Top Guns




Time for a look at who is delivering the mail (and who isn’t) so far this season.

There have been some remarkable early season performances by some of the top guns in the league and by some young players who are tearing up the league thus far.

Here’s a look at the top 30 scorers (minimum 10 games played) in the WC 5V5 P/60 thanks to Behind the Net.


Tyler Toffoli – 4.57

Jeff Carter – 4.27

Nick Bonino – 3.89

Chris Higgins – 3.75

Tyler Seguin – 3.74

Jamie Benn – 3.70

Vladimir Tarasenko – 3.62

Tanner Pearson – 3.62

Filip Forsberg – 3.46

Joe Colborne 3.43

Ryan Carter – 3.36

Zach Parise 3.12

Corey Perry – 3.12

Ryan Getzlaf – 3.11

Martin Hanzal – 2.98

Blake Wheeler – 2.98

Jason Pominville – 2.95

Brandon Saad – 3.91

Thomas Vanek – 2.87

Mike Ribiero – 2.83

Jiri Hudler – 2.75

Justin Abdelkader – 2.73

Brian Bickell – 2.72

Joe Thornton – 2.69

James Neal – 2.61

Mason Raymond – 2.61

Taylor Hall – 2.59

Alex Burrows – 2.51

Joe Pavelski – 2.46

Jaden Schwartz – 2.46

A few observations.

There are some interesting names who didn’t make this list…Henrik (2.24) and Daniel (2.27) Sedin are absent although they are reasonably close. But what is striking is how much the Canucks second line has been contributing. Nick Bonino , Chris Higgins and Alex Burrows are all on this list supporting the notion that Willie Desjardins has the Canucks playing an effective 4 line game and silencing critics who thought the Canucks were a one line team without secondary scoring.

We’ve said it before but it bears repeating…the Kings “That 70’s Line” has been a dominant force thus far. They’ve slowed down recently so it will be interesting to see how they’re performing after another month but I think it’s fair to say that Tyler Toffoli has to represent one of the biggest 2nd round draft steals in recent memory.

The Dallas Stars appear to be on the verge of wasting a spectacular season from Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Going into the season, we all knew the Stars had issues on D but to add to their woes, their goaltending has been pretty bad too. Kari Lehtonen has been below par at .904 while Anders Lindback has been nothing short of horrible at .852. You have to wonder how long Jim Nill will let that situation fester?

Likely the biggest surprise here is the absence of Jonathan Toews (1.43) and Patrick Kane (1.05)! Since the Hawks are leading the league is shots/game, I wouldn’t read too much into this right now but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Watch out for the Wild. The Wild have 3 players on this list and have the best team shot differential in the league. Despite that, they remain 10th in the WC and. at some point, that dam is going to be breached.

Some interesting numbers and trends emerge when you look at how teams are performing by this metric.

If we use 2.00 P/60 as a demarcation point for players who are performing adequately offensively and then see how many players teams have who are at or above that mark, we see the following:

Anaheim – 3 (Perry, Getzlaf, Silfverberg) Obviously the Ducks are relying on one line to do almost all their scoring)

Arizona – 4 (Hanzal, Boedker, Doan, Erat) Not bad but, when Martin Hanzal is your scoring leader, you’re likely in a spot of trouble)

Calgary – 5 (Colborne, Hudler, Raymond, Gaudreau, Giordano). Gaudreau and Giordano are pleasant surprises for Flames fans here. I wonder though how Colborne and Raymond will fare when they return from injury.

Chicago – 3 (Saad, Bickell, Versteeg) I don’t think it will be long before Toews and Kane join this party.

Colorado – 3 (Iginla, Tanguay, Duchene) What’s remarkable here is who is missing. Top guns Nathan MacKinnon (1.77), Ryan O’Reilly (1.14) and Gabriel Landeskog (0.84!) are having miserable seasons. No wonder the Avalanche are struggling.

Dallas – 6 (Seguin, Benn, Roussel, Spezza, Garbutt, Eaves) The Stars are having a superior offensive season but if you can’t keep the puck out of your own net, it doesn’t matter much.

Edmonton – 4 (Hall, Eberle,Hopkins, Pouliot) the Oilers “superstars” are all at the low end of the range and their performance has come against a steady diet of EC teams. Once their schedule balances out and they play the big boys in the WC, I think it’s possible they won’t have anyone in the top 30 and may have only 1 or 2 above the 2.00 marker. Also notable here is that former 1st round pick Nail Yakupov is at a dreadful 1.66 (134th in the league) substantially behind Flames 4th round pick Johnny Gaudreau (2.12) who is the same age.

Los Angeles – 3 (Toffoli, Carter, Pearson) It’s a good thing for the Kings that trio is shooting out the lights because no one else on the team is scoring much at all. Kopitar (1.68), Richards (1.48) and Justin Williams (0.68) have been dreadful thus far.

Minnesota – 6 (Carter, Parise, Pominville, Vanek, Zucker, Fontaine) The Wild have been killing it at even strength this season but their PP has only recently shown some signs of life.  At a staggering 5%, you just know that won’t last and the Wild will shoot up the standings.

Nashville – 4 (Forsberg, Ribiero, Neal, Roy) The 4 offensive players acquired by Nashville are doing what is required of them and considering the Predators are giving up fewer than 2 GPG, that should easily be enough to win them a playoff spot.

San Jose – 3 (Thornton, Pavelski, Couture) There is a huge drop off behind these 3 which would seem disappointing for the Sharks.

St. Louis – 3 (Tarasenko, Schwartz, Lehtera) Like Anaheim, the Blues have been relying on 1 line to carry the mail. Steen, Berglund and Backes have almost dropped off the face of the earth.

Vancouver – 5 (Bonino, Higgins, Burrows, Sedin, Sedin) and with Richardson at 1.99, The Canucks are battling the Wild for the most balanced attack in the league.

Winnipeg – 1 (Wheeler) This won’t end well.





4 thoughts on “Top Guns

  1. Stats question. (Keep in mind I’m still learning)

    IF the Oilers Corsi is above the 50% it’s a good thing? But what happens when you check that same Corsi against WC teams?

    I’m just curious because people on ON or Lowetide are going on about “positive arrows” Corsi is rising and Fenwick is better blah blah blah

    I’m not watching the same game as everyone else, I watched a team being outshot 20+ shots to 12 in which Eberle had 7 of those?

    Yet, I’m still confused? watching the Predators, they stopped sending 5 guys up, to 2-1-2 system and started boxing out most of the Oilers shots, which then are only coming from the perimeter.

    Also, how do really take into account the “true numbers” when you have only played middling teams?

    These Corsi numbers have to be inflated?

    Would 5×5 be the only number I look at?


  2. Having a Corsi above 50% is certainly a good thing but you’re absolutely right that the Oilers have only done well against weaker teams.

    Anytime they run up against a stronger opponent, they normally get killed.
    Like you, I saw the Predators back off in the final 2 periods last night…although I’m not sure why they did. But in any event, they still outshot the Oilers 18-17 in the final 2 periods.

    If you look at Corsi (shots+missed shots+blocked shots) the Predators led the Oilers 56-36 over the entire game. The folks at Lowetide tend not to talk about Corsi or Fenwick when the Oilers are on the losing end of the battle.

    Probably the best example of a team that outplays the Oilers and then sits back and waits for the Oilers to try and force the issue came agains the Los Angeles Kings in that 6-1 game.

    LA outshot the Oilers 13-7 in the 1st period, scored 3 goals and then sat back waiting for the Oilers to make mistakes.

    The Oilers outshot the Kings 25-13 over the last 2 periods but the Kings won easily 6-1.

    In the Oilers next 22 games, (until the end of December) they play WC teams 19 times including 3 against the Sharks, 2 against the Ducks and 1 each against the Predators, Canucks, Kings, Blackhawks and Blues.

    The only good news I see there is 3 games against the Coyotes, 2 against the Flames and 1 against the Jets.

    By the end of December I don’t think you’ll be hearing much talk about “positive arrows” but you will hear a lot about draft prospects.


  3. Oh, you don’t have to convince me. ~I just can’t wait for the Eichle or McDavid talk to heat up.~

    I like learning this stat stuff but to me it’s like the MSM & Oil bloggers are searching for anything to say “see I told you”.

    Not to blow smoke up your ass but I’m really only learning from this site, cause what I’m reading elsewhere isn’t what my eye’s are watching.

    eg, Petry has long had decent numbers, however, if I was a coach I would have benched him last game?


  4. I think your characterization of attempts to put lipstick on a pig are pretty accurate.

    The oilers have played 8 games against the WC thus far and have lost all of them.

    Here are the actual SOG in those games:

    EDM 40 CAL 26
    In this game, the Flames turned on the jets in the 3rd period and were even on shots at 15-15. The flames scored 3 goals in the 3rd to win.

    VAN 43 EDM 29
    The Oilers were very lucky to lose in a shootout here.

    EDM 32 LAK 26
    In this game, The Kings over powered the Oilers in the first period outshooting them 13-7 and outscoring them 3-0 before going on cruise control for the final 2 periods.

    ARZ 30-27
    Scrivens was horrible in this game,

    VAN 30-28
    The Canucks controlled the entire game despite the shots being close.

    NSH 35 EDM 27
    Nashville outshot the Oilers 15-9 in the 3rd period when the game was close and won going away.

    VAN 30 EDM 27
    Vancouver outsshot the Oilers 18-13 in the final 2 periods when the game was on the line.

    NSH 35 EDM 23
    Utter domination.

    So, in those 8 games, the Oilers have been outshot 255-233 or an average of almost 3 shots per game and that despite “score effects” where the other team could be laying back and protecting leads.

    3 shots per game doesn’t sound like much but over 52 games against the WC but the Oilers project to give up a whopping 143 more shots than they are taking.

    At a league average save percentage, they’ll likely give up about 12-14 more goals than the teams they are trying to catch for the playoffs. Those goals likely make a difference of 7-10 wins/losses.
    Dallas was the final wild card team last season and had a goal differential on the season of +7.

    The Oilers finished with a goal differential last season of -67 and are on pace this season for a goal differential of -71 so any improvement being claimed is pretty hard to justify.

    They’re pretty much where they deserve to be and, if Colorado hadn’t totally imploded, they would be firmly stuck in the WC basement.

    And they haven’t played a game against Anaheim (+10), San Jose (+1), St. Louis (+12) or Chicago (+14) yet.

    Just FYI, here are the SOG averages for those teams.

    CHI 38.1
    SJS 31.8
    ANA 31.6
    STL 31.9

    EDM 29.4


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