All numbers from behind www.behindthenet.ca
While most analysis of players focuses on how they help their team when they're on the ice, that's not where a player's story ends. Taking a penalty, for example, can lead to a goal occurring while you're not on the ice. Players like Dominic Moore, Paul Gaustad, and Marcus Kruger absorbing tough minutes helps their team's offensive stars shine with easier deployments. And, finishing your shift in the offensive zone makes whoever gets the next shift's life easier. When it comes to that last one, Bruins players have been surprisingly good. So good, in fact, that it kind of raises questions.
To start this off, I first graphed the % of offensive zone finishes against the % of offensive zone starts for all NHL players last season who played over 30 games.
The r^2 for the relationship was 54%. That's pretty good, and it suggests that there's a definite relationship between your percentage of ozone finishes and your percentage of ozone starts. The error on the coefficients for the linear relationship is also pretty low, meaning we've got a pretty reliable way of predicting the percentage of offensive zone finishes for a player. I'll call this expected percentage xfinishes for the rest of the article. The delta between the observed and expected zone starts is where the real fun begins. For the rest of this article, I'll refer to the difference between the expected and observed zone finishes as dfinishes.
The first thing we need to establish with this new stat, dfinishes, is that it's normally distributed enough for us to be able to use the normal model to draw useful conclusions. The difference between the median and mean is very small, and the graph of the distribution is roughly unimodal and roughly symmetrical. Here is said graph
If anyone's interested, here's a google doc containing all the numbers I played with.
Now, for the Bruins related part. I looked at all of the Bruins last year, plus all the players that were acquired during the offseason, and noticed something. Let's see if you can notice it too.
|NAME||Off Zone Start %||Off Zone Finish %||xfinish||delta||z score||percentile|