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Thread: Neal Pionk is Complicating the Rangersí Defensive Logjam

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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Take those relative corsi statistics with a grain of salt. Ryan McDonagh has been negative every single year of his career except for one.

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/pla...-advanced.html
    Yea - this is why I'm not particularly concerned about Pionk's CF%. Deployment really dictates possession stats for the majority of players, there aren't a lot who have a significantly >50% and >50% CF. Last season, there were 29 defensemen, total, who accomplished that - and a lot of them were third pair types. There were 11 with a CF% >52 - of that group, only Slavin, Doughty, and OEM are playing against top pairs.

    So, tl;dr, the top defensemen who take a heavy NZS against top competition almost never have a positive CF%. That's true for Mac and was punishingly true for Pionk last year.

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    The word of the day today is: DEGREE.

    It's an issue of degree. McDonagh was almost never a positive corsi player either. But his relative numbers (sans this year) were never so stark like Pionk's have been. I agree that that has been somewhat inflated due to a combination of low sample size of games and a handful of particularly bad outings, but the point is that he's struggled to an elevated level with closing the gap on offensive generation versus offensive generation against.

    You'd think some of you never read this article given I'm actually defending Pionk throughout it, and only use the analytics numbers to argue that if the Rangers sent him down in spite of good play, that they'd have some math on their side to support the decision.
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    Corsi is a flawed statistic when evaluating defensemen, because (adjusted) shot differential isn't measuring a defenseman's primary responsibilities (negating scoring chances, puck movement, etc). At best it is an indirect measure that may correlate with a defenseman's ability.

    By corsi statistics, by a large margin, our best defensemen was Adam Clendening in 2016-7.

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYR/2017.html

    Adam Clendening CF% 56.7 CF% Rel 9.4
    Ryan McDonagh DF% 46.7 CF% Rel -2.1
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    I agree in general, but if the relative corsi is standout bad it tells you something.
    It's difficult with Pionk because he passes the eye test like a fucking champion. In his case I tend to lean on that for the most part. I see a really good player there, with some obvious areas of improvement.
    Last edited by Gravesy; 10-23-2018 at 11:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravesy View Post
    I agree in general, but if the relative corsi is standout bad it tells you something.
    It's difficult with Pionk because he passes the eye test like a fucking champion. In his case I tend to lean on that. I see a really good player there, with some obvious areas of improvement.
    Fails the eye test in his own zone.
    Lias Andersson for #AJT2019

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sod16 View Post
    How about a rest for #18 once in a while. Playing 70 rather than 82 games would be good for him.
    Agreed, I like Staaly but at this point in his career on a rebuilding team with all these younger D men he's gotta sit a lot more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    You'd think some of you never read this article given I'm actually defending Pionk throughout it, and only use the analytics numbers to argue that if the Rangers sent him down in spite of good play, that they'd have some math on their side to support the decision.
    That's not really how it reads.

    People are also mostly responding to your "in 4-5 years he's not on my team" comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Fails the eye test in his own zone.
    Not really. Good active stick, makes defensive plays. Good skater, gets around, covers reasonably well, pretty good exiting the zone. Very rarely makes huge gaffes.
    Struggles with shot suppression, granted, and can be a bit careless with the puck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravesy View Post
    Not really. Good active stick, makes defensive plays. Good skater, gets around, covers reasonably well, pretty good exiting the zone. Very rarely makes huge gaffes.
    Struggles with shot suppression, granted, and can be a bit careless with the puck.
    He gets physically overmatched quite a bit. Kid needs to drink more milk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Corsi is a flawed statistic when evaluating defensemen, because (adjusted) shot differential isn't measuring a defenseman's primary responsibilities (negating scoring chances, puck movement, etc). At best it is an indirect measure that may correlate with a defenseman's ability.

    By corsi statistics, by a large margin, our best defensemen was Adam Clendening in 2016-7.

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYR/2017.html

    Adam Clendening CF% 56.7 CF% Rel 9.4
    Ryan McDonagh DF% 46.7 CF% Rel -2.1
    Adam Clendening Zone starts offensive 68.3% defensive 31.7%
    https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYR/2017.html

    So what the Corsi is missing but the zone starts is suggesting is that in 2016-7, Adam Clendening spent a lot of time in the offensive zone, where his team generated a lot of shots.

    The Corsi has little to do with his effectiveness as a defenseman. It has a lot to do with the situations the team faced when he was on the ice.
    Last edited by fletch; 10-23-2018 at 11:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    He gets physically overmatched quite a bit. Kid needs to drink more milk.
    Hmm possibly. Can't really say I've seen him lose an unproportionate amount of puck battles, but maybe I'm seeing what I want to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Adam Clendening Zone starts offensive 68.3% defensive 31.7%
    https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYR/2017.html

    So what the Corsi is missing but the zone starts is suggesting is that in 2016-7, Adam Clendening spent a lot of time in the offensive zone, where his team generated a lot of shots.

    The Corsi has little to do with his effectiveness as a defenseman. It has a lot to do with the situations the team faced when he was on the ice.
    Clendo is the hill that a lot of the more analytically inclined people die on.

    He's terrible. The opposite of Pionk lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    That's not really how it reads.

    People are also mostly responding to your "in 4-5 years he's not on my team" comment.
    No, they aren't. They're responding to the handful of possession metrics that were mentioned in one paragraph as a possible excuse for the Rangers stashing an otherwise productive Pionk in the minors.

    Him not being on my team in 4-5 years doesn't hinge on that. It's part of the pie, certainly, but it would hinge moreso on age, contract status to that point (he'd be 28, and clearly on some level of a UFA contract), and most of all the progress (or lack thereof) of the guys I think, on paper, are more likely to be workhorses for the team by then. Namely Hajek, Miller, Lindgren, and Lundkvist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravesy View Post
    Not really. Good active stick, makes defensive plays. Good skater, gets around, covers reasonably well, pretty good exiting the zone. Very rarely makes huge gaffes.
    Struggles with shot suppression, granted, and can be a bit careless with the puck.
    Good description, yet as Future mentioned, we've seen how his size can be a liability in the D zone. He can get bodied off the puck, struggles to move guys like Tkachuk, and can get boxed out. So how do smaller dmen mitigate being weak in this area. Some say get stronger, but at this point it may be very incremental.

    What I'm seeing is good tactics to adjust. He uses quickness and understands the value of playing fast. He's learning to use leverage and a good stick, instead of strength, to defend. His aptitude and focus provides for him to identify where the play is going and beat the attack to the area. Or just get position on his man. Experience in the NHL and recognition/good anticipation is what he needs now to keep getting better. I think he'll continue to work hard, he has a good coach and situation for himself.
    Last edited by Giacomin; 10-23-2018 at 01:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    No, they aren't. They're responding to the handful of possession metrics that were mentioned in one paragraph as a possible excuse for the Rangers stashing an otherwise productive Pionk in the minors.

    Him not being on my team in 4-5 years doesn't hinge on that. It's part of the pie, certainly, but it would hinge moreso on age, contract status to that point (he'd be 28, and clearly on some level of a UFA contract), and most of all the progress (or lack thereof) of the guys I think, on paper, are more likely to be workhorses for the team by then. Namely Hajek, Miller, Lindgren, and Lundkvist.
    Future may be referring to me, because that is exactly what surprised me as I read down the thread. And what I was disagreeing with. I assumed you might be considering contract status, but there is other options to manage it. If mgmt likes what they see, when he's an RFA they could buy a few years to take him to 30 or so. It is good injury insurance for smaller players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Corsi is a flawed statistic when evaluating defensemen, because (adjusted) shot differential isn't measuring a defenseman's primary responsibilities (negating scoring chances, puck movement, etc). At best it is an indirect measure that may correlate with a defenseman's ability.

    By corsi statistics, by a large margin, our best defensemen was Adam Clendening in 2016-7.

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYR/2017.html

    Adam Clendening CF% 56.7 CF% Rel 9.4
    Ryan McDonagh DF% 46.7 CF% Rel -2.1
    Really an awesome point and post(s) with a great example. Fletch is bringing the goods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    No, they aren't. They're responding to the handful of possession metrics that were mentioned in one paragraph as a possible excuse for the Rangers stashing an otherwise productive Pionk in the minors.

    Him not being on my team in 4-5 years doesn't hinge on that. It's part of the pie, certainly, but it would hinge moreso on age, contract status to that point (he'd be 28, and clearly on some level of a UFA contract), and most of all the progress (or lack thereof) of the guys I think, on paper, are more likely to be workhorses for the team by then. Namely Hajek, Miller, Lindgren, and Lundkvist.
    It reads that "bad possession metrics means not on the team in the future," whether you meant to do that or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    It reads that "bad possession metrics means not on the team in the future," whether you meant to do that or not.
    OK, well for like the fifth time, that wasn't my intention. You've written with me long enough to know I don't actually believe that (or at least I'd hope so), so why are we still tripping over this when I've corrected it multiple times in this thread?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    Clendo is the hill that a lot of the more analytically inclined people die on.

    He's terrible. The opposite of Pionk lol
    Corsi advocates would say that Clendening is an outlier that can be explained by zonal stats, and overall the metric is sound. I would say that Clendening is an outlier that shows there are limits to how the metric should be applied - it's useful data for analysis in the proper context for the right questions, but shouldn't be used to evaluated a defenseman's relative effectiveness.

    To answer a question you should use the right data. And if a metric isn't appropriate, you should find a different metric.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    OK, well for like the fifth time, that wasn't my intention. You've written with me long enough to know I don't actually believe that (or at least I'd hope so), so why are we still tripping over this when I've corrected it multiple times in this thread?
    B/c that's where the conversation went lol.

    It's a fair conversation regardless of what you meant to say.

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