Frozen Tool Forensics: Changing Deployment

Chris Kane


The landscape of this NHL season is constantly changing and this week has been quite dramatic. With so many teams losing players and games, COVID is wreaking havoc on both real and fantasy lineups. This week on Frozen Tool Forensics, we are going to try to get a handle on what has changed over the course of the season thus far (acknowledging that there have still been more changes this week). Our goal is to try and find the winners and losers particularly in the area of deployment. Injuries and COVID absences all mean roster spots open up, and it is helpful to know who is stepping into roles.

This is a period piece that I run every few months to keep on top the changes we are seeing in the league. Essentially, we are going to be looking at total time on ice and percent of total power-play time to get an idea of how players are being deployed by their coaches. In order to do this, we need to run a report that contains these features for two different time periods. In this instance we are going to be using the Big Board report for the last two weeks (run on Thursday) and compare it to a Big Board report from the first two weeks of the season.

First up: top gains in total ice time. (Note: All table data in this article does not include Thursday’s games.)

PAVEL BUCHNEVICHRSTL735820:2713:356:52
IAN COLEDCAR611220:5814:386:20
DYSIN MAYODARI500020:4114:515:50
JACK HUGHESCN.J722418:4913:075:42
JACCOB SLAVINDCAR61344:1422:355:39
NIKITA ZAITSEVDOTT701122:3116:585:33
CONOR SHEARYLWSH513418:1813:045:14
JOHN KLINGBERGDDAL503320:3915:305:09
EELI TOLVANENRNSH640416:1011:134:57

Jaccob Slavin and Conor Sheary have seen an increased role in part due to injuries. Slavin was promoted to the top power-play and to a larger even strength role when Anthony DeAngelo went down with an injury. DeAngelo returned to action on Thursday, which cut into Slavin's power-play time. Sheary has been bouncing around the lineup a bit, getting a chance at top deployment with injuries to T.J. Oshie