During the discussion about Ales Hemsky's failings on the power play, a number of people mentioned the sub-par teammates on the ice with Hemsky. Our very own Scott Reynolds responded:
Teammates will definitely make a difference, and that’s probably part of the problem here, but I think we need to be careful not to overstate its importance. Penner is a pretty good "man in front of the net" and he had that role for the large majority of Hemsky’s ice time. Horcoff and Gagner at center are by no means perfect, but they were a combined 51% on PP draws over the last four years, which is below average, but not so bad that you’d expect a massive difference with a replacement, and Gagner’s a pretty darn good passer too. On the blueline, the Oilers have had a wide variety of players over the last four seasons, and while Souray and Foster didn’t prove to be particularly effective here, both of them have been part of effective units in other places, as has Visnovsky. Better teammates would certainly make Hemsky better, but it’s not like he’s been playing with humps.
I wanted to see how Hemsky's teammates compared to the rest of the league on the power play. Using the top five players by power play time on ice per 60, minimum of 40 games played, in 2010-11 for each of the 30 NHL teams, I added their combined games played and combined career power play goals. The right most columns are the per game and per 82 game averages of the group. This is not a detailed study, nor do I consider it to be predictive at all, rather, it's a stake in the ground to begin to view power play performance by team.
Edmonton's top five - Kurtis Foster, Ales Hemsky, Tom Gilbert, Dustin Penner & Sam Gagner have the 4th-lowest career power play goals per game in the league. Humps or not humps, that can't be a good thing.