David Johnson has recently produced an application for producing WOWYs (with or without you) statistics for player combinations above the traditional two threshold. The super WOWY application is here at Puckalytics.
One must be careful when splitting variance and usage impacted data into even smaller samples, but trends can be interesting.
How have different combinations for the Jets performed?
I used the application over Left Wing Lock website to pull the most commonly used line combinations from the Jets. Then these lines were compared using the super WOWY application.
BRYAN LITTLE AS CENTRE
For the most part Bryan Little rarely plays without Andrew Ladd on his left. The two most common combinations have either Blake Wheeler or Michael Frolik on the right side.
Something to notice is while the Ladd, Little, and Wheeler combination has performed superiorly this season, both have been comparable over the past two seasons combined. I grabbed this situation intentionally as an example.
We care about Corsi percentage because as the sample expands Corsi percentage and Goal percentage move towards the same value, but Corsi percentage is far more stable or sustainable. In other words Corsi percentage tends to predict future Goal percentage better than past Goal percentage. It still is not perfect.
MARK SCHEIFELE AS CENTRE
For the most part, Mark Scheifele and his wingers have performed similarly well.
My guess would be the minutes with Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler had other reasons why they were so low, like extreme usage situations or mostly in games where the Jets struggled as a team. All three possible pairing combinations have had the three players perform well historically speaking.
While chemistry could play a role, I doubt that Kane and Wheeler together all of a sudden make the line below 50%, since even historically Kane and Wheeler have performed above 50% when together.
ADAM LOWRY AS CENTRE
As the Jets most common third line centre, Adam Lowry gets the joys of playing with the Jets lesser talented wingers more often than Scheifele or Little.
While the sample is small, it does follow a hypothesis of mine. I’ve always felt that if you have two players who are strong or weak shot-metric performers together, the impact of the third is quite minimal.
With one of Michael Frolik or Evander Kane, Lowry has performed admirably despite playing with Chris Thorburn or Matt Halsichuk on the wing. But when with both Halischuk and Thorburn, the line has struggled.
It could be small sample, but a 47.4 Corsi percentage is a further dip from 50 percent than the 49.6 percent we saw with Kane, Scheifele, and Wheeler.
JIM SLATER AS CENTRE
There were other fourth line combinations, but they did not reach the ice time threshold. While the other combinations existed for multiple games, the low TOI usage made them small samples.
Jim Slater with T.J. Galiardi and Anthony Peluso posted above 50 percent. On average only the top quartile of fourth lines control over 50 per cent of shot attempts.
The Winnipeg Jets have been one of the stronger 5-on-5 shot metric teams in the NHL this season. One of the major reasons for this has been their player depth.
The development of Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry as strong Corsi performers and the addition of Matthieu Perreault has payed off well.
When healthy, the Jets could run a forward core with four lines in the black. This could make the Jets a scary team in the play offs to match against.