FanPost

Islanders Regular Season Review via Analytics Part 3: The Defensive Pair of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

This is part 3 of a series of posts reviewing the Islanders' individual performances through Hockey Analytics - what some might call "Advanced Stats." If you missed it you should check out part 1, which talked about the Islanders Neutral Zone Play and can be found HERE. Part 2 was about Mark Streit and Brian Strait, and can be found HERE.

Next up: The ice pair of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald. The two played 85% of their even strength minutes together, so I'm going to talk about both of them together as it's hard to separate one's performance from the other.

Defenseman Games Played Corsi%
Relative Corsi/60 Zone-Start % Quality of Competition (Relative Corsi) EV Time On Ice Offensive Neutral Zone Unblocked Shots (Fenwick) Per 60 Defensive Neutral Zone Unblocked Shots (Fenwick) Per 60 Neutral Zone Fenwick %
Travis Hamonic
48 46.6% (T-6th)
-11.4 (7th)
45.9% (8th/Hardest)
+0.991 (2nd Hardest)
18.16 (2nd)
36.35
37.97
49.0%
Defenseman Games Played EV Goals/60
EV Shots/60PP Goals/60
PP Shots/60 EV Assists/60 PP Assists/60 EV Time On Ice/game PP TOI/game PK TOI/game EV Penalties Taken/60EV Penalties Drawn/60
Travis Hamonic
48 0.140 (3rd)
4.61 (2nd)
1.012 (1st)
9.11 (2nd)
0.279 (8th)
2.024 (3rd)
18.16 (2nd)
1.24 (4th)
2.59 (2nd)
0.6 0.3

Tables 1-2: Basic and Advanced Stats of Travis Hamonic
LEGEND:
Corsi/60: Shots +/- using ALL Shots - so the statistic is (Blocked+Missed+On Goal Shots) For - (Blocked+Missed+On Goal Shots) Against per 60 while a player is on the ice.
Relative Corsi/60: A Player's Corsi/60 MINUS the Team's Corsi/60 while he's not on the ice.
Zone-Start %:
The percentage of faceoffs you're on the ice that are in the offensive zone (not including neutral zone faceoffs)
Quality of Competition (Relative Corsi):
A measure of the skill of the average opposing player on the ice. (Basically it's the average Relative Corsi of the opposing players on the ice while this player was on the ice.)

Defenseman Games Played Corsi%
Relative Corsi/60 Zone-Start % Quality of Competition (Relative Corsi) EV Time On Ice Offensive Neutral Zone Unblocked Shots (Fenwick) Per 60 Defensive Neutral Zone Unblocked Shots (Fenwick) Per 60 Neutral Zone Fenwick %
Andrew MacDonald
48 46.6% (T-6th)
-10.8 (6th)
45.9% (Hardest)
1.005 (Hardest)
18.55 (1st)
36.41
37.92 49.2%
Defenseman Games Played EV Goals/60
EV Shots/60PP Goals/60
PP Shots/60 EV Assists/60 PP Assists/60 EV Time On Ice/game PP TOI/game PK TOI/game EV Penalties Taken/60EV Penalties Drawn/60
Andrew MacDonald
48 0.069 (5th*)
1.99 (7th)
0.834 (2nd)
7.51 (4th)
0.343 (3rd)
1.668 (4th)
18.55 (1st)
1.51 (3rd)
2.63 (1st)
0.5 0.3

Tables 3-4: Basic and Advanced Stats of Andrew MacDonald

Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald were relied upon to be the Islanders' shutdown pair last year. They faced the hardest competition of any D men and faced the most defensive zone faceoffs. Also they were used for the most time on ice. Meanwhile, the two were first in PK time on ice and still saw some power play time.

Here's the issue:

They didn't do a particularly good job limiting top opponents. In fact, Opponents had a better offensive performance against Hamonic and AMac than they did on average!

To use some #s:
Opponents against Travis Hamonic this year:
Fenwick % of 50.2 on average, against Hamonic managed a 51.2%
Averaged 13.556 Unblocked shot attempts per 20 minutes, against Hamonic managed 14.203

In other words, opponents of Hamonic (and Amac's #s are more or less the same) did better than they did normally! That's not what you want out of your shutdown pair! What the heck is going on here?

First: Hamonic-Amac both are losing the neutral zone battle by a good deal - opponents seem to be able to carry the puck in on these guys at will, more so than the other Isles' D Men. In other words, Isles' Opponents aren't being forced to dump the puck in against Hamonic and AMac, but carry it across the blue line a LOT.

Instead, Hamonic-AMac did post above average results in the defensive zone (and offensive zone). However, their D Zone excellence was not enough to compensate for their neutral zone failures. This, mind you, doesn't appear to be a one year thing - in the 11 games I tracked of 2011-2012, this pair also allowed a lot of carry ins by opponents.

Second, These #s get less bad when you look only at "close" situations - where the score is tied or within 1 in the first two periods. That said, the same is true of EVERY Isles D Man, and Hamonic-AMac still have the worst performance. Moreover, doing this is reducing an already small sample, which is something we don't like to do for individual players.

Third, The level of competition being tougher for Hamonic-AMac is not enough to explain these issues, nor are their zone-starts. Neither player really was buried defensively in the defensive zone, even if they got more d zone starts than other Isles D Men. Moreover, as noted above, not only did Hamonic-AMac do poorly overall, opponents performed better than they usually did against the pair. Quality of competition is not the answer here.

---------------

What we have here is a pair of D men who faced top competition and failed to contain them. Now this wasn't an every game thing - it seems like the D pair had a very up and down season, with the downs (games they failed to do their job) being more numerous than the ups (games they contained). Does this mean the pair isn't capable of handling this role in the future?

Well it's not clear. For one, this is Hamonic's first year like this....but it's NOT AMac's first year like this - AMac had some meh #s last year, while Hamonic's #s last year were decent (and better than AMac's for whatever reason) if not great. On the other hand, Hamonic's best possession #s came in his rookie year. That's not a good sign. Still, Hamonic is 22, with his peak ahead of him.

For me, this suggests that the Isles might want to try and alter this pairing. AMac is a UFA in a year, and while he's unlikely to be super pricey, this does suggest that he might not be a 1D for the future whom is a bargain, despite how the Isles are playing him. Perhaps flip AMac and Hickey? Hard to say.

This does deserve some heavy observation as the upcoming season goes forward, however.

<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>

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker