Frozen Tool Forensics: First-Round Exits – West Coast Edition
Now that we have officially wrapped up the MVP discussions it is time to turn our attentions, at long last, to the playoffs. There are many places to get the play-by-plays, the current takes and storylines, but this is not it. We are going to dive into this extra set of games and see if there is anything to learn about a player's performance. We will go round by round and look at the eliminated teams. Those previous MVP discussions are available to read here.
This week on Frozen Tool Forensics: Round One Exits: The West Coast Edition.
We often start these things on the East Coast so we are changing it up this time around. In case anyone forgot the teams that were eliminated in the first round were Nashville, Minnesota, Dallas, and LA. For this article we are going to take a look at these four teams and focus on deployment. It is such a small sample size that we are not going to read too much into point paces, shot rates, etc. but instead look at how players were utilized in these win-or-go-home series. Doing so might give us a bit of insight into how coaches are viewing certain players and who might be primed for a different role next season compared to this one.
Caveat time for all of these first-round exits. They all lost. In the first round. That means small sample sizes of course, but it also means that what the team/coach did didn't really work so there will be less motivation to build on it for next year. To get specific on small sample sizes, Nashville was swept so will only have four games for us to work with. The other series went to six or seven games so make for a slightly better sample size.
And now on to the process. We will be looking at deployment and specifically percent of time on the power-play, at even strength, and total time on ice. We will be using percent as overtime games can add significant time to a player's overall count without changing that player's real deployment opportunity. In order to get this data, we will be running a custom Time on Ice report for the playoffs and comparing that to a second custom Time on Ice report for the last two months of the regular season. That comparison will tell us which players have gained or lost time between these two samples.
So now on to the data. First up: Total Time on Ice