Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Secondary Nick?

Given that it's Super Tuesday, I thought it would be a fitting time to talk primaries, as a post over at The Peerless got my wondering about the breakdown of Nicklas Backstrom's assists on the season. As it turns out, despite eight of his last ten assists being secondaries, on the season 16 of Nick's 33 helpers have been primaries.

Production-wise, Backstrom is 18th in the League in secondary assists per sixty minutes of ice time (scroll down to 244th to find the guy you thought would be at the top of this list) and 54th in primary assists per sixty (you-know-who is first). Overall, the Caps' prize rookie is 23rd in assists per minute, registering 1.67 helpers per sixty minutes of ice time (Viktor Kozlov is 50th at 1.43, Michael Nylander is 66th at 1.34 and Alex Ovechkin is 84th at 1.22).

What does it all mean (other than that the Caps have one of the best young playmakers in the game)? Nothing - you don't need me to tell you that a secondary assist can be just as pretty or important as a primary assist (especially when the secondary assist tees up an Ovechkin blast, the rebound from which gets put home) and that it's only the fact that a goal is scored that really matters. But it's something to think about the next time you want to go name-calling.

Then again...

3 comments:

Scott said...

I have no numbers in front of me to back this up. But it seems Sid got his nickname his first two years. This year his assists have been of the more Primary nature.

So, naturally, we can expect Backstrom to follow the same path to primary assist greatness.

Hooks Orpik said...

scott, check the 3rd link, your suspcisions are correct, Crosby is 1st in the league this season for primary assists per 60 minutes played.

JP's ultimate point (the end result of a goal is all that matters) rings true to me.

Tyler said...

What do assists have to do with Sid being "Whiny Diver?" ;-)