Capitals Player Report Card: Tyler Sloan

Tyler Sloan

Stats: 33 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -6, 14 PIM
Contract Info: $700,000 cap hit, signed through 2011-12
Player Card

Scoring Chance Percentage Ranking: 29/30
Defensemen: 10/10
Balanced Corsi Ranking: 29/30
Defensemen: 10/10

I was actually looking forward to doing this report card the most and it’s not because Tyler Sloan is last one on the list, it’s because Sloan’s a player that I constantly berate whenever I watch him play. He’s someone who typically only plays 10-12 minutes per night in a 3rd pairing defense role because his play in the defensive zone is typically spotty at best and can be absolutely brutal at times. I couldn’t wait to look at his underlying numbers to see if they say that he is as bad as I think he is (those quick stats above should give you a hint that they are) and they are for the most part but while taking  a gander at his player card from BTH, I noticed some interesting things…

First off, look at his offensive zone starts over the years. He was actually given TOUGHER minutes the last two seasons compared to 2010-11. I really would like an explanation for that because Sloan did nothing to show that he could handle those minutes in those two seasons and it took Boudreau this long to figure that out? This was also the first season where he saw below average competition instead of middling like he usually did. Huh? Maybe this is why I felt that his play wasn’t as brutal as it usually is this season because Boudreau was finally realizing his limitations and sheltering him. However, he got destroyed even when playing soft minutes by having a terrible relative corsi rate of -18.8 and surrendering over 30 shots per 60 minutes. Uhh…I think that qualifies as “worse than bad.” However, despite giving up that many shots, he had relatively the same amount of goals allowed per 60 minutes as he did last season and that was with the same on-ice save percentage as he had last season so at least he’s consistently bad?

Nevertheless, Sloan is a “fringe NHL player” who you activate whenever you need to which is usually when there are numerous injuries or lack of depth on your team’s defensive corps and the Caps had a lot of that this season.  However, he was kept out of the lineup in favor of Sean Collins in game 4 of the Tampa Bay series when Mike Green was hurt, which should show you how much trust this team has in his abilities. The amount of ice time he was given all season shows that he isn’t depended on in that many key situations (was barely used on PP and PK) so the team opted to go with someone who is less of a liability in his own zone than he is in a very important game.

The report card grade is relative to my expectations and my expectations for Sloan are always at rock bottom so I have to give him something like a D- for this year. I expected him to be bad and he was…and then it only got worse when I saw that he actually did worse with sheltered minutes which is awful. The only thing that kept him in Washington all-season was the fact that he couldn’t return to Hershey without being exposed to waivers but even then, I don’t think many teams would be chomping at the bit to get him after seeing some of his highlights (watch the Washington/Atlanta game from late November to see what I mean).

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