UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 29: Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks scores the game winning power play goal at 1:07 of overtime to defeat the New York Islanders by a 3-2 score at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 29, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
When I wrote about shot quality on the power play, I noted:
A quick check of the data from the last four years via the venerable and terrifying Gabriel Desjardins shows the relationship between shots per sixty minutes of 5v4 time on ice and power play success (power play conversion percentage) is extremely strong, with an r^2 = .400 So, given our sample size, 5v4 shots per 60 predicts 40% of power play success.
And looked back at some work that Gabe did on the same subject:
Mr. Desjardins has shown that a team's power play shooting percentage in half of its games has almost no predictive ability for guessing how it will do in the other half, so we should attribute a high shooting percentage to luck rather than a scheme that produces high quality shots.
So where does the true team talent lie on the power play? Shot generation.
The data below is collected from 2008-09 through this season's partial numbers. Values highlight in blue are within +/- 5% of the league average.
|2011 Rk||Total Rank||Team||Total SF/60||2011 SF/60|
|1||1||San Jose Sharks||63.82||68.8|
|3||2||Detroit Red Wings||59.94||57.8|
|27||7||New Jersey Devils||52.58||42.1|
|6||11||Columbus Blue Jackets||51.38||54.9|
|21||12||Tampa Bay Lightning||51.32||45.4|
|24||14||Los Angeles Kings||49.71||44.1|
|16||20||New York Islanders||48.61||48.7|
|25||22||Toronto Maple Leafs||48.33||43.3|
|26||26||St. Louis Blues||47.92||43.1|
|29||27||New York Rangers||47.73||41|
The vast majority of the league bunches very tightly around the league average and only a few teams have a marked talent for generating far more shots - Sharks, Wings, Ducks, Capitals and three teams had a marked lack of talent for generating shots - Coyotes, Jets, Oilers. The Sharks generate almost 50% more shots than the Oilers per minute of power play time.
While the Oilers have improved slightly (~5%), they're still 10% shots of the league average. The Leafs have had a miserable power play, but they haven't been awful in terms of shot generation. This year, they've fallen off by 10% in the shots department, but they're converting at a higher rate. It won't continue.
Lastly, the Stars have fallen apart. It might be due to Alex Goligoski's injury, or it could be that they've adopted the Oilers' power play -- stand around and wait to pass to Sheldon Souray for the shot from the point.