There is a great new innovation that can evaluate how effectively coaches are using their players–Player Usage Charts. At the quickest of glances, they show which players are paired up with whom, against what level of opponents, in which zone and how effectively the team plays in such situations. Which team is using their players the best?
Player Usage Charts combine the percentage of shifts a player starts in the offensive zone (horizontal axis) and the average level of competition he faces (vertical axis), with a sized and colored bubble that's based on the team's attempted shot differential when the given player is on the ice.
These charts put shutdown forwards in the top-left corner, offensive-minded stars on the right side and sheltered depth players along the bottom. There's a lot of information in these charts, which are introduced in more detail in the 2011-12 Player Usage Charts PDF.
What follows here are the player usage chart for every team so far this season, with a few brief highlights of who is being used particularly effectively, and who isn't. Each slide also includes my personal take on the team's player usage overall. Let's begin!
Player Usage Charts are via writer's own original research, with data sourced from Behind the Net.