Blackhawks News

An Updated Look: Antoine Vermette

By Melissa Peterson
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We had previously taken a look at trade acquisition center, Antoine Vermette in this post. But what has he delivered on in the eight games he’s played with the Chicago Blackhawks?

The 32 year old center has played mostly on the second line for about 14 minutes per game and has a points per 60 production of 1.1 overall, which has enabled the Blackhawks to drop center Brad Richards down to the third line and 12.6 minutes per game since Vermette’s acquisition.

If you’re not familiar with some of these abbreviations or terms, the entirety is listed at the bottom under “Resources” with brief explanations for your convenience. All charts can be clicked on to enlarge. 

Corsi For per 60 | Charts individually courtesy of war-on-ice, layered by Melissa Peterson

Note: For the CF graph, it is better to be around or above the red line

What these charts shows is a per-60 rate for CHI total (All players including Vermette), CHI minus Vermette (Players’ Corsis when Vermette is not on the ice) and Vermette’s rates per 60, which means these are not the actual event rates, but what event rates would look like if he were on the ice all 60 minutes of a game at even-strength 5-on-5 play based on the time he did have on the ice’s rate of play at that strength.

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What does that mean? Well as his usage thus far has been significantly even-strength based, it’s best to evaluate him at that style of play. By being able to compare these with CHI’s 5-on-5 rates and his teammate’s without him’s 5-on-5 event rates, we can see if the rises and falls in Vermette’s game correspond with the rise and fall of CF event rates for the team overall, or are/are not capable of generating or suppressing those opportunities if his TOI were higher than his average 14 minutes per game.

We can see from the beginning part of the chart Vermette start to adjust to his linemates and CHI’s style of play. From there, he has been continually trending upward even when CHI has not always been. This suggests that Vermette is capable of driving possession overall.

Let’s look at how his time is divided up:

Please note, data after 15 March 2015 has not been made available thus far, so you are looking at Vermette’s first five games.

Raw time data courtesy Puckalytics | Table compiled by Melissa Peterson

We can take a look at how Vermette fairs with each of the other Chicago players by looking at WOWYs (With-or-Without-You’s):

Data courtesy Puckalytics | Charts compiled by Melissa Peterson

If you don’t really know what they are or what they’re used for, WOWYs are meant to examine if a player’s stats are enhanced by being on a line with another player, or if they might not be the best fit for the line they are on. Please keep in mind that these can be skewed by low TOI.

Ideally, a player will see the light green bar spike above what a player(s) is producing outside of that pairing. Johnny Oduya, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa all see this spike in the third category.

Obviously, if Vermette is able to bring up a player and maintain his approximate apart levels instead of succeeding them, this isn’t a horrible pairing either. Players that he did this with were Teuvo Tervainen, Brandon Saad, Michal Rozsival, and Duncan Keith.

So, verdict? 

The hilarious part about Vermette’s arrival is the entire dissolution of the second line of Kane-Richards-Versteeg. With Patrick Kane out with an injury, it’s hard to really make a direct comparison between Vermette and Richards by looking at the second line’s productivity, since it wasn’t a substitution as much as a restructuring, with the shift to Saad-Vermette-Teravainen. Obviously no one was going to make up for Kane’s productivity levels alone, and it would be borderline ignorant to compare productivity to a line that had, pre-injured, one of the highest producing points leaders in the league in Patrick Kane. And it’s even harder to judge him over such a small sample size.

But I will say, for what it’s worth, Vermette isn’t seeming to do more harm than good, he’s attempting to set up plays and pretty responsible defensively. Plus, he did beat Ben Scrivens to score a shootout goal against the Oilers on March 6th.


Resources

  • 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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