Eastern Edge: Left Wingers in the Atlantic and their Expected Goals

by Cam Metz on April 9, 2019
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Edge: Left Wingers in the Atlantic and their Expected Goals

 

Today marks year one for me writing at Dobber Hockey – and it also marks the first week of the offseason for draft preparation.  There is a lot to go through this summer:  scoring increase, stability in the goal crease, advanced stat analysis, and ADPs.  Since we are so fresh from the end of the regular season I like to take the time to go through players and compare how they did to my projections. I also find a lot of value in looking at the last third of the season, I tend to forget about players that won’t impact my playoff push it’s also a great time to regroup and see who had impressive game 54-77s. 

Last year the response was favorable when I took a look at shooting percentages and individual expected goal for rates.  I haven’t necessarily found the perfect graph to highlight players I will have already penciled in as players who likely return value on their ADPs will come this fall but the following does help pinpoint goal scorers who were lucky/unlucky.

Before I push on to this week’s article I wanted to see if any readers at specific areas that they wanted focused on this summer.  Last week one reader, Dave, asked if I could review Z-score strategy for ranking players; this is a great topic that I plan on giving more ink to in the later part of the summer mainly as it becomes more important projections become available.  What else should we look at this summer?  The four areas of stats I’d like to incorporate into offseason projections are as follows:

 

  1. Time on ice
  2. PP Time on Ice
  3. /60 rate stats
  4. 4th or 5th year players.

 

Do you have anything else? Hit me up on twitter @DH_Jcameronmetz or in the comments below.

An interesting dynamic this summer after this large influx of scoring is that the previous models that evaluated the quality of a shot and its likelihood of resulting in a goal are in my estimation probably going to require a recalibration.  What I mean by that is if in the 2017-2018 season a shot from the top of the right circle resulted in a goal 11% of a time; did the same shot in the 2018-2019 season result in a goal 13% of the time?  I’m not sure where to find that answer, but it does seem like the reasonable expectation.

So if we are conscious of the scoring shift the usual individual expected goals for model, I’ve tended to rely on Corsica.Hockey data for this stat but moneypuck.com and evolving-hockey.com are also great resources.  Below is the same individual expected goal data from each resource listed above, looking at a small sample size here but the highlight here is two of the players who had the largest disparity in their actual goals at 5v5 versus what the model suggested they should obtain this season.

 

MP

Corsica

EW

Jake Guentzel

18.5

16.35

19.04

Alex DeBrincat

12.4

11.48

13.4

 

When looking at each model it did appear that the Evolving-Hockey.com model did point towards a higher ixGF than the other models.  Either way the order of magnitude is roughly the same. Guentzel scored 31 goals at 5v5 this year with an expectation somewhere in the 16-19 range; he exceeded expectations greatly, I suppose that is much easier to do when the passes are coming from Sidney Crosby

The graph below can help you visualize where a player falls with regards to their actual goal total (the size of the dot), the difference between actual and expected goals scored (X-Axis), and their individual shooting percentage from this year (Y-Axis).  Given that the league average shooting percentage is around 11% you can see if there are any big names on the list that fall in the category of having a below average shooting percentage and room to grow in the actual goals scored.  More than anything I think that this graph can find you a couple extra goals and make sure you realizes that 40 goals by one player may mean that they could fall back to 32 next year.  Player skill/opportunity is still something to remember – just because Ondrej Palat ends up in quadrant that tends to be a BUY area doesn’t mean he’s a 40-goal scorer.  Please note that all the data used to create this graph is for a 5v5 situation and was obtained via Corsica.Hockey.

You can blow this up by going to my tweet

 

 

Jeff Skinner was penciled in last season as a personal favorite, I missed on him at the draft table as someone else jumped ahead of his ADP to select him.  Skinner ended up with 28 goals at 5v5 and was helped by a 14% shooting percentage.  This is the highest 5v5 shooting percentage that he has had in the last 5 years. In 2016-2017 he shot 12% for his second highest goal total at 5v5 of 27 goals; the next season? Just 18 goals with a shooting percentage of 8.2%. Regardless of a trend with this player a career high is not an area I tend to wade into when building a draft board – as I’ve said many times I don’t hate players I just really dislike their ADP.  I expect that Skinner is going to cost a lot and he’s going to cost a lot of teams their fantasy season as a failed 5th-7th round pick next year.  Regardless if he stays in Buffalo or finds himself on Sidney Crosby’s wing I’d look elsewhere for next season. 

 

Alright next week I’ll be back with RW in the Atlantic – where I will have to apologize for last year’s terrible take on Nikita Kicherov.