Now that I have all of the team’s scoring chances from last year tracked, I thought it would be a good idea to take how some individual players performed over the season starting with the captain himself, Eric Staal. If you remember my original scoring chance post, Staal was the only regular forward to have a chance ratio of over .500 and was the best player on the team not named Cam Ward. I am of the belief that great centers can make their linemates better and my opinion is only strengthened after seeing how well so many players performed when they were on Staal’s line. He is the key piece of this team and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Scoring Chances by Segment:
|Game #||TCF||TSC||SCF||TSSC||Segment||Team Seg%|
TCF = Total chances for, TSC = Total scoring chances, SCF = Segment chances for, TSSC = Total segment scoring chances, Segment = Scoring chance percentage during segment for player, Team Seg% = Team scoring chance percentage.
Aside from a bad stretch in late November/early December, Staal out-performed the rest of the team. It’s encouraging that he followed that rough patch by having one of his best stretches of the season over the next ten games. It’s also good to see that Staal really kicked it into high gear towards the end of the season, too when the team was making it’s run towards the playoffs.
Click picture to enlarge
This graph shows how much Staal out-performed the rest of the team for most of the year, especially at the beginning and middle of the season. However, the graph also illustrates some inconsistencies that Staal had this year, especially between games 11 and 30. An interesting observation with this graph is that after game 30, his line seemed to be similar to the team’s performance until game 71. As Staal went, so did the Hurricanes which shows how much impact he has on the team. He just seemed to perform at a much higher level than the rest of the team for most of the year.
Now let’s see how much of an impact Staal had on certain teammates but first I’ll give a brief explanation of the table below. It’s called a With Or Without You chart or WOWY for short. What I did was go through all of Staal’s scoring chances this season and looked at who was on ice for those chances and tally them. Here we can see how Staal did with certain players, how they did without Staal and how much better or worse Staal performed when these players were on the ice.
The only regular forward who played better without Staal was Chad LaRose, and even that was only by a little bit. Staal’s most common linemates towards the end of the season were Cory Stillman and Erik Cole and he seemed to play very welll with these two. Also take a look at how they performed without Staal. Yikes. I am planning to do a WOWY for Cole, too because I’m curious to see how he played with other linemates but the numbers here aren’t encouraging. When figuring out who Staal’s linemates will be next season, it’s pretty much up in the air because neither Jeff Skinner or Jussi Jokinen spend that much time on his line, but they had positive results when they played with him. The best thing that this table shows is that Staal made nearly everyone he played with effective, which is backed up by Samsonov and Stillman’s numbers. Can he do the same thing if he is paired with Alexei Ponikarovsky, Anthony Stewart or Zach Boychuk. It seems that way but just imagine how great a line with Staal could be if we had a big time goal-scorer on the team. Really makes you think.