Jalen Chatfield and Tony DeAngelo: A Tale Of TOI And Making Use Of It

Nov 18, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes players skate before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes players skate before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

In the three games prior to the November 28th Hurricanes game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Jalen Chatfield has been in Carolina’s lineup with Dmitry Orlov.*In that time he has 2 assists and the Canes are 2-1-0. Taking first this small sample, and then taking the season as a whole, I am going to look at Chatfield’s production based on his TOI numbers. After that, I will use TOI as a yardstick to compare Chatfield’s production against the defenseman he replaced, Tony DeAngelo.

As the great philosopher said, “You can make stats say whatever you want if you press them hard enough.” In an attempt to lay a gentle hand on the stats, and keep certain groups of Carolina Hurricanes fans from complaining too loudly about biases, I twisted these stats every way I could with my limited mathematical and statistical abilities.

First I looked at the percentage of time both Tony DeAngelo and Jalen Chatfield spent on the ice (before the game on the 29th)  as compared to other Hurricanes defensemen. Next, I took the three games Chatfield has been back on the ice (Edmonton, Tampa Bay, and Columbus) and compared them to the last three games DeAngelo played (Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh). Each set of games had two wins, and a single loss. With each of the 6 defensemen, I took their TOI and got a percentage of the game they played by dividing by 60 minutes. Originally I looked for large differences in percentages or total time of play between the pairing and the sets of data, but there were no large disparities.

In this small set of data, Chatfield and DeAngelo played roughly the same amount of time over the three but Chatfield had 2 assists in his first game back in the 6-3 win over Edmonton.**

Jalen Chatfield and Tony DeAngelo: A Tale Of TOI And Making Use Of It
Nov 26, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jalen Chatfield (5) shot is blocked by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Eric Robinson (50) during the first period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

Game One

  • Chatfield TOI: 14:48:00 24% of the game.
    • Outcome: 2 assists, 6-3 Canes Win
  • DeAngelo TOI: 14:40:00 24% of the game.
    • Outcome: No points, 4-0 Canes Win

Game Two

  • Chatfield TOI: 17:14:00 or 29% of the game.
    • Outcome: No points, 8-2 Canes Loss
  • DeAngelo TOI: 17:15:00 or 29% of the game.
    • Outcome: No points, 3-1 Canes Loss

Game Three

  • Chatfield TOI: 15:57:00 or 26% of the game.
    • Outcome: No points, 3-2 Canes Win
  • DeAngelo TOI: 15:30:00 or 26% of the game.
    • Outcome: No points, 4-2 Canes Win

As you can see, the only thing different between the two individual sets of data are Chatfield’s two points, and the outcomes of the individual games. However, Carolina does score more goals during Chatfield’s games, while during DeAngelo’s games fewer goals are allowed.

But, when you step back and look at the defensive production as a whole, the numbers start to separate.

First, in Chatfield’s three games, there is a noted diversity of offensive production from the defense. Points come from Orlov, Brent Burns, Jaccob Slavin, and Chatfield. During DeAngelo’s sample games, the only pairing that produced was Burns and Slavin. However, the defense does produce one more point (not scored by DeAngelo) in that same three-game span.

Secondly, there has been a noticeable uptick in mistake-free hockey during the last three games. Only one game during DeAngelo’s three-game span was the entire defense 0 or better for the game. During Chatfield’s three games, each line was 0 or better, for each of the three games.

Before leaving this 3 game microcosm of the season, it is worth noting that Dmitry Orlov (the defenseman most often paired with Chatfield or DeAngelo) had his first point in 4 games, while paired with Jalen Chatfield. Was this because of Chatfield, and not up to the hockey gods? No one can say for sure, but the 4 game pointless drought took place while paired with DeAngelo.

Not satisfied that three games were enough evidence to convince anyone of anything, I decided to pull back and look at the season as a whole. Perhaps a season’s (thus far 20 games) worth of study would be enough to squelch the inevitable hate-filled podcasts from certain corners of fandom.

Here is what I found.

There are similarities between the two. Tony DeAngelo has played in 16 games thus far. Jalen Chatfield has appeared in 15 games. Each has played in 10 wins for the Hurricanes. Each has a goal for the year. Where the wheat separates from the chaff is when you look at the ratio of time on ice to goals and the outcomes of the games in which each player plays.

For the sake of clarity I will link to the side-by-side stats, but here will list them by player.

Jalen Chatfield and Tony DeAngelo: A Tale Of TOI And Making Use Of It
Oct 30, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) battles with Philadelphia Flyers right wing Bobby Brink (10) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Tony DeAngelo: Outcomes

  • TOI Total: 258:55:00
  • Ave TOI: 16:10:56
  • Total TOI in W: 159:58:00
  • Ave TOI in W: 15:59:48
  • Total TOI in L: 98:57:00
  • Ave TOI in L: 16:29:30

Jalen Chatfield: Outcomes

  • TOI Total: 214:46:00
  • Ave TOI: 14:19:04
  • Total TOI in W: 159:58:00
  • Ave TOI in W: 15:31:26
  • Total TOI in L: 78:26:00
  • Ave TOI in L: 15:41:12

As the numbers indicate, Tony DeAngelo has played more time in both Hurricanes wins, and losses. Where Chatfield gets a slight edge in average time in games the Canes lose. DeAngelo, on average, has played almost a full minute more than Chatfield in Carolina losses.

Finally, there is the fact that the Hurricanes win 66.6% of the games Jalen Chatfield has played compared to 62.5% for DeAngelo. 10 wins in 15 speaks better than the same number of wins in 16 games. No matter how you want to argue it.

But what about individual production? Does DeAngelo or Chatfield use their time on ice any better than the other?

Ultimately, Jalen Chatfield better utilizes his time on the ice scoring goals when compared to Tony DeAngelo. DeAngelo spends his time producing more points.

Again, HERE is the link to the side-by-side stats, but we are limited to a list in this format.

Jalen Chatfield: Goals 

  • TOI Total: 214:46:00
  • Ave G per game: 0.125
  • Ave G per minute: 214:46:00

Tony DeAngelo: Goals 

  • TOI Total: 258:55:00
  • Ave G per game: 0.0625
  • Ave G per minute: 258:55:00

Jalen Chatfield: Points 

  • TOI Total: 214:46:00
  • Ave P per game:0.375
  • Ave P per minute: 54:01:50

Tony DeAngelo: Points 

  • TOI Total: 258:55:00
  • Ave P per game:0.437
  • Ave P per minute: 37:33:57

Before leaving the issue of playing time as it compares with these defensemen, it is worth noting that Tony DeAngelo, with a considerably higher amount of playing time, is in fact -10 (5th worst in the NHL)  for the season to date (11/28) where Jalen Chatfield is only -1. In at least a few hockey circles, that would say that DeAngelo spends more time on the ice messing up than Jalen Chatfield. If you choose to listen to those circles is, in fact, up to you.

Statistics do not lie, though again, they can be used to prove any point. So, what do these statistics tell us?

At the beginning of the odyssey that has been Tony DeAngelo’s second stint with the Carolina Hurricanes, Tom Edwards wrote an article titled “DeAngelo (or, For Want of a Goal)” that has stuck with me for the title alone. Edwards begs the question: Will DeAngelo’s known defensive problems be offset by his ability to find the back of the net?

Literally, in one word: Yes.

Tony DeAngelo has scored a goal for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 20 games played thus far. Looking at the season, 20 games in, from across the room, DeAngelo has produced more in some ways than 4th pairing defenseman Jalen Chatfield.

However, when looking at finer details, arguments for Chatfield take on more clarity. In fact, the Carolina Hurricanes win at a better percentage with Chatfield on the ice, his single goal and 2 assists have come with considerably less playing time, and his -1 is negligible when compared to a -10 from DeAngelo. Where the numbers show DeAngelo is (questionably) better individually, Chatfield better represents the tide that raises all boats as seen when looking at the last three games where Chatfield rather than DeAngelo has played.

Will the last three games featuring Chatfield instead of DeAngelo become a trend? How will the law of averages play out for Chatfield? Can DeAngelo find a way to construct mistake-free hockey?

We won’t know until the end.

*This article was written before and the data does not reflect the 11/28 4-1 win over the Flyers

**These are rounded up to save space and confusion