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Worst 20 Adjusted +/- Ratings

Today I return to my sabermetrics and hockey series and I will continue looking at adjusted +/- ratings.  I posted the top 20 players by adjusted +/- last year and today I am looking at the worst 20.

Adjusted +/- takes raw +/- ratings and removes a team baseline so that we can compare between different teams.  This is not adjusted for quality of opposition or teammates or any other situations.  Thus it will identify those players who succeeded in their role (or failed as in the case of this worst list).  Since it does not take the player`s role into account, there is no reason that this list is the most inept NHL players from 2010/11.

I have limited this list to players who played 50 or more games with one team this season.  It is unfair to a player who was a member of a top team but hardly played to call him a significant minus because of his team`s adjustment.

One pitfall of +/- ratings is that they strongly depend upon saves percentages.  Players have a wide range in saves percentages both for and against when they are on the ice.  A large part of this range is random variation - in that saves percentages are highly volatile and not too repeatable from year to year.  The largest repeatable component is probably the usage of the player.  Players used in offensive situations will likely have higher team shooting percentages as they tend to get better quality shots than players who play in defensive roles only.  A small component of shooting percentages is the player`s skill, but given that one player`s saves percentages depend on the teammates they play with an individual player has very little control over his team`s saves percentages while he is on the ice.

Here is the 2010/11 worst 20 adjusted +/- ratings and the saves percentages of the players who got them:

2010/11 Worst 20 Adjusted +/- Ratings
Adj +/- 
Sv Pct For 
Sv Pct Against 
1David BoothFlo-26.0.889


2Tyler BozakTor-24.6.904


2Chris PhillipsOtt-24.6.901


4Cam FowlerAna-23.6.917


5Daniel CarcilloPhi-23.0.901


6Jack JohnsonLA-22.2.915


7Dennis WidemanFlo-21.0.893


8Zach BogosianAtl-20.4.911


9Ilya KovalchukNJ-20.0.897


10Chad LaroseCar-19.6.905


10Erik KarlssonOtt-19.6.905


12BJ CrombeenStL-19.4.896


13Rene BourqueCal-17.4.911


13Olli JokinenCal-17.4.900


15Tomas KopeckyChi-17.2.885


16Andy GreeneNJ-17.0.903


17Todd MarchantAna-16.4.928


18Filip KubaOtt-15.6.883


18Tyler SeguinBos-15.6.945


18Phil KesselTor-15.6.906


Only one of these players had a better saves percentage for his team than for his opponents.  This shows the importance of saves percentages on +/- ratings.  That player is Tyler Seguin, a rookie with potential but one who often looked overmatched; he played in Boston behind Tim Thomas who had the highest saves percentage in history.  Since this is an adjusted rating, he is compared to teammates and his team saves percentage of .939 was quite low.

The biggest difference between for and against saves percentages on this list is Daniel Carcillo, who spent last year with the Philadelphia Flyers.  He had a .901 saves percentage for his team, but an incredible .964 saves percentage for his opponents.  Largely this shows that Carcillo played “garbage minutes” where little was expected of his line offensively.  His job was to instigate a fight and not to score.  For the most part they didn`t try to score and were content to take low quality outside shots and never press for good scoring chances.  Carcillo himself took very few shots and his teammates are responsible for most of them.  This is an effect due to the situation where he played and not due to Carcillo himself.  A similar story is true for Todd Marchant, who also had a ridiculously high opponent`s saves percentage of .968.

The worst player here is David Booth, who had a relatively poor season after missing time to concussions.  He is followed by the newly re-signed Tyler Bozak of Toronto and Chris Phillips, the overmatched Ottawa defenceman.  Cam Fowler is an overmatched rookie.  Daniel Carcillo was a goon who made little attempt to score.  Jack Johnson is a once highly rated defensive prospect who regularly disgraces himself on these lists.  Dennis Wideman was traded this season.  He makes it in his time in Florida.  Zach Bogosian struggled in Atlanta last year.  Let`s see if moving to Winnipeg helps this year.  Ilya Kovalchuk has a big contract but had a poor year.

Chad Larose and Erik Karlsson are next.  BJ Crombeen comes in after that.  He is followed by the Calgary pair of Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen, who failed to contribute offensively.  Tomas Kopecky may have signed a big contract in Florida, but he doesn`t seem to be worth it.  Andy Greene was the overmatched Devils defenceman.  Todd Marchant played a shutdown game in Anaheim where nobody scored much, but if anyone did it was likely his opponents.  Filip Kuba, Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel round out the list.

I will take a closer look at a couple of these players in the future.

Worst adjusted +/- ratings show players who struggled in their roles last year.  To get on this list, you likely had a poor team saves percentage with a good opponent`s one.  A large part of this is unrepeatable and another significant portion is the usage pattern of the player involved.  The next step to overcome some of these problems is to move on to Corsi ratings, which I will do soon.

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com

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