My already limited literary powers having temporarily evaporated, I have retreated back to the ever-comfortable world of cold, hard numbers.
Perhaps inspired by the return of everybody's favourite procrastinating Swede, Mats Sundin - often the subject of accusations that he was underused during his time in Toronto - I thought I'd see which NHLers produce most once ice-time is taken into account.
How does it work?
The simple thing to do would be to just take the points scored for each player and divide by total ice-time for the season. And I did do this - to make the numbers look nicer I scaled the figures to produce a Points Efficiency Factor (PEF) - effectively the number of points a player gets for every 20 minutes of ice time.
So where are the figures, dammit?
Hold on - I then did the same for points and ice-time broken down into even-strength, shorthanded and powerplay time. This produces efficiency factors called ESPEF, SHPEF and PPPEF. As you might expect, for a typical player PPPEF>ESPEF>SHPEF, since goals and points are more frequent on PPs, less frequent when shorthanded.
OK, I get it. Where are the damn numbers?
But I haven't got to the exciting bit where I lose the few people who made it this far. Why not reflect the fact that PPGs should be easier to score than ESGs which should be easier to score than SHGs? So, I decided to weight the three efficiency factors - i.e. to favour those who score more at even strength and shorthanded.
Yep, you've lost me completely. But carry on...
Roughly, goals/points on PPs are three times as frequent as those at even-strength, which are three times more frequent again as those while shorthanded. The weighting applied is as per the formula below (difficult to describe well in words, but I think it works):
WPEF (weighted PEF) = ((ESTOI x ESPEF) + 3 x (SHTOI x SHPEF) + (1/3) x (PPTOI x PPPEF)) / TOI
- ESTOI = even-strength minutes/gm
- SHTOI = shorthanded minutes/gm
- PPTOI = powerplay points/gm
- TOI = total minutes/gm
OK - the list below is the top 100 players ranked by WPEF. It excludes anyone who has scored fewer than 10 points so far this season - it gets a bit distorted for low points, low minutes players. You can see that players with relatively more ESPs and SHPs and those with fewer minutes per game benefit at the expense of PP hogs who play more.
Not perfect, but gives a pretty decent picture of a few players who do pick up the tougher points with limited minutes though.
Pretty sure I could've explained this one a lot better...