Staff Report Cards : Michal Rozsival

All situations
5 on 5 on-ice
5 on 5
CF% rel
GF% rel
ZS% rel
Regular Season 42 1 7 8 16.5 3.4 2.60% -11 58.80% 2.70% 53.70% -5.10% 8.10% 89.90% 98 64.40% 11.10% 30.90% 8.00% 15.50% 27.30% 26.10%
Playoffs 17 1 5 6 16.1 2.6 7.70% -1 52.90% 5.90% 45.00% -5.90% 6.40% 91.00% 97.4 66.70% 19.00% 29.60% 11.40% 18.50% 27.20% 26.30%

Michal Rozsival has one year left on his contract with the Blackhawks. The 35 year old spent the past two seasons on Chicago's third pairing patrolling the blue line. Most of the time, his partner has been youngster Nick Leddy. While he played for the Phoenix Coyotes, Rozsival played against tough competition with heavy defensive zone starts. Since coming to the Blackhawks, his usage has changed drastically. Rozsival has matched up against far lesser Quality of Competition and had far more favorable zone starts. Coach Joel Quenneville's system for deploying his players has allowed for this more favorable situation. (Please click on graph to view larger image)



With the less strenuous demands, Rozsival outperformed his previous marks in terms of possession metrics and shot suppression. I used CD60 to show Rozsival's possession metrics over the past few seasons to compare his performance. CD60 is Corsi Differential Per 60, which is Corsi For Per 60 minus Corsi Against Per 60. A positive differential means the Corsi For was higher than the Corsi Against. A negative differential means the Corsi Against was higher than the Corsi For. Obviously, a positive Corsi Differential is preferable. The Per 60 in this stat is just the rate so we are not using simply raw numbers.

When looking at the playoff numbers, it is important to keep in mind the sample size. Obviously, far fewer games go into making those rates, but they still correlate fairly well with the overall trend from Rozsival. His CD60 correlates positively with the decrease in the QoC (Quality of Competition) he faced at a rate of 75.61%. Rozsival's CD60 correlates positively with the increase in favorable zone starts at a rate of 78.35%. When we remove the playoff numbers to correct for sample size, those correlations become 97.47% for CD60 to QoC and 99.41% for CD60 to ZS%.


Simply put, Quenneville's system has optimized Rozsival's abilities by giving his shot generation the room it needs to work. The lower QoC allows a formerly higher pairing defenseman to matchup against lower lines and thus greatly diminish the shots against while on the ice. Rozsival had the lowest CA20 (Corsi Against Per 20) on the team during the regular season at 5v5 Score Close.

Rozsival also parlayed his more comfortable assignment into some impressive possession numbers league wide this season. At 5v5 Score close among defensemen having played at least 41 games, Rozsival was 2nd in the league with a CF% of 59.5%. He was 5th among the same players in FF% at 57.8%. When all skaters with at least 41 games played are ranked, Rozsival was 8th in CF% and 17th in FF%.


Instead of doing my usual WOWY chart for Rozsival, I opted to look at his CF20 versus CA20 when together on the ice with his most frequent defense partner and forward linemates. When out with the Toews' line, Rozsival saw the best CF20 despite presumably skating against the toughest competition he regularly faced. While still generating shots at a fairly good clip, Rozsival and company suppressed shots well when he was on the ice with Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad. Obviously, his time on the ice with Nick Leddy shows the best shot suppression with a CA20 of 12.1 at 5v5. All of these figures also include game situations that featured Score Effects so we should keep that in mind as his Score Close CA rates were far better. Predictably, his shot suppression and shot generation measures were at their worst when on the ice with Marcus Kruger's line. This is predictable in that Kruger's line took the majority of the defensive zone starts for the Blackhawks this season.


Above is a graph depicting how Rozsival's CF% looked at 5v5 against the forwards and defensemen he most frequently faced during the season. All of the players included had at least 15:00 minutes of ice time against Rozsival with their exact ice time against him noted next to their names. Again, Score Effects do play a role in some of these numbers because it is at 5v5 and not score controlled, but regardless, it is interesting to see how he faied against other players well know to Blackhawks fans.

Rozsival ran into some penalty troubles here and there this season; however, the team possession game and offensive system was far better with him on the ice as compared to Sheldon Brookbank, who took turns being the 6th defensemen alongside lineup regular Nick Leddy this season. While his age has perhaps limited his usage during regular season games, Rozsival has been a good defensive partner for Leddy and does a fine job activating into the offense. I would expect to see him rested regularly again this coming season barring any roster changes on the blue line and then becoming more active as the playoffs begin.

All data used herein collected from:

What Letter Grade Would You Award Michal Rozsival For His Overall Performance This Season?