You may have heard the acronym WOWY used on Lighthouse Hockey and thought, "What the heck does that stand for?"
WOWY means "with or without you". It is typically used to compare how a team performs when Player A is on the ice with and without Player B. (And with/without Player C, and with/without player D, etc.)
Often WOWY refers to a team's corsi stats, as the three charts in this post do. However, these charts also include zone-start WOWYs as reference.
Corsi is the number of total shots (includes blocked shots and misses) that a team attempts. It is recorded as an "on-ice" statistic. So if the opponent attempts a shot while Player A is on the ice, that counts against him. If Player A's team attempts a shot when he is on the ice, it counts for him.
(Note: all of this data is from stats.hockeyanalysis.com, except 5v5 TOI per-60, which is from behindthenet.com.... All of the data pertains to 5v5 hockey.)
The Y-axis on this first chart is a measurement of corsi percentage WOWY, subtracting the "without" corsi% from the "with" corsi%.
The "with" stat is pretty straight-forward: it is corsi% with each forward weighted by TOI with each particular forward.... So if we pretend that Forward A spent the following TOI with each forward:
300 minutes with Forward B at 60% corsi
200 minutes with Forward C at 50% corsi
100 minutes with Forward D at 40% corsi
That would average to above 50% (53.3%, to be specific), since the 60% counts three times as much as the 40%.
The "without" stat is determined by averaging the without corsi% of each forward linemate, weighting it for time-on-ice together. (So if Forward A is on the ice with Forward B for 200 minutes and the total of Forward A with each of the other forwards is 800 minutes, then it accounts for 20% of the "without" stat.... An exception is if linemates spend more time together than apart. In that case the "without" TOI for "Player B" is used, so the sample size effectively shrinks for Player A. This applies mostly to Cizikas, Martin, and Clutterbuck, since they spent most of their ice time together.)
The X-axis is a WOWY for zone-starts. So zone-starts "with" minus zone-starts "without", again weighted by time on ice together. This largely aligns to simple zone-starts stats, but since Y-axis is WOWYs for Corsi%, it is better context to use WOWYs for zone-starts. For instance, Cizikas had 46% zone-starts this past season. Yet Cizikas's linemates were buried even more for zone-starts without him (largely Martin/Clutterbuck). So in relation to his linemates, Cizikas actually received slightly favorable zone-starts. In this way, using WOWYs for zone-starts is comparing apples to apples.
Color of bubbles is time-on-ice per-60 of 5v5. So Tavares played the most, followed by Okposo, then Bailey, then Kulemin, at 5v5. The size of bubbles is samples size for each forward. Grabner, Cizikas, and Martin have smaller sample sizes, so we should be more skeptical about their positions on the charts.... Along with color of bubble, also consider that Kulemin played the most 4v5 minutes, followed by Nielsen, Clutterbuck, Cizikas, and Nelson. Kulemin played nearly 2 minutes per game of 4v5 PK on top of plenty of 5v5 time, which probably makes his work-load closer to Tavares than it was to most players in blue.
Grabovski is the star of the first chart. Despite facing significantly less favorable zone-starts than his linemates did without him, he had better corsi% than his linemates did without him.
55.8 Corsi % With Grabovski
51.7 Corsi % Without Grabovski
45.5 Zone-starts % With Grabovski
53.1 Zone-starts % Without Grabovski
For Grabo, let's break it down by player, for those with 50+ minutes together:
55% with Grabo (43% Zone-starts), 50% without Grabo (51% Zone-starts)
57 (46), 51 (50)
49 (46), 54 (68)
58 (46), 52 (49)
58 (53), 53 (42)
56 (53), 54 (70)
59 (41), 51 (40)
So of Grabovski's seven most common forwards, every combination was great in terms of corsi, except Grabo+Bailey.
Speaking of Bailey, why is he in the bottom right? The simplest reason is that Grabovski, Nielsen, and Kulemin had good corsi stats together (on the 3rd/checking line, IIRC), while Bailey didn't do very well with each of the three, in terms of possession:
48% with Bailey (45% Zone-starts), 53% without Bailey (48% Zone-starts)
49 (46), 58 (44)
46 (53), 53 (49)
Bailey's numbers were better with more attack-oriented forwards, such as Tavares, Lee, and Strome. Also, you'll see on the following two charts that Bailey struggled more in corsi-against than corsi-for.... And in a later post you'll see he did better in goals% than corsi%. Bailey is by no means a corsi king, but his spot on this chart appears more alarming than it actually is.
Another thing to keep in mind: these charts compare Islanders forwards to one another. If I were to put together charts for the best possession teams in the NHL and the worst, the average would be near zero for each team (theoretically zero, if the 14th/15th/16th forwards were included for each team) for both the X-axis and Y-axis. Bailey is arguably in the worst spot of regular NYI forwards, but NYI forwards did well in corsi in general.
Tavares is in a good spot. He was given heavy offensive zone starts, but Isles did dominate possession with Tavares on the ice while he led NYI forwards in average ice-time at 5v5. (In fact, he led all NHL forwards, while Okposo finished 12th and Bailey 40th.)
Grabner's not in a good spot, but he did great with Nelson and Kulemin (3rd/checking line), while he struggled with top-6 forwards, according to the data. Too small a sample size to conclude much from it, though.
Martin's numbers are also SSS. Martin's spot is secured largely because Cizikas struggled away from Martin (45%) and together (often with Clutterbuck) Martin+Cizikas was a solid 52%.... So some form of chemistry likely plays a part.
This chart is the offensive half of the equation. Here Bailey looks fine. Strome, Grabovski, and Tavares each look strong, with Lee looking good as well. Cizikas and Martin struggled the most, followed by Kulemin.
Lower left is actually best for this chart, because this is corsi-against. (So lower number means less shot attempts against.)
The 4th line was great at limiting shot attempts (particularly Martin) while Grabovski was too. Kulemin and Nelson did well, considering their TOI at 5v5 and 4v5. (And 5v4, for Nelson.)
Grabner and Bailey struggled while Strome, Lee, and Tavares were each a bit subpar in this stat, considering their zone-starts. (But considering the offense that Strome, Lee, and Tavares provided, it isn't at all worrisome.)
Do these charts mean that Grabovski was the best 5v5 forward for the Islanders this past season? Not necessarily. His scoring rates were around average while he didn't take on as much responsibility as some of the other forwards, such as Tavares, who played more at 5v5, always centered his line, and was typically the main focus of opponents. But the charts do indicate that Isles were significantly better at controlling possession with Grabovski on the ice than off.