Big Numbers: A numerical introduction to Raphael Diaz

Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Big Numbers is a weekly feature on Pass it to Bulis in which we identify the numbers and statistics that really matter or, frequently, the ones that don’t matter at all but are still pretty interesting.

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12 | Dale Weise’s points in 44 games for the Canucks this season. As Garry Valk pointed out, Weise is the only player in the NHL with double digit points while averaging single digit minutes in ice time. That’s not too shabby, but there’s one big caveat, and it’s our next Big Number:

1016 | Dale Weise’s PDO this season, according to Behind The Net. PDO is the simple addition of shooting percentage and save percentage when a player is on the ice. If a player’s PDO is much above 1000, it’s unlikely that his on-ice shooting percentage and save percentage are sustainable. Weise’s PDO was the highest on the Canucks, largely because of a team-high 9.29 on-ice shooting percentage.

982 | Raphael Diaz’s PDO this season, again according to Behind The Net (these differ slightly from the PDO numbers in Harrison’s article about the trade, which came from Extra Skater). Diaz has the second-worst on-ice shooting percentage on the Canadiens at 5.28. To put it coarsely, Weise has been lucky and Diaz unlucky this season. Making this trade now is selling high on Weise and buying low on Diaz.

5 | With the addition of Diaz, the number of right-shooting defencemen on the Canucks roster. Three of them, however, are out with injuries: Chris Tanev, Kevin Bieksa, and Yannick Weber. That leaves just Diaz and Frank Corrado as healthy, right-shooting defencemen and, with John Tortorella unlikely to give big minutes to the young, untested Corrado, expect to see Diaz get plenty of ice time right away, possibly on a pairing with Dan Hamhuis.

4 | Diaz was 4th among Canadiens defencemen in ice time per game, playing just short of 19 minutes per night, but had been a healthy scratch for three weeks. As a result, any trade value he might have had was thoroughly disintegrated. How Diaz went from a top-four defencemen to a long-term healthy scratch is the big question, but I suspect it might have something to do with that 982 PDO mentioned above.

2:44 | Diaz’s average ice time per game on the penalty kill, second among Canadiens’ defencemen and third on the team overall. That’s a big reason for his next big number:

100 | The number of shots Diaz has blocked this season, third on the Canadiens and 29th in the league. That will likely endear him to Tortorella immediately and his defensive acumen may boost a penalty kill that has struggled over the last 9 games.

2 | The number of Swiss Olympians now on the Canucks, bringing the total number of Olympians up to eight, nine if you count prospect Ronalds Kenins for Team Latvia, which we totally do. The Canucks just need to acquire Mark Streit and Roman Josi to complete their set of Swiss Olympic defencemen.

17 | Goals the Canucks have allowed over their last four games. As much as the Canucks’ sputtering offence has been the focus, the defence has given up far too many quality scoring chances and, as a result, goals of late. If the Canucks are going to be a boring team, they need to be boring in the right way.

1.75 | Diaz’s goals-against per 60 minutes of even-strength ice time, which lead the Montreal Canadiens this season. If a defenceman’s goal is goal prevention, Diaz has achieved his goal this season.

23.1 | Diaz’s shots-against per 60 minutes of even-strength ice time, which also leads the Canadiens this season. This is actually a much better sign than his goals-against, which can swing wildly over the course of the season based on bounces and luck. Diaz has been a low-event, safe defencemen for the Canadiens, but can also pitch in a little bit offensively.

41 | To get away from the Fancy Stats and get back to basics, this is the number of points Diaz has scored in 128 NHL games. Dale Weise has scored 26 points in 162 games. Considering Diaz is a defencemen, the fact that he has 15 more career points than Weise in 34 fewer games makes this trade look like a big win for the Canucks. That’s before considering the trade filled a big need and was from a position of strength for the Canucks. Who knew the Canucks’ wealth of fourth-line forwards would lead to acquiring a legitimate top-six defenceman?

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16 comments

  1. Brian
    February 3, 2014

    You’re fast.

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  2. Blueliner
    February 3, 2014

    1) I actually like Weise cause he’s fast and he plays hard. Best of luck to him in Montreal!

    2) If Diaz turns out to be a legitimate top 6 Dman, would Edler be on the chopping block? I feel like he’s poised to be traded since his value is still there, but he hasn’t played to our expectations.

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  3. Chris the Curmudgeon
    February 3, 2014

    Hey terrific, another player who is really unlucky because somehow shooting percentage seems to be low for no apparent reason while he’s on the ice but it’s totally not because the scoring chances he generates are not quality ones.

    That being said, considering Weise’s usage it’s probably a good move, especially if the injured players are out for any significant length of time.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 3, 2014

      His on-ice shooting percentage is lower this year than in his previous two seasons, so I’m willing to bet that it’ll improve. You’re free to ignore the fact that regression is, y’know, a thing, but it seems pretty silly to do so.

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  4. jeremy
    February 3, 2014

    1016 is totally within the sustainable zone for a PDO and Weise has played enough games to mean he’d have probably lingered around there on the Canucks. -30 to +30 is where it stops regressing noticeably after 30 games. (Incidentally, Diaz’s 982 falls in there, too.)

    Torts will love this guy – stick-checkin’ shot-blockin’ guy who sounds quick and smart enough to recover from the inevitable failed pinch attempt. It’s a great boost to our D depth and some of those metrics suggest he could be a great corsi-driver in the right context. I’ll miss Weise, I still think he has potential that he never quite reached, but crossing your fingers for an unlikely power move during the ten minutes Weise is on the ice is happily sacrificed for a guy who can play big minutes and sure up our own end.

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  5. DanD
    February 3, 2014

    Gillis knows how to make smart bargain moves. This looks like a win for both teams, but as you said, it immediately fills a huge hole for the Canucks.

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  6. akidd
    February 3, 2014

    i’m not sure if it’s a win daniel. maybe for weise. two big caveats. diaz is a ufa, so however great he is it’s just for a couple of months. and diaz hails from the eastern conference so we’ll just put him on that long list of players who came over from the east and lit up the western conference.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 3, 2014

      I think this will be a good move for Weise, sure, but it’s an absurd trade for the Canadiens. From reading Canadiens’ bloggers analysis of Diaz and this trade, they basically saw Diaz as their 4th best defenceman who was horribly mismanaged by their coach. Considering Weise was a waiver wire pickup for the Canucks and there are players of his ilk frequently available on the wire throughout the season, this is great trade for the Canucks and a really terrible one for the Canadiens.

      Keep in mind, I like Weise a lot. I think he’s got some untapped potential and he might get a chance to prove himself in Montreal, but the fact is that he’s still a depth forward who generally gets used on the 4th line. Getting a 19-minute-per-game defenceman for that is huge. I’m not expecting Diaz to light up the West, but if he can be a reliable 5th or 6th defenceman able to step into the top-four in a pinch, along with playing some PK time, that’s great.

      As for Diaz being a UFA, Weise is an RFA after this year and I’m not certain the Canucks were going to re-sign him. Even as a rental, this is a solid win for the Canucks, particularly with their injury situation on defence right now. With players like Darren Archibald and Alexandre Grenier available to be called up to fill that fourth line role, if need be, losing Weise isn’t a big deal.

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      • akidd
        February 3, 2014

        i hear you, daniel. the canucks needed a dman, i know. and if diaz is really good and likes it here maybe the canucks will have a leg up on resigning him. i just see it as a stopgap so the slide isn’t so steep for this team. lots of fans are still paying for games for some strange reason so you’ve got to at least pretend you’re trying to win.

        i think weise could be great fit on almost any 4th line but in vancouver the 4th line is not the issue. so keeping him around isn’t really that important as it’s not about little pieces any more.

        i do question the merit of trading with the eastern conference though. regarding that list of eastern conference players who came to the west and did well, i can’t can’t think of a single one. surely there must be one. can you think of anybody?

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        • Daniel Wagner
          February 3, 2014

          Joe Thornton. Zach Parise. Jeff Carter. Mike Richards. Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler have been fine in Calgary. Jakob Silfverberg’s been pretty good in Anaheim. P.A. Parenteau was expected to struggle away from John Tavares, but he scored 43 points in 48 games for the Avalanche last season and is still playing well for them this season in a smaller role.

          That’s just the guys that come to mind. I’m sure there are more.

          Just for Canucks currently on the roster, there’s Jason Garrison, Chris Higgins, Mike Santorelli, and, if you want to include goalies, Roberto Luongo.

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          • akidd
            February 3, 2014

            oh…there are a few. a few of those guys, like carter and richards, took a bit of time to adjust. i like garrison but there are some naysayers recently. santorelli was certainly motivated. but higgins ya, no questions there. cheers.

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  7. Aaron
    February 3, 2014

    Seems like a solid move by MG. A solid D man who blocks shots, limits goals against and has the potental/ability to score. We need a right handed D and it does give us leverage elsewhere. We could spare Weise so it seems like a win for us.

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  8. bhyglennie
    February 3, 2014

    sure would be nice to get a big YOUNG forward who can score goals, although Gillis seems hesitant to acquire any forward who is bigger than him.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 3, 2014

      That’s a really weird joke to make considering one of his highest profile moves was to acquire Zack Kassian.

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    • J21
      February 4, 2014

      Yes, no doubt he keeps hanging up the phone on all those GMs who keep trying to unload their 50-goal power forwards on him.

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  9. Whazzit
    February 3, 2014

    Gillis’ last young unheralded defense pickup was Stanton, which has worked out pretty well. If Diaz turns out to be as reliable as Stanton or Tanev, we’re golden.

    I feel Weise was a bit underrated – his performance in the Dutch league gave him more than enough confidence to do more in the NHL, but he wasn’t really given that chance. He may shine brighter in Montreal. Also, he was able to move up and down the lineup a bit as injuries hit, so top-9 isn’t out of the question.

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