If you're familiar with me at all you know what I've had to say about Brad Stuart, at one point wondering out loud whether he was a literal singularity in spacetime defensively. But if you're not, because who am I really, let's run things down quickly.
Things Defensmen Should Do for most of us would be a list including Prevent Shots Against, Successfully Begin Transition to the Neutral Zone, Kill Penalties, Support The Offense, and possibly Hit Some Folks. Did Stuart prevent shots against?
- Corsi-Against/60: Team-worst 66.48
- Shots-Against/60: Tied for team-worst 33.94 (with Holden, excluding Wilson and Siemens)
No. Did he transition well to the neutral zone?
- Eye test: this dude punts the puck like you wouldn't believe
- Corsi-For/60: 42.73, second only to Guenin's 41.93
This would appear to say no although the stats are lagging behind here. Better data than this isn't available for Colorado because no one has volunteered to watch all their games and track every zone entry or exit.
I can't imagine why. It sounds like thrilling work.
How was Stuart's penalty killing?
- Highest ATOI on the blueline (2:59)
- Beneficiary of 2nd-highest SV% (93.41%)
- Goals-against/60 was relatively low on this team (4.04)
- Fenwick-against/60 (84.87) only negligibly better than team-worst (Holden, 85.04) and very poor leaguewide
Maybe sort of. If you're the type to believe defensemen influence SV% on the penalty kill, Varlamov can thank Stuart for his unreal shorthanded save percentage. If you're not, now is the time to make bets with the first group about Stuart's PK performance next year.
Did he support the offense and hit anybody?
- He was not used on the power play (0:29/gm)
- While on the ice, his team managed 42.2% scoring chances for (-1.97% SCFRel) 5v5
- Credited with 145 hits, most on the blueline
So that's No to the offense and Many Folks to folks hit. Are his devastatingly poor possession numbers due to circumstance?
- 17th-worst dCA Impact among defensemen
- 13th-worst overall dCorsi Impact among defensemen
His situation wasn't easy, but no. He was one of the worst possession defensemen relative to the expectations of his circumstances in the NHL last year.
What does it mean for 2015?
Last season was by far his highest on-ice SV% since 2007 at least. For an aging player who already is slow to skate and not good at making decisions with the puck, this does not bode well. To put it simply: No. No ice time pls. I expect he'll get it and that it will be disgusting to watch. But ideally no pls.
*Question marks skipped are Freddie Hamilton and Duncan Siemens, the imaginary awesomeness of both of which you're welcome to debate as well, but I like data.