Werenski was clearly motivated for this game and wanted to make an impact in an arena he grew up playing in. Watching the game it was clear he was dominant and looking through the numbers that dominance persisted.
According to Natural Stat Trick Werenski was a +28/-5 in terms of shot attempts for an 84.85% Corsi at 5 on 5. He was on the ice for 14 shots for and just three against. He was on the ice for 10 scoring chances for and five high danger scoring chances for and zero against.
When you start comparing those numbers to other games Werenski has had this season it begs the question, was this his best game ever? This was the only game he had a 100% scoring chance for. It was his second game with 100% high danger scoring chance for and his 84.85% Corsi was the highest total in a game this season.
The one thing potentially holding this game back from being Werenki’s best is the fact that he failed to record a point. He has scored multiple points in a game seven times this season and it’s quite possible one of those games could be considered his best.
Comparing a strong possession game to a multi-point game can be difficult so to make things easier we turn to a statistic called Game Score. I have talked about Game Score before, it was developed by Dom Luszbxhsyxb and its goal is to answer this very question. Game score is based on goals, assists, shots, blocked shots, penalty differential, face-offs, 5 on 5 Corsi and 5 on 5 goal differential. To read further into Game Score check out the post Dom wrote over at Hockey Graphs.
Individual Game Scores can found in the Game Summary tab on Corsica. Werenski’s game against Detroit was given a 1.6, which ranked third on the Jackets behind Seth Jones’ 2.0 and Brandon Dubinsky’s 2.5. I went and pulled all of Werenski’s game scores and found that 1.6 was his sixth best Game Score of the season. He had a 1.62 against Chicago in October and against Washington in November. He had a 1.65 against Montreal in the 10-0 game, he had a 1.68 in the overtime loss to Colorado right before the streak started and had a whopping 2.33 against Nashville right before the All-Star break.
One of these six games is Werenski’s best of the season. Right away I am going to eliminate the Chicago and Montreal games because despite those being two point games, Werenski had a Corsi% in the low 40’s. A players best game should be one in which they dominate all areas, which is why the Nashville game is the easy winner.
Werenski did everything in that game against Nashville. He scored and had an assist. He was on the ice for two goals for at 5 on 5 and none against. He had a strong possession game recording a 66.67% Corsi. He did everything you want a defencemen to do.
Werenksi failing to record a point or have a goal scored while he was on the ice in Detroit is what hurt him. He played extremely well, but hockey is a game of goal scoring and he didn’t do that. His Game Score was very good and was the highest score he's recorded without scoring a point. That in and itself is an accomplishment but does not take the title for his best game ever.