Power Play - Shot Generation And Talent

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
7 3 Anaheim Ducks 58.51 53.3
14 4 Washington Capitals 57.79 50.9
2 5 Vancouver Canucks 54.99 63.3
9 6 Montreal Canadiens 53.54 52.4
27 7 New Jersey Devils 52.58 42.1
4 8 Buffalo Sabres 51.79 56.4
18 9 Boston Bruins 51.74 48.4
5 10 Chicago Blackhawks 51.64 56
6 11 Columbus Blue Jackets 51.38 54.9
21 12 Tampa Bay Lightning 51.32 45.4
30 13 Dallas Stars 50.99 40


League Average 50.80 49.75
24 14 Los Angeles Kings 49.71 44.1
17 15 Pittsburgh Penguins 49.46 48.5
8 16 Colorado Avalanche 49.00 52.8
10 17 Ottawa Senators 48.95 51.9
12 18 Minnesota Wild 48.94 51.3
20 19 Philadelphia Flyers 48.79 46.4
16 20 New York Islanders 48.61 48.7
13 21 Nashville Predators 48.36 51.3
25 22 Toronto Maple Leafs 48.33 43.3
15 23 Florida Panthers 48.24 49.1
11 24 Carolina Hurricanes 48.14 51.5
22 25 Calgary Flames 48.12 44.8
26 26 St. Louis Blues 47.92 43.1
29 27 New York Rangers 47.73 41
28 28 Phoenix Coyotes 46.53 41.4
19 29 Winnipeg Jets 46.51 47.6
23 30 Edmonton Oilers 42.73 44.5

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.

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