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Friday, February 22, 2008

Numbers Game - Even strength Minutes per point

In Tuesday’s Numbers Game, I looked at the minutes per point statistic as an indicator of player performance. However, as discussed, that statistic was misleading because it incorporated total time on ice into the equation. Players, like Martin St. Louis and Jarome Iginla, had higher minutes per point stats because they are used on the penalty kill as well. The purpose of the PK is obviously to prevent goals from being scored and not scoring them.

I proposed that a better indicator of player performance was Minutes per point in even strength situations, power play situations and combined even strength and power play. In today’s Numbers Game, I will look at even strength. Power Play and combined even strength and power play will follow next week.

Even Strength Goals (ES G)

The top 20 list of Minutes/ES G has some players that one would not necessarily expect. At the top of the list is Marek Svatos. His 23 ES G put him 5th overall in ES G but he only averages 12:40 of ES TOI/G. He scores an even strength goal approximately every 31 ES minutes. Ovechkin, who has the most ES G in the league, sits 3rd in Minutes/ES G. David Booth, that’s right the David Booth of the Florida Panthers, ranks 16th in the league in minutes/ES G. Daniel Cleary, who has resurrected his career with Red Wings, is 19th just ahead of Mats Sundin.

Even Strength Assists (ES A)

Martin St. Louis has the most ES A in the league, but he sits in 16th in minutes/ES A. Jason Spezza leads the league in minutes/ES A. Alexander Frolov is 26th in the league in ES A, but in only 14:02 of ES TOI/G, he ranks 10th in minutes/ES A.

Even Strength Points (ES P)

Jason Spezza also leads the league in minutes/ES P. Scoring every 16:59 in even strength situations, Spezza averages almost 1 even strength point/game. Gaborik sits in second almost a full minute behind. Ovechkin is first overall in ES P, but he ranks 8th in minutes/ES P. Paul Stastny, who is just returning to the Avs lineup after missing over a month, is in 11th place.

Stay tuned for further minutes per point analysis next week.

For Illegal Curve, I am Adam Gutkin.

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