Does Everyone Need More Bradley?


Everyone Needs More Bradley, right? Whether Matt Bradley was scoring game winning goals, working the PK against some tough competition, staying out of penalty trouble or just plain acting like a superhero, the Caps definitely needed more of it.

But do all players benefit from playing more with Brads?

Drawing inspiration from Tyler Dellow’s piece about Nicklas Backstrom’s value in relation to the amount of time that he spent playing with Ovechkin, using a great script from Vic Ferrari and getting some help from RangerSmurf of Blueshirt Banter we can look at how a player’s production is positively or negatively affected when #10 is on the ice.

We are going to look at how other Caps forwards do with or without Matt Bradley on the ice in terms of Corsi, because whoever is outshooting the competition is almost sure to have more scoring chances, which leads to outscoring the other team.

Normally I would like to have at least 100 Corsi events for each forward, but since Bradley plays on the 3rd and 4th lines, I am going to include some with less for comparison.

With Bradley W/O Bradley
Events Corsi% Corsi% Delta
Ovechkin 84 0.500 0.578 (13%)
Fleischmann 113 0.593 0.489 21%
B Gordon 327 0.520 0.533 (2%)
Backstrom 87 0.517 0.564 (8%)
Laich 71 0.535 0.507 6%
Chimera 88 0.489 0.499 (2%)
Steckel 852 0.561 0.468 20%

For example: When Alex Ovechkin and Matt Bradley are on the ice together, they have a CORSI % of .500, meaning they are in a draw with the opposition when it comes to outshooting the other team. However, when Ovechkin is without Bradley, the Russian Machine has a .578 CORSI – indicating he needs less Bradley. Except maybe when Steve Downie is on the ice.

Tomas Fleischmann and Dave Steckel however, seem to need all the Bradley they can get. I’ve written before about how Flash is not a puck possession machine, having the worst 5v5 Relative CORSI of all Caps forwards playing 20+ games. It’s hard to believe that he is even worse at even strength when Bradley is not on the ice with him, but, believe it my friends.

David Steckel doesn’t perform terribly in CORSI at 5v5, but he also sees a 20% increase with Bradley on the ice.

It’s worth noting too that the 20% increase is fairly significant:

Teams that outshoot their opposition in a given game have earned an average of 1.122 pts/g since 1987-88; teams that get outshot by their opposition have earned an average of 0.952 pts/g since 1987-88. (Outshooting By Tyler Dellow)

So does this mean we need a team of Matt Bradleys? Um, no. But what it does give is some great insight into optimizing line combinations and also maximizing the qualities Bradley brings to the ice – grit, discipline and the ability to perform in the clutch.

  • This might just be the best statistics post ever.

  • Might I ask how there are two Backstroms with different stats? Other than that, great post!

  • Apparently Neil thought that the Minnesota Wild’s Nicklas Backstrom also played center for the Washington Capitals too. We deleted out the extraneous Backstrom line. Thanks for catching that Netty.

  • Your very welcome, Russian Machine! Glad I can help.

  • FedFed

    NiKlas Backstrom of the Wild, NiCKlas Backstrom of the Caps.

  • @Netty thanks for the catch. WordPress doesn’t like tables, so the Excel spreadsheet import got wonky. Prob could also use more Bradley.


  • Megan

    More Bradley is good. I’d give him more 3rd link time this season!

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  • You can never, ever have enough Matt Bradley. To suggest otherwise is heresy.

  • Rockin’ The Red in VA

    Highlight of the season IMO, Bradley flying in to take care of Downie! Is it October yet??

  • I don’t see why this is even a question. Brads is awesome. Who wouldn’t want more of him?