100 Primary Points

I checked out Hockey Reference and saw that they had expanded their scoring logs to the 1987-1988 season (before they only used to have scoring...
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  1. tabness

    tabness be a playa

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    I have been wanting to gather all the boxscore data throughout the history of the NHL for a long time now but the data has never been readily available until recently. It is now available through the NHL statsapi but I hate computers and suck at using them (despite being a product manager in tech lolol) so gathering that data has been going slowly for me (if anyone knows how to wait for all asynchronous calls to complete before taking the next action in Swift please hit me up). What I have noticed is that there are enough games in many older seasons straight up missing in the NHL statsapi even now and it would be too tedious to manually get the missing data from newspapers or the Hockey Summary Project.

    So I'm still waiting on getting all of the boxscore data but recently I checked out Hockey Reference and saw that they had expanded their scoring logs to the 1987-1988 season (before they only used to have scoring logs from the 2005-2006 season and then they put playoff scoring logs for seasons before that). This was super cool but I found something even cooler: you can get scoring logs for seasons even before 1987-1988 as all you have to do is change the season in the URL manually (Gordie Howe 1968-69 Scoring Log | Hockey-Reference.com). This works back to at least the 1968-1969 season for some players at least (I don't know if the data is complete or fully accurate before 1987-1988 but it seemed to check out in all the examples I used).

    Now the scoring logs don't contain full boxscore data and it is against the terms of service to go and scrape the site so I can't use it for everything I had in mind but I did go through and check on something I had always wondered about: second assists affecting scoring.

    There has been a lot of talk recently about second assists. Sometimes I think it would have been better if hockey awarded assists like basketball (the issues with subjective scorekeeping exist for other stats as well). While I do think that there are other factors to consider in drawing conclusions from points many of which may be more important (player role/team style/linemates/teammates/era/coaching/opponent factors/position) my guess is that primary points in general offer a better indication of direct offensive involvement than points alone just as points in general offer a better indication of direct offensive involvement than on ice goals for.

    I ended up choosing 100 points as a benchmark (arbitrary but still a commonly used milestone) and checked the numbers of every player with a 100 point season.

    This was done manually so there may be errors in transcription. Any corrections are appreciated.

    Please note that I did not attempt to correct for any issues in actually granting assists. Sometimes assists are granted when they should not be (even though apparently it was technically not necessary to touch the puck to get an assist at least as late as 1992-1993 and maybe even later) and sometimes the scorers incorrectly award assists though recently it appears that the NHL fixes these issues more.

    So here are the 100 primary point scorers:

    nameseasonprimary pointsgames playedgoalspoints
    Wayne Gretzky1981-19821818092212
    Wayne Gretzky1983-19841777487205
    Wayne Gretzky1984-19851718073208
    Wayne Gretzky1985-19861648052215
    Wayne Gretzky1982-19831648071196
    Mario Lemieux1988-19891557685199
    Wayne Gretzky1986-19871547962183
    Wayne Gretzky1980-19811298055164
    Mario Lemieux1987-19881277770168
    Mario Lemieux1995-19961257069161
    Mario Lemieux1992-19931246069160
    Steve Yzerman1988-19891248065155
    Wayne Gretzky1990-19911227841163
    Phil Esposito1970-19711227876152
    Bernie Nicholls1988-19891217970150
    Pat LaFontaine1992-19931218453148
    Wayne Gretzky1988-19891207854168
    Mike Bossy1981-19821178064147
    Phil Esposito1973-19741177868145
    Dennis Maruk1981-19821168060136
    Wayne Gretzky1987-19881146440149
    Marcel Dionne1979-19801138053137
    Pierre Turgeon1992-19931138358132
    Brett Hull1990-19911137886131
    Mario Lemieux1985-19861127948141
    Jaromir Jagr1995-19961118262149
    Guy Lafleur1976-19771118056136
    Peter Stastny1981-19821108046139
    Steve Yzerman1992-19931108458137
    Jari Kurri1984-19851107371135
    Guy Lafleur1977-19781107860132
    Kent Nilsson1980-19811108049131
    Dale Hawerchuk1984-19851098053130
    Phil Esposito1971-19721087666133
    Jari Kurri1985-19861087868131
    Denis Savard1987-19881078044131
    Adam Oates1992-19931068445142
    Teemu Selanne1992-19931068476132
    Phil Esposito1972-19731067855130
    Bryan Trottier1978-19791057647134
    Alexander Mogilny1992-19931057776127
    Mike Bossy1985-19861058061123
    Michel Goulet1983-19841057556122
    Paul Coffey1985-19861047948138
    Mario Lemieux1991-19921046444131
    Steve Yzerman1989-19901047962127
    Wayne Gretzky1989-19901037340142
    Phil Esposito1974-19751037961127
    Phil Esposito1968-19691037449126
    Marcel Dionne1980-19811028058135
    Mike Bossy1978-19791028069126
    Mike Bossy1984-19851027658117
    Marcel Dionne1978-19791018059130
    Mark Messier1989-19901017945129
    Jaromir Jagr2005-20061018254123
    Mike Bossy1980-19811017968119
    Alex Ovechkin2007-20081018265112
    Wayne Gretzky1979-19801007951137
    Guy Lafleur1979-19801007450125
    Sergei Fedorov1993-19941008256120
    Mike Bossy1982-19831007960118
    There are 27 players who had 61 100 primary point seasons (compared to 109 players who had 276 100 point seasons)

    The first 100 primary point season was in 1968-1969 and the last in 2007-2008 (compared to the first 100 point season in 1968-69 and the last in 2017-2018)

    There were no 100 primary point seasons in:
    • 1917-1918 to 1967-1968
    • 1969-1970
    • 1975-1976
    • 1994-1995
    • 1997-1998 to 2003-2004
    • 2006-2007
    • 2008-2009 to 2017-2018
    (compared to no 100 point seasons in 1917-1918 to 1967-1968 / 1994-1995 / 1999-2000 / 2001-2002 / 2003-2004 / 2012-2013 / 2014-2015)

    The season with the most number of 100 primary point seasons was 1992-1993 with 8 (compared to the most number of 100 point seasons being 1992-1993 with 21)

    There are 9 players who had multiple 100 primary point seasons:
    • Wayne Gretzky 12
    • Mike Bossy 6
    • Phil Esposito 6
    • Mario Lemieux 6
    • Marcel Dionne 3
    • Guy Lafleur 3
    • Steve Yzerman 3
    • Jaromir Jagr 2
    • Jari Kurri 2
    (compared to 58 players with multiple 100 point seasons)

    Highest number of points in a season without it being a 100 primary point season:
    • Bobby Orr 1970-1971 139 points (86 primary points)
    Lowest number of points in a season with it being a 100 primary point season:
    • Alex Ovechkin 2007-2008 112 points (101 primary points)
    Players with all 100 point seasons also being 100 primary point seasons:
    • Phil Esposito 6
    • Dennis Maruk 1 (only player to hit 100 primary points and 100 points in just one season)
    Players with the most 100 point seasons and no 100 primary point seasons:
    • Bobby Orr 6
    • Joe Sakic 6
    Highest primary point percentage of 100 primary point seasons:
    • Alex Ovechkin 2007-2008 90.18% (only one to be over 90%)
    Highest primary point percentage of 100 point seasons:
    • Alex Ovechkin 2007-2008 90.18% (only one to be over 90%)
    Lowest primary point percentage of 100 primary point seasons:
    • Wayne Gretzky 1988-1989 71.43%
    Lowest primary point percentage of 100 point seasons:
    • Mark Recchi 1990-1991 59.29% (only one to be less than 60%)
    Highest first assist total:
    • Wayne Gretzky 1985-1986 113 (only player and season to have 100 primary points by just first assists compared to 3 players with 13 100 point seasons with 100 assists)
    Lowest first assist total:
    • Brett Hull 1990-1991 27 (Brett Hull 1991-1992 had 18 first assists which is lowest among 100 point seasons)
    Highest second assist total:
    • Wayne Gretzky 1985-1986 51 (Bobby Orr 1970-1971 had 53 second assists which is highest among 100 point seasons)
    Lowest second assist total:
    • Alex Ovechkin 1985-1986 11 (Charlie Simmer 1980-1981 also had 11 second assists which is tied lowest among 100 point seasons)
    Primary points among 100 point seasons by defensemen:
    • Paul Coffey 1985-1986 104 (only player and season to have 100 primary points as a defenseman)
    • Bobby Orr 1970-1971 86
    • Paul Coffey 1988-1989 86
    • Bobby Orr 1974-1975 85
    • Paul Coffey 1983-1984 85
    • Bobby Orr 1969-1970 84
    • Bobby Orr 1973-1974 78
    • Paul Coffey 1984-1985 76
    • Bobby Orr 1971-1972 74
    • Paul Coffey 1989-1990 71
    • Bobby Orr 1972-1973 68
    • Al MacInnis 1990-1991 64
    • Denis Potvin 1978-1979 63
    • Brian Leetch 1991-1992 62 (lowest primary points among 100 point seasons)
    Just missed 100 primary points in a season:
    • Bryan Trottier 1981-1982 99
    • Joe Thornton 2005-2006 99
    • Mark Recchi 1992-1993 99
    • Mario Lemieux 1996-1997 99
    • Marcel Dionne 1974-1975 99
    • Brett Hull 1989-1990 99
    Lowest primary points among 100 point seasons (forwards only):
    • Peter Forsberg 2002-2003 70
    • Sidney Crosby 2013-2014 70
    • Peter Stastny 1984-1985 70
    • Ron Francis 1992-1993 70
    • Jaromir Jagr 1997-1998 69
    • Doug Weight 1995-1996 68
    • Joe Juneau 1992-1993 68
    • Mark Recchi 1990-1991 67
    • Claude Giroux 2017-2018 67
    • Joe Sakic 2006-2007 65
    Primary point scoring leader different than scoring leader:
    • 1974-1975: Phil Esposito (Bobby Orr)
    • 1989-1990: Steve Yzerman (Wayne Gretzky)
    • 1993-1994: Sergei Fedorov (Wayne Gretzky)
    • 2005-2006: Jaromir Jagr (Joe Thornton)
    (these are the confirmed cases due to checking every 100 point season there are definitely others (2002-2003 / 2006-2007 / 2009-2010 are confirmed to have a different scoring leader but more players who did not score 100 points need to be checked to confirm who is the primary point scoring leader)
     
  2. Doctor No

    Doctor No Registered User

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    Interesting research - thanks for sharing it!
     
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  3. danyhabsfan

    danyhabsfan Registered User

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    McDavid is on pace for 100 primary points
     
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  4. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    Great work! This is a project that I've been meaning to take on, but glad to see that someone else has done a good job with it.

    Obviously those numbers aren't adjusted for era. Do you have a list of seasons with, say, 80 or 90 primary points from, say, 1996-97 onwards (the dead puck era)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  5. GeorgeLeafer12

    GeorgeLeafer12 GEORGE=JORI,LEAFER=LEHTERÄ,12=JERSEY NUMBER

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    Holy smokes!!!!!. You are the man!. Thanks. Must of taken quite some time to do.
    Very interesting read in deed.
     
  6. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    Good to know - I didn't realize those game logs existed. I looked up Gordie Howe's 1953 season out of curiosity (arguably the greatest NHL season through the league's first fifty years). Just 10 of his 95 points were secondary - so he scored 85 primary points during a 70 game schedule, during a very low-scoring era. Incredible!
     
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  7. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Great work.All points should eventually be separated like that.More information is always better.Not that secondary assists are necessarily less valuable: for example, there must be very few secondary assists that are just shots that someone scored on the rebound with.Also, many secondary assists are probably a defenseman first pass (would be nice to see the difference between the primary/secondary ratio of forwards versus defensemen as groups, if that's not already done).

    Anyway, very interesting to see it like that.If we could adjust all of this eventually it would great.
     
  8. Dingo

    Dingo Registered User

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    great work. ill keep my eyes open for when someone also isloates ES points from this!
     
  9. decma

    decma Registered User

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    Thanks for putting this together. Very interesting.

    Other than Ovechkin, eight seasons with at least 85% of points being primary points.

    Highest primary point percentage of 100 primary point seasons:
    1. Ovechkin, 2007-08, 90.2%
    2. Bossy, 1984-1985, 87.2%
    3. Gretzky, 1983-84, 86.3%
    4. Hull, 1990-91, 86.3%
    5. Goulet, 1983-84, 86.1%

    6. Turgeon, 1992-93, 85.6%
    7. Gretzky, 1981-82, 85.4%
    8. Bossy, 1985-86, 85.4%
    9. Maruk, 1981-82, 85.3%
    10. Bossy, 1980-81, 84.9%



    I think what is also interesting is the highest and lowest percentage of assists that were first assists.

    Quite a bit of variation here, with some guys having primary assists as about 75% of their total assists, and others barely more than 55%. And this is only among guys with at least 100 primary points. If we did this for guys with 100 overall points, I suspect we might get some seasons where a guy had more secondary assists than primary assists.

    Highest first assist percentage:

    1. Ovechkin, 2007-08, 76.6%
    2. Gretzky, 1983-84 ,76.3%
    3. Gretzky, 1986-87, 76.0%
    4. Bossy, 1984-85, 74.6%
    5. Gretzky, 1982-83, 74.4%

    6. Nilsson, 1980-81, 74.4%
    7. Turgeon, 1992-93, 74.3%
    8. Goulet, 1983-84, 74.2%
    9. Gretzky, 1981-82, 74.2%
    10. Maruk, 1981-82, 73.7%

    Lowest first assist percentage:

    1. Selanne, 1992-93, 53.6%
    2. Jagr, 1995-96, 56.3%
    3. Mogilny, 1992-93, 56.9%
    4. Gretzky, 1979-80, 57.0%
    5. Dionne, 1980-81, 57.1%

    6. Bossy, 1978-79, 57.9%
    7. Lemieux, 1987-88, 58.2%
    8. Dionne, 1978-79, 59.2%
    9. Hull, 1990-91, 60.0%
    10. Lemieux, 1992-93, 60.4%
     
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  10. Henkka

    Henkka Registered User

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    Interesting how it goes. Most primary points will go in many cases to great shooters, because they get the 1st assists when some whacks in A) a rebound after a shot, B) tips a shot in.

    That was my first thought when I saw Ovechkin, Bossy and young "goalscoring" Gretzky there.

    So, usually it could not mean a correlation between passing or playmaking skills.

    Like this:

     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  11. tabness

    tabness be a playa

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    I'm glad people found this interesting! I'll be honest, I was a bit disappointed at some of the results because they ended up confirming most of the common sense intuitions I had (list will generally just follow 100 point season list and defensemen will have more second points and so on) but at least there are still some interesting divergences.

    Oh and I forgot to give a big shout out to @morehockeystats whose website give me the inspiration to finally go and figure out stats of things I was interested in and also for his helping me to understand the NHL statsapi and how to get what I needed.

    The thought did cross my mind of adjusting the points (based on the method outlined in Total Hockey) but I decided against it because I personally just don't like that method of adjusting stats very much as it seems to suffer from era biases. Also wouldn't just proportionally adjusting the first and second assists up or down be an issue without adjusting for the number of first assists vs second assists per season as well?

    That's why I included the years in the list as obviously a pretty big trend is when there are more 100 point seasons there are more 100 primary point seasons.

    I don't have data for seasons with less than 100 points but here are all of the 100 point seasons from 1996-1997 to 2017-2018 (sorted first by year and then primary points and then games played and then goals):

    nameseasonprimary pointsgames playedgoalspoints
    Mario Lemieux1996-1997997650122
    Teemu Selanne1996-1997867851109
    Jaromir Jagr1997-1998697735102
    Jaromir Jagr1998-1999888144127
    Teemu Selanne1998-1999877547107
    Paul Kariya1998-1999768239101
    Jaromir Jagr2000-2001958152121
    Joe Sakic2000-2001938254118
    Joe Thornton2002-2003877736101
    Markus Naslund2002-2003828248104
    Peter Forsberg2002-2003707529106
    Jaromir Jagr2005-20061018254123
    Joe Thornton2005-2006998129125
    Alex Ovechkin2005-2006888152106
    Daniel Alfredsson2005-2006867743103
    Sidney Crosby2005-2006838139102
    Eric Staal2005-2006778245100
    Dany Heatley2005-2006758250103
    Vincent Lecavalier2006-2007898252108
    Sidney Crosby2006-2007857936120
    Dany Heatley2006-2007858250105
    Marian Hossa2006-2007768243100
    Joe Thornton2006-2007768222114
    Martin St. Louis2006-2007748243102
    Joe Sakic2006-2007658236100
    Alex Ovechkin2007-20081018265112
    Evgeni Malkin2007-2008858247106
    Alex Ovechkin2008-2009887956110
    Sidney Crosby2008-2009847733103
    Evgeni Malkin2008-2009828235113
    Alex Ovechkin2009-2010877250109
    Sidney Crosby2009-2010878151109
    Nicklas Backstrom2009-2010758233101
    Henrik Sedin2009-2010758229112
    Daniel Sedin2010-2011758241104
    Evgeni Malkin2011-2012967550109
    Sidney Crosby2013-2014708036104
    Patrick Kane2015-2016878246106
    Connor McDavid2016-2017748230100
    Connor McDavid2017-2018908241108
    Nikita Kucherov2017-2018728039100
    Claude Giroux2017-2018678234102

    Boss makes a dollar I make a dime that's why I did this on company time lol :sarcasm:

    Constraining myself to 100 point scorers made it a lot easier as there were a lot of players with multiple 100 point seasons. Doing this exercise season by season for the top scorers would probably be a lot more tedious.

    Yeah, that was the coolest find. The Hockey Reference scoring logs aren't perfect (they do not include game score data) but they are great. Another thing I wanted to do is check points together for two players though it is probably too tedious to manually use the scoring logs for this for any large set (the goal finder omits assists together on a goal).

    I was thinking of doing this but it would have been too tedious to do so manually. When I finally get my NHL statsapi program working this will be one of the things I will try to look for. I think that powerplay second assists in general are more indicative of offensive involvement than even strength second assists in general.

    Here are all 100 point seasons that had the same or more second assists than first assists (sorted by highest second assists):

    nameseasonprimary pointsgames playedfirst assistssecond assists
    Bobby Orr1970-197186784953
    Bobby Orr1974-197585803950
    Mark Recchi1990-199167782746
    Paul Coffey1984-198576803945
    Brian Leetch1991-199262804040
    Al MacInnis1990-199164783639
    Denis Potvin1978-197963733238
    Joe Sakic2006-200765822935
    Claude Giroux2017-201867823335
    Bernie Federko1983-198473793234
    Sidney Crosby2013-201470803434
    Brett Hull1992-199372801829
    Mark Messier1982-198377772929
    Dany Heatley2005-200675822528
    Jari Kurri1986-198780792628
    Jacques Richard1980-198177782526
    Brett Hull1991-199288731821
     
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  12. morehockeystats

    morehockeystats Unusual hockey stats

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    The game logs are available from the first season on. Have been for about a year, I think. I use as much data as possible in my website, and some pages on it stretch all the way back to 1917/18.

    One incomplete thing there is, penalty times are missing until somewhere in 194x.
     
  13. Vanzig

    Vanzig Registered User

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    Gretzky had 12 primary seasons, double to the next guy, plus he had 181 primary points INCREDIBLE and GREAT work
     
  14. Wings4Life

    Wings4Life Registered User

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    More proof that prime Fedorov > prime Forsberg.
     
  15. BLNY

    BLNY Registered User

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    While I appreciate the efforts, there are a great many plays that are considered "secondary points/assists" that are the most crucial part of the goal scoring play. A point is a point is, and should be, the point.
     
  16. bobbyking

    bobbyking Registered User

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    Ovi... wow
     
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  17. Troubadour

    Troubadour Registered User

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    More proof that prime Fedorov scored more goals than prime Forsberg. Not that we needed it.

    This stat obviously favors goalscorers.
     
  18. Wings4Life

    Wings4Life Registered User

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    He also scored more primary assists.
     
  19. Troubadour

    Troubadour Registered User

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    Well, if you're comparing Fedorov's best primary point season with Forsberg's worst primary point season, then yeah, Sergei beats Forsberg by 3 primary assists in 7 more games :laugh:

    Not sure if this proves your theory though. Seems more like the opposite.
     
  20. Leafblooded

    Leafblooded Registered User

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    Gretzky confirmed GOAT
    Ovi gonna finish up top 5, that 90 percent stat is ludicrous
     

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