It's the entry/exit rates for all the defensemen in the playoffs this year. The quadrants would be titled something like this:Wrote about measuring the impact of defensemen through the neutral zone this postseason: https://t.co/yJty6eXq5j pic.twitter.com/rb4SXaOMxi— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) June 8, 2016
- Top right: Good at defending entries and Good at exiting with control
- Bottom right: Good at defending entries but Bad at exiting with control
- Top left: Bad at defending entries but Good at exiting with control
- Bottom left: Bad at defending entries and Bad at exiting with control
So, ideally, you want guys who skew toward the top-right of the graph. Like, for example, The Best Defenseman In The NHL This Postseason In Terms Of Neutral Zone Play Shayne Gostisbehere. Now, the 6-game sample size and the lack of penalty killing against the Caps is certainly helping Ghost, but there's no denying that zone entries and exits are a strong point of his name. Where is 29 year old Artemi Panarin on this graph? Nowhere? Not even good enough to qualify for the postseason statistics measured?
The other two guys I want to talk about are the guys who statistically are poor at exiting with possession. Radko Gudas, for what it's worth, is great at denying entries. He fits the description of exactly what you expect as a big, mean, physical defenseman. Andrew MacDonald, on the other hand, played with The Best Defenseman In The NHL This Postseason In Terms Of Neutral Zone Play and still managed to finish dead last in the whole league in overall neutral zone play.
It's cool to look at this year's Flyers in the context of their roster having three of the four archetypal defensemen. The fourth, for what it's worth, is Anaheim's Cam Fowler, who exits with possession at a Gostisbeherian rate but allows controlled entries nearly as much as MacDonald.