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Posted at 7:58 AM ET, 03/ 3/2011

Statistical analysis: Brooks Laich, chemist

By Neil Greenberg

Many remarked about how much chemistry there seemed to be Tuesday night between Brooks Laich and Jason Arnott in so little time, but they really shouldn't be surprised: Laich has been improving the play of his teammates all season.

At even strength, the Caps see improved play across the board when Laich is on the ice.

SCF/60 SCA/60 GF/60 GA/60 Rel Corsi QoC
With Laich 16.0 12.5 2.4 1.4 0.904
W/o Laich 15.7 15.4 2.1 2.4 0.602

Every metric is better: Scoring chances for (SCF/60) improve, while chances against (SCA/60) fall considerably. Goals scored (GF/60) increase, while goals against (GA/60) drop by a goal for every 60 minutes of ice time. Maximizing opportunities while limiting the opportunities of your opponents is what wins hockey games -- and Laich does it in the face of stiffer competition. Rel Corsi QoC measures the difference in an opponents' Corsi rating (the balance of total shots for and against) when a player is on the ice compared to when he's on the bench. The higher the number, the tougher the average opponent.

The impact on the individual level of his most frequent linemates:

With Laich Without Laich
Player SC% Convert% Rel Corsi QoC SC% Convert% Rel Corsi QoC
Backstrom 63.27% 16.13% 0.859 54.58% 13.06% 0.851
Johansson 50.00% 14.29% 1.423 46.19% 14.43% 0.676
Knuble 56.73% 13.56% 0.821 53.37% 7.89% 1.227
Ovechkin 66.04% 14.29% 0.989 54.53% 12.88% 0.860
Perreault 61.18% 19.23% (0.896) 46.99% 10.26% (0.773)
Semin 57.89% 17.05% 1.186 54.39% 21.51% 0.860

Across the board improvement. More chances in Washington's favor (SC%) and more goals scored off those chances (Convert %) against tougher competition when Laich is on the ice.

Just in time for free agency.

By Neil Greenberg  | March 3, 2011; 7:58 AM ET
Categories:  Brooks Laich  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nicklas Backstrom continues to play through thumb injury
Next: Capitals recall Braden Holtby

Comments

lots to Laich about that

Posted by: Mike4169 | March 3, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse


With Malkin out for the year, and perhaps the same for Crosby, the Caps better take advantage of this situation.

Posted by: underpants2 | March 3, 2011 7:51 AM |

--------------

why would you say that ?

the caps own the season series 3-1

bring on cry-baby

Posted by: hessone | March 3, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

most folks here should be more worried abot Pholly and Boston.

Posted by: pkme | March 3, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

MP is not playing for Hershey now? Need an update here...

Posted by: Presbyter | March 3, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

From previous:

@Timbo_1
@Hunterforcoach

RE: Fehr:

Mike Bossy, one of the greatest snipers in NHL history, was almost not picked by the Isles because he was considered timid and didn't check. They were trying to decide whether to pick him or a checking forward that they were also considering. They went with Bossy figuring it would be easier to teach a scorer how to check. Just sayin'.

I'm not defending the pick. It's hard [for GMs] to give up on first rounders. Fehr has been given opportunities. I don't know what the future holds, but I didn't have a problem with him being a Cap on Jan. 1 of this year.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 3, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

With Malkin out for the year, and perhaps the same for Crosby, the Caps better take advantage of this situation.

Posted by: underpants2 | March 3, 2011 7:51 AM |

--------------

why would you say that ?

the caps own the season series 3-1

bring on cry-baby

Posted by: hessone

I am talking about bigger picture, playoff series. You must not be a Caps fan very long if you do not realize the struggles we have had with the Pens in the playoffs for the last 20 years.

Two of those wins this year were without Crosby and Malkin, but that isn't really the point. The point is our nemesis is without their two best players, perhaps for the year. We will probably be facing them in round 1. We better have our act together.

Posted by: underpants2 | March 3, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

...I've been meaning to ask for a long time: should Perreault even be trying to play center in the NHL? When he first came up, I was hoping he might become our version of Marty St. Louis--quick, agile, and with great hands. Instead, they had him playing 2C or 3C, which makes no sense as small as he is. Can someone with more knowledge explain this to me? Thanks!

Posted by: wocoliz

I know this was directed at someone else, but I'm going to give my opinion. At this point Perrault should not be trying to make the NHL as a center. Yes it is his natural position, but his size really works against him at the NHL level. There are a lot of big centers in the league. It is possible he could be an effective sniper at (presumably) the left wing position. I've seen his shot/slapper best not to move to the off wing. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 3, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse


I am talking about bigger picture, playoff series. You must not be a Caps fan very long if you do not realize the struggles we have had with the Pens in the playoffs for the last 20 years.

Two of those wins this year were without Crosby and Malkin, but that isn't really the point. The point is our nemesis is without their two best players, perhaps for the year. We will probably be facing them in round 1. We better have our act together.

Posted by: underpants2 | March 3, 2011 8:30 AM |

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not only am i a caps fan, i live in section 412.

the series that you spoke of are over and have nothing to do with this year.

i hope the caps players don't think this way or we are in troble.

folks, look forward to the playoff push, then bring on any team in the nhl once were in.

Posted by: hessone | March 3, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2
It looks like the Pens and Caps would play in the playoffs if the Pens can hold on there but that is a preferred match-up for Washington. No surprises there.

I would prefer they play PIT or TB first round but if they move up and get Montreal that might be OK.

Philly shouldn't be a first round opponent and Boston might be very hard to play.

Don't really want Rangers, but Carolina would be a good series.

As a betting man I think the Caps will catch TB and end up against Montreal again.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 3, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@yes -I was looking at the expanded standings on VS the other night and I think the top 6 are set in the EC, just not the first-round matchups.

While reading your post, I kept thinking be careful what you wish for. I do agree that Boston and Philly aren't in the future for first round, but Tampa, Pittsburgh, and Montreal are still tough teams to play.

Just saying.

Posted by: jwash4472 | March 3, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

On Laich, this is one of the cleanest statistical analyses I've seen posted...which says a lot about Brooks' impact on this team. I like him a lot as a player and hope he stays for a long time.

If the Caps ever win a Cup, I could see us looking back at Brooksie being the guy who got the Cup-winning goal by mucking it up, falling down, and squeezing a puck under the goalie in OT.


Posted by: justbrewit | March 3, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Really? Team doctors always have the players' best interests at heart? So I guess the Pens doctors thought it was best for Crosby to finish the WC and play another game after Steckel knocked him out? And the Caps' doctors thought the best course of treatment for Backstrom's and Green's bum shoulders was to keep playing. This sort of thinking is naive.

Posted by: ablake70

Is there a possible conflict of interest by a team doctor evaluating a player? Absolutely. But the mere possibility of a conflict of interest does not necessarily mean the team doctor is giving Backstrom bad medical advice at the pushing of the team. A doctor could potentially lose his medical license if he did that.

Crsoby had a concussion, I'm sure you a very knowledgable on the subject and realize that the medical knowledge and ability to diagnose concussions and their severity is not very good as of today. The medical community is still in the process of learning about concussions, there have not been many studies done over the past 50 years on concussions, how to diagnose, and their effects. That has picked up recently, but these tests take time and it takes time to gather all of this knowledge.

Also, just because Backstrom feels a discomfort in his finger when attempting to take faceoffs does not necessarily mean there is a greater chance of re-injury because of the injury. Again, you have absolutely no idea what the extent of the injury is and where it is located on the finger yet you spew out accusations of malpractice. It's absurd.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 3, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

412 represent!

Posted by: GFisher1 | March 3, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

W/O having similar stats for other players, this says to put him with Ovi and Backie.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 3, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse


looking forward to watching the new caps now that they have a practice under their belts.

Posted by: hessone | March 3, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Holtby has been called up. Anyone know if they is to back up Neuvy or is Neuvy still hurt and we are going with Holtby and Ford for tonight?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Holtby has been recalled and is on the ice. Anyone know is he the backup tonight or is Neuvy still hurt and we are going with Holtby and Ford tonight?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, it took away to come up and I have been having internet problems so I thought it hadn't gone through

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

huge weekend of games leading up to mondays showdown with tampa..caps have to build of island game but history says we come out flat, should be first test to see if new veteran influence can keep guys motivated..

Posted by: cptjack70 | March 3, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

nevermind the question Katie says that Neuvy is the other goalie on the ice and he is expected to start.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Funny, I thought this article was going to be about how Brooks Laich got cancer but didnt have health insurance so he used his skills as a chemist to make the purest and most sought after crystal-meth to make money to pay for his cancer treatments and take care of his family if he should pass.

I was a tad off with my assumption it seems.

Any word on lines today via tweets/eyes/etc?

Liked seeing the Bolts and Pens go down last night. Although the Pens squeaked out a point. :\

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 3, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'd say tonight's games could have a large impact on the standings with Tampa playing in Boston after playing last night and the Caps hosting St. Louis. Hopefully the Caps can gain another 2 points on Tampa.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 3, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI haven't seen any yet but 8-18-83 are all not on the ice. Let the insults begin

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 3, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@vermont
Great Dead parity last night… Will be going to see the latest incarnation in a week or so. Seen several of the new versions and although entertaining just not the same vibe (IMHO). A bunch of the folks that we used to road trip with 20 years ago are all getting together for this one so figured what the hell.

Posted by: DBnMD | March 3, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

If you think the docs did that to crosby on purpose your deluding yourself...of course you want a great player to play, but a team isn't going to purposefully risk firther injury to a great player (even a lesser one)! It's not good in the long run...I bet players "play down" injuries a lot b/c they don't want to miss time. If the docs say backs can play safely then I am going to believe them...b/c no sane team (and we are) is going to risk taking a simple broken thumb on a 6+mil player and turning it into a long term injury...thats ridiculous and just isn't done.

Posted by: capscoach

Let me share a story.

The first week of the 2010 NFL season, the Eagles Middle Linebacker got hit hard. He got up to walk off the field, fell down like a drunk, then finally made it back to the sideline. All of this in view of television cameras. He was back on the field at the start of the 2nd half. Of course his return didn't last long, but it should have been obvious to everyone the guy had a concussion.

It the nature of sports from pee-wee to the pros. If you're not being taken off on a stretcher, you're healthy enough to play.

@sgm3

You are naive if you believe team doctors don't clear injured guys to play.

Posted by: ablake70

Posted by: ablake70 | March 3, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse


new thread peeps

Posted by: hessone | March 3, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I listen to NHL Home Ice all the time and since I have a looooong commute to work I get to hear a lot of interviews with players. What I always hear from the players is that they are shut down by the medical staff all the time. Regardless of what the players say the NHLPA has provisions in place to protect the players beyond their playing years.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 3, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Funny, I thought this article was going to be about how Brooks Laich got cancer but didnt have health insurance so he used his skills as a chemist to make the purest and most sought after crystal-meth to make money to pay for his cancer treatments and take care of his family if he should pass.

@SAOTI: What? I guess Katie is falling asleep at the switch again. I don't remember seeing a thread titled:

"Caps Claim Charlie Sheen Off Waivers".

Waka.
Waka.
Waka.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 3, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino

Haha. Good one.

I was actually making an obscure "Breaking Bad" reference. It's a tv series where a high school chemisty teacher/former chemist does exactly what I stated in my first post. ;) And since they put chemist in the title...i ran with it.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 3, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping with this information, we don't get another round of "Trade Laich" comments.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 3, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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