Two weeks ago I presented an initial look at Vitek Vanecek and his rising rebound shot attempts against. Since that initial post, Vanecek has made two additional starts so I thought it would be insightful to briefly revisit that particular component of Vanecek’s game and provide an update.
[Data utilized in this post is provided by Natural Stat Trick, Money Puck, NHL.com and NoVa Caps’ Advanced Analytics Model. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the terms in the post you can check out our NHL Analytics Glossary.]
Rebound Shot Attempts Against
The first graph provides a simple tally of the rebound shot attempts against Vanecek for each game this season during even-strength (5v5) conditions. [ Click to enlarge].
To recap, through the first 16 games of the 2021-22 season (up to 12/19/21 vs. Kings) Vanecek had just 20 rebound shot attempts against for a 1.25 rebound shot attempts against per game average.
In his last 21 games, Vanecek has yielded 66 rebound shot attempts against for a 3.14 rebound shot attempts against per game average. That’s nearly triple the rate of the first 16 games of the season.
Additionally, in Vanecek’s last 10 games he has yielded 43 rebound shot attempts against for a 4.30 rebound shot attempts against per game average. That’s also up from the the 3.8 rebound shot attempts against per game rate presented in the initial evaluation and more nearly four times the rate of his first 16 games this season. The trend continues to increase.
Rebound Shot Attempts Per 60 (5v5)
As mentioned in the first post, because the actual five-on-five ice time for each game varies, depending on the amount of penalty kill time, power play time, etc., it’s sound analysis to “normalize” the data from each game. To do that we can convert each game’s data to rebound shot attempts against per 60 minutes of ice time. The next graph shows Vanecek’s rebound shot attempts per 60 at five-on-five. [Click to large].
For the first 16 games of the season, Vanecek totaled 23.86 rebound shots against per 60 or a 1.49 rebound shot attempts against per 60 average.
For the last 21 games, Vanecek has totaled 89.57 rebound shot attempts against per 60 or a 4.26 rebound shot attempts against per game average. That’s up as well.
Rebound Shot Attempts Against Percentage Of Overall Shot Attempts (5v5)
In this post I thought I would provide additional context (another brush stroke to the overall painting) related to Vanecek’s rebound shot attempts against data. It’s logical to assume that the more shots Vanecek faces, the more rebound shot attempts against he might face. In order to assess that notion, we can look at the percentage of rebound shot attempts against in relation to the overall (total) shots against per game.
The next graph plots Vanecek’s rebound shot attempts against as a percentage of the overall shot attempts against (5v5) for each game.
This better defines the concern. For example, in the last game Vanecek faced 27 shot attempts at even strength, and 10 0f those were rebound shot attempts against. (37.04%). That’s a season high for rebound shot attempts against and percentage of rebound shot attempts against, and continues the increasing trend over the last 21 games.
We will likely never know for sure what the NHL’s proverbial “book” is on Vanecek, but as we begin to compile more and more data and information, and marry that with the trusty ol eye-test and knowledge from his days in Hershey it’s apparent that teams are firing low, into the pads on Vanecek, looking to generate rebounds.
You can be sure that the Capitals realize this and are constantly working with Vanecek to minimize rebounds and optimize his rebound control. And in his defense, he’s doing a decent job as of late. For example, Vanecek had the season-high 10 rebound shot attempts against in his last game and the Capitals won 4-2 over the Bruins.
By Jon Sorensen