Frozen Tools Forensics: Deployment and Ice Time Changes in the Playoffs

Chris Kane


Now that we have wrapped up our 'Most Valuable" series we are going to turn our attention to playoff results. (To review the season's most valuable players check it out here for centermen, left wings, right wings, defensemen, and goalies). We won’t focus on matchup results so much as on what various players accomplished during those matchups. The playoffs are obviously still in progress but there are enough teams eliminated already that we can get started on this miniseries. We will be starting with the teams eliminated in the first round. This week on Frozen Tool Forensics:

First Round Exits Part One – West Coast/Canadian Division

Given that many of the playoff sample sizes are so small, it is hard to draw too large a conclusion from most of them. We will be touching on point production, but our main focus will be usage and deployment. We want to answer the question – were players used in a different way during the playoffs that can give us any hints as to how they might be used next season?

To answer this question, we are going to turn to the Time on Ice Reports from the report page. By running and then exporting the same report for both the regular season and the playoffs to date we can get the same data from those two periods. We then combine sources and filter by the team of focus to get an idea of who on each team benefited and who lost out.

We will start with St. Louis.

St. Louis

NamePosTeamGPPlayoff %TOIPlayoff TOISeason % TOISeason TOI% Δ
COLTON PARAYKODSTL44325:4834.921:208.1
TOREY KRUGDSTL440.624:2037.122:333.5
IVAN BARBASHEVCSTL425.115:0421.913:213.2
ROBERT THOMASCSTL425.215:0922.413:362.8
TYLER BOZAKCSTL42716:1324.414:552.6

The above table features two sets of data. We have playoff data and regular season data. For each time frame, we have the percent of the total time played and the total time. Both are included as reviewing just totals can be dramatically influenced by long overtime games in the playoffs. We control for that a little bit by looking at one team at a time and by organizing the data by the percent changed, the column all the way to the right. This was also repeated for power-play time, which is referenced for specific players, but not listed in the article.

In this case Colton Parayko saw the largest percent increase in his time on ice going from just under 35% of th