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Is Jonathan Marchessault a Diver?

Diving has always and will always be an effective tool for players who want to give their teams an edge. As a result, superstars such as James Harden in the NBA and countless athletes in the world of soccer have been branded with the term "diver" or "flopper". But this is hockey, where the unwritten rules were forged in the cans of Grizzly Wintergreen and Busch Light. And on this aluminum, in the finest ink, "Diving is for hosers" would be written. These cans would later go on to be recycled in Michigan for $0.10 a piece and the rules would never be seen by the naked eye again.


Which brings us to Jonathan Marchessault, who recently had to apologize to the NHL community for lashing out at fans who were accusing him of being a diving hoser. A serious accusation indeed, but do the fans have a leg to stand on?


Below is a chart comparing games played to penalties drawn:


Data from 8/1/2020-9/9/2020

Now obviously the data does not follow a linear distribution but lets humor this for a second. If you were to plug 17 games into the trend line formula, the expected penalties drawn would be approximately 3.6 or 4 to round up. Marchessault has over double to expected amount. Still, plenty of players are well above this line and he seems to be outperformed by Troy Stecher.














I think the significance of Marchessault's alleged diving becomes more apparent when you frame the drawn penalties by playoff series. Here you can see that when compared to his direct opponents and not the whole league, Marchessault's performance becomes a much more visible outlier.


Data from 8/1/2020-9/9/2020



In the view above the man seems to be in a league of his own with the drawn penalties. So what do you think? Diving hoser or just Mr. Popular on the ice?


Data provided by www.NHL.com


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