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An Advanced Look: Evaluating the Blackhawks’ Power Play

By Melissa Peterson
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Jan 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Chicago won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

SECOND UNIT: Brent Seabrook (D), Marian Hossa (RW), Kris Versteeg (LW) (Now Bryan Bickell (LW), since Versteeg is on Injured Reserve), Brad Richards (C), and Brandon Saad (LW).

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

For the most part, the second line performs at a league average rate. Although this is acceptable, especially for a second line, it might behoove the Blackhawks to try to compile a more active line. Furthermore, it appears that the second line is much more susceptible to having their plays broken up by opposition, as evident from the increased number of shots taken from lower-yield shot locations instead of pushing closer to the net.

But perhaps there’s a way to put these numbers more into context. Based on looking at the charts above, it becomes obvious that shot generation, for the most part, lies in the hands of four primary players: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith. But just how much do they contribute? The below charts emphasize just how different the shot rate for CHI looks with and without these players on the ice for the power-play.

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

So what can be done?

Based on shooting percentage, Kane and Sharp have the greatest return on their efforts. Although it is true that some on the team appear to have higher shooting percentages, Kane (17.6%) and Sharp (17.9%) have taken enough shot attempts to counteract the effect of luck on shooting percentage.

Obviously it would be nice if CHI could just feed the puck to Sharp and Kane as much as possible. But that’s not really an option, as opposition sends their toughest shutdown competition onto the ice for their penalty kill, and know who they’re looking for. Instead, I choose to focus on a solution that addresses the second unit.

Although it’s a limited sample size and based solely on even-strength style of play (since he hasn’t really been given power-play TOI), I’d love to see someone like Teuvo Teravainen get a chance on the power-play (Second unit, more than likely stepping in for Richards) and here’s why:

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Chart courtesy war-on-ice | Current as of 2 Feb 2015

Based on how the With and Without charts translate between power-play and even strength styles of play, we could estimate that Teravainen would be looking at rates of 1.2-1.4 in low-yield, 0.6-0.9 in medium yield and 1-1.3 in high yield areas. With a career shooting percentage of 7.7% (currently 9.5% for his time with the Blackhawks), it’d be safe to say he’d probably produce.


Resources

  • Corsi: For those that are unsure of what Corsi even is, it is measured as Corsi For and Corsi Against (CA). Corsi is the total number of on-ice shot attempts (on goal, missed, or blocked) taken during a game/series/season. Corsi For is the amount of the total Corsi taken by one team or player on said team. Corsi Against is the amount of the total Corsi taken against one team or player on said team.
  • CF% : Corsi For Percentage (of total) What this means is they’ve totaled up the Corsi Events that took place for both teams, and divided the individual team’s total by that number and multiplied it by 100 to get a percentage.
  • CP60 : Corsi Per 60. What this means is they’ve totaled up the Corsi events that took place for both teams and divided it by 60 to get an average Corsi Events per 60 minutes.
  • G+/- : Goal Differential. The total number of Goals For (GF) minus the total number of Goals Against (GA). If it is a positive number, the team is outscoring their opponents.
  • FO%: The percentage of Face-offs won.
  • OFOn%: On-Ice Unblocked Shot Attempts on Goal
  • OSh%: On-Ice Shooting percentage
  • OSv%: On-Ice Save percentage
  • PDO: On-Ice Save percentage + On-Ice Shooting percentage
  • ZSO%: The amount of Offensive Zone starts. The larger the number, the more often a team starts (with a Face-off) in their Offensive Zone

Goal Zones as defined by war-on-ice

Sources

Stats and charts courtesy of war-on-ice.com

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