I’m having a lot of fun looking at percentiles – it provides a useful sense of scale. In a related story, I’m a dork.
Assuming that last year was similar…wow, did Shawn Horcoff ever have a great season in 2006-07. He would have been over the ninetieth percentile in terms of ES offence. The much maligned Raffi hits just below the seventieth percentile in everything this year, except shots, oddly enough, where he just scrapes over the sixtieth. Danny Briere is the guy at the top end.
The Oilers defence doesn’t come off as poorly as you might think. Staios was an 80th percentile guy in terms of points. Tjaggy was alright, 70th percentile-ish. Tom Gilbert put up spectacular numbers in the limited time he played – 1.61 ESP/60 is a) fantastic, b) unlikely to be sustained and c) small sample. Still though, he looked comfortable with the puck, which isn’t something that you can say for a lot of the other guys. Dan Hejda, who I strongly suspect that they won’t re-sign because they have to find minutes for Laco, Greene, Grebeshkov and, arguably, Gilbert, had 0.83 ESP/60, whch is a respectable enough performance, considering that he was playing at altitude. Greene, Laco and Jason Smith are all sub thirtieth percentile. You’d think that you need some defensive chops to survive that way but apparently not.
RiversQ suggested the 4.0 PPP/60 as a dividing line between good and bad PP performance a long time ago. That might actually be a little low – good and bad are subjective terms but when you’re talking about that as a mid-point, maybe it’s not so good. More interesting to me is Ales Hemsky’s performance. This year, with a buggered up arm and an incredibly uncreative PP that focused on generating low percentage shots from the blue line, he was at 5.45 PPP/60; last year he was well above the 90th percentile, IIRC. He’s a legitimate star on the PP – the Oilers need to run his PP minutes through the roof. Not doing so is negligent.
If you treat Stoll and Sykora as basically being defencemen for PP purposes, they had solid seasons – both up into the 80th percentile. If I’m Kevin Lowe and I’ve got money to spend to make next year’s PP better, I’m spending it up front.
I like this chart because it provides an interesting illustration of the drop-off in scoring ability and, maybe, provides some support for the idea that what kills you isn’t paying too much for the elite but paying too much for those right below the elite. Notice how big the drop-off is in all cases from the top to the 90th percentile. It’s far greater than the ensuing dropoffs, except at the very bottom, which mostly consists of the JF Jacques’ of the world, guys who were fringe players who barely played and did nothing.