Thursday, February 07, 2008

To the other end of the rink

A lot of talk about Pitkanen's value lately. That's moved me to post this, because to me his greatest strength is getting the puck out of his zone and into the good end of the rink with purpose. This is the same metric as used in the Zetterberg post down the page, essentially it's a sample of where shifts started and ended, using the only hard counts we have readily available; goals, stoppages and faceoffs, and who was on the ice when they happened at 5v5.

In true Bill James fashion, I knicked the 'shift started in a faceoff numbers' by 20%, just because that smooths things out best for the league as a whole.

All the rules about applying common sense apply; there is no account for linemates or opponents here, good offensive players can be forgiven for taking a few more chances at the blue lines, some guys have been playing hurt, etc.


So in round numbers, at 5v5, Pitkanen has started in his own end with faceoffs 31 more times than in the offensive end. And his shifts have ended in the offensive zone with stoppages 1 more time than in the bad end. That's impressive considering where he's mostly started from, and the fact that most of the forwards on this team struggle to move the puck forward and keep it there.

To my eye there are only a few surprises there. Notably Penner and Stortini. And it's impressive to see how much clearance Horcoff and Pitkanen have gained over their most frequent linemates. And Pisani would surely be at or near the top if he had been fully fit.

Unfortunately for the Oilers, and a lot of teams in their situation, the players that are good at this don't have much finish, and the guys that can finish aren't very good at this.

7 Comments:

Blogger speeds said...

What are the odds of two posts going up on this site within 3 minutes of each other?

Must be some kind of record ;)

2/07/2008 3:00 pm  
Blogger speeds said...

This stat is identical to the one used in the DET chart?

If so, can one use this metric to compare players between teams?

2/07/2008 3:04 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

No, it's from the post on Z vs Vinny a ways down. I think this is very teammate dependent, so direct comparisons would be tough.

You can get the places the faces started at timeonice.com/tfaceoffs.php?team=DET
and where they ended subbing in xfaceoffs above, and where they ended by goals by subbing in tshots ... obviously you can change the team by changing the last three letters.

And if a guy made a list of 10 or 20 guys in the league that turn the puck over at the blue lines a bunch ... chances are that most or all of them would be in the red at this. And it matters IMO.

2/07/2008 3:48 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Where does Stoll end up? I mean the guy isn't exactly doing all of the things that made him good for two weeks last season but considering just how much his faceoff abilities are used in the Oilers' zone there is at least the potential for some excuse making here...

2/07/2008 11:01 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

SH:

That's Stoll right at the top, though I think that the crazy number of faceoffs that those guys take in their own end probably flatters them a bit, to my eye Pitkanen should be the clear winner here.

OTOH, they've played quite a bit together, and when they've done that they've looked really hard on the puck, esp that stretch with Thoresen on the right side. I'm pretty sure that line was a corsi plus during that stretch, if not damn close, which is damn impressive considering how tough that ice time was.

A shame that there was no finish there, in fact at times it looks like all three may never score another goal.

2/08/2008 10:06 am  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Hmmm, I'm confused. I meant to ask where on the ice Stoll's shifts tend to end. Sure the guy and Marty start a little bit behind the 8-ball but I'm wondering how much forward movement they create. Might help make excuses for the two of them... I'm not one of the "Marty should retire" advocates but I see them creep up on here from time to time.

2/09/2008 1:12 pm  
Blogger misfit said...

Staios' line is actually pretty impressive when you consider his most common defence partners, Souray and Smid are so much farther down the list.

Unless I'm just confused as to who Staios' most common partners have been.

2/10/2008 11:43 pm  

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