What’s up with Marco Scandella?

I am finally getting around to doing some analysis on one of the Wild players that I’ve liked for a while, but who is struggling this year–Marco Scandella. He’s just 27 years old, despite playing in his seventh NHL season…so we pretty much know what to expect from him, but they also say defensemen take a little longer to develop, so perhaps he could still show us something new. He’s got a booming slap shot, but is not known much as a goal scorer–he had a fantastic 14-15 season where he contributed 11 goals, but with a career line of (26+60=86; 0.24 pts/gm), we can expect that the offensive side of his game has developed about as much as it’s going to. Scandella still seems like a solid two-way defender who can contribute in all three zones, and could be a fine second- or third-pair defenseman. I’m going to highlight Scandella’s individual stats over his career today, and then look at some pairing stats and WOWY information later in the week. Let’s get down to it!

Nearly all the data that I will be showing will be normalized per sixty minutes for better comparison, but it’s important to remind the readers how much total 5v5 ice time he has had each year:

  • 2010-11: 268.03′
  • 2011-12: 1007.48′
  • 2012-13: 73.55′
  • 2013-14: 1173.72′
  • 2014-15: 1112.52′
  • 2015-16: 1249.44′
  • 2016-17: 787.33′ as of 3/7/17

Let’s start by looking at Scandella’s primary point contributions over the last seven years:

His 12-13 season is throwing off the scale of the chart here–he played just 6 games that season but scored once, so Small Sample Size alert there. Scandella’s primary assists have been fairly stable over the last four seasons, and his goal scoring has been pretty low with the exception of 14-15 where he scored 10 ES goals and chipped in one PPG. Next, let’s look at his individual shot attempts, which you know I like to look at in order to determine how active a player is with the puck.

We see here that Scandella has been a pretty good puck-mover over the course of his career, with a pretty good looking upward trend over time, and a 20% drop from last year to this year. We know that he’s playing more with Dumba this season, so perhaps that explains the drop…I’ll make sure to look into that when I do the WOWY analysis later this year. Scandella also missed time with a high ankle sprain at the beginning of the season, so perhaps that affected his play in the first half of the year.  However, Scandella is second only to Mike Reilly in terms of individual shot attempt rate.

Scandella has never really been known as a possession driver, but we see a fairly steady climb in the first five years of his career and then a sharp decline last year and this year. A closer look reveals that his on-ice CF/60 has actually been pretty steady, and it’s his CA/60 that has fluctuated wildly. Obviously, a lot of this depends on who else is on the ice with him so I will make sure to examine that later. But, in the meantime we can certainly say it’s troubling to see the switch from a positive Corsi in 14-15, and a widening gap between shots for and against, particularly this year.

Finally, I wanted to give some context and look at Scandella’s possession numbers relative to the rest of the Wild defensemen. After all, the team is struggling in the possession game this season, so it’s only fair to compare apples to apples. His CF/60 relative to the rest of the team is actually 1.01, which is first among Wild defenders. In real terms, that means that when he’s on the ice, the team gets 1 more shot attempt for per 60 minutes…so yeah. Nothing to write home about, but at least he’s ranked first? Scandella’s relative CA/60 is a more noticeable 5.82, third-highest behind only Folin and Gustavsson. Interestingly, Dumba’s at 1.68, so this tells us that Scandella can be said to be a defensive liability this year, perhaps through positioning or some other defensive tactics. His CF% rel is -1.92, again third-worst after Folin and Gustavsson.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think about Scandella this year, as well as what kinds of questions or things you might like to see me tackle later in the week.