Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Dominant as an east-coast twentysomething

Well, I'm about half-way moved into my Irvine place, and I figured I could take a quick break from the packing/unpacking madness to resume my normal blogginess, specifically as it relates to Teemu Selanne, Power Play Specialist. The Finnish Flash may or may not have declared that he is returning to Southern California in September, depending how much you trust your Finnish.

I made a quick table below that attempts to answer one question: Despite Selanne taking most of last season off, how many NHLers have scored more regular-season power play goals than Teemu since the lockout?

Top PPG Scorers since the Lockout
(reg. season only)

(click image to enlarge)

Answer: Three, and it's worth looking at some of the commonalities about them.

1. They all are more than a decade younger than Selanne. Really, these three players probably represent the new wave of goal scorers, and Heatley, Ovechkin, and Kovalchuk could be taking home the Rocket Richard Trophy for a long while.

2. They all play in the eastern conference. I'm not sure how strong an effect this is, but it is worth noting that since the lockout, the eastern conference has allowed 204 more power play goals than the western conference in 311 fewer power play opportunities. Remember, in the old schedule nearly 90% of a regular season was played against same-conference opponents.

3. They all played significantly more power play minutes than Teemu. This is really the stat that got me: not only are these comparables way younger and in the easier conference, but look how their power play total ice time compares with Old Man Selanne.
  • Heatley scored 6% more PP goals in 25% more games and 27% more PP minutes.
  • Ovechkin scored 18% more PP goals in 30% more games and 56% more PP minutes.
  • Kovalchuk scored 22% more PP goals in 27% more games and 74% more PP minutes.
Unreal. Teemu is a PP freak!

Now I don't really want to knock any of Heatley, Ovechkin, or Kovalchuk (also: Tomas Vanek and Evgeni Malkin were both on pace to make this list over just the last two seasons -- they also are a decade younger than Selanne and play in the east): these names will be carrying the goal-scoring title for a long while. I also should stress that while I am comparing individual production numbers, PP success is very unit-based.

No, I'm just here to point out again how freaking remarkable Teemu's man-advantage production has been since his return to SoCal. While seemingly power play goals is a stat that has been dominated by eastern-conference children of the 80s, at least one representative of the old-school-west is still hanging at the top of the charts, making us marvel again and again in Anaheim.

C'mon. One more year, Teemu. Go Ducks.

10 comments:

Earl Sleek said...

BTW: You will notice that I have restricted this analysis to regular season only, partially because these players have different levels of team success.

But really, there's also the matter of Teemu not being that dominant when it comes to postseason power plays (when the level of competition increases). See if you can guess how many PPGs Teemu Selanne has scored over the last three postseasons for the Ducks (43 games total) without peeking.

Kirsten said...

As many goals as Joe Thornton has scored in the All-Star game?

Congrats on the new digs, Sleek. I hope the move is going well for you.

If I were really ambitious, I could get my mom to translate the Finnish for me, but I'd probably get yelled at for a bit before I managed to ask my question.

Earl Sleek said...

Congrats on the new digs, Sleek. I hope the move is going well for you.

So far so good, although I don't get any internet until Saturday.

In fact, I'm off to the land of internet-blackness for a few hours now to unpack a carload and to check out my new fridge and washer/dryer. I'll see you all when I get back to internet connectivity!

If I were really ambitious, I could get my mom to translate the Finnish for me, but I'd probably get yelled at for a bit before I managed to ask my question.

I wouldn't risk it. Just keep believin', and that crazy Finn will come through.

Sherry said...

Congrats on the new place. My only advice to you to keep the place clean is to invest in a Swiffer WetJet. Those things are magical.

There's an interview floating around somewhere at Janne Ninnimaa's wedding with Teemu saying that he's going back to California, so who knows. I'm just glad he's not getting the Sundin treatment in the media.

Ken said...

Earl...the number crunching is scary man. Nice job.

Earl Sleek said...

There's an interview floating around somewhere at Janne Ninnimaa's wedding with Teemu

Sherry, you will get all of us bloggers in trouble if you keep spreading rumors that Niinimaa is marrying Selanne. For shame.

I'm going to have to moderate comments :)

jamestobrien said...

Elegant, not-too-complicated stat analysis at its best. I've had a deep appreciation of TS's skills since I went to a Stars-Ducks game a few years ago, but I never realized he was in such elite company.

Maybe that whole East Coast bias thing has some legs.

Bryan said...

I'm almost certain Teemu will be back from various insiders I have talked to.

Selanne is an amazing goal scorer. Bure, Hull, and Selanne growing up in the 90s somehow just knew how to find the net. Amazing how Selanne is still producing after so many years.

Earl Sleek said...

I'm almost certain Teemu will be back from various insiders I have talked to.

Yeah, I suspect as much as well, though my insider status has never been that strong. I'd guess he's just waiting for the right shoe to drop (Schneider trade) and then he'll ink with the team once it's cap-legal.

As an aside, in packing up some old stuff last night I found some material that I'll be posting sometime in the coming week that helps answer the question: "How nerdy was Sleek back in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 season?" (Answer: quite.)

Sherry said...

Sherry, you will get all of us bloggers in trouble if you keep spreading rumors that Niinimaa is marrying Selanne. For shame.

I'm going to have to moderate comments :)


...you doucherocket.

(Might as well give your 'comment moderation' a work-out' :P)