Matt Carle vs Ryan Suter

Making the case for Matt Carle over Ryan Suter.

How undervalued is Matt Carle in Philadelphia?

Complaining by the fans often includes rants about his turnovers, lack of physical play, among other things, but is it warranted?

Let’s compare him to a player that would reportedly cost a team an “NHL player + A prospect + B prospect + first rounder.”

Who is a pending unrestricted free agent, nonetheless.

Ryan Suter.

Through 56 games, Carle is averaging 23:01 of total time on ice and plays a whopping 18:31 minutes of even strength ice per game — usually paired with rookie defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon.

Through 53 games, Suter is averaging 26:40 of total time on ice and plays 19:58 of even strength time usually paired with three-time NHL All-Star and Olympian Shea Weber.

In those games, Player A has 36 hits, 112 blocked shots, 37 giveaways, 13 takeaways and 91 shots on goal, while Player B has 29 hits, 76 blocked shots, 30 giveaways, 29 takeaways and 95 shots on goal.

Which is which? Is the comparison closer than you thought it would be?

Or surprised that Matt Carle is Player A?

This piece probably isn’t going to change your already skewed opinion of Matt Carle, but hopefully, you take something positive from it.

Us hockey writers don’t delve into advanced statistics in hockey often, personally, sometimes they bore me, sometimes I just can’t understand what I’m reading. For the sake of this piece, stay with me, and you’ll be surprised with the results.

But I came across a great piece by Stephen Burch on Pension Plan Puppets. He used a formula to calculate who the best shutdown defensemen are…

In summary, SDI Sit (Shutdown Defender Index Situational) will be the sum of values for Corsi REL Differential STD Ratio and OZ% STD Ratio, while SDI Res will be the sum of values for Corsi ON 60 STD Ratio and the 20% weighted value of Penalty Differential STD Ratio.”  … (Read Part I here and Part II here)

If you made it to read this, please continue.


Here are Matt Carle’s SDI Sit scores: 2009: (-0.124), 2010: (-0.588), 2011: (+0.689), 2012 (+0.489).

Followed by his SDI Res scores: 2009: (+0.232), 2010: (+0.889), 2011: (+0.508), and 2012: (+0.513).

Lastly, Matt Carle’s overall SDI scores for the last four years are: 2009: (+0.108), 2010: (+0.301), 11: (+1.197), 12: (+1.002).

The comparison to Ryan Suter’s overall SDI scores for the last four years:  2009: (-0.759), 2010: (+1.950), 2011: (+1.461) and 2012: (+0.230).

For comparison purposes, here is Shea Weber: 2009: (-0.231), 2010: (+2.461), 2011: (+1.230), and 2012: (+1.489)

What does it mean? Based on the total SDI, Ryan Suter ranks 49th among defensemen that average more than 15 minutes of even strength ice time, while Matt Carle comes in at 53rd. Shea Weber ranks 27th overall. The comparison is just that — a comparison to prove that the value of Matt Carle and Ryan Suter is much more closer than what people may think. [Read that paragraph again]

Using another shots chart on Behindthenet a simple calculation to measure the percentage of attempted shots that a player blocks. This is done by dividing the number of shots an individual player blocks at ES per 60 minutes (BF/60) by the sum of all the shots, blocks, and missed attempts per 60 minutes of ES play while they’re on the ice.

Matt Carle: (5.5 / [25.7+10.4+16.5]) blocks 10.4% of all shots fired at his net while he’s on the ice…

Compare that to Braydon Coburn and his new $4.5-million dollar yearly salary with the numbers: (3.1 / [26.3+12.2+14.0]) you get a number of 5.9%. In essence, Carle blocks almost twice as many shots fired at the Flyers keeper.

As for the Nashville boys…

Shea Weber: (4.2 / [27.7+10.5+13.8]) blocks 8.1% of all shots fired at his net while on the ice and Ryan Suter (3.1 / [28.2+11.4+13.3]) comes in at nearly half of Matt Carle: 5.9%.

Is Matt Carle a better defenseman that Ryan Suter? No, probably not. But the comparison and gap in skill is much closer than what you think and No. 25 in Orange is going to be getting a nice pay raise by someone this offseason.

After all, it’s more than deserving.

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