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The JMFJ Effect

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Whoops!  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Whoops! (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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I have talked many times of my hatred for Jack Johnson. Many, many times. Basically, I don't like him because he doesn't do anything to positively affect a play when he's on defense; he's generally in the right place but he's not actively doing the things he needs to do to end that offensive possession. He's a buck-toothed pylon, basically.

But hey, I've said it so many times that you're probably tired of hearing it from me. Plus I'm borderline retarded so you shouldn't be listening to me anyway. Well, what about our good friend Earl Sleek? He's smart and un-biased, maybe he can shed some light on Jack. Earl used his Excel wizardry to take a look at every Kings defenseman at even strength and compared their production with Jack Johnson as a defensive partner to their production when Jack wasn't on the ice. The results are kind of staggering, even to me:

So basically 5-on-5 goals, 4-on-4 goals, 3-on-3 goals, and even strength goals with an extra attacker.  For each of these goals (167 GF and 165 GA), I was able to identify which defensemen were on the ice.  I ran the report for each non-JMFJ defenseman and split it according to whether JMFJ was on the ice or not.  Here's the results (I left out Muzzin -- he had no events with JMFJ):
Doughty without JMFJ +61 -44 +17 0.581
Doughty with JMFJ +18 -19 -1 0.486
Mitchell without JMFJ +44 -39 +5 0.530
Mitchell with JMFJ +3 -9 -6 0.250
Scuderi without JMFJ +32 -27 +5 0.542
Scuderi with JMFJ +22 -29 -7 0.431
Greene without JMFJ +29 -28 +1 0.509
Greene with JMFJ +5 -9 -4 0.357
Martinez without JMFJ +33 -25 +8 0.569
Martinez with JMFJ +4 -2 +2 0.667
Drewiske without JMFJ +13 -15 -2 0.464
Drewiske with JMFJ +2 -2 0 0.500
Harrold without JMFJ +8 -4 +4 0.667
Harrold with JMFJ +1 -2 -1 0.333

It gets a bit murky when you get down to Martinez, Drewiske, and Harrold, as it's kind of a small sample, but for the big four, the JMFJ effect is pretty apparent.  For Doughty, Mitchell, Scuderi, and Greene, they each had better GF/GA ratios without JMFJ than with him.  This table isn't pure plus-minus (since it excludes shorthanded goals and empty-netters), but according to how I did this, the four d-men were a combined +28 without JMFJ and a combined -18 with him.  Or, another way, the big four had a GF/GA ratio of .546 without JMFJ compared to a .421 with him.

Overall, the Kings were +112 GF and -93 GA without JMFJ (+19, .546), and +55 GF and -72 GA with him (-17, .433).


Earl's got most of it right there but if you need it condensed down even more: the Kings are better without Jack Johnson. Or at least, every single defenseman on the team (except Drewiske) plays better without Jack Johnson. This despite the fact that Jack didn't play the toughest minutes on the team (those go to Mitchell and Doughty). The evidence is circumstantial but poor people have been put to death with less. To put it in another way, Jack had both the highest GA/60 among Kings defensemen and the lowest GF/60. He scored less points at a per minutes basis than any other defenseman on the team, including Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi. There's a lot of different ways you can show it, but Jack Johnson is just... bad. Bad bad bad.

Of course, that's just at even strength; he did have a very good year on the power play and he's always struck me as an alright penalty killer. Maybe the Kings need to think about switching the even-strength roles of Alec Martinez and Johnson. Martinez had great numbers in easy minutes and it might be worth it to see how he does with an increased role. Of course, the Kings aren't paying Jack Johnson $4+ million to play 3rd line minutes but on the other hand who gives a shit if it helps the Kings win.

I don't want to belabor the point and I've actually gotten past the whole "I hate Jack Johnson on a personal level" thing, but... he sucks at defense. That's really all there is to it. (Good thing the Kings signed him for 7 years!) As I've said before, all I know is that Jack Johnson is either a victim of the greatest conspiracy in hockey history to make his plus-minus look poor... or he's just a shitty defenseman. I think Earl has shown which theory is correct.