Advanced metrics dictate that Blake Wheeler is one hell of a set-up man

Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE

Rob Vollman did some interesting work on advanced passing stats. Lets take a look at how our Jets performed based on this new metric.

You can take away our hockey, but you can’t take away our spread sheets!! While we haven't had any games to analyze in a long time, some the best and brightest hockey nerds have come up with new ways to analyze old games. Case in point, our good buddy Rob Vollman put together a really interesting new stat: Passes!

Without further ado, here is Rob Vollman’s passing stat:

Passes are defined as those which result in shots on goal and can determine which players are most adept at setting up shots in a way that's independent of shooting percentages. Unfortunately, this statistic is available only as an estimate based on the player's assists and the average shooting percentage of his linemates.

One spreadsheet has the original estimate for all four seasons dating back to 2009-10 , while the 2011-12 sheet is refined to look only at primary assists, breaking them down by manpower situation (even-strength, power play or shorthanded).

So how did our Jets do based on this metric? For simplicity sake I will be cutting out the calculation columns and just looking at the output. If you want to check out the full data set, Rob made it available here:

Last Name First Name GP G A Pts Shots Passes P/S P+S P/60 SOG/60 P+S/60
Kane Evander 74 30 27 57 287 135.4 0.47 422 6.3 13.3 19.6
Wheeler Blake 80 17 47 64 208 278.8 1.34 487 11.0 8.2 19.1
Jokinen Olli 82 23 38 61 223 210.9 0.95 434 8.1 8.6 16.8
Ladd Andrew 82 28 22 50 265 130.6 0.49 396 4.9 9.9 14.8
Byfuglien Dustin 66 12 41 53 223 160.7 0.72 384 6.1 8.4 14.5
Stapleton Tim 63 11 16 27 74 78.8 1.07 153 7.4 6.9 14.3
Ponikarovsky Alexei 82 14 19 33 156 123.8 0.79 280 6.1 7.7 13.9
Little Bryan 74 24 22 46 162 168.2 1.04 330 6.7 6.5 13.2
Thorburn Chris 72 4 7 11 69 90.4 1.31 159 7.4 5.6 13.0
Wellwood Kyle 77 18 29 47 93 156.0 1.68 249 8.1 4.8 13.0
Miettinen Antti 45 5 8 13 58 55.3 0.95 113 6.3 6.6 12.9
Antropov Nik 69 15 20 35 95 134.0 1.41 229 7.1 5.0 12.1
Bogosian Zach 65 5 25 30 150 108.3 0.72 258 4.3 5.9 10.2
Burmistrov Alexander 76 13 15 28 123 90.8 0.74 214 4.3 5.8 10.1
Slater Jim 78 13 8 21 118 74.3 0.63 192 3.9 6.2 10.0
Glass Tanner 78 5 11 16 86 85.7 1.00 172 4.9 4.9 9.8
Fehr Eric 35 2 1 3 54 0.0 0.00 54 0.0 9.6 9.6
Clitsome Grant 63 4 13 17 87 72.5 0.83 160 4.1 4.9 8.9
Enstrom Tobias 62 6 27 33 94 108.6 1.16 203 4.4 3.8 8.2
Hainsey Ron 56 0 10 10 57 96.1 1.69 153 4.9 2.9 7.8
Flood Mark 33 3 4 7 30 24.0 0.80 54 2.8 3.6 6.4
Stuart Mark 80 3 11 14 60 51.4 0.86 111 2.2 2.6 4.9
Jones Randy 39 1 1 2 24 0.0 0.00 24 0.0 2.5 2.5

Observations:

  • What should be a surprise to no one, Blake Wheeler was far and away the Jets' premier set-up man. Wheeler led the team in passes by a wide margin and his pass to shot ratio was the 2nd highest on the team.
  • Evander Kane’s pass numbers aren’t as low as one would think, but the number may be somewhat inflated due to all the rebounds that Kyle Wellwood gobbled up. One way or another, his pass + shot numbers are a good indication of how many offensive opportunities Kane created.
  • Dustin Byfuglien is a monster that eats monsters!! He ranks 6th among defenders in shots, 12th in passes and 5th combined passes and shots despite only playing 66 games.
  • Zach Bogosian’s offensive game is really coming along. He was one of the league’s best defensemen in terms of even strength points per minute, and ranks Top-20 in pass + shot (per game) producers. We are going to miss him dearly while he is hurt.
  • Kyle Wellwood still doesn’t suck. He was among the most pass happy players in the league. He had the 5th highest pass to shot ratio in the league(!). He is a nice, versatile player to have in the lineup and for his price tag, well worth the investment.
  • Oddly, Jim Slater was the Jets' ultimate puck hog. He had the highest shot to pass ratio on the team and the 6th highest shot to pass ratio in the league.
  • Olli Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky were in the scoring mix quite a bit last year with their respective teams. When you realize those two players are replacing Tim Stapleton and Tanner Glass, we should expect sizable improvement offensively.
  • Players that put in work on the penalty kill will have had their per 60 rates significantly reduced.
  • Stapleton stands out here, but he got all of his action on the powerplay relative to his teammates.

While these analytics aren't exactly mind blowing, passing stats are an interesting concept. It would be nice if they were actually tracked so we wouldn't have to work backwards.

Anyway, what do you think about this stat? What do you think of the results? Let us know in the comments section below!

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