Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Primary Alex And Secondary... Sakic?

Caps fans are familiar with the nickname "Secondary Sid" for Sidney Crosby, earned due to his high percentage of secondary assists (currently more than 43%). But did you know that more than half of Joe Sakic's assists - a whopping 56% - are secondary? You would if you read The Forechecker's post on the matter.

The Forechecker breaks down the top 30 scorers in the League by primary versus secondary assists and has some interesting findings, not the least of which is that Alex Ovechkin leads the top 30 scorers in primary assist percentage (73.8%), no doubt due in large part to teammates banging in rebounds of his shots. In fact, "if only goals and 1st assists were counted, as was the case decades ago, when helmets were a rarity," Ovechkin would currently be ahead of Crosby in the scoring race.

The Forechecker concludes that
[v]iewed through this perspective, Sidney Crosby's dominance is somewhat diminished. Four of the five 40-goal scorers (Lecavalier, Heatley, Ovechkin and Hossa) pass ahead of the youngster in the modified standings, with perhaps the most notable jump made by Alex Ovechkin, based on the fact that nearly three-quarters of his assists are of the more substantial variety.
In other words, even with Malkin, Staal, Recchi, Gonchar, Malone, Whitney, et. al. to skate with, Crosby is less impressive than Ovechkin. But you knew that already, didn't you?


Anonymous said...

Crosby is a force right now, he is dominating every shift and I hate to say this, but this guy is clutch during important game situations. OV won season 1, Sid the Squid definitely beats him (and everyone else in the league) in season 2.

Aren't we all glad the Penguins will be beating us in the first round of the playoffs for the next 30 years?

Let's go Caps (and by go, I mean make it stop).

The Peerless said...

Well, let's not let a thing like actual data impinge upon our predispostions fueld by the incessant drumbeat of the "All Sid, All the Time" marketing strategy of the league. Seems someone's chugged that kool-aid right down to the bottom of the pitcher.

TG said...

It was a while ago on either ESPN.com or SI.com, but someone was writing about statistics and said the most overrated statistic was the secondary assist in hockey because it's given to anyone involved in the play, even if it was just the goalie stopping the puck behind the net before a rush down the ice and a beautiful pass leads to a tap-in goal. Conversely, the most underrated stat is the second assist in soccer, because those are exceedingly rare and mean something truly important happened in the play leading up to the goal.

JP said...

I forget the exact rule in lacrosse (which I should know, having played the sport - guess you can tell what kind of passer I was), but IIRC it's basically if you pass it and the guy you pass it to has to make a dodge, there's not going to be an assist. In other words, if your pass didn't make the play, you get nothing and like it.

Rage said...

I go to bed and wake up to find not 1, 2 or even 3 new posts, but 4 new posts!

JP, you're really blogging "your guts out", as one coach in DC would say.

Thanks for the reading material at work. I'll grace you with comments where appropriate.

JP said...

Thanks, coach - I got on a little roll last night (but be forewarned that one of the posts is recycled and another is just a screen cap).

the deuce said...

I agree that the secondary assist is often a joke. I've often debated this with my father. I argue that the NHL should get rid of the second assist. The Russian Elite League doesn't use it. His response: Do you really think the NHL wants to see the scoring leader with 80 points? They'll never do it. Besides, even the Great One needed those secondary assists in his last few seasons. That guy got an assist any time he was on the ice and his team scored. I see the same in Sid's future!

Tim said...

so this is what you talk about when your team sucks... interesting. Let's go Pens!

JP said...

I didn't think there was any room left on the Pens bandwagon, but I guess I was wrong.

Since you're clearly a new Pens fan, let me clue you in to something: the Pens "sucked" like this as recently as last year. In fact, the Caps already have more points this year than the Pens had all of last year.

Let's Go Pens is right - unfortunately the "all the way to Kansas City" part no longer applies.