With the Oilers powerplay sputtering in recent games, defencemen Justin Schultz is getting a lot more attention from fans and media. The criticism is well deserved. Despite getting the most powerplay minutes among Oiler defencemen every year, and being trumpeted as a powerplay specialist by the team, Schultz has scored 5 powerplay goals and 35 assists over the past four seasons as an Oiler. The most troubling issue is that his last powerplay goal was in the 2013/14 season.
We know from previous research and analysis (Fear the Fin, Pensburgh, Hockey Prospectus), including the original work from the late Tore Purdy, that the best predictor of goal scoring success on the powerplay is the team’s Fenwick For/60 (FF/60), or the rate at which a team can generate unblocked shot attempts. As a point of reference, I plotted every team’s FF/60 and Goals For/60 on the powerplay from the past 7 years below. There are cases where a team does not shoot often and still finds success, but for the most part team’s are not able to sustain that year over year.
Full article is at The Copper & Blue.