A further look at playmakers driving teammates' scoring percentage

So, Eric and Don and I had a little back and forth going in the thread on playmakers affecting their linemates' shooting percentages, over yonder. The question came up about whether those players were actually improving their teammates, or getting a boost from playing with good players. I don't think we're at the point of answering that directly yet, but jump down with me to take a look at how those players do with good shooters and bad shooters.

For the purpose of this look, a "good shooter" is anyone over the three-year league average of 9.18% shooting, and a "bad shooter" is anyone below that number. In theory, a good playmaker should make both groups better. As with my calculations from yonder, this is looking at standard deviations.

Henrik Sedin - so much for theory. Henrik had a LOT more effect on the good players than the bad players. His good linemates were Burrows, Samuelsson, Demitra, Hamhuis, and Thing Two. He improved their play by 0.71 standard deviations. His bad linemates (Edler, Bieksa, Ehrhoff, Salo, Mitchell, Raymond, and Ohlund) only improved by 0.03 deviations.

Martin St. Louis - Marty's a bit more what I expected. His good linemates (Lecavalier, Stamkos, Malone, Downie) improved by 0.27. His bad linemates (Meszaros, Prospal, Hedman, Foster, Lundin) improved by 0.22.

Sidney Crosby - Of course, the Penguin has to troll the numbers too. Sid's good linemates (Dupuis, Kunitz, Fedotenko, Gonchar, Satan, Talbot) improved by only 0.03. His bad linemates (Malkin(!), Letang, Guerin, Kennedy, Orpik, Eaton) improved by 0.32 deviations. Crosby's like the anti-Sedin or something.

Thornton - Thornton is pretty much exactly what I expected. Good linemates (Marleau, Setoguchi, Heatley, Clowe) improved by 0.20. Bad linemates (Boyle, Blake, Murray, Vlasic, Cheechoo, Ehrhoff) improved by 0.33. This is what I expected from a playmaker, because the bad linemates have more room to improve than the good ones.

Datsyuk - Datsyuk is somewhere between St. Louis and Sedin. Good linemates (Franzen, Hossa, Bertuzzi, Cleary, Holmstrom) improved by 0.53 deviations. Bad linemates (Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Stuart, Rafalski, Kronwall, Ericsson) improved by only 0.11.

Giroux - One of these things is not like the other...Giroux didn't really alter his good linemates (Carter, Zherdev, van Riemsdyk, Richards), only having a 0.01 effect on their goal-scoring. He was incredibly negative on bad linemates (Coburn, Timonen), racking up a -0.23 effect on their goal-scoring.

So, what have we learned? I'm not entirely sure. When I have more time, I'd like to look into other players, both people traditionally considered playmakers and ones considered drags on their teammates, and see if there are any correlations. If I had to make a guess, I'd say Sedin and Datsyuk are being helped by having good players on their lines. Crosby actually improves his bad teammates the most. Thornton is slightly more balanced, and St. Louis is very balanced.

As for Giroux? All I can say is ginger hates defensemen.

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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