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Analytics Profile: Chris Wagner

If you’re reading this it’s too late

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Shot Creation : D-

3 year WAR/82 : -0.25

3 year RAMP Z-Score : -1.73

Wagner’s teams have had trouble scoring when he’s been on the ice over the last three seasons at 5v5. They score 1.05 less goals per hour with him on the ice, which is really bad. Part of that is due to his role and luck, but a lot of it is on him.

His biggest offensive struggle is to create shots in the first place. The WAR model finds him below replacement in this aspect, and the RAMP finds him well below average. Wagner’s teammates attempt 4.74 less shots with him on their side. That’s a lot prettier than how his team attempts 6.93 more shots per hour while he is sitting on the bench.

Shot Suppression : C-

3 year WAR/82 : -0.04

3 year RAMP Z-Score : -0.89

Wagner is better at suppressing shots, but is still below average in this aspect. The WAR model finds him below replacement here, but far less than his shot creation. The RAMP also finds him to be below average in this aspect, but far less than his shot creation.

Wagner has had basically no effect on the rate of shot attempts his teammates give up when they are with him versus without him. I’d say that is average, but given his role, the bar for average changes. His zone starts have been fairly friendly, his quality of competition isn’t too hard, among other things that change our expectations.

Offensive Shot Quality : C

3 year WAR/82 : 0.04

Wagner’s ability to create high-quality shots is confusing. By the looks of it, Wagner seems below average. His team is expected to score on 0.34% less of their unblocked shots when he is on the ice at 5v5, which is a pretty serious drop. At the same time, he’s above replacement in this part of the game, and has been for each of the last three seasons.

Given his role, the bar is set lower for him to create high-quality shots. With the bar lowered, he’s about average for his role. Change his role and you might see this change. Put Wagner on the second line and he surely has a negative impact. He seems to be above average for a fourth liner, and about average overall in this aspect.

Defensive Shot Quality : C

3 year WAR/82 : -0.04

His defensive shot quality is even more confusing. He has a positive impact on expected save percentage, but the WAR model finds him below replacement. Why?

The goalies behind Wagner have been expected to save 0.41% more of the unblocked shots they face while Wagner is on the ice. But quality of competition among other pieces to the puzzle shot their affect here. And just like his offensive shot quality, he’s been consistently below replacement. There isn’t just one bad season holding him back.

Author’s Comments

The expectations for Wagner as a Bruin have to be low. Over the last three seasons he posted a WAR/82 of -0.26, 0.04, and -0.51. His ability to create shots is really what holds him down. His shot suppression and shot quality are around replacement, which given his contract, isn’t bad. Wagner can draw the man advantage without taking too many penalties himself, and probably adds some intangibles on and off the ice. If the Bruins can get Wagner to effectively create shots for them, he can work out in Boston.

Note: The last part of this series will be on Monday. I will answer comments and questions from this series in a more formal form. So if you have any questions about players or about what you read, leave a comment below.