Jul 182014
 

If you haven’t read my previous posts on rush shots or want to learn more about how I determine what is and what is not a rush shot please go back and read the series.

So far I have only looked at team data but I have now calculated rush shots by players and so I will take a look at rush shots by forwards.

I am restricting my analysis to forwards who have been on the ice for >1500 total shots (shots for plus shots against) over the past 7 seasons. There were 307 such forwards so basically we are dealing with top 9 type players. Here is a list of the 30 players with the best, and worst, on-ice shooting percentage on rush shots.

Rank Player RushSh% Rank PlayerName RushSh%
1 TEDDY PURCELL 16.02% 307 SAMUEL PAHLSSON 4.35%
2 J.P. DUMONT 16.00% 306 MIKE GRIER 4.69%
3 ARTEM ANISIMOV 14.29% 305 SHAWN THORNTON 4.73%
4 JONATHAN TOEWS 14.10% 304 JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 5.00%
5 BRAD MARCHAND 13.80% 303 JOHN MADDEN 5.38%
6 STEVE DOWNIE 13.79% 302 TIM JACKMAN 5.41%
7 DREW STAFFORD 13.38% 301 DAVID STECKEL 5.43%
8 THOMAS VANEK 13.21% 300 NATE THOMPSON 5.46%
9 COLIN WILSON 13.11% 299 MAXIM LAPIERRE 5.48%
10 PATRICK KANE 13.10% 298 KYLE WELLWOOD 5.48%
11 KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 13.08% 297 MIKE KNUBLE 5.52%
12 JASON POMINVILLE 13.08% 296 DANIEL WINNIK 5.56%
13 NICKLAS BACKSTROM 13.08% 295 BOYD GORDON 6.06%
14 CLARKE MACARTHUR 13.07% 294 CRAIG ADAMS 6.06%
15 JAMES VAN_RIEMSDYK 13.06% 293 PETER MUELLER 6.31%
16 MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 13.06% 292 BJ CROMBEEN 6.41%
17 PATRICE BERGERON 12.97% 291 TRAVIS MOEN 6.45%
18 PAVEL DATSYUK 12.95% 290 COLIN GREENING 6.45%
19 CHRIS STEWART 12.93% 289 JERRED SMITHSON 6.48%
20 TYLER SEGUIN 12.93% 288 MATTHEW LOMBARDI 6.52%
21 ALEX TANGUAY 12.90% 287 ROB NIEDERMAYER 6.63%
22 VACLAV PROSPAL 12.87% 286 JAMAL MAYERS 6.67%
23 PATRICK O’SULLIVAN 12.86% 285 VLADIMIR SOBOTKA 6.69%
24 DEREK STEPAN 12.77% 284 MASON RAYMOND 6.76%
25 MARCUS JOHANSSON 12.69% 283 RYAN CARTER 6.77%
26 SIDNEY CROSBY 12.64% 282 SERGEI KOSTITSYN 6.80%
27 EVANDER KANE 12.46% 281 ANTTI MIETTINEN 6.83%
28 WAYNE SIMMONDS 12.38% 280 SHAWN MATTHIAS 6.88%
29 TODD BERTUZZI 12.38% 279 VERNON FIDDLER 6.92%
30 TJ OSHIE 12.20% 278 BILL GUERIN 6.94%

The top 30 consists for forwards we’d mostly consider good to excellent offensive players though many of the truly elite offensive players are notably absent. Guys like Malkin (65th), Getzlaf (46th), Perry(75th), Giroux (84th), Parise (216), St. Louis (93rd), Kessel (62nd), etc. Some of those guys you’d think would thrive on end to end rushes so it is kind of strange to not see them there. The list also seems to have as many good 2-way players (Bergeron, Grabovski, Datsyuk, etc.) as elite offensive talents.

The bottom of the list is dominated mostly with 3rd line defensive types which is no surprise. Not really a lot of offensive talent in that group.

How about non-rush shots. Which players are best and worst at converting non-rush shots into goals.

Rank Player OtherSh% Rank PlayerName OtherSh%
1 SIDNEY CROSBY 11.00% 307 CAL CLUTTERBUCK 3.70%
2 THOMAS VANEK 9.98% 306 SHAWN THORNTON 4.03%
3 TAYLOR HALL 9.95% 305 JERRED SMITHSON 4.22%
4 CORY STILLMAN 9.95% 304 RYAN CARTER 4.28%
5 JAMIE BENN 9.89% 303 TORREY MITCHELL 4.67%
6 JORDAN EBERLE 9.81% 302 ZACK SMITH 4.73%
7 BRENDEN MORROW 9.74% 301 DEREK DORSETT 4.85%
8 JAROME IGINLA 9.71% 300 MARTY REASONER 4.91%
9 MARTIN ST._LOUIS 9.69% 299 SEAN BERGENHEIM 5.01%
10 DAVID DESHARNAIS 9.68% 298 PATRICK EAVES 5.12%
11 ALEX TANGUAY 9.63% 297 NATHAN GERBE 5.13%
12 NATHAN HORTON 9.60% 296 BRIAN BOYLE 5.18%
13 DAVID KREJCI 9.54% 295 BJ CROMBEEN 5.18%
14 MARC SAVARD 9.49% 294 TIM JACKMAN 5.20%
15 MARIAN GABORIK 9.47% 293 CHAD LAROSE 5.21%
16 ALEXANDER SEMIN 9.45% 292 BRIAN ROLSTON 5.28%
17 PATRICK SHARP 9.44% 291 DREW MILLER 5.31%
18 BOBBY RYAN 9.39% 290 JOHN MADDEN 5.35%
19 MIKE RIBEIRO 9.36% 289 DAVID CLARKSON 5.35%
20 STEPHEN WEISS 9.34% 288 DAVID STECKEL 5.37%
21 MATT DUCHENE 9.28% 287 PATRICK O’SULLIVAN 5.42%
22 JASON SPEZZA 9.26% 286 SAMUEL PAHLSSON 5.42%
23 STEVEN REINPRECHT 9.26% 285 TRAVIS ZAJAC 5.46%
24 STEVEN STAMKOS 9.24% 284 MICHAL HANDZUS 5.47%
25 BRENDAN MORRISON 9.24% 283 RYAN CALLAHAN 5.49%
26 LOUI ERIKSSON 9.21% 282 JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER 5.58%
27 MICHAEL RYDER 9.20% 281 JAMAL MAYERS 5.61%
28 JONATHAN TOEWS 9.14% 280 MARTIN HANZAL 5.61%
29 RYAN GETZLAF 9.13% 279 JORDIN TOOTOO 5.64%
30 COLBY ARMSTRONG 9.10% 278 BLAKE COMEAU 5.64%

The list of top players in non-rush shooting percentage is definitely a stronger list in terms of elite level players. One reason could possibly be that the greater sample size (there are 3-4 times as many non-rush shots as rush shots) allows for an improved ability to identify shooting talent. Another reason could be that the skills necessary to generate offense in the offensive zone is different than the skills to generate offense from the rush. To generate offense in the offensive zone you have to have elite puck handling and shooting skills because you are attempting to generate scoring chances with 5 defenders and a goalie in a small portion of the ice surface. To generate offense on the rush it may be more about being able to force turnovers and generating odd man rushes may be more important than pure puck handling or shooting skills. More rugged guys like Downie (63rd in non-rush Sh%), Stafford (106th), Bertuzzi (175th) and Marchand (149th) may be good at forcing turnovers to generate good rush opportunities but may not be so good at generating offense in the offensive zone.

Once again the worst shooting percentages on n0n-rush shots is dominated by 3rd line defensive/role playing types with a few other interesting names included like O’Sullivan who had the 23rd best rush shooting percentage. Clarkson and Callahan are two interesting names on this list. Clarkson ranked 122nd (probably pretty good for a Devil player) in on-ice rush shooting percentage lending support to the idea that the rugged types are better at generating good scoring chances on the rush than in offensive zone play. Callahan ranked 236th though.

The following table shows the number of players that had the highest percentage of their on-ice shots being rush shots.

Rank Player RushS% Rank PlayerName RushS%
1 SHAWN THORNTON 29.87% 307 VALTTERI FILPPULA 19.62%
2 RYAN JONES 29.56% 306 PATRICK KANE 19.73%
3 TIM JACKMAN 29.21% 305 SAKU KOIVU 19.92%
4 RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 28.24% 304 TEEMU SELANNE 20.06%
5 BRANDON PRUST 28.14% 303 DANIEL ALFREDSSON 20.22%
6 CAL CLUTTERBUCK 28.07% 302 DAN CLEARY 20.23%
7 BRAD MARCHAND 28.05% 301 PATRICK SHARP 20.57%
8 BRIAN BOYLE 28.04% 300 THOMAS VANEK 20.64%
9 GREGORY CAMPBELL 28.02% 299 ANDREW COGLIANO 20.71%
10 CHRIS NEIL 27.78% 298 JONATHAN TOEWS 20.77%
11 DEREK STEPAN 27.73% 297 DUSTIN PENNER 20.80%
12 CHUCK KOBASEW 27.70% 296 SHAWN HORCOFF 20.84%
13 CODY MCLEOD 27.68% 295 BRIAN ROLSTON 20.90%
14 JERRED SMITHSON 27.52% 294 TROY BROUWER 20.91%
15 BRANDON SUTTER 27.38% 293 HENRIK ZETTERBERG 20.94%
16 JORDIN TOOTOO 27.25% 292 ANDREW BRUNETTE 21.02%
17 RYAN CALLAHAN 27.20% 291 DEREK ROY 21.05%
18 MATT COOKE 27.15% 290 ERIC BELANGER 21.18%
19 MAXIM LAPIERRE 27.14% 289 MIKE RIBEIRO 21.19%
20 DAVID JONES 27.10% 288 JOHN TAVARES 21.21%
21 DANIEL PAILLE 27.10% 287 TEDDY PURCELL 21.23%
22 ERIC NYSTROM 27.07% 286 PAVEL DATSYUK 21.33%
23 CRAIG ADAMS 26.99% 285 TOMAS HOLMSTROM 21.38%
24 TOM KOSTOPOULOS 26.88% 284 CLAUDE GIROUX 21.43%
25 ARTEM ANISIMOV 26.78% 283 ALES HEMSKY 21.45%
26 DREW MILLER 26.71% 282 JIRI HUDLER 21.55%
27 LARS ELLER 26.68% 281 PAUL STASTNY 21.55%
28 MIKAEL BACKLUND 26.67% 280 JAROMIR JAGR 21.61%
29 JANNIK HANSEN 26.62% 279 RYAN GETZLAF 21.64%
30 J.P. DUMONT 26.57% 278 BRAD BOYES 21.68%

It is probably not surprising but there are a lot of defensive type players with high percentage of their shots on the rush while a number of good offensive players have a lower percentage of shots coming from the rush. Zone starts would have a significant impact on this and the ability (and desire) for elite offensive players to maintain offensive zone time and offensive shots is a factor too.

I am generally a believer that the next great leap in hockey analytics is getting away from overall statistics such as on-ice shot differentials/ratios and isolating individual skills and knowing what skills are best used in what situations and what skills complement each other to maximize line combinations. I think some of the results we see above take us a step closer in that direction though there is still a lot to learn and understand about the game. Better data will go a long way to achieving that but  until then I think there is more we can extract from the data we have.

 

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