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NHL Mid-Season Statistics Leaders, Volume I

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I thought I'd take a look at the statistical leaders in some very slightly advanced metrics. First, for some perspective, the league leaders in Points per 60 Minutes of 5v5 Ice Time over the last three seasons:

2009-10 5v5 P/60 2008-09 5v5 P/60 2007-08 5v5 P/60
Ovechkin 4.12 R. Bourque 3.20 Crosby 3.38
H. Sedin 3.79 Semin 3.16 Malkin 3.20
D. Sedin 3.77 Malkin 3.07 Stastny 3.12
Crosby 3.35 Crosby 3.00 Alfredsson 3.12
Semin 3.33 Savard 2.99 Ovechkin 3.00
Backstrom 3.01 D. Sedin 2.97 Heatley 2.95
Kovalchuk 2.89 Krejci 2.95 Spezza 2.93
Gaborik 2.88 Parise 2.93 Dumont 2.88
Knuble 2.85 Datsyuk 2.91 Radulov 2.86
Erkisson 2.84 Havlat 2.89 Roy 2.86

Raise your hand if you knew Rene Bourque was one of the most efficient players in the NHL last season. Here are the 11th-40th players in that category this seasons:

Player P/60 Player P/60 Player P/60
Marleau 2.83 Parise 2.62 Ponikoraovsky 2.46
Thornton 2.82 Horton 2.61 Wolski 2.46
Kane 2.76 Antropov 2.61 Sharp 2.42
Malkin 2.75 Lecavalier 2.56 Upshall 2.42
B. Richards 2.73 Neal 2.52 Heatley 2.40
C. Stewart 2.70 Fleischmann 2.51 Parse 2.39
Fehr 2.70 Stamkos 2.51 R. Bourque 2.38
Burrows 2.69 Simmonds 2.48 Asham 2.36
Getzlaf 2.63 Van Riemsdyk 2.47 Stastny 2.35
St. Louis 2.62 E. Staal 2.46 J. Jokinen 2.34

A lot of good lines, good offensive players, and a few guys, like Scott Parse, who you've probably never heard of. And, of course, Rene Bourque. What about On-Ice/Off-Ice +/-, which I've called a player's "Rating":

NAME RATING NAME RATING NAME RATING
Ovechkin 2.83 H. Sedin 1.86 Cammalleri 1.52
Parise 2.80 C. Franson 1.85 Holmstrom 1.5
D. Sedin 2.55 J. Jokinen 1.81 Knuble 1.49
Fistric 2.38 Lidstrom 1.79 E. Staal 1.49
Downie 2.34 Bailey 1.74 Backstrom 1.47
Zajac 2.24 Brookbank 1.65 Smyth 1.46
Antropov 2.16 Schultz 1.64 Rafalski 1.46
Foligno 2.04 Smid 1.61 Simmonds 1.45
Gaborik 1.99 Vrbata 1.59 Prust 1.44
Penner 1.87 Wolski 1.52 Hornqvist 1.41

It's a real mixed bag, mostly because players draw widely-varying matchups and don't line up against similar opponents. In that vein, the league leaders in Quality of Competition:

NAME QoC NAME QoC NAME QoC
Ward 1.931 Jovanovski 1.655 Heatley 1.328
Volchenkov 1.891 Michalek 1.596 Pandolfo 1.323
Seabrook 1.831 Smithson 1.584 Zanon 1.321
Jackman 1.779 Legwand 1.565 Thornton 1.295
Phillips 1.777 Grossman 1.540 Marleau 1.288
Alfredsson 1.755 Robidas 1.436 Lidstrom 1.283
Polak 1.740 Gleason 1.392 Girardi 1.269
Keith 1.717 Leopold 1.360 Thompson 1.255
Mitchell 1.711 Zetterberg 1.348 Sutton 1.241
M. Staal 1.665 Brown 1.343 Ohlund 1.233

The Quality of Competition metric here is "Relative Corsi" - in other words the average opponent's Corsi number relative to his team. Quality of Competition is an imperfect metric, but using opponent shot totals reduces the role of individual scoring luck, or a tougher schedule of opponents.

There are a lot of lines and defensive pairs on this list with very few singletons - Carolina's Tim Gleason is probably the only player on this list who doesn't have a teammate within striking distance. The Quality of Competition leaders always pose an interesting question for me: are these players at the top of this list because their coaches send them out against the other team's best players? Or because opposing coaches send out their best players against them.

Next time, a run through the leaders a few more obscure statistics...