2014 Season Review: Slava Voynov
Tougher assignments, tougher matchups, tougher season.
Voynov's dCorsi (2011-14)
|YEAR||EXPECTED CORSI||ACTUAL CORSI||dCORSI|
(stats via Behind the Net, Hockey Analysis, and @mimicohero)
Once again, Slava Voynov was one of LA's most productive defensemen:
|Year||5v5 Points/60||Team Ranking||League Ranking (qualified defensemen)||Notes|
|2013-14||0.84||2||47 (164)||Dmen > 750 5v5 mins|
|2012-13||1.00||1||26 (178)||Dmen > 400 5v5 mins|
|2011-12||1.02||1||15 (169)||Dmen > 750 5v5 mins|
|Year||5v4 Points/60||Team Ranking||League Ranking (qualified defensemen)||Notes|
|2013-14||3.38||2||46 (85)||Dmen > 100 5v4 mins|
|2012-13||4.8||1||14 (95)||Dmen > 50 5v4 mins|
|2011-12||2.79||1||48 (86)||Dmen > 100 5v4 mins|
However, as Andrew mentioned in his Drew Doughty season review, unlike forwards, "defensemen individual point total and team goalscoring are not tightly correlated."
Slava also handles tough minutes for the team (-0.18 Off ZS% Rel this year, -6.58 in 12-13) and is one of three Los Angeles defenders who play a significant share of power play and penalty kill minutes.
Speaking of the PK, Nick pointed out that Voynov led the team in suppressing shorthanded scoring chances (29.2 chances/60 mins) in his season review of team scoring chances. This is coming on the heels of a 2012-13 campaign where he led LA defensemen in 4v5 FA20 by a significant margin (his 19.408 was followed by Doughty's 21.573). All this suggests some penalty killing aptitude.
He also finished a very distant second among Kings' defensemen with a 34.12 Carry-in %. There's some reason to believe that he could stand to be a little more daring, as his 10.77 Failed Entry % was excellent.
Finally, the Russian native played his best with the dearly departed Willie Mitchell. They posted an averagish 55.7 CF% (compared to team's 56.8%) in 423:54 together. This is in line with their career 55.6% together (in 1068:04).
Slava will miss Willie.
If it was a stretch to trumpet that duo's middling CF% showing as a positive, consider that their 55.7% dips to 53.0% when Voynov skates with his most common partner from 2013-14, Robyn Regehr (776:43). This is the second consecutive year that he's been saddled with a known possession drag at his side (last year it was Rob Scuderi). This helps explain a lot about his awful dCorsis (Mitchell was his partner in 2011-12).
The Russian isn't a play-driving defenseman, but he's not a drag either. He will probably never be a significant driver of play, but in fairness, those type of defensemen aren't common. Even Doughty couldn't quite escape the Corsi "Event Horizon" that is Regehr.
Speaking of '90s classics, I imagine this is how Darryl Sutter talks to Slava:
He also suffered from a career-worst 3.33 5v5 shooting % (after posting 7.26 from 2011-13).
In terms of scoring chances, as proficient as Voynov was on the penalty kill, he was as deficient on the power play. His 4.2 I/60 (total scoring chances) was dead-last among regular Los Angeles blueliners on the man advantage, well behind the closest dman above him (Jake Muzzin's 7.2). This might explain his decline in 5v4 Points/60; I'm curious to see how he fares in this area in 2014-15.
While there have been some suggestions to pair Alec Martinez with Slava, as they've enjoyed success in limited time together (63.8 CF% in 198:57 from 2011-14), the coaching staff is probably ill at ease with the idea of a partnership that would be ragdolled by the Getzlafs and Thorntons.
So in the foreseeable future, I'd bet on Voynov always being paired with a physically stronger partner, who will more or less dictate the direction of his possession numbers. This year, it looks like that guy will still be Regehr, so look for his possession numbers to continue to disappoint.
That said, his shooting % should bounce back. He eats a lot of his minutes for a championship contender and is okay at it. And there's always a chance that Brayden McNabb will usurp Brazilian Corsi Death.
Because of some bad luck (on top of being overmatched at times), Voynov was the Kings' most maligned defenseman throughout the postseason. And yet...Regehr. C.
Smile, Slava, you passed.
Grade Slava Voynov's Season
|A: Scuderi, Schultz, Regehr||5|
|B: Schultz, Regehr||33|
|D: Who cares about your partner, you're LA's 2nd-highest paid defender||17|
|F: What an enigma!||1|