Monday, March 19, 2007

Who is the NHL's best penalty killer?

James Mirtle has some analysis of the Behind the Net Penalty-Kill statistics over at his blog:

Vancouver's top PK unit dominates the list, and their second PK unit is right near the top too. Of course, Vancouver also has good goaltending, and it's difficult to separate out which individual player is responsible.

[You might have also noticed that James limited his list to 140 minutes of PK time. That leaves off Martin St. Louis, with 133 minutes, and at -2, arguably the best PK stats in the NHL.]

I'm still not convinced that we can draw much of a conclusion from one year's worth of PK numbers, given how low the minutes are (<200 for forwards, <300 for defense.) I've never checked year-to-year correlation of penalty-kill, and while I imagine it's fairly high, it's unclear how much the loss of any one player would mean to the overall performance. I think that's a study for another day...


The thing I wonder is, if a guy's not even playing two minutes a night on the PK, how good a penalty killer can he be?

I also question the validity of factoring in short-handed goals when the ultimate goal, really, of a penalty-killing situation is simply to not get scored on. SH goals often simply result from a botched play by the opposition.
It makes me wonder how St. Louis and LeCavalier are used as a PK team. They've got a substantially better line than Perrin and Richards do in roughly the same amount of ice time.

If they bring a SH goal scoring threat to the table that's non-existent on other units, then that's extremely valuable.

It's clear that their job isn't as tough as guys like Pandolfo, Madden, Barnes, Draper, Brind'Amour, Pahlsson and Niedermayer.

But it looks like Tampa gives LeCavalier and St. Louis a fair share of the tough PK minutes, so though they might not kill every penalty, they're pretty valuable. If you make them play PP and ES and kill all the penalties, they'd be at 32 minutes a game and completely dead-tired.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]