Eberle and Hall and Stats and Meaning

Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED tweeted this out a couple days ago regarding Jordan Eberle and former Oiler Taylor Hall. My initial reaction was that it was missing some important context that would make it more clear to readers. But my initial guess was that it was implying that both players are in a bit of a funk.

Beyond the whole “is Eberle being traded for a second-pairing defenceman?” question, I got asked a few times “what does this actually mean?”, as in what are these stats telling us?

So here goes. Feel free to question or expand in the comments.

Points

Hall has 23 points this season. 13 have come at even-strength (498 mins), which translates to 1.86 points per 60 minutes of ice time. Using a per-60 rate, at even-strength, we can see how efficiently players use their time in a natural game state as we know that not everyone gets the same amount and type of ice time.

Hall’s current scoring rate is below his career rate of 2.32 between 2010/11 and 2015/16. But he still ranks 3rd on the Devils this season among 14 forwards (minimum 100 minutes played) only behind Zajac and Cammalleri.

Of Eberle’s 23 points, 10 have come at even-strength (419 mins), which translates to 1.32 points per 60 minutes of ice time. That’s below his career rate of 2.19 between 2010/11 and 2015/16. Eberle sits 12th on the team among 15 Oiler forwards this season, ahead of Lucic (!), Pouliot and Caggiula.

Goals

Individual points are important. But so too are the number of goals a team scores and allows at 5v5 when a player is on the ice as this impacts the standings.

When Hall has been on the ice at 5v5 this season, the Devils have scored 15 goals, but allowed 18. So of the 33 total goals scored (for and against), the Devils have a goal-share of 45.45%. When Hall is not on the ice, the Devils have been outscored 24-29, a goal-share of 45.28. Basically, the team is getting outscored with and without Hall. The Devils as a team have a goal-share of 41%, only ahead of Colorado. Brutal.

When Eberle has been on the ice at 5v5 this season, the Oilers have scored 16 goals, but allowed 19. So of the 35 total goals scored (for and against), the Oilers have a goal-share of 45.71%. When Eberle is not on the ice, the Oilers have outscored their opponents 51-46, a goal-share of 54.26. So the team is getting outscored when Eberle is on the ice. And they fare much better with him on the bench. Strange, considering he’s a skilled top-6 forward, who has played a lot with McDavid.

Goals matter for obvious reasons, but they don’t do a good job of predicting future goals. That’s where the shot (Corsi) data comes in.

Corsi (i.e., shot attempts, proxy for possession, predicts future goals)

The Devils are one of the worst teams when it comes to their share of shot attempts, sitting 26th in the league with 47.27%. When Hall’s been on the ice this season, the Devils have been outshot by their opponents 375 to 381 at even-strength. So of the 756 shots (for and against), the Devils have a shot-share of 49.60% with Hall on the ice.

When Hall is on the bench, the Devils have been outshot 635-775, which is a shot-share of 45.04%. The team is better with him than without him. But the Devils are not likely to outscore their opponents if they can’t outshoot them.

The Oilers are currently 11th in the league with a shot-share of 51.06% at even-strength. With Eberle on the ice, the Oilers have outshot their opponents 511-459, which gives the team a 52.68% share of the total shot attempts. Without Eberle this season, the Oilers have a 50.37% share of the total shot attempts, having outshot opponents 1,077 to 1,061. So the Oilers have done better with Eberle when it comes to their share of shot attempts, but it hasn’t translated into a better goal-share. What gives?

PDO

PDO is the team save percentage + the team shooting percentage when the player is on the ice. This gives us a sense of how lucky or unlucky a team and player might be. (Great interview of Brian King, the inventor of PDO, over at The Oilers Rig). PDO should equal 100, as team’s on average stop 92.5% of the shots against, and convert 7.5% of shots taken into goals at even-strength. As Bob tweeted, both Hall and Eberle’s on-ice PDO, as individuals, are around 98.

The Devils rank 26th in the league when it comes to the team PDO sitting at 98.17. Their team save percentage is 26th (91.44%), and their team shooting percentage is 24th (6.73%) – both metrics are below league average. When Hall is on the ice, the team’s save and shooting percentages align with the team average (6.67% team shooting, 91.96 team save percentage). The Devils are a mess of a team right now, Hall is a bright spot and over time (if he stays healthy) we know he can be a driver for them. (This topic deserves more time and analysis, but I’ll focus on Eberle for now.)

NHL: Nashville Predators at Edmonton OilersThe Oilers rank 10th in the league, sitting at a PDO of 100.32. Team save percentage (92.55%) and team shooting percentage (7.76%) are right around the league average. When Eberle is on the ice, the team save percentage stays the same, right at 92.72%. The shooting percentage on the other hand, takes a dip with Eberle on the ice, dropping down to 6.04%. Eberle’s personal shooting percentage (the proportion of his own shots that turn into goals) at 5v5 is sitting at 4.84%, a significant drop from his career shooting percentage prior to this season, which sits at 13.19%.

Here’s how Eberle has done year over year. His shooting percentage has been pretty consistent through his career with his current 4.84% shooting percentage being an anomaly.

Season Individual Shooting%
2010/11 9.76
2011/12 18.25
2012/13 11.43
2013/14 12.32
2014/15 13.74
2015/16 13.33

Takeaway

Expect Eberle to convert more of his shots into goals this season. And don’t expect him to be 11th on the team in points per 60 at even-strength by the end of the season.

The team is getting a higher share of the shot attempts with him on the ice, and we know he’s capable of scoring at this level. It should be a matter of time before things get back to normal for him.

Data: Corsica Hockey

 

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