Blatantly lifting an idea from Rob Vollman, here's a way to visualize the Flyers' forwards situations and results (click to zoom).
The location of each player's bubble represents what kinds of situations they faced -- easier situations (weaker competition and more offensive zone starts) are in the top-right, while tougher situations are in the bottom-left.
The color of the bubble indicates whether the player's Corsi was better than the team average (blue) or worse (red). The size of the bubble indicates how much better or worse it was. So a big blue bubble means way better than average, while a small red bubble means slightly worse than average.
The usage of the fourth line was so different from the rest of the team that the top-9 all get squished into a corner. Let's take another look where we focus on the top-9 area of the chart:
We've talked a lot about these three metrics, so I won't rehash everything on the charts. But the plot does really highlight two things for me:
- Leino really was uniquely sheltered. Not only did he play on the most offensive line, but he was pulled for a lot of the defensive draws that line took.
- We've said many times that Zherdev really drove the play forwards despite middling zone starts and was underappreciated for that. But it's interesting to see such a clear representation of how much he avoided the top competition.
And as always, it's worth celebrating Carter and Giroux for dominating against tough competition.