Chicago Blackhawks: Individual Player Impact On Scoring 

Today I have some interesting stats to post from the 2015-16 season that are most likely foreign to you. I’m not sure how much weight they should have on your perception of a player, but it will give you more information and more knowledge of the Chicago Blackhawks. In the end, it’s not one stats that defines a player, but a collection of every statistic and eye test combined into one. Because of this, I try to supply many different stats or valuations to help the public best analyze overall player performance. 

Today’s stat is going to focus on a players scoring impact while on the ice. We can look at a players goals, assists, or total points and determine ones overall production. However, today we will dive deeper into scoring production. To do this, we will look at how ones scoring compares to all the scoring done when they were on the ice. This might sound confusing, so let’s jump into a quick example.

Let’s say Homer Simpson plays for the Blackhawks. Let’s say while Homer Simpson was on the ice this season, the Blackhawks scored 20 goals. Now let’s say Homer Simpson’s stats for the season are 5 goals and 10 assists. 

  • Simpson had 5 of the teams 20 goals when he was on the ice, so he factored in on 25% of goal scoring (5/20=O.25).
  • Simpson had 10 assists of the 20 goals scored when he was on the ice, so he factored into 50% of the goals by use of assist (10/20=0.50). 
  • Simpson had 15 points on the 20 goals scored while he was on the ice, so he recorded a point on 75% of the goals (15/20=0.75).

This is what we will be looking at. What percent of total on ice goals was a player responsible for when it comes to goals, assist, and total points. We will look at six total charts. Goals, assists, and point percentage of forwards and then defensemen. Now that you have a general understanding of what’s to come, let’s dive on in.

  • Patrick Kane recorded a point on 85% of the goals Chicago scored when he was on the ice.
  • Beware the sample size. Yes Mashinter recorded a point on 83% of total on ice goals. However, only 6 goals were scored while he was on the ice this season. Compare that to 67 for Kane, 54 for Panarin, 46 for Anisimov, and 39 for Toews. This is where one has to use sample size and context. We know Mashinter isn’t a good player.
  • Context & sample size needs to be used when comparing Anisimov to Desjardins. While Desjardins was usually on lines with low quality talent and less overall goals, Anisimov was on a line with crazy good talent and an absurd amount of goals. Put Desjardins at 2nd line center and he isn’t recording a point on 79% of goals like he did this past season.
  • I think we will learn more about players when we divide this into assists only and goals only.

  • Richard “Dick” Panik had 50% of the total goals scored when he was on the ice.
  • Combined, Toews/Hossa accounted for 52% of total goals when they were on the ice compared to 70% for Panarin/Kane. Maybe Panik can add to the goal scoring that the Toews/Hossa combo is lacking.
  • Kruger, Kero, and Bickell did not record a goal. This is why they are at 0%.

  • Looking at all three charts, Teravainen and Panarin’s numbers are nearly identical.
  • Richard Panik does not look like a playmaker. He rated poorly in my playmaking blog posts and he rates poorly here. That’s okay if he can become an elite finisher/sniper. However, if he isn’t scoring goals, he probably isn’t supplying anything else.
  • Toews needs to shoot more. I felt he was too passive this year with the puck. He assisted on 49% of goals while scoring only 28% of the total goals scored when he was on the ice.
  • Anisimov doesn’t have to touch the puck for the 2nd line to be successful. Kane/Panarin had really good years with Anisimov only assisting on 30% of total goals scored while on the ice. 

  • Gustafsson continues to be an offensive juggernaut. I feel like I’m the only person who is really high on this kid. He’s 24, so it’s not like he is going to develop into an elite defensemen or shutdown D. But still he put up awesome stats this year driving possession, creating goals, and being a playmaker. For a team like Chicago who was offensively challenged when the Kane line was off the ice, I feel like a player like Gustafsson can really help out. Combine his creativity with Seabrook’s hard shot, and that’s a nice offensive pairing D group. I need to move on. I could go on forever about Gustafsson.
  • We know Hjalmarsson is a defensive defensemen, but he recorded a point on more goals than TVR. This goes along with other stats I’ve seen that suggest not to expect much offensive output from TVR.
  • Note: Only 12 goals were scored when Svedberg was on the ice this season, so beware the small sample size.

  • Seabrook is by far the best goal scorer
  • Gustafsson and Roszival had zero goals. Hjalmarsson and TVR each had two.

  • TVR, Hjalmarsson, and Seabrook aren’t playmakers in the offensive zone. The passing data I showed before suggested that. 
  • Gustafsson helped directly create 46% of the total goals scored when he was on the ice.
  • Keith was also a good playmaker.
  • Rozsival put up decent numbers for his role/age. He got worst the more he played. I feel like fatigue was a factor and it would have been better to play him less during the season to preserve him. His first 15 games compared to his last 15 games was noticeably different when watching.

Lastly, I would like to talk about why I like the Gustafsson-Seabrook pairing so much.

First let’s look at results. Seabrook’s puck possession was over 50% when paired with Gustafsson, 47% when paired with Svedberg, and a shockingly low 41% when paired with TVR. 

So why do Gustafsson and Seabrook fit so well together? The passing data I’ve looked at in previous posts show that Seabrook is a capable passer out of the defensive zone but is a really bad passer/playmaker in the offensive zone. Inversely, Gustafsson is a tremendous offensive zone passer/playmaker, but lacked in defensive zone passing ability. They fit together nicely here whereas with a pairing of TVR-Seabrook, no one is creating in the offensive zone and the puck is quickly heading toward Crawford.

So Seabrook doesn’t create in the offensive zone, but that’s okay because he has a really good shot. He provides goal scoring from the backend. So why pair him with such offensively challenged D-men like Hjalmarsson, Svedberg, and TVR? Why not put him with a creator like Gustafsson or Keith that will best utilize Seabrook’s offensive abilities?

Another point is that defense is not the strong point of Seabrook and Gustafsson. So why pair them together? Just like with forwards where you have an offensive line (Panarin-Anisimov-Kane) and a defensive line (Ladd-Toews-Hossa) the same can be said for defense. Of the three pairings, one could have a shutdown pairing, offensive pairing, and an all around pairing. Q likes to have Keith and Hjalmarsson together as his shut down pairing. So this leaves Gustafsson, Seabrook, Kempny, TVR, and Svedberg. I’m not including the AHL kids. I know you love Pokka and Forsling, but I’m not going to pencil them in to the opening day lineup with neither playing a NHL game yet. Forsling is young at only 19-years-old, and while 21-year-old Pokka will play in the NHL next season, I’m not going to speculate and say it’s right away.

So we have Hjalmarsson-Keith in our shutdown role. I’m putting Gustafsson-Seabrook together for the offensive role and giving them plenty of offensive zone starts to best utilize their abilities. Finally, I’m pairing Kempny & TVR as a very solid and trustworthy third pairing. 

Think of Hjalmarsson & Keith as Hossa & Toews of the defense and battling the opponents top line. 

Think of Seabrook and Gustafsson as Kane and Panarin. Not known for the defense, but put into offensive opportunities.

Finally, think of TVR and Kempny as Kruger and Shaw. Solid and trustworthy players that you can run out against the opponents second best line. Won’t provide a ton of offense, but very reliable players.

So that’s my vision for the defense to start the 2016-17 season. Obviously things can change. Pokka might come out of training camp with a vastly improve skating ability learned over the summer. There could be a surprise player like Carl Dahlstrom. We don’t know. However, if all I had were defensemen that played for the Blackhawks last season, these would be my pairings.

  • First pairing Keith-Hjalmarsson 
  • Offensive second pairing Gustafsson-Seabrook 
  • Defensive second pairing Kempny-TVR

Notice that I don’t have a true third pairing. Instead I have an offensive and a defensive focused second pairings