I changed the colors up a bit for the summary. Dark Green for the Corsis is over + 2.5%. Deep Red is less than -2.5%. For faceoffs the numbers are +/- 5% to the team’s overall Offensive Zone Faceoff % (54.4%).
Brett Olson has insane Zone Starts. Only 38.8%! Very well deserved Best Defensive Forward Herdie for Brett.
On Friday and Saturday, Megan and Shaw were paired with Corban Knight in what seems to be a defensive shut down type line. I support this – I had Megan and Knight as #2 and #3 on my defensive forward ballot. As you can see in the WOWYs, Knight tends to make everyone else better. If the Megan-Knight-Shaw gets say -7% Zone Starts (45-47% compared to a team rate of 54%) against OKC’s scoring lines, and can just break even, or nearly break even (say Shaw’s 49%), that will free up our scoring lines with Rocco and Trocheck as centers to get crazy OZ starts and focus completely on offense. This is what Coach Rowe was doing this weekend- look at Trocheck’s OZ Starts- 78%!! Like Nate and JP mentioned on the podcast, he is clearly better than everyone, so we want him using those skills to create offense. The Knight line (and I’m sure Olson’s line will soak up a lot of defensive responsibilities as well) will make it so that the Rampage can start Trocheck in the offensive zone, allowing him to create offense.
While I’m very happy with Trocheck and Megan’s deployments, I’m very disappointed with Coach Rowe benching Rau for (presumably) McFarland. He’s had (slightly) unfavorable zone starts, yet has a Corsi Close Rel of nearly 7%!!!! His overall Corsi is much much lower, so I looked at my game notes, and that has to do with him getting a lot of time late to protect leads in the 3rd. The benching makes no sense to me.
Olsen and Blacker have spent a lot of time paired lately, and they are deep red, meaning -2.5 relative or lower. However, they are both over a 52% Corsi Close and getting very unfavorable zone starts. When your worst pairing is over 52% you are doing something right. Really really right.
FORWARD WOWYs (you can click to expand pictures)
Rau’s most common pairings are with Rocco (33 For, 6 Against) and Howden (36 For, 12 Against). Why the hell are we breaking up that line? The next most common were Olson and Mancari. That 42-12-26 line was given dreadful zone shifts against a very good team (Grand Rapids) yet broke even (see what I said about Megan-Knight-Shaw above). Seriously why is he sitting? I didn’t take the Ellis starting thing particularly well. Like at all. I hope Ellis gets 15 straight shutouts, but I am completely on #TeamDoogie. I think benching Rau for McFarland is worse (McFarland is totally going to score a hat trick to spite me, which would make me very happy). I think the argument was/is “experience,” but Rau played in the NCAA title game last year, it’s not like he’s going to see 3000 people in the seats for Game 1 in Oklahoma City and freak out. He played for the University of Minnesota, there was way more pressure on him for any of their conference games and tournament games than there will be on him for Game 1. Anyways, I’m going to stop now.
My dream is that the Rampage use the lines from Friday: Wilson-Trocheck-Heatley. Rau-Grimaldi-Howden. Brickley-Olson-Mancari. Megan-Knight-Shaw.
Turns out that Olsen-Blacker are way better together than apart. Picking defenseman is very difficult. For me, the hardest part was whether to play Parlett or Racine. Racine was #3 on my Herdie, but I picked Parlett for Game 1 (so close). The tiebreaker for me was that Zanon’s most common partner has been Parlett. Together they are a 57.4%. Zanon and Racine haven’t played together much and were not good when they were (8 For, 13 Against). My Game 1 Defense Pairs would look be Zanon-Parlett (66 For, 49 Against – most common partner), Olsen-Blacker (60 For, 45 Against – most common partner) and O’Brien-Petro (15 For, 6 Against).
I’m kind of guessing with the O’Brien-Petro pairing. The other two pairings are both over 57% and the most common pairing for everyone involved, so I don’t want to mess with them. I believe that O’Brien and Petro are the most talented of the remaining defensemen, so they should be able to form an impressive pairing. If I picked Racine, my pairings would have been Zanon-O’Brien, Olsen-Blacker and Racine-Petro since Racine-Petro worked really well on Saturday, and Zanon-O’Brien had one game together and they were dominant.