Monday, August 27, 2007

Who Made Who

Question: How do you stop Daniel Sedin from scoring goals?
Answer: Deny his brother the puck.

Question: How do you stop Alex Ovechkin from scoring goals?
Answer: You can't.

Or at least so posits The Forechecker, who has compiled two lists, one which shows a goal scorer's "reliance on a particular teammate for the 1st assist on their goals" and the other which details who relied the least on a specific teammate setting him up.

The theory that follows, then, is that in order to shut down the scorers on the first list, perhaps it's best to stifle their set-up men, while the guys on the second list "seem to be more adaptable in creating shots for themselves and deserve the full attention of an opposing defense."

The results are interesting, especially the Caps-related findings. For example, Dainius Zubrus was the sixth-most reliant goal scorer, with AO getting the primary assist on 11 of his 24 goals (45.8%). We knew that leaving Alex's side would hurt Zubie's assist totals, but look for his goal total to take a bit of a dip as well.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Caps' two Alexes scored their goals no matter who was feeding them the biscuit, as Ovechkin and Alex Semin finished 10th and 13th, respectively, on the "independence" list (and second and third amongst 30+ goal scorers). Chris Clark also made that second list.

Of course, chemistry is by no means a bad thing, and I'd expect both Ovechkin and Semin to become more reliant on their new pivots in the season ahead. After all, that's the idea, isn't it?



1) Those stats shouldn't come as too big a surprise, as both 1st line caliber players were playing without 1st line caliber line mates. Semin's output especially is remarkable when you think who he was with most of last season
2) It will be interesting this season to see if surrounding both Alex's with better linemates (Real Centers!)equates into better output. If so, the Caps will potentially have two potent scoring lines

Marky Narc said...

Another interesting thing about those lists is that of Jagr's 30 goals, only six of them had a primary assist by Nylander.

Something for the "Nylander was nothing without Jagr putting the puck in the net for him" crowd to gnaw on.

JP said...

That jumped out at me too, but from the other side of the coin - so much was made about how JJ was so sad to see his center go and would it impact his production, etc. My guess? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

i agree jp, but nylander did have way more points last year than both of jagrs new 7 million dollar centers, so he might end up missing him after all

Marky Narc said...

Maybe, maybe not; personally, I don't really care if Jagr misses Nylander or not.

Nylander's going to get his points dishing the puck around no matter who he's playing with or where he's playing. Why not do it with the best left wing in the game today?