Are we in the nadir era of NHL scoring?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by justafan22, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. justafan22

    justafan22 Registered User

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    So with Ovechkin just getting the rocket at 49 goals and Crosby with 44 last year, the NHL had their lowest Rocket winners since before the 2004-05 lockout in 03-04. Is this just a small blip, or is the downturn in a lack of 45+ goal scorers indicative of what's to come in the NHL?
     
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  2. blood gin

    blood gin Registered User

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    huh? Goal scoring was at its highest level this year since 2006-2007. If you watched hockey this year you'd notice scores tended to be higher than what we've had in previous years. Why would you think that just because the top end individual scorer isn't super high that goal scoring around the league is somehow suffering? Don't look just at the Richard winner and assume it's somehow indicative of a trend.
     
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  3. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    this season had eight 40 goal scorers and three more that fell one goal short.

    the last time we saw even five 40 goal scorers in one season was 2011. or put it this way, the last time we saw five 40 goal scorers the sedins were winning art ross trophies and iginla and selanne were in the top 10 in points.
     
  4. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    There were also 30 defensemen who has double figures in goals this season.
     
  5. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Goal-scoring is up this year, and I've really noticed a change in the way shooters shoot. Every game now, you see multiple goals (sometimes ALL goals) going in by high shots to the short side. Everyone now knows goalies have the bottom of the net permanently covered, so your best bet is top-corner, one side or the other. Even back in the 80s, there were not nearly as many goals going in like that (back then, you could score along the ice).

    The composite sticks and the natural development of offense has caused this. In other words, the offensive side of the game has almost caught up to the development in the defensive side c.1995 to 2004.

    The #1 goal-scorer might look unimpressive, but look at how many guys reached (arbitrarily) 39+ goals:

    2017-18
    1.Alex Ovechkin • WSH49
    2.Patrik Laine • WPG44
    3.William Karlsson • VEG43
    4.Evgeni Malkin • PIT42
    Eric Staal • MIN42
    6.Connor McDavid • EDM41
    7.Anders Lee • NYI40
    Tyler Seguin • DAL40
    9.Taylor Hall • NJD39
    Nikita Kucherov • TBL39
    11.Nathan MacKinnon • COL39
    2011-12
    1.Steven Stamkos • TBL60
    2.Evgeni Malkin • PIT50
    3.Marian Gaborik • NYR41
    4.James Neal • PIT40
    2003-04
    1.Jarome Iginla • CGY41
    Ilya Kovalchuk • ATL41
    3.Rick Nash • CBJ4
    1999-00
    1.Pavel Bure* • FLA58
    2.Owen Nolan • SJS44
    3.Tony Amonte • CHI43
    4.Jaromir Jagr • PIT42
    Paul Kariya* • MDA42
    6.Brendan Shanahan* • DET41
    7.John LeClair • PHI40
    1996-97
    1.Keith Tkachuk • PHX52
    2.Teemu Selanne* • MDA51
    3.John LeClair • PHI50
    Mario Lemieux* • PIT50
    5.Ziggy Palffy • NYI48
    6.Brendan Shanahan* • 2TM47
    Jaromir Jagr • PIT47
    8.Peter Bondra • WSH46
    9.Paul Kariya* • MDA44
    10.Brett Hull* • STL42
    11.Mats Sundin* • TOR41
    Tony Amonte • CHI41
    13.Ryan Smyth • EDM39

    1986-87

    1.Wayne Gretzky* • EDM62
    2.Tim Kerr • PHI58
    3.Jari Kurri* • EDM54
    Mario Lemieux* • PIT54
    5.Dino Ciccarelli* • MNS52
    6.Michel Goulet* • QUE49
    7.Dale Hawerchuk* • WIN47
    Joe Mullen* • CGY47
    9.Luc Robitaille* • LAK45
    10.Doug Gilmour* • STL42
    11.Tony Tanti • VAN41
    Mike Gartner* • WSH41
    13.Brent Ashton • 2TM40
    Kevin Dineen • HAR40
    Walt Poddubny • NYR40
    Tomas Sandstrom • NYR40
    17.Denis Savard* • CHI40
    I mean, I'm cheating by going with 39, but you get my point -- this year's number of high goal-scorers is about the same as in 1996-97, and isn't even that far off 1986-87.
     
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  6. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Offense was up this yr. Sure there were no 50 goal scorers but league wide scoring was up and quite a few 40 goal scorers.
     
  7. Ingvar

    Ingvar Registered User

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    I don't think 50 goal season is a great measure of offence. Let's take a look at 45 goal scorers in the last 10 seasons (starting with 2007-2008 because of lockout) without Ovechkin.

    PlayerGoalsSeason
    Ilya Kovalchuck522007-2008
    Jarome Iginla502007-2008
    Evgeni Malkin472007-2008
    Jeff Carter462008-2009
    Zach Parise452008-2009
    Sidney Crosby512009-2010
    Steven Stamkos512009-2010
    Corey Perry502010-2011
    Steven Stamkos452010-2011
    Steven Stamkos602011-2012
    Evgeni Malkin502011-2012
    Patrick Kane462015-2016

    4 seasons out of 10 didn't have a single 50 goal scorer. In the last 10 full seasons there was only 12 times 45 goal mark was reached. There is a single instance where 55 goal mark was reached. The ratio of non-50 goal seasons to 50 goal season is 5 to 7. Out of players mentioned here only Kovalchuck and Iginla managed to reach 45 goal mark not in this period - and each did it once.

    I think 45 goals is pretty good indicator of elite goalscoring seasons. Only the best of the best - Iginla, Kovalchuck, Malkin, Stamkos - manage to achieve it twice during their careers. Now return Ovechkin here, watch how he skews the data single-handedly and appreciate his greatness.

    As for the question in the OP - no, the scoring levels are pretty consistent the last 5 years, you just don't have Ovechkin to mask it any more.
     
  8. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Adjusted to a 70 game season O6,Ovechkin has one sure 50 goal season. Same as Bernie Geoffrion. Bobby Hull had three 50 goal seasons, even though he played 70 games only once in those three seasons.

    Bobby Hull Stats | Hockey-Reference.com

    Ovi is not masking, anything.
     
  9. Ingvar

    Ingvar Registered User

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    Yes, it is a fact. However, I have at least 2 problems with this approach:
    1) It compares players not against their peers. Ovechkin never played against Hull or even in the O6 era. I mean, one even has to cherry-pick only a part of Bobby Hull career to fit him into 70-game season period. Cross-era comparisons are hard and should be tackled carefully if at all.
    2) It prorates. Prorating is the simplest way to compare numbers which usually means it is the worst. Yes, it is hard to determine how to make corrections but making none doesn't help at all. It also instantly puts a comparison from the realm of what really happened to the realm of what could have happened.

    I tried as hard as possible to avoid this 2 issues in my simple calculation by lowering the threshold to 45 goals instead of just looking at 50 goal seasons and taking what happened in 82 game seasons only regardless of conditions.
     
  10. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    That you have problems is collateral,side issue, to my point which is that the 50 goal benchmark stopped being an indicator of goal scoring when the NHL went from a 50 game schedule to a 60 to 70 to an 82 game schedule with brief stopsin between. Like a B & W, TV it served its purpose.Nice headline,celebrating Maurice Richard scoring 50 goals in 50 games in 1945,but now we have the internet.

    Now we have many other measures - defencemen scoring, depth scoring,measuring ES scoring, etc.

    As a bonus we also learned that your homey is not as special as you thought he was.
     
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  11. 29GoalHoglund

    29GoalHoglund It's about a killer robot driving instructor...

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  12. 29GoalHoglund

    29GoalHoglund It's about a killer robot driving instructor...

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  13. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    oh man between this and that epic killion post about howe, this has been a week of hot fire from our senior posters.
     
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  14. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Bring the topic back on track.

    One of the reasons for the increased scoring is the increased involvement of former pros in youth hockey in Canada and the USA as coaches, the last generation.

    The former players had quality careers,understand offensive and defensive hockey and can teach both,much better than the academics.
     
  15. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    ... yep.... got a serious chuckle when I read that line from C58..... still giggling about it. :laugh:
     
  16. Ingvar

    Ingvar Registered User

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    I'm not having a "No U"-style argument with anyone who likely was in school in the 60s. The point about 50 goal benchmark being useless, however, is interesting. I decided to profile high goalscoring season from 95-96 to today (excluding 12-13). First of all, let's start with results:

    Goalscoring seasons in 82 game era
    Number of goalsNumber of players
    4029
    4125
    4210
    4314
    4411
    457
    466
    477
    484
    491
    5012
    518
    5210
    531
    542
    551
    562
    581
    591
    601
    621
    651
    691

    That doesn't look like the right side of probability density curve of normal distribution at all. Downward trend is pretty clear in 40-49 range and then there is a distinct peak above 50. There is more scoring seasons in 50-52 range than in 45-49 range - meaning peak goalscorers do reach 50 goal mark. 1 example of 49 and 53 goal seasons (both by Ovechkin BTW) completes the picture - reaching 50 is a meaningful achievement, everything above 52 is exceptional.

    Outlier analysis in the next post.
     
  17. Ingvar

    Ingvar Registered User

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    To find outlier seasons I use two metrics - average goal-per game in a season and number of 50 goal scorers.

    Average GPG
    Average GPG rangeSeasons
    >3.0095-96 05-06
    2.80-3.0096-97 06-07 08-09 17-18
    2.60-2.80
    97-98 98-99 99-00 00-01 01-02 02-03
    07-08 10-11 11-12 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17
    <2.6003-04

    50 goal scorers

    Number of 50 goal scorersSeasons
    895-96
    505-06
    496-97 97-98
    300-01 07-08 09-10
    206-07 11-12
    199-00 01-02 02-03 08-09 10-11 13-14 14-15 15-16
    098-99 03-04 16-17 17-18

    OK, now we see that 95-96 and 05-06 are outliers - both have significantly higher average GPG (3.14 and 3.08) and abnormally high number of 50 goal scorers for this year. The next tier of high scoring years doesn't show direct correspondence to number of goalscorers. 03-04 may be considered one but it really isn't that different from 16-17 except for abnormally low average GPG.

    Two benefactors of outlier seasons are Kariya and Cheechoo. Neither has scored 50 again in their career and we can question whether their career best would be enough to join the club in any other year - especially for Kariya who has barely reached 50. Mogilny hasn't scored 50 afterwards but 76 in 77 in previous era is probably enough of a proof. Curiously, Jagr had 2 of his 3 50 goal seasons in the outlier seasons.

    Bure, Iginla, Hedjuk, Perry and Ovechkin (4) are 50 goal season saviours - they are the reason why 1 50 goal seasons outnumber 0 50 goal seasons 2:1.

    As for the question of OP, yes, we can clearly see that the league is becoming less top-heavy - we haven't seen 50 goal scorers for 2 seasons and 50 goal scorers not named Ovechkin since 11-12. However, average GPG is on the rise and there seems to be an influx of new talent in the NHL. The next couple of years will show whether we will return to the 1-3 50 goal scorers which was the norm for the NHL since 97-98 or if we really are in the nadir of NHL top scoring.
     
  18. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Interesting, took time to produce but shows little understanding of the topic under discussion.

    Basically the topic is the increase in NHL league scoring. How many players reach an arbitrary benchmark has no bearing on league scoring.

    Will illustrate with an example.

    Bernie Geoffrion - Montreal Canadiens, scored 50 goals during the 1960-61 season while playing 64 of the 70 RS games.

    Starting with the 1957-58 thru the 1961-62, NHL season the Canadiens over the course of the 70 game NHL season scored 250,258,255,254,259 goals. Geoffrion scored 27,22,30,50,23. League scoring was 5.60,5.80,5.90,6.00and 6.02. Bobby Hull recorded his first 50 goal season in 1961-62.

    There is absolutely no correlation between arbitrary benchmarks and league scoring during this era. Two players happened to benefit from favourable distribution of ice time and goals in a given season. 1961-62 Canadiens highest goal scorer had 33 while the team registered a league record of 259.

    Same today. League scoring increased by under 8% over 2016-17. Yet Ovechkin fell 16 goals short of his career best and Stamkos fell 33 goals short of his career best.

    League goal scoring is never dependent on individual players or benchmarks being attained.
     
  19. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    This may be the first time I completely agree with you. My compliments. o_O
     

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