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An attempt at a position-adjusted look at the best Red Wings player this season

(Photo: Bridget Samuels)

(Photo: Bridget Samuels)

Last week we looked at the most efficient Red Wings players this season, which took one step towards adjusting the differences in ice time (and thus opportunities to create GRM events) between forwards and defensemen.

While it told us a little bit, it was a feeble attempt. Defensemen still ended up way down on the list simply because they were defensemen. Today we cut into one more layer of the analysis and attempt to rectify the situation.

Now, with a season’s worth of data, I can create an adjusted GRM by taking a player’s total per 600 minutes and subtracting the average rating for a player at his position from it.

For example, Gustav Nyquist’s GRM per 600 minutes was +9.45, but the average GRM for a forward this year (minimum of 200 minutes played)* was +3.02. So Nyquist’s adjusted GRM would be +6.43 (9.45 – 3.02).

The average GRM for a defensemen last year was -3.25. So in the following numbers all forwards had their GRM’s per 600 minutes subtracted by 3.02, while all defensemen had 3.25 added to their GRM’s per 600 minutes last year. (Remember, goalies aren’t included in GRM.)

It’s not perfect, but it’s better. Here’s a look at the top five Red Wings players in terms of adjusted GRM:

1. Gustav Nyquist +6.43

2. Johan Franzen +3.73

3. Henrik Zetterberg +3.30

4. Riley Sheahan +2.57

5. Niklas Kronwall +1.91

Niklas Kronwall now jumps from a negative rating into the top 5. He is the only adjustment from the efficiency list’s top five, replacing Justin Abdelkader in the final spot. It makes sense. Kronwall played at least 200 more minutes than any other Red Wing and matched up against the other team’s top line consistently. He deserves some love.

Sheahan, the big riser when looked at efficiency rating, remains in the top 5. His rise was chronicled last week.

On the other side, here’s a look at the bottom five Red Wings players in terms of adjusted GRM:

1. Adam Almquist, -8.75

2. Teemu Pulkinnen, -8.47

3. Landon Ferraro, -7.19

4. Jordin Tootoo, -5.59

5. Cory Emmerton, -5.03

In one way the numbers back up what you’d expect. The players who struggled the most were rookies who barely set foot in an NHL locker room or guys who spent the season straddling the line between the NHL and the AHL.

In another way, the list isn’t fair. None of these players played 200 minutes this season, the number I took the average from. All five of those players should earn ‘Incomplete’ for their time with the Red Wings this season.

Here’s a look at the the bottom five players Red Wings players in terms of adjusted GRM with a minimum of 200 minutes of ice time:

1. Luke Glendening, -4.48

2. Joakim Andersson, -4.30

3. Stephen Weiss, -3.99

4. Drew Miller, – 3.52

5.  Daniel Cleary, -3.38

Glending and Andersson probably weren’t as bad as the numbers state. They were used primarily as defensive forwards, spending significant time on the penalty kill. Mike Babcock loves Glendening. Mike Babcock wouldn’ t love him if he was the worst player on the team.

The other three seem legitimate, although you could question whether the adjustments help defensemen too much. Somebody can make a compelling case that Brian Lashoff and/or Kyle Quincey were one of the five worst regulars on the team this season.

Still, it’s not like the defenseman all scored in the positives. Four, including Almquist, had a negative Adjusted GRM. Three had a positive one. Also, Lashoff and Quincey weren’t far away from the bottom. They ranked seventh and eight worst, respectively.

In common sense terms, the numbers above are about as accurate a representation of the team you’re going to get from GRM.

*(I went with 200 minutes because that was roughly 25 percent of the average ice time for a Red Wings player last year)

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