Which Thrashers Played Against Ovechkin?

I'm working on pulling together a lot of data so that I can write a "Season in Review" on each player. One thing I want to be able to talk about is which players get the "tough ice time" and which get the "easy ice time". Tough ice time is being out on the ice at ES against the other team's top player.

The Thrashers have some very good offensive players in their division so I put together the numbers for when they face off against Ovechkin. I've created two tables, one for defensemen and one for forwards. Each table shows how often that particular player was on the ice at ES when Ovechkin was out skating around last season. Those at the top played more minutes VS OVIE minutes.

Player % of time on ice versus Ovechkin at ES
Enstrom 41%
Hainsey 40%
Valabik 36%
Havelid 28%
Bogosian 28%
Exelby 28%
Oystrick 15%
Schneider 11%

 

Defense Comments: I was VERY surprised to see Havelid so far down that list on the defense. On the other hand, I did feel tht Havelid was showing signs of losing some quickness and perhaps the coaching staff tried to protect him versus Ovechkin. Bogosian's Ovechkin minutes shot up in the 2nd half to 41% by the way.

Some teams like Detroit always try to put their best D pairing out versus the opposition's best forward. It looks like the Thrashers tried to make sure that their they always had one of their best skating defensemen (Enstrom and Hainsey) out there. The Oystrick-Schneider was really protected.

Player % of time on ice versus Ovechkin at ES
Peverley 41%
Armstrong 38%
Kovalchuk 34%
White 30%
Kozlov 29%
Reasoner 26%
Perrin 26%
Little 25%
Stuart 24%
Christensen 17%
Williams 12%
Thorburn 12%
Boulton 10%
Slater 9%

 

Foward Comments: When facing the Thrashers Ovechkin was more often matched up against an offensive players (Peverly, Kovalchuk) than checking line players. I was surprised to see Reasoner so far down this list. There was a lot of chatter about the Slater-Boulton-Thorburn line being the "perfect 4th line" towards the end of the season. They might be a good energy line, but it looks to me like the coaching staff was afraid to put them out head-to-head versus Ovechkin.

Conclusion: Many times when you look at the data it confirms what you already believed. But I was really surprised when I looked at these numbers. When I get all the opposition forward data assembled I will be able to say more, but right now it appears to me that the Thrashers coaching staff is not all that focused on matching lines. I should have more on that soon.

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