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Advanced Metrics: The range of finishing talent between first and fourth line forwards

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In case you weren't aware, fourth line players don't possess the same scoring touch as their first line counterparts.

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If you haven't looked at Tom Awad's piece on the Columbus Blue Jackets, do take a look - it's great stuff. I made an offhand comment to Tom yesterday about the difference in shooting talent between forwards and defensemen, and that there's also a big difference in shooting talent between 1st and 4th line forwards, but I didn't have the numbers. So here are those numbers at even-strength:

TOI/G Quality Shot % Shots/60
Top 1/4 19.55 7.21 7.97 49.3
2nd 1/4 16.56 7.13 7.42 44.3
3rd 1/4 13.81 7.15 6.89 41.2
Bot 1/4 9.60 7.07 5.97 40.8

So that's an imperceptible difference in everyone's favorite shot quality statistic, but a very large difference in actual shooting percentage. First-line forwards are 6% better than second-line forwards at finishing, 13% better than third-liners and 23% better than fourth-liners. Defensemen, as a group, fall about halfway between 3rd and 4th line forwards in terms of finishing talent, though they shoot from such different spots on the ice it's hard to quantify that talent.