|2012 - Adam McQuaid||32||1||3||4||0||60||0||0||0||26|
This season saw defensman Adam McQuaid earn a well-deserved nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy, given to the NHL player who "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey." McQuaid's struggles with a lifethreatening blot clot (thoracic outlet syndrome) and determination to return to playing hockey at the highest level are inspiring. In the aftermath, how was Darth Quaider's performance in his role as one of Boston's third-pairing defensmen?
McQuaid had one goal and three assists in 32 regular season games, after missing a bunch of games due to a shoulder strain suffered in a game against Winnipeg. Given his past NHL performance, that seems like a reasonable contribution: McQuaid is definitely never going to be an offensive defenseman. Because he's crazy-pants, he also equaled his 2011-2012 fight total of 6 (in roughly half the games played. Crazypants). Of those bouts, he won a respectable 50%.
His Corsi On was an ok 5.95, but on a team like the Bruins, it was good for second lowest on the team among defensemen. Only Ference had lower, but Andy also played against tougher competition: his Corsi Rel QoC was -.032, while McQuaid's was -.737, lowest among Bruins defenseman. His Corsi on was actually up this year, as compared to 2011-2012, but that might be because his abovementioned Corsi Rel QoC was down, and was in fact the lowest since his rookie year. He also contributed the lowest P/60 (aside from Aaron Johnson) of the B's D-corps.
But Erin, you might say, how does this help us judge his defensive acumen, given that you said above that he isn't known for his offensive gifts? Following Servo's model from the midterm report cards, here are McQuaid's +/- Rel, Goals Allowed Rel and Goals For Rel (all per 60 minutes) numbers!
+/- REL: -0.46
GF REL: -0.68
GA REL: 0.22
(I used the same methodology Servo did for GA Rel - that is, a positive number here indicates good work!)
So, ok, not so hot with the goals for and the +/- relative, but as befits a defensive defenseman, he trended the right way in terms of GA Rel. He also still maintained the lowest goals allowed/60 mins of the regular defensemen (more than 20 games played).
All of this should be looked at in the context of his usage, as well: he had a negative zone shift (with favorable zone starts), albeit a minor one: he started in the offensive zone 53.7% of the time, while ending there 52.5%. This indicates that he wasn't seeing a ton of defensive zone responsibility, and that he wasn't always great at keeping the puck from re-entering Boston's zone. It's not a huge drop, or anything, but still.
Essentially, it could be argued that McQuaid was the weakest link in the Boston group of D-men. On a team of defensive monsters like Chara and offensive contributors like Hamilton, McQuaid pales in comparison, and he performed in a fairly average to below average way despite playing sheltered minutes against weak competition.
McQuaid equaled his regular season point total of 4 with 2 goals and 2 assists. He ended as a +9, had a really decent 1.34 GA Rel, and his +/- Rel was 1.3 -- better than any other D-man. Of course, he was doing all that facing the weakest competition. Still, he had a really solid run during the playoffs, which was especially important since, for a while there, it was Chara, Boychuk, him, and the kids holding down the fort, while everyone else was busy being broken.
McQuaid didn't have the greatest of regular seasons, even by his normal, third-pairing standards. He gets a bit of a bump for playoff performance, but he should have some serious competition for that bottom pairing role from the kids come fall.