Sanity Check


My instrumentation instructor is an affable Scotsman named Trevor. He speaks in a fairly think Scottish accent, despite having lived in Canada for close to 30 years, and he's very fond of certain terms, which he uses at least three times every day. One of those terms is "sanity check", which is his way of referring to the common practice of using one indicator to verify the results of another one. They don't need to be spot-on, but if they're way out to lunch, it's easy to assume that one of them is producing an erroneous reading.

In this case I'm going to compare two statistics that give us an idea of scoring ability, both from Behind the Net. The two are EV PTS/60, and Goals For On-Ice/60 (average number of goals scored when a player is on ice per 60 minutes of ice time). To reduce error, I'm only using forward with more than 20 games played. Here are the rankings:

GFON/60 - EV PTS/60

Horcoff - Horcoff
Nilsson - Nilsson
Cogliano - Hemsky
Brodziak - Cogliano
Hemsky - Brodziak
Pouliot - Glencross
Penner - Gagner
Glencross - Sanderson
Stortini - Pisani
Pisani - Pouliot
Gagner - Reasoner
Reasoner - Penner
Sanderson - Stortini
Torres - Torres
Moreau - Moreau
Stoll - Stoll

Those lists match up pretty nicely. Only 5 of 16 players are more than two spots separated on the two lists (Pouliot, Penner, Stortini, Gagner, Sanderson). Barring proof otherwise, I would proceed from the assumption (and it is only an assumption) that a player producing more PTS/60 is a better scorer than his linemates, and one producing less is a worse scorer. Does that seem reasonable?

If we proceed from that assumption, we see that Pouliot, Penner and Stortini were contributing offense at a lower rate than their linemates, which seems reasonable to me. Pouliot was playing defense-only hockey, Penner simply isn't at the same level as Horcoff/Hemsky at this point in time, and Stortini spent lots of time with Glencross and Brodziak, both of whom, IMO, were superior offensive players.

On the other side of things, we see Gagner and Sanderson were providing more offense than their linemates. Gagner makes some sense to me, while I don't understand why Sanderson would be there. That said, I'd argue that GFON/60 is pretty close to PTS/60. Thoughts, anyone?

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