Winnipeg Jets By The Numbers: Blake Wheeler 2014-2015

The season has been laid to rest.

Fans have completed their lamenting of the Anaheim Ducks sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. The healing process has begun.

But, before full closure can be completed, an autopsy of the Jets season must be initiated.

We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets season to the scorer extraordinaire, Blake Wheeler.

The Basics

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 10.11.51 PM

Numbers include all situations including non 5v5 TOI.

Blake Wheeler passed the sixty point barrier for the third time in four years, and the one miss was in the lockout shortened where he put up a 70 point pace.

Wheeler logged top six minutes. He generated the Jets largest shot volume as well.

His shooting percentage was slightly below his average but not by much. This is about the typical point pace one should expect for Wheeler over the next few years.

Usage

Screen shot 2015-05-10 at 11.53.19 PM

Graph courtesy of WAR-on-Ice.

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 10.30.31 PM

Rankings are out of the Jets 17 forwards with 50+ 5v5 minutes, except special team minutes are each out of 11 Jet forwards.

It may be surprising to some how Wheeler was not often the first choice for even strength situations. Wheeler did log a tonne of minutes though with being the primary power play option and taking up a chunk of short handed action.

Wheeler was not overly deployed in the offensive or defensive zone relative to the other or the team. He faced top competition while predominately playing with the Jets best players.

Underlying Numbers

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 11.22.12 PM

Wheeler also out performed his ice time peers in shot attempt differentials pretty consistently.

history-WPG-Right Wing - BLAKE WHEELER

Visual courtesy of Micah McCurdy.

Blake Wheeler started the season with Mark Scheifele, and had a rotating crew of Dustin Byfuglien, Mathieu Perreault, and Evander Kane as the other winger. Maurice then reunited Ladd’s-Little-Wheeler, only to break it up after Wheeler returned from injury.

Wheeler out scored his opponents throughout the season, and he out shot them as well. The only exception is the end of the season, where Scheifele and Wheeler played with Drew Stafford and the three were significantly out shot.

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 10.37.24 PM

Wheeler produced points for 5v5 situations at a pace above the 2 point per sixty minute median for first line players. 

dCorsi suggests that Wheeler performed as expected given his ice time and deployment.

Goals Above Replacement, which combines face offs, shot differentials, penalty differentials, and shooter performance, estimates that Wheeler had the second largest impact on the Jets overall goal differential.

Final Thoughts

Wheeler has always been a fantastic scorer but he’s also developed a bit more of an overall, 200-foot game to his resume while under Paul Maurice.

Wheeler performed well throughout the season but there are some concerns with constant the attempts to force chemistry between Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Wheeler posted a 56.8 per cent zone-start adjusted Corsi with Bryan Little, compared to the 52.9 per cent Corsi rating with Scheifele.

Although, the impact difference is in part due to the possession anchor Drew Stafford. When Stafford was paired with Wheeler, the Jets posted a grotesque 46.0 Corsi percentage. For context, the only winger Wheeler spent more time with was Andrew Ladd, where together they carried a 56.1 Corsi.

Essentially the Jets were out attempted like the New Jersey Devils or Toronto Maple Leafs for minutes when Wheeler was with Stafford, but out attempted opponents better than the Chicago Blackhawks or Tampa Bay Lightning did when Wheeler was apart.

  • t_bison

    “Essentially the Jets were out attempted like the New Jersey Devils or Toronto Maple Leafs for minutes when Wheeler was with Stafford, but out attempted opponents better than the Chicago Blackhawks or Tampa Bay Lightning did when Wheeler was apart.”

    And we want to sign Stafford why?