- Doing some serious sport multitasking today, losing one of my fantasy football playoff matchups pretty badly but winning the other one (losing in 8-tm league, winning in 12-tm so…higher profit margin there! lol)
- Minnesota visiting Anaheim in a couple days, I’ll get to see my only in-person game of the year. Good times! Going to try to get my gf hooked on the NHL too so if you have any tips, please let me know
- Unlucky zone exit, a quick pass that looked like it would give them a nice transition deflected off Pommer’s heel and right to a Shark stick
- Harding has already surpassed his career high in wins? I suppose I should have known that but still. Damn Read on…
Posts Tagged ‘minnesota wild’
Tags: minnesota wild, nhl, san jose sharks, wild game notes
Tags: kyle brodziak, minnesota wild, nhl
You don’t need me to tell you that Kyle Brodziak hasn’t been setting the world on fire lately–in fact, there was talk about him needing to have a “bounce back” year after last year’s 12 point campaign…and his 8 points in 29 games so far this year are not the bounce we had in mind. Understandably, many Wild fans are very frustrated with Brodziak’s lack of offensive production–and I am too, naturally. It’s no secret that Brodziak is one of my favorite players, and I’m not going to be able to make a case that he’s actually playing well, or that he’s about to break out. But I wanted to look at his underlying numbers, and while Brodzy has never been an elite offensive weapon (career high 22 goals in 2011-12 and that was when he was bumped up to the top-six due to a Mikko Koivu injury,) I think what people aren’t really realizing is just how his role has shifted and how difficult his assignments have been. Like I said, you don’t need advanced stats to tell you he has been lackluster, but here’s a chart showing his cumulative Corsi rating this year:
We can see that during the first dozen or so games when the Wild were putting up ungodly possession numbers, Brodziak was right there with them, but then as the team started to regress toward normal (but still above average) team numbers, KB’s individual numbers took a particularly tough hit. Over the last handful of games, his numbers have been moving up but he’s still definitely not driving possession. A main reason for this is that he is being relied on very heavily in the defensive zone, and is asked to handle the opponent’s top players. Check out his usage over the last three seasons:
What you’ll notice is that Brodziak is in the upper-left quadrant for each of the last three years, meaning he’s getting a ton of defensive zone starts and playing against tough, tough competition. From this perspective, perhaps it’s a wonder that he scored (22+22=44) two years ago. Another thing that Brodziak doesn’t get enough credit for, in my opinion, is the tremendous amount of time he spends on the penalty kill. This season, he is fifth in the league among forwards in terms of the percentage of the team’s PK time at 49.8%. Last year, he was 18th in the league at 40.8%, so we can see that he is shouldering a ton more shorthanded time even compared to last season.
My theory on Brodziak’s declining production is that because Mike Yeo is asking him to take on more of a defensive responsibility, at even-strength and particularly on the penalty kill, his mentality is more of a defensive, shut down game instead of an offensive…or even really two-way game. Surprisingly, Brodziak is a career 10.4% shooter, so given the opportunity he can put the biscuit in the basket. He also has good anticipation, and in the past one of my favorite parts of his game is watching him pick off passes in the neutral zone and turn them into scoring opportunities. (Cal Clutterbuck was and is also great at this, so splitting them up might have something to do with the dropoff.) But in thinking about his role this year, he’s probably not waiting around in the NZ to pick off passes–rather, he’s already getting into good defensive position and is backing off those interception opportunities. I wish I had some game film or examples, but right now it’s more of a hunch.
One last stat: Brodziak has just a 37.2% OZ start percentage, and last year it was 37.1% (excluding NZ faceoffs.) However, he is finishing an even 50% of his shifts in the offensive zone, and last year it was just over 44%. These numbers are hard to interpret, but what I’m trying to show is that while he is getting a massive defensive assignment, he is still getting the puck up ice. That said, his corsi numbers and his lousy goal production sort of overrule these last numbers.
I really think that with the additions of Parise and Pominville, plus the development of Coyle, Granlund, Niederreiter, etc., Brodziak is just being asked to play a much different role on the team than he has in previous seasons. If you look at his contract and his AAV hit compared to his goals, it’s not pretty. But I feel his value to the team is his PK specialty and his ability to handle tough assignments. What do you think? Post a comment and let me know whether you think his salary is justified. And, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, @Hashtag_Hockey
Tags: minnesota wild, nhl, philadelphia flyers, wild game notes
Sort of a stream of consciousness for tonight’s well-played but a bit of a snoozer game…
- Konopka and Rupp both in the lineup, NBSCN broadcasters call it the “Nuclear Option.” Come on fellas
- Forecheck seems to be working for the Wild in the early part of this period. They’re also dumping it in a bit more, I don’t mind seeing this every now and again…obviously if you carry in every time you’re just as predictable as if you dump in every time
- Flyers letting the Wild make a lot of stretch passes, centering passes, etc. But I’ve seen too many games this year where despite getting a ton of shots and chances, the goals don’t follow
- The fans are awake and making noise early in the game after some real physical play. Hey, thanks for coming out!
- Haula is looking confident in this game so far Read on…
Tags: colorado avalanche, minnesota wild, nhl, wild game notes
Sort of a stream of consciousness for tonight’s divisional shootout loss
- Missed a couple of games recently due to Thanksgiving, I’ll get back in the saddle this week
- We decorated our tree this week. Teams represented on the tree: Wild, Packers, Twins, LA Kings (ornaments on clearance at Big Lots nearby). No Vikings, for some reason…some reason…
- I know I’m late on this but damn is it good to see Parise. 2-4 weeks? “lulz nope”
- Hope he’s not risking more damage by playing on it now…it isn’t even December after all, but presumably the team doctors know what they’re doing
- Brodin is number 17 in the LEAGUE in ice time. Wow Read on…
Tags: advanced stats, damned lies and statistics, jason pominville, mikael granlund, minnesota wild, nhl, nino niederreiter
The thing about ‘advanced’ stats in hockey is that they’re not really intended to be all that advanced…but compared to the crappy normal stats like +/- they are miles ahead. A lot of stats that look at usage–zone starts and quality of competition–are designed to illustrate a player’s deployment to provide context to his goal production. And the granddaddy of all fancy stats, Corsi, is not really that complicated once you wrap your head around it. The object of the game is to score goals and prevent them from being scored against your team, and since goals come from shots, the Corsi stats are intended to be simply a richer tool for analysis. So, when you think of a “good” hockey player, the tools and skills he owns should lead him to be a good possession player. Things like skating ability, hand-eye coordination, vision, anticipation, etc., these are the building blocks that make up a quality hockey player. Of course, those things don’t always come through in Corsi stats, and today I wanted to do sort of a case study on a Minnesota Wild player who is still very young, and seems to be developing nicely but is still a “bad possession player” by the numbers: Mikael Granlund. Read on…
Tags: minnesota wild, nhl, st louis blues, wild game notes
- Stayed a little bit late at work…got home and saw a 0-2 deficit. Ouch.
- Minnesota crushed 12-4 in shots in period one, 14-4 in faceoffs. OUCH!
- Spurgeon draws an interference penalty. After writing the same note for the last couple of games, must resist the cookie cutter “Gee ya know Spurge doesn’t take a lot of penalties…”
- Wild can’t get any sustained pressure. They’re pinned into their own end for much of the time and when they do get out they’re doing one shot and done
- Announcer quoting one of the Blues, “We play well against teams that are predictable.” Wild must be super predictable tonight… Read on…
Tags: minnesota wild, nhl. minnesota wild podcast, rob vollman
Tags: minnesota wild, nhl, wild game notes, winnipeg jets
- Harding exited during wamups, Backstrom in for the start. Wild fans and fantasy owners holding our collective breath
- And now Suter gets upended by Setoguchi in the first minute of the game. SETO WHYYYYY
- Oh, also no Granlund for today’s game…I didn’t hear why he’s out. Hopefully not related to the Kadri hit
- Good long pass by Stoner to Brodziak, a two-line pass and Brodzy makes a nice pass to Cooke on the wing for the zone entry. Zone exit to zone entry in two quick passes–this is Minnesota Wild hockey!
- Dumba not afraid to take a good wrist shot on the rush. The coaches appear to have given him the green light to pull the trigger Read on…
Tags: minnesota wild, nhl, ottawa senators, wild game notes
- I dig the guy in the uniform singing the anthems, feels more patriotic. I’m a sucker for that stuff
- “You’re gonna hear two different Boo’s here tonight, one for Heatley and then another, louder one for Cooke.”
- Heatley scored 180 goals in four seasons as a Senator…that’s 45 goals a game for four seasons and they boo him now. You’ve got to be extra dickish to get that
- Jason Zucker gets a scoring chance with a rebound AND he draws a penalty. I feel like that type of stuff will get you more time with the big club
- That was such an amazing pass by Macarthur…through his legs and behind him. Wow Read on…
Tags: minnesota wild, montreal canadiens, nhl, wild game notes
- Fairly slow pace of play in the early minutes. Montreal appears to be trying to slow down Minnesota, but they aren’t letting them get much OZ time either.
- Granlund throws a nice hit on the forecheck. I’ve written a bunch of times but it’s just great to see him playing a physical game…I should try to get some new material
- Wild get a 4-on-2 and still can’t get a shot on goal. Harumph
- Harding is going to end up seeing more shots in the first period of this game than in some of his recent entire games
- I’ve been watching Scandella more and more, and he definitely wants to be more of a puck mover. He really seems to be taking a step forward this year offensively
- Niederreiter and Spurgeon both hit Pacioretty hard in the span of a couple minutes. Spurgeon doesn’t take a lot of penalties, that was uncharacteristic of him to just take a guy out from behind Read on…