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Dissecting the Special Teams Scoring


D.O. took a look a couple of days ago at how the Sabres scoring is lopsided with Roy and Vanek scoring about 33% of the teams goals this season.  Another question to look at is how does the team break down in scoring on the power play and shorthanded.  Starting by looking at players, Vanek is crushing the team on special teams scoring.  The Sabres as a team have scored 50 special teams goals (45 on the powerplay and 5 shorthanded).  Vanek has scored 15 of those goals this season or 30% of the total.  Looking at the chart below shows the breakdown by player:


As you can see from the chart, three players are contributing to half of the teams special teams goals.  When the goals are broken down by position, mainly offense and defense, something is apparent.  The defense does not score enough. 


For a team is going to make the playoffs, the defense needs to contribute to the score sheet on the special teams.  With the cannons that we have on defense, mustering only 4 goals is not acceptable.  This team needs to find a good defensive powerplay quarterback either at the deadline or during the offseason.  It will make the team that much better.

Last minute edit:  As J2 suggested in the comments, a breakdown of the special teams time on ice would probably be nice.  In terms of total leaders on this team Roy and Vanek are the only two with 200 total minutes on the power play, 201:30 and 200:58 respectively.  That also means that Vanek has scored a powerplay goal every 15 minutes and 28 seconds he has been on the powerplay.  Roy on the other hand, scores a powerplay goal every 40 minutes and 18 seconds.  On the defense, Spacek leads the blueliners with 176:37 total minutes on the powerplay, which is good for 4th on the team.  He scores a powerplay goal every 88 minutes and 18 seconds.