Saturday, April 7, 2012

How Much Do the Kings Miss Jack Johnson?

If you would only listen, you might just realize what you're missing. You're missing me.
- Jack Johnson, Bubble Toes

February 23rd, the L.A. Kings traded Jack Johnson and what turned out to be their 2012 first-round pick for Jeff Carter. While most of us in the analytical community thought it was a steal, some thought Johnson would be a lot to lose. Let's take a look at how things have changed since he left.

Defensemen WOWY

Johnson split his time pretty evenly between Matt Greene, Rob Scuderi and Willie Mitchell. Here are the on-ice Corsi rates and percentages for each of these defensemen with and without Johnson:

Corsi RateWith JJWithout JJ

Corsi %With JJWithout JJ

I was expecting an increase, but wow(ee)! Johnson's time being split evenly between those three guys makes this even more damning. The strong pattern with all three defensemen effectively eliminates other explanations like zone starts, playing with better forwards or his partner switching to Doughty. Jack Johnson was dragging his teammates down, pure and simple.


Let's now look at how the centers and defensemen he didn't play as much with have fared before and after the trade.

Corsi RateBefore TradeAfter Trade
None of Above7.5398.077

Some of these numbers, especially Richards's, have a lot to do with Jeff Carter's play and how he has impacted the team indirectly - by taking tougher minutes and just shifting around the forward slots. No matter what, it's pretty clear that the Kings are doing quite well without Jack Johnson, thank you very much.


Since the deadline, the Kings have been one of the best teams in the NHL. Some of the improvement is what Carter has brought to the table and part of it is everything clicking and everyone playing well. A big reason, perhaps the most important, for their success since the deadline is no longer icing Jack Johnson 23 minutes a game. The Kings miss Jack Johnson as a teenager misses his virginity.


  1. Didn't you watch the Olympics? Jack Johnson anchored a strong U.S. defense!

    In all seriousness, trading Johnson for Carter has to be one of the greatest net positive trade outcomes I can remember.

  2. Well, I'm certainly not arguing against him being an anchor.

  3. When you make a trade and both add by adding and add by subtracting it is a good trade. Johnson seems to have had a negative impact in Columbus too.