They say a picture is worth a thousand words and in the case of Robert Vollman’s usage charts I think we may need to revise upward. Vollman’s usage charts are a gas, gas gas.
Okay, first things first. click on that image and then click on the X on the upper right. The entire image will be in front of you. A few things to keep in mind:
- All the guys in blue are pushing the river, getting a good result. The bigger the balloon, the bigger the push.
- The upper quadrants are playing against the toughs.
- The upper left quarter are tough minutes and tough zones. Score blue in that area and you have Shea Weber’s phone number and can drop by Sidney Crosby’s house.
- Ladislav Smid and Jeff Petry make beautiful music together.
- The upper right quadrant is filled with players who get good zone starts but face tougher opposition. Taylor Hall–still just a baby–is pushing the river and has one quadrant to go! It’s a helluva step up but if this young man can stay healthy we’re talking about a big dog who’ll hunt. It’s been awhile, ladies.
- Bottom two quadrants are playing sheltered minutes, with the tougher zone starts in the lower left.
- Oilers didn’t really have any “easy zone start, easy opposition” players because all of the zone start push fell to Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Gagner. Omark, Hordichuk and Lander are kind of in that quadrant, and the fact that they didn’t smash it tells us they weren’t really helping.
- The 4th line and 3rd pairing guys are in the lower left, easier opposition, tougher zone start. Eric Belanger’s season is somewhat explained here (he’s not that sheltered and the zone starts are a bitch); the only blue bubbles in that quadrant are Paajarvi and Sutton. It gives those who believe Paajarvi is a player something to hope for next year.
- Ryan Jones looks very good by this metric.
- I can’t get over Taylor Hall’s bubble. That balloon is so big he might fly away!
Okay, I love this thing. I’ve spent hours with it since Saturday (hope I have everything right, please correct me if I’m wrong, last thing I want to do is mislead).
Robert Vollman was on Nation Radio Saturday and did a tremendous job of explaining the graph. I mean splendid. His work is here, by team and with Jonathan Willis and others offering their insight. Tremendous read. And the names of people who impacted this outstanding work range from Vic Ferrari, Gabe Desjardins, Eric Tulsky, Tom Awad, Timo Seppa, Corey Sznajder, Josh Lile, Derek Zona, John Fischer, Mike Rogers, Derek Jedamski, Aaron Nichols, and Gus Katsaros and a few more I’ve missed.
The Nation Radio interview is here. If this were 1984, and Bill James wrote about hockey, this graph would be in his abstract. This is the new stuff.