all stats via corsica.hockey
Process was simple for this one. The goal was to set out and see if coaches were deploying their players in terms of driving offense. For the sake of this blog, driving offense is attributable to relative shot attempts for percentage, and relative goals for percentage. Players in the positive realm are on the ice for more shots for and more goals for relative to their teammates.
Rather than going through each team's depth-chart, a proxy for determining line-depth was used by ranking each player relative to their team via 5v5 time on ice per game. If a player is on a different team than which they started the season, their current team was used in the rankings. This last part here posed a bit of a problem, as I ended up with a lot more fourth liners than any other line.
Oh well, the show goes on.
Here's how the players stack up:
As you can see, fourth-liners are really all over the map in terms of the 'quadrants' here. However, they certainly dominate the bottom-left "bad" quadrant. Very interesting that the majority of first-liners are putting up good possession and goal based numbers. Makes you think that coaches are catching on a bit here.
Now, this is a bit loaded. Obviously, since these are relative numbers, even the best teams will have players who are negative. I think it's important to look at this on a relative scale to see if coaches are adjusting their lineups, even subconsciously, based on some of these metrics. Judging by the glut of first liners in the top-right "good" quadrant, we can assume that they are. Players who are better than their teammates on these metrics get more ice time than their teammates. The way it should be.