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#1 stormboy

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 07:19 AM

Hey everyone. I was browsing stats this morning when I noticed how huge of a percentage Crosby had of his teams goals and points (Crosby has 24 goals, second place guy has eight). I thought I'd dig a little deeper and compare him and the Pens to the other top teams in the league. I looked at the top two teams in each conference (Washington and Pitt in the east; Detroit and Dallas in the west), and looked at their top goal/assist/point producers and what percentage of their team's total they owned in each category. I also looked at the top three players as a combined total.

In some cases, the individual with, say, the most goals was not the one with the most assists. In such cases, I have included full lines for each player, bolding the category in which they lead the team.

Same goes for the player triplets. For example, two of Detroit's top three goal-scorers are not among their top-three point producers, so I included multiple combinations.

Note that the sets of three are not necessarily an actual line, just the top three producers in each category. Make sense?

Here's what I came up with:

Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby: 27% goals, 15% assists, 20% points
Crosty Kunits Malkin: 45% goals, 30% assists, 36% points
Crosby Letang Malkin: 42% goals, 38% assists, 39% points

Washington Capitals
Semin: 19% goals, 10% assists, 13% points
Ovechkin: 13% goals, 15% assists, 14% points
Semin Ovechkin Backstrom: 44% goals, 38% assists, 40% points

Dallas Stars
Richards: 16% goals, 15% assists, 15% points
Richards Neal Eriksson: 43% goals, 38% assists, 40% points

Detroit Red Wings
Franzen: 14% goals, 5% assists, 8% points
Datsyuk: 9% goals, 13% assists, 12% points
Cleary Franzen Zetterberg: 38% goals, 19% assists, 26% points
Datsyuk Lidstrom Zetterberg: 23% goals, 35% assists, 31% points

So. What do you think? It seems obvious that of the top four, Pittsburgh is the most imbalanced team, while the Wings are the most balanced. Does this matter? My gut is to say that we're in the best position because we would be the most resilient to injury (if Crosby goes down the Pens lose a quarter of their current goal production), but could it mean that no Wing is really playing a dominant game this season? Does it not really matter? Is there a better way to look at team scoring balance (I'd thought about doing it by actual lines, but that's problematic too because lines don't always play together)? Also, this is not a Crosby thread -- that's just what drew my attention to this whole issue.

tl;dr -- discuss team scoring balance.

Edited by stormboy, 08 December 2010 - 07:22 AM.

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#2 toby91_ca

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 09:13 AM

It's hard to say what it means right now. Some might think that if a team has a player that puts up points that dwarf's that of his teammates then you can simply shut him down and win because they have no scoring depth, but it's not really that simple.

For example:

Team A - player 1 = 50pts, player 2 = 20pts, player 3 = 18pts
Team B - player 1 = 15pts, player 2 = 14pts, player 3 = 14pts

In that scenario, Team B obviously has the better "balance", but there's no way they should have an advantage over Team A. You can have imbalance simply because a player is putting up so many points that the next highest scorer seems so much lower.

For Crosby and the Pens, I think it's a bit of Crosby dominating right now and some injury problems they have. Cleary, they don't have the same depth of the Wings, but I also wouldn't call them a one man show either just because Crosby has double the points of the #2 scorer.

Look back to Edmonton in the 80s, Gretzky outscored his teammates by a staggering amount, but they still had plenty of scorers without him.

#3 kook_10

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 09:32 AM

Interesting, but I think this is most applicable to the regular season as more of a law of averages type thing. In the playoffs and even when comparing head to head in the regular season, so much comes down to matchups. A player who may account more scoring may be more or less dominant depending on who they are matched up against.

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#4 stormboy

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:16 AM

It's hard to say what it means right now. Some might think that if a team has a player that puts up points that dwarf's that of his teammates then you can simply shut him down and win because they have no scoring depth, but it's not really that simple.

For example:

Team A - player 1 = 50pts, player 2 = 20pts, player 3 = 18pts
Team B - player 1 = 15pts, player 2 = 14pts, player 3 = 14pts

In that scenario, Team B obviously has the better "balance", but there's no way they should have an advantage over Team A. You can have imbalance simply because a player is putting up so many points that the next highest scorer seems so much lower.

For Crosby and the Pens, I think it's a bit of Crosby dominating right now and some injury problems they have. Cleary, they don't have the same depth of the Wings, but I also wouldn't call them a one man show either just because Crosby has double the points of the #2 scorer.

Look back to Edmonton in the 80s, Gretzky outscored his teammates by a staggering amount, but they still had plenty of scorers without him.


i certainly agree that that CAN be the case, which is why i looked at only the top two teams in each conference. you could make an argument that edmonton is more "balanced" then the penguins, but obviously that would be a pointless statement to make.

to me, i find it interesting that the wings have a higher goals for average than the pens, while our top goal scorer has half the goals their top guy does.

then again, our top goal scorer has as many goals as ovechkin. all of this obviously speaks to the fact that crosby is red hot, ovie is ice cold, and franzen is, i'd say, about where he should be.
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#5 wingslogo19

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:40 AM

It's hard to say what it means right now. Some might think that if a team has a player that puts up points that dwarf's that of his teammates then you can simply shut him down and win because they have no scoring depth, but it's not really that simple.

For example:

Team A - player 1 = 50pts, player 2 = 20pts, player 3 = 18pts
Team B - player 1 = 15pts, player 2 = 14pts, player 3 = 14pts

In that scenario, Team B obviously has the better "balance", but there's no way they should have an advantage over Team A. You can have imbalance simply because a player is putting up so many points that the next highest scorer seems so much lower.

For Crosby and the Pens, I think it's a bit of Crosby dominating right now and some injury problems they have. Cleary, they don't have the same depth of the Wings, but I also wouldn't call them a one man show either just because Crosby has double the points of the #2 scorer.

Look back to Edmonton in the 80s, Gretzky outscored his teammates by a staggering amount, but they still had plenty of scorers without him.

You make a very good point in that.
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#6 chrisdetroit

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:58 AM

It's hard to say what it means right now. Some might think that if a team has a player that puts up points that dwarf's that of his teammates then you can simply shut him down and win because they have no scoring depth, but it's not really that simple.

For example:

Team A - player 1 = 50pts, player 2 = 20pts, player 3 = 18pts
Team B - player 1 = 15pts, player 2 = 14pts, player 3 = 14pts

In that scenario, Team B obviously has the better "balance", but there's no way they should have an advantage over Team A. You can have imbalance simply because a player is putting up so many points that the next highest scorer seems so much lower.

For Crosby and the Pens, I think it's a bit of Crosby dominating right now and some injury problems they have. Cleary, they don't have the same depth of the Wings, but I also wouldn't call them a one man show either just because Crosby has double the points of the #2 scorer.

Look back to Edmonton in the 80s, Gretzky outscored his teammates by a staggering amount, but they still had plenty of scorers without him.


I disagree. If we were looking at TOTAL goals you would be correct. The top guy (Crosby in this case) could just be on fire, then it wouldn't matter but the origninal post was about how the goals are distributed in %. I think that the original post is bang on.

Shut down Crosby and the Pens are done. Hockey is a team sport not an individual sport. The Pens are winning because 1 guy is scoring more than 1/4 of their goals. This is not a recipe for sucess.

If you look at the other goal scorers on the Pens, nobody else is even in the top 60 in the league.

My guess is that the Oilers had other goal scorers ranked in the top of the league.

I looked up 1983.

Gretzky #1 87 goals
Kurie #3 52 goals
Coffey #7 40 goals

So yea, Gretzky had a high % of the team goals but they still had other goal scorers in the top of the league. The Pens don't currently have that

Edited by chrisdetroit, 08 December 2010 - 11:04 AM.

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#7 CenterIce

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 12:15 PM

Detroit usually always has balanced scoring. And, that is what you want. If one guy goes cold, or gets shut down, someone else picks up the slack. Some people complain, when the team doesn't have someone in the top ten of scoring, but I would rather have 10 guys in the top 20 than one in the top 10. Also, some people complain when someone doesn't have many goals, but if he is racking up a lot of assists, that is just as good. It means someone is scoring. As someone said, it is a team sport not an individual one. Everyone follows their roles.

#8 toby91_ca

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:26 PM

I disagree. If we were looking at TOTAL goals you would be correct. The top guy (Crosby in this case) could just be on fire, then it wouldn't matter but the origninal post was about how the goals are distributed in %. I think that the original post is bang on.

Shut down Crosby and the Pens are done. Hockey is a team sport not an individual sport. The Pens are winning because 1 guy is scoring more than 1/4 of their goals. This is not a recipe for sucess.

If you look at the other goal scorers on the Pens, nobody else is even in the top 60 in the league.

My guess is that the Oilers had other goal scorers ranked in the top of the league.

I looked up 1983.

Gretzky #1 87 goals
Kurie #3 52 goals
Coffey #7 40 goals

So yea, Gretzky had a high % of the team goals but they still had other goal scorers in the top of the league. The Pens don't currently have that

Yes, I agree, the Pens certainly do lack some depth at the moment, but I think that will improve when they get Malkin and Staal back. Not to the point that they can compete with Detroit's depth though.

Part of my point was that Crosby's crazy goal and point pace makes the depth look a little worse than it actually is. Which is what I was trying to get at with the Gretzky reference. He accounted for a large % of the team's production, which might look like a depth problem, but clearly, they didn't have an issue with depth.....Pittsburgh currently does, just not as bad as the percentages would make it appear.

#9 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 02:03 PM

crosby is carrying the pens on his back right now. i hate the pens, but in a way it's fun to watch cause even though i like crosby and he's a great player, i'm 110% hoping he gets injured for about 4 months right at the trade deadline with 99 points. i hope he misses the entire playoffs and then the cap catches up with the pens and they can't afford crosby and malkin and next year crosby comes back and has to keep the same pace cause malkin would be gone for good, not just day to day with injury...end rant/

the wings depts is unbelievable this season. modano gets injured and cleary finds 7th gear. the wings leading goal scorer is on the 3rd line. dats, rafs and lids have been really consistant and it's great to see. Z has been fairly consistant, but has been getting bad bounces here and there, but is still over a point per game. howard has only had a couple sub-par games, but has some lousy team effort factoring in on those games...he's been really good. even ericsson has been really good lately and kronwall is throwing his weight around and hangin on to the puck more and making good plays.

washington is gonna lose in the 1st round again when ovie gets frustrated and semin and backstrom disappear like last year when they face a checking line that plays playoff shutdown hockey.

as for dallas...they like losing close hockey games, especially in OT. another 1st round exit.

the pens may make it to the 2nd round cause of crosby, but wait til malkin gets hit once and calls it in and 1 other good player gets hurt. crosby can't win the cup by himself. add in the inconsistancy in goal this year and you have a recipe for an early exit.

Detroit usually always has balanced scoring. And, that is what you want. If one guy goes cold, or gets shut down, someone else picks up the slack. Some people complain, when the team doesn't have someone in the top ten of scoring, but I would rather have 10 guys in the top 20 than one in the top 10. Also, some people complain when someone doesn't have many goals, but if he is racking up a lot of assists, that is just as good. It means someone is scoring. As someone said, it is a team sport not an individual one. Everyone follows their roles.


and to add to what you said, the wings are the ONLY team in the NHL that is still successful when half way through the game, not 1 line is the same as it was in the starting lineup. the wings are so deep that they can throw their lines in the spin cycle and come back and kick their opponents ass. which is really good for 7 game series'. filppula's lookin better every game too. he's been taking puck retrieval pages out of the book of datsyuk with the takeaways he's been making.

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#10 eva unit zero

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:13 AM

It's hard to say what it means right now. Some might think that if a team has a player that puts up points that dwarf's that of his teammates then you can simply shut him down and win because they have no scoring depth, but it's not really that simple.

For example:

Team A - player 1 = 50pts, player 2 = 20pts, player 3 = 18pts
Team B - player 1 = 15pts, player 2 = 14pts, player 3 = 14pts

In that scenario, Team B obviously has the better "balance", but there's no way they should have an advantage over Team A. You can have imbalance simply because a player is putting up so many points that the next highest scorer seems so much lower.

For Crosby and the Pens, I think it's a bit of Crosby dominating right now and some injury problems they have. Cleary, they don't have the same depth of the Wings, but I also wouldn't call them a one man show either just because Crosby has double the points of the #2 scorer.

Look back to Edmonton in the 80s, Gretzky outscored his teammates by a staggering amount, but they still had plenty of scorers without him.


An even better example of this is the 1993-94 Red Wings.

Yzerman went down with a neck injury early in the year, and most experts felt the Wings would suffer. Instead, Fedorov exploded onto the scene and won the Hart and Selke, and finished second in scoring with 120 points.

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#11 chuklz

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:35 PM

None of this really matters til the playoffs and in the playoffs- if you're top heavy, one team devotes one line to shutting your star down and the rest of the lines work you over. That's what we did to the Pens.

#12 lookalive07

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:52 PM

While I understand the main purpose for this thread, discussing scoring balance and all...


Can we pleeeeeeaaasse have onef****** week where we don't have a thread that doesn't mention Crosby? I swear to God it's less of a "I hate that dips***" and more of a closet and/or subconscious boner people on LGW have for the guy.

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#13 stormboy

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:24 AM

While I understand the main purpose for this thread, discussing scoring balance and all...


Can we pleeeeeeaaasse have onef****** week where we don't have a thread that doesn't mention Crosby? I swear to God it's less of a "I hate that dips***" and more of a closet and/or subconscious boner people on LGW have for the guy.


on the one hand i see your point that it can be annoying to see so many threads about or involving the guy. but, on the other hand, he is, at least right now, the best player in the league, hands down. so to intentionally ignore the guy would be silly.

for the purposes of this thread, i started it after making some observations on scoring balance among the league's top few teams. right now, we're tops in the west and they're tops in the east -- and i thought it was interesting the drastic difference in scoring balance between the two clubs. if crosby was having a below-average year and ovechkin had 25 goals (or more than a quarter of his team's total), the topic would be more focused on him. i don't see why focusing on the current situation as it is in the league should be so annoying.

in this case, it doesn't have anything to do with hating the guy or having a boner for him. it's simply about observing current trends among the league's top teams.
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