tavares' role was about the same all season long. He centered the most offensive line, shown also by the fact that he had by far the most favourable zone start of the team. He had tough assignments, too, but also played a lot with the best wingers of the team. Overall, a team would normally certainly expect such a line to outshoot and outscore the opposition.

But as we can see in the left column, Tavares was unable to outshoot the opposition no matter who he was on the ice with. He was very close at least when on with the good wingers, but still, these are not very impressive numbers at all. And the right column shows that the best wingers of the team did better when on with other centers. Okposo, Moulson and Hunter actually outshot the opposition when on without Tavares despite in that time mostly playing against tougher competition (with Nielsen particularly) or starting more often in the own zone (with everyone, particularly Park and Nielsen) or being on a line with a worse 3rd forward (particularly combinations centered by Schremp, including perhaps Sim, Tambellini). The only two forwards who benefited from playing on a line with Tavares were Sim and Tambellini. But they didn't play a lot with him, anyway still struggled and mainly were better with Tavares because they were horrible in less offensive roles.

 

The promising start

I split up Tavares' season in three parts. The first one includes all games from opening night until the game against Boston on Dec 12th. His slump started after that with the game against Florida and despite some improvement in January lasted until the Olympic break - that's the 2nd part. All games after the Olympics are included in the 3rd part. Here are the numbers of the first part:

 

with Tavares

without Tavares

Corsi %

 

Total

Corsi %

Total

Corsi %

WOWY

Moulson

687

0.483

121

0.364

32.90%

Hunter

87

0.563

307

0.440

28.08%

Okposo

440

0.511

373

0.464

10.25%

Park

138

0.449

663

0.410

9.51%

Tavares

814

0.482

 

 

 

As it's a smaller time frame, I included Hunter, too, although he was on with Tavares for fewer than 100 Corsi events in total. JT was on most with Moulson and Okposo of course and they did quite well indeed. As said, we'd expect this line to outshoot the opposition given the situations they were used in. The numbers are nothing too particular therefore, but quite good anyway. Moulson-Tavares-Park seemed to struggle, though. I liked the idea of putting them together for some games back then, but it looks like it wasn't the best idea...

 

The big slump

Includes all games from Dec 14th against Florida until the Olympic break.

 

with Tavares

without Tavares

Corsi %

 

Total

Corsi %

Total

Corsi %

WOWY

Bailey

209

0.498

418

0.519

-4.15%

Hunter

77

0.519

644

0.567

-8.34%

Comeau

348

0.443

381

0.520

-14.85%

Okposo

349

0.447

454

0.553

-19.15%

Moulson

325

0.452

454

0.581

-22.22%

Tavares

750

0.459

 

 

 

That looks ugly. Again the best Corsi ratio with Hunter, but again a very small sample there. And everything else doesn't look good at all. I can't tell for sure, but in order to get JT going again, he probably was used in slightly easier situations even than early in the season and that makes the numbers look a bit worse even. They're particular poor, as his line mates all seemed to be in very good shape. They all put up some impressive numbers when playing with other centers. Even Comeau probably played some good hockey back then already, but was kind of prevented to break out just yet by JT.

 

The recovery

Includes all games after the Olympics.

 

with Tavares

without Tavares

Corsi %

 

Total

Corsi %

Total

Corsi %

WOWY

Moulson

210

0.595

292

0.476

25.04%

Comeau

251

0.530

149

0.436

21.46%

Okposo

120

0.542

353

0.507

6.82%

Tambellini

82

0.427

92

0.413

3.34%

Bergenheim

138

0.493

290

0.479

2.80%

Tavares

556

0.502

 

 

 

So, after hurting everyone's numbers during the big slump, JT recovered well down the stretch and every winger he spent considerable time with indeed benefited from playing together with JT. He spent some little time with Jackman, Sim, Hunter and Park, too, and didn't do very well with those. That's why his average suffered a bit, but the fact that Moulson-JT-Okposo were back working is surely a good sign. And although production might suggest otherwise, it actually looks like that line was better than Bergenheim-JT-Comeau.

Anyway, it was a good finish, but it also was what such a team would about expect from the top line. So, JT probably will need to bring that throughout the whole season next year. Because just from looking at these numbers you can tell how much that big slump of JT hurt this team. Actually, these numbers look pretty telling indeed. Obviously, we all knew JT had that big slump in the middle of the season, but these numbers just show what happens when someone isn't on his game. Or, even more so, we now know what it means when someone's Corsi ratio struggles. It means he's incredibly ineffective indeed.

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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