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Carbomb in on St. Patrick’s Day? How Appropriate

By Melissa Peterson
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Carbombs are quite a popular drink to see on St. Patrick’s Day, but who among us thought we might see one on Blackhawk ice St. Patrick’s Day?

It all started with a Tweet.

We had all sort of been predicting this might happen after Joakim Nordstrom‘s two game suspension for boarding Arizona Coyotes player Oliver Ekman-Larsson. But we went into the San Jose Sharks game on Saturday without him in the roster. In fact, we haven’t seen Daniel Carcillo play since the March 8th game against the New York Rangers.

So what changed?

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We’ve been facing a bit of a goal drought from some players this season. Earlier it seemed like Marian Hossa was waiting to see all the work he put in pay off in goals, which it did, and then we started noticing Patrick Sharp experiencing the same issues, amongst other players (see list below).

The severity of this was, for some part, covered up by the incredible scoring prowess of one, recently injured, Patrick Kane. But, alas, nothing gold can stay. His 1.3 Goals per 60, 1.8 Assists per 60 and 3.1 Points per 60 rate had to be accounted for to continue winning.

So who was going to step up? 

GOAL DROUGHTS AS OF MARCH 12TH (Date last goal before 3/12 in parenthesis)

By the end of the SJS game on March 14th, seven of those players were taken off that list (Richards, Sharp, Shaw, Saad, Hossa, Bickell and Keith).

So why Carcillo?

Well, he’s played 38 games this season with about 8.2 minutes of TOI per game. He’s had four goals and four assists, averaging about 0.8 Goals per 60 and 0.8 Assists per 60. He’s had a shooting percentage of 9.5% with a CF% of 48.8.

In comparison, Versteeg has played 48 games this season with about 16 minutes of TOI per game. He’s had 13 goals and 18 assists, averaging about 1 Goal per 60 and 1.4 Assists per 60. He’s had a shooting percentage of 12.5% with a CF% of 58.1%.

Now, to really compare these two, it’s important to examine the Patrick Kane Effect (The boost to Versteeg’s stats we would naturally see from playing with the likes of Patrick Kane in comparison to the fourth-liners Carcillo typically plays with). So what’s Versteeg outside of Kane? Let’s see his CF% with and without him.

Data courtesy Puckalytics; Charts compiled by Melissa Peterson

But then the question becomes, who is Versteeg playing with when he isn’t with Kane? I compiled the percentage of time Chicago Blackhawks’ forwards spent with Versteeg (See Table below under Resources). Versteeg spent a lot of his season on the second line sandwiched between Kane and Richards, but recently he’s been moved up to the first line to play with Hossa and Toews to let Teravainen play second with Vermette and Saad while Richards centers the third line. Since the first line is a high production line as well, it’s not that helpful to see what he’s done on that line, but I included a Toews-Versteeg WOWY under Resources as well in case you’re interested.

From his usage and deployment on the first and second lines, we can tell that Versteeg is probably more capable than Carcillo overall, but what about with that specific line-pairing of Bickell and Richards? Since Versteeg spent most of his time on the second line with Richards and Kane, the easiest WOWY to look at is what each of these players accomplishes with Bryan Bickell.

Data courtesy Puckalytics; Charts compiled by Melissa Peterson

From this you can see that, overall, Carcillo has proved to be more productive from a Corsi For standpoint with Bickell than Versteeg. Whether you agree with the original move of sliding Sharp in for Versteeg on the first line, it seems the most effective third linesmen paired with Bryan Bickell may be Daniel Carcillo. Of course, Vertseeg has better numbers with Richards (55.2% CF together, both at 53.2% apart) than Carcillo does (35.0% CF together, Richards at 54.5% and Carcillo at 50.3% apart), but again it’s hard to separate the Versteeg-Richards results from their stint with Patrick Kane.

Of course there are extraneous factors here, like if Carcillo will be able to cover more than his eight minute average (someone will have to be double-shifted in his place if not; the double-shifter was previously Patrick Kane), and if he can stay out of trouble. He does have one thing going for him, and that’s that he scored a goal against the Islanders on December 13th. Is sending Versteeg a message about productivity important enough at this stage to bench him?

Whether we’re going to see him dressed or not has yet to be seen, of course. Only tomorrow’s line-ups will tell.


Resources

Players’ TOI with forward Kris Versteeg Data courtesy Puckalytics; Charts compiled by Melissa Peterson

  • Corsi: For those that are unsure of what Corsi even is, it is measured as Corsi For and Corsi Against (CA). Corsi is the total number of on-ice shot attempts (on goal, missed, or blocked) taken during a game/series/season. Corsi For is the amount of the total Corsi taken by one team or player on said team. Corsi Against is the amount of the total Corsi taken against one team or player on said team.
  • CA% : Corsi Against Percentage (of total) What this means is they’ve totaled up the Corsi Events that took place for both teams, and divided the individual team’s total by that number and multiplied it by 100 to get a percentage.
  • CP60 : Corsi Per 60. What this means is they’ve totaled up the Corsi events that took place for both teams and divided it by 60 to get an average Corsi Events per 60 minutes.
  • G+/- : Goal Differential. The total number of Goals For (GF) minus the total number of Goals Against (GA). If it is a positive number, the team is outscoring their opponents.
  • FO%: The percentage of Face-offs won.
  • OFOn%: On-Ice Unblocked Shot Attempts on Goal
  • OSh%: On-Ice Shooting percentage
  • OSv%: On-Ice Save percentage
  • PDO: On-Ice Save percentage + On-Ice Shooting percentage
  • ZSO%: The amount of Offensive Zone starts. The larger the number, the more often a team starts (with a Face-off) in their Offensive Zone

Sources

Stats and charts courtesy of war-on-ice.com and puckalytics.com

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