[Part 3 of 4]
Here’s a summary of all scoring chances by forwards so far in 2008-09:
Shawn Horcoff leads the parade in even-strength minutes, and has backed it up by leading the regulars in gross scoring chances, SC/60, and positive differential per 60 at +2.6, just ahead of Ales Hemsky. Among forwards with 100+ minutes, Zack Stortini leads the way with fewest chances allowed per 60 as well as fewest chances for, the ultimate low event player. (QualComp and QualTeam are surely a factor here.)
The real head scratcher is Ethan Moreau, who is getting huge minutes while posting The Worst rate of scoring chances Against on the entire club, and the lowest number of chances For among anybody in the top nine forwards. As for differential, seven of those top 9 have a positive number, Nilsson is -0.1, and then there’s Moreau way the hell down at -6.4. (As I write this Don Cherry is waxing ecstatic about Moreau, “[his] kind of guy”) Ethan has his uses, but his record by this and other metrics is downright terrible.
Turning our attention to the more recent period between Dec 5-Jan 20:
The improved play of Erik Cole leaps off the page here. Cole was a net -18 in EV SC in the first segment, and +20 this time around. Horcoff and Dustin Penner continued to generate positive results, although it would be interesting to see the breakdown with and without Hemsky. Ales himself missed a ton of ice time in this segment but did well with what he had.
Among the bit players the puzzle is Potulny, who posted outstanding numbers in his brief time here, not only in scoring chances but on the scoreboard (+4/-1). Schremp posted similar boxcar numbers in his own four-game trial, but the scoring chance metric exposes him as having the biggest negative rate on the team year to date, whereas Potulny has the biggest positive. He really seemed to click with Gagner and Cole.
Liam Reddox meanwhile, seemingly bombed his big chance playing with Horcoff and Penner, posting the lowest rate of chances For among any forward with 60+ minutes and the second worst record of chances Against (better than only the consistently-brutal Moreau).
The other big surprise of this segment was Jason Strudwick posting a +20/-15 mark up front, after being a brutal +49/-77 on the blueline. Expressed as a ratio of SCF:SCA, Strudwick’s rate has more than doubled (!) from 0.64 to 1.33. He and Stortini posted very similar totals on the plus side of the ledger, while their centre Brodziak clearly struggled when lining up with other alternatives.