With the Rangers seemingly in cruise control heading as the season flipped to January, we have been taking the time to look at advanced metrics to determine who exactly is contributing and in what fashion. One of the overall metrics we use here, Points Versus Threshold (or PVT), has been unavailable because it is derived from Goals Versus Threshold (GVT), of which the numbers were not available until recently. Now that Hockey Prospectus has made the GVT numbers available, PVT is now available*. Just a note about the numbers: these do not include the Winter Classic or any January games.
*-Note to the HP and BTN guys: I can help you with getting these out regularly if you want. </shameless plug>
Looking at the defensive unit, which has been marred by injuries, there might be a bit of a surprise at who leads the way:
Key for the tables: GP=Games Played; OGVT=Offensive GVT; DGVT=Defensive GVT; SGVT=Shootout GVT; GVT=Overall GVT; PVT=Overall PVT
|1||Michael Del Zotto||36||3.6||4||0||7.6||2.5|
Yes folks, that is Michael Del Zotto ahead of both Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi for tops among the defensemen in PVT. Del Zotto has earned the Rangers 2.5 extra points in the standings. That is as much as both McDoangh and Girardi combined. That’s not to discount the top pairing, as they are critical to the success of the team by shutting down the opposition. It is more to play up how Del Zotto has done a complete 180 from last season.
Looking more into these numbers, don’t look too deep into Mike Sauer’s numbers. GVT and PVT are counting metrics, and since Sauer has only played 19 games, his number appears lower. When you average it out to the 36 games played, he has about a 1.1 PVT (3.3 GVT) and sits in the top three or four.
As for Steve Eminger, who sits in the bottom three with a 0.3 PVT, it shows how much he struggled early in the season. He played better as he received more minutes, but his PVT numbers suffer because of his horrendous start.
Looking at the PVT numbers, it’s easy to see why Jeff Woywitka was scratched for Marc Staal’s return, and not Stu Bickel. Bickel has the same PVT as Woywitka, but in almost 1/4 the games. That number says it all. Plus the youth and “jam” factor of course.
The forwards provide less of a surprise when it comes to the leaders, but fans of Mats Zuccarello should stop reading this post:
The top four shouldn’t really surprise anyone, as Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan, and Artem Anisimov have been the horses for the Rangers this year.
The first surprises come with Carl Hagelin and Brandon Dubinsky and numbers five and six, respectively. In just 18 games, Hagelin shot up the PVT chart, and if you average it out, would be right there with Gaborik and Stepan if he had played the full 36 games. As for Dubinsky, his defensive play puts him this high on the PVT chart. With his offense starting to come, he could rocket up this list as the season progresses.
As for the Rangers who appear to be struggling, Brad Richards and Brian Boyle are the glaring ones. Richards has been in a bit of a slump, thus his offensive GVT isn’t where it should be. What intrigues me is how his overall PVT is effected by about 0.3 because of his shootout GVT (SGVT). His SGVT of -1.0 (divide by 3 to get 0.3 for his adjusted PVT) detracts from his overall value. That said, he would only flip with Dubinsky on the list.
When it comes to Boyle, the lack of offense is really killing him. He also has one of the most difficult defensive assignments, which hinders his ability to score at the pace he was scoring last year. Over the course of the season, his defensive play alone will have earned the Rangers about a half a point in the standings. His offense needs to pick up, period.
The usual suspects for the Rangers are getting the job done, but there is finally some help coming from unlikely sources. Carl Hagelin and Michael Del Zotto are two of the biggest contributors, and they were expected to be afterthoughts for this season. Goes to show you what one year –or two months in Hagelin’s case– can do.