Yesterday's post fawned over the Islanders goalscoring heroes during their hot run since the All-Star Break. I think even the more analytical-oriented fans need that every now and then: Just a good old fashioned step back and marvel at who's putting up the kind of big numbers that make hockey cards collectible and hockey fans excitable.
This post is a bit more of a data dump, but also a snapshot to see where the Islanders' top scorers rank in the league on this date in the season. After the list of top goal scorers, a gentle sprinkling of context for John Tavares, Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson, who together represent the variety of ways and luck an NHL team needs to build for the future: A top draft pick, a waiver gift, and a prescient under-the-radar free agent signing.
Total Goals as of March 9, 2011
Guess which team has three players on the NHL's top 30 goalscorer's table? (Alright, Toronto does, too. Maybe this isn't great company after all.)
Generally, since the Islanders have played a few more games than most teams, their standings ranks have a slightly inflated bump. But on the individual level, Tavares and Grabner each missed a few games, so they fit in with most of the league's iron men.
The following table is lifted from ESPN's stat page. You can see other categories there as well, which shows just how impressive Grabner's production has been, since he only has 1 powerplay goal (and three shorthanded ones). Also, while people have the impression that he has trouble finishing because he gets such exciting chances, his shooting percentage this year is right in line with his peers.
(On that note, wow does Alex Ovechkin's 8.5% figure stand out. That can't last. Meanwhile Milan Lucic, who ranks high on these lists, has a 21% shooting rate. That, too, cannot last.)
|1||Steven Stamkos, C||TB||67||42||39||81||8||68||1.21||232||18.1||7||16||16||0||0|
|2||Daniel Sedin, LW||VAN||68||34||50||84||23||28||1.24||211||16.1||8||14||20||0||0|
|Patrick Sharp, C||CHI||67||34||29||63||-3||34||0.94||249||13.7||6||12||11||2||1|
|4||Corey Perry, RW||ANA||67||33||38||71||-1||96||1.06||217||15.2||6||10||11||3||1|
|Ryan Kesler, C||VAN||68||33||26||59||21||50||0.87||204||16.2||6||10||12||3||0|
|6||Sidney Crosby, C||PIT||41||32||34||66||20||31||1.61||161||19.9||3||10||9||1||0|
|7||Bobby Ryan, RW||ANA||67||31||27||58||5||53||0.87||223||13.9||5||4||4||1||0|
|8||Jarome Iginla, RW||CGY||69||30||36||66||0||30||0.96||241||12.4||4||6||14||0||0|
|Jeff Carter, C||PHI||64||30||27||57||21||35||0.89||262||11.5||6||8||8||0||0|
|10||Eric Staal, C||CAR||66||29||33||62||-12||60||0.94||242||12.0||7||10||13||2||0|
|Rick Nash, LW||CBJ||65||29||30||59||5||24||0.91||259||11.2||7||6||8||0||0|
|Danny Briere, C||PHI||63||29||24||53||12||77||0.84||206||14.1||6||6||6||0||0|
|Milan Lucic, LW||BOS||63||29||21||50||24||101||0.79||138||21.0||7||5||6||0||0|
|14||Jonathan Toews, C||CHI||66||28||40||68||24||20||1.03||198||14.1||6||9||13||1||1|
|Matt Moulson, LW||NYI||68||28||15||43||-11||20||0.63||195||14.4||3||8||4||0||0|
|16||Alex Ovechkin, LW||WSH||68||27||45||72||17||41||1.06||317||8.5||10||6||15||0||0|
|Patrick Marleau, C||SJ||67||27||24||51||-10||10||0.76||220||12.3||7||8||10||2||1|
|Phil Kessel, RW||TOR||67||27||23||50||-20||18||0.75||280||9.6||4||10||9||1||0|
|Johan Franzen, LW||DET||65||27||20||47||6||46||0.72||212||12.7||5||10||4||0||0|
|Michael Grabner, RW||NYI||64||27||14||41||13||8||0.64||174||15.5||3||1||1||3||1|
|21||Brenden Morrow, LW||DAL||67||26||19||45||-3||64||0.67||177||14.7||3||7||4||1||0|
|Drew Stafford, RW||BUF||48||26||14||40||5||30||0.83||144||18.1||4||9||6||0||0|
|23||Martin St. Louis, RW||TB||67||25||53||78||1||8||1.16||207||12.1||5||3||28||0||0|
|Andrew Ladd, LW||ATL||66||25||25||50||-6||35||0.76||160||15.6||2||8||9||2||1|
|Mikhail Grabovski, C||TOR||66||25||25||50||13||50||0.76||199||12.6||3||9||4||0||0|
|Nikolai Kulemin, RW||TOR||67||25||23||48||10||20||0.72||154||16.2||5||4||7||1||0|
|Alexander Semin, LW||WSH||53||25||21||46||17||59||0.87||164||15.2||4||6||10||1||0|
|Logan Couture, C||SJ||64||25||19||44||17||35||0.69||209||12.0||8||8||3||0||0|
|29||Brad Richards, C||DAL||57||24||39||63||3||24||1.11||215||11.2||3||7||18||0||0|
|John Tavares, C||NYI||65||24||31||55||-17||41||0.85||204||11.8||4||8||12||0||0|
Even-Strength Goals and Points per 60 minutes TOI
Here, from Behind The Net, are the leaders in even-strength goals per 60 minutes of even-strength TOI. Again Grabner and Moulson look nice. Tavares's rate is 0.87, which ranks him 67th among NHLers who have played 60 games.
These are ranked by goals per 60 minutes, but you can also see their primary and secondary assists per 60, as well as points per 60 in the final column. Lucic ranks tops here -- he's having a great year -- but history tells us 21% shooting rates eventually come back down to earth.
|11||2010-2011 Season||MARTINST. LOUIS||T.B||1.23||0.82||0.65||2.70|
Again, we know Grabner's even-strength goalscoring rate has been great. But while Moulson's 30-goal chase benefits from 8 powerplay goals, it's good to see his high production at even-strength keep pace with last year, when his 22 even-strength goals were tied for 17th-best in the league.
On Ice +/- per 60
Finally, just so we don't get too ahead of our selves -- gentlemen, let's not start taping each other's hockey sticks just yet, The Wolf and our own mikb might say -- here is a link to Behind the Net's table of on/off-ice +/-. I'm not pasting the table because the table would go on forever before you found an Islander.
At +13 on the season, Grabner obviously has the highest +/- per 60 (this is 5-on-5 only, so shorthanded goals don't count), but he only ranks 53rd among NHL forwards with minimum 60 games played, with a 0.54 figure. Frans Nielsen is predictably next at 76th among the same group, with a 0.33 figure. The other Islanders forwards don't show up until P.A. Parenteau at 146th among NHL forwards (minimum 60 GP).
Now as most know, all of that plus/minus stuff is affected by quality of competition and quality of linemates (and defensemen, and your goaltending). You need advanced microstats to dig in for further context in that department.
So my main points here are:
- Yes, the Islanders have some goal scorers having fantastic years. This bodes well. Enjoy it, hope it continues, and if it does...jackpot.
- Tavares puts up a lot of points, but his coaches put him out there a lot and in offensive situations to do precisely that (not just through ample powerplay time, but in offensive zone situations and such). He's getting better before our eyes, but at 20 years old there is still a learning curve there. That's fine, and to be expected -- and obviously his talent and the attention he draws has helped Moulson's success.
- For the opportunity and assignments they're given, Grabner and Nielsen (and now, Kyle Okposo) deliver a bang for the buck no one else on the team.
In other words, when remembering that the goal in hockey is to both score and not be scored upon, the Nielsen-Grabner-Okposo is still the Islanders' best at outscoring the opposition at 5-on-5. But if that line continues to do what it does defensively, and Tavares's line continues to both produce and JT get better at his overall game, then that's a solid "top six" to start with.
And we haven't even mentioned 21-year-old Josh Bailey, whose underlying defensive numbers were looking good even before the Isles' February run began...