Buffalo Sabres Statistics: Even Strength Goals For

This post is long overdue and would have been done a long time ago if it wasn't for this oppressive heat.  I know I need to get central air next year so I can continue to post on these scorching hot days.

If you are new to the site I will tell you up front that I am a numbers guy.  I love to look at statistics and analyze what they mean and what the effect is on the team.  Today I am looking at the even strength stats for each player.  We did something similar last week when I analyzed the even strength shooting for each player.

The stats this week are not even strength goals by each player but rather the teams goals for while players on the ice.  I know this isn't an exact science but it does give you an idea of how the team performs while certain players on the ice. 

The stats used in this post are a bit more exact because they factor in the amount of time on the ice instead of just looking at the total number goals scored.  The numbers are different than you would expect.

Goals For Per 20 Minutes on Ice - Forwards
  1. Tim Connolly 1.339
  2. Thomas Vanek  1.059
  3. Dominic Moore  1.024 (Numbers include time Leafs)
  4. Jason Pominville  0.922
  5. Drew Stafford  0.908
  6. Daniel Paille  0.888
  7. Derek Roy  0.839
  8. Paul Gaustad  0.812
  9. Maxim Afinogenov  0.781
  10. Clarke MacArthur  0.761
  11. Patrick Kaleta 0.705
  12. Nathan Gerbe  0.691
  13. Adam Mair  0.656
  14. Matt Ellis  0.616
  15. Jochen Hecht  0.597
  16. Andrew Peters  0.178
Goals For Per 20 Minutes on Ice - Defense
  1. Jaro Spacek  0.949
  2. Craig Rivet  0.868
  3. Henrik Tallinder  0.823
  4. Chris Butler  .808
  5. Toni Lydman  0.788
  6. Nathan Paetsch  .774
  7. Andrej Sekera  0.770
  8. Teppo Numminen  .744

There are couple of interesting stats that immediately jump off the page at me.  Once again we see Daniel Paille among the team leaders.  He is ranked sixth among the forwards listed and finished better than Derek Roy.  Many consider Roy to be the Sabres best forward yet he is only seventh. 

The stats above are somewhat useful but I wanted to know which forwards played best with each other on the ice.  I didn't look at every player on the team but I looked at the players that interested me the most.  

Here is what I found out...

Tim Connolly
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Jason Pominville 302:33:00 24 1.587
Thomas Vanek 233:37:00 20 1.712
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Maxim Afinogenov 10:07 3 5.931
Clarke MacArthur 100:49:00 10 1.984

 

Connolly seems to play well with just about anyone.  He played most of his time with Pominville and Vanek and the three played very well together.  Why not start the season with a top line of Connolly centering for Vanek and Pominville?  I would put that line up against some of the best lines in the league.

Thomas Vanek
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Derek Roy 452:48:00 19 0.839
Drew Stafford 413:19:00 25 1.21
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Tim Connolly 233:37:00 20 1.712
       

 

Vanek played the majority of his 5-on-5 time with Stafford and Roy but the three never put up huge numbers.  The perception is they were the Sabres best line but the reality is they scored most of their points on the power play.  Once again the statistics show that Vanek combined with Connolly equals goals for the Sabres.  I am starting the Vanek-Connolly-Pominville campaign today.

Jason Pominville
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Jochen Hecht 528:59:00 16 0.605
Tim Connolly 302:39:00 24 1.587
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Matt Ellis 42:23:00 4 1.888
       

 

Pominville has been criticized all season and off-season for having a poor season but nobody has really looked at the statistics.  Pominville played well over 500 minutes with Jochen Hecht while only 16 goals were scored for the Sabres.  If Pominville had an opportunity to play with better forwards he would still be a point-per-game player.  This season will be the big test for Pominville because I think Lindy will be smart enough to keep Pommer away from Hecht (I hope).

Once again look at the numbers that Pominville puts up when playing with Connolly.  Let's all jump on the Vanek-Connolly-Pominville bandwagon!

Drew Stafford
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Derek Roy 666:00:00 30 0.901
Thomas Vanek 418:19:00 25 1.21
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Tim Connolly 187:11:00 13 1.389
       

 

Stafford is just a decent player no matter who he plays with. The numbers don't really sway too far in either direction.  In my opinion this shows that he is an important player on the team but not flashy enough to get a huge contract.

Daniel Paille
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Paul Gaustad 224:11:00 9 0.803
Adam Mair 193:48:00 9 0.929
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Derek Roy 77:05:00 7 1.816

 

I have been beating the Daniel Paille drum for a couple of weeks but nobody has supported me.  Maybe these numbers will change your mind.  Paille was in the top six forwards in goals scored per 20 minutes and this chart above shows that he has played the majority of his ice time with Paul Gaustad and Adam Mair.  Look at how high the numbers jump when he plays with Derek Roy.  I stated this last week and I'll state it again...Paille deserves to be given a chance at a top six spot on this team.  How about Paille-Roy-Stafford as the Sabres second line?

 

Derek Roy
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Drew Stafford 666:00:00 30 0.901
Thomas Vanek 452:48:00 19 0.839
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Daniel Paille 77:05:00 7 1.816

 

Nothing flashy here...moving along!

Clarke MacArthur
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Jason Pominville 282:46:00 13 0.913
Drew Stafford 178:31:00 7 0.784
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Tim Connolly 100:49:00 10 1.984

 

A couple of weeks ago I was really hyping up Clarke MacArthur and now I am going to back off that slightly.  I still think that C-Mac can be a key scorer for the Sabres but maybe he doesn't deserve to be ahead of Paille on the Sabres depth chart. 

 

Jochen Hecht
Played with the Most Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Jason Pominville 528:59:00 16 0.605
Derek Roy 202:47:00 8 0.789
       
Played with Best Time on Ice Goals For Goals/20 Min.
Daniel Paille 46:51:00 3 1.281

 

For arguments sake I am showing you the pathetic numbers of Jochen Hecht.  It's amazing to see how far he has fallen in just one season.  I project him on the fourth line for the team this year.  Just imagine if he bounces back and plays like the old Jochen Hecht.  He would be one hell of a fourth line player.

 

This post is for entertainment purposes only.  Do not use this post to assess the Sabres chances of making the playoffs this season.  It's fun to take a look at the numbers when the dog days of summer arrive and we start getting geared up for training camp.

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