December 09 2008 05:50PM
HITS statistics -- until recently known as RTSS (real time something something) are something that the NHL tracks and makes known to the public. These statistics were brought to the game primarily by Roger Neilson and are now accepted as a way to track player performance that doesn’t show up on the score sheet -- hits, shots and blocked shots being the most prominent of these “other” statistics.
One of the problems with these statistics is that each rink counts them differently; in some cases recording every minor jostle, and in other cases counting almost nothing. As a result, it’s difficult to compare across teams -- a player in Carolina will have seen different counters than a player in Edmonton. For comparisons within a team, however, these numbers should have a high degree of validity.
Another problem is that these numbers aren’t adjusted for number of games played, or ice-time. I thought it might be useful at this point in the season to compare players' statistical rates in the three categories above -- hits, shots and blocked shots. To do this, I’ve taken the HITS numbers from NHL.com, and adjusted them to an average over sixty minutes of ice-time.
Hemsky -- 1 hit/60, 0.7 blocks/60, 9.3 shots/60
Moreau -- 6.8 hits/60, 3.1 blocks/60, 7.9 shots/60
Horcoff -- 1 hit/60, 1.5 blocks/60, 7.1 shots/60
Pouliot -- 3.4 hits/60, 2.6 blocks/60, 7.1 shots/60
Cole -- 6.8 hits/60, 1.4 blocks/60, 6.9 shots/60
Gagner -- 0.8 hits/60, 0.5 blocks/60, 6.9 shots/60
Pisani -- 4.0 hits/60, 1.5 blocks/60, 6.5 shots/60
Cogliano -- 2.4 hits/60, 1.6 blocks/60, 6.2 shots/60
Nilsson -- 2.4 hits/60, 1.1 blocks/60, 5.8 shots/60
Penner -- 4.0 hits/60, 2.2 blocks/60, 5.2 shots/60
Brodziak -- 3.0 hits/60, 1.7 blocks/60, 4.9 shots/60
Reddox -- 7.5 hits/60, 2.7 blocks/60, 4.1 shots/60
Stortini -- 12.0 hits/60, 1.4 blocks/60, 2.8 shots/60
MacIntyre -- 15.3 hits/60, 1.7 blocks/60, 0 shots/60
Souray -- 2.1 hits/60, 8.1 shots/60, 2.4 blocks/60
Visnovsky -- 1.6 hits/60, 4.3 shots/60, 4.8 blocks/60
Gilbert -- 1.8 hits/60, 3.6 shots/60, 4.1 blocks/60
Staios -- 4.4 hits/60, 2.7 shots/60, 6.5 blocks/60
Smid -- 10.1 hits/60, 2.4 shots/60, 3.2 blocks/60
Grebeshkov -- 2.0 hits/60, 1.9 shots/60, 3.5 blocks/60
Strudwick -- 5.2 hits/60, 1.8 shots/60, 4.3 blocks/60
-- Ales Hemsky is more inclined to shoot than any other player on the team. This is obviously a good thing. No other forward on the team has a shot as dynamic as Hemsky’s, and very few forwards turn into elite offensive producers without being willing to let go of shots. Hemsky isn’t quite into Ovechkin territory (15.1 shots/60) but he compares well with Crosby (9.2 shots/60) by this metric.
-- We all knew that Sheldon Souray fired the puck a lot, but he’s currently sitting third in the league in total shots (behind Shea Weber and Dion Phaneuf) and his rate eclipses that of not only all the defensemen, but of all forwards not named Ales Hemsky. Speaking of Souray, he has a surprisingly low hit and block count, but personally I think that’s a good thing as there’s no question the Oilers are a better team with him than without him.
-- Outside of end-of-the-roster-type forwards, most everyone is grouped between five and seven shots per sixty minutes of ice-time. The sole exception is Ethan Moreau, whose offensive totals have climbed along with his shot count. Moreau also leads the team in shot-blocking, with Pouliot and Reddox the only guys in the same range. Reddox is also a surprisingly frequent hitter, which lends credence to his reputation as an agitator.
-- Although it was obvious that Smid was willing to throw his body around, I find it a little surprising that he does so with twice the frequency of any other regular defenseman. This also makes it a little more obvious as to exactly what MacTavish was looking for when he dressed Smid as a forward.
Does anything else jump out here?