Ales Hemsky: Ten Game Segments

hemsky1

Every so often I’ll go to the Oilers’ official site and break down a player’s season into ten-game segments (what can I say, I have an exciting life). Generally, there’s a lot of variation from segment to segment – something which makes me skeptical about judging a player’s playoff performance, since even the best players will have lousy ten-game segments.

In any case, I found something interesting when I broke down Ales Hemsky’s season into ten-game chunks (because he played 72 games, the last chunk is 12 games long). Here are the numbers, but rather than arrange them chronologically, I’ve arranged them based on his shooting rates (average shots per game during each span):

  • Nov. 26 – Dec. 17: 10GP – 5G- 5A – 10PTS, +3, 37 shots (3.7 shots/gm)
  • Nov. 2 – Nov. 20: 10GP – 5G – 8A – 13PTS, +3, 29 shots (2.9 shots/gm)
  • Dec. 19 – Feb. 3: 10GP – 6G – 6A – 12PTS, +3, 29 shots (2.9 shots/gm)
  • Feb. 5 – Feb. 24: 10GP – 3G – 8A – 11PTS, -3, 25 shots (2.5 shots/gm)
  • Oct. 12 – Nov. 1: 10GP – 0G – 8A – 8PTS, -4, 23 shots (2.3 shots/gm)
  • Mar. 20 – Apr. 1: 12GP – 2G – 8A – 10PTS, EV, 26 shots (2.2 shots/gm)
  • Feb. 26 – Mar. 19: 10GP – 2G – 3A – 5PTS, -1, 16 shots (1.6 shots/gm)

Hemsky varies between 1.6 and 3.7 shots per game during this span, averaging 2.57 shots/game on the season. Let’s add the totals up for segments where Hemsky shot more frequently than average, and segments where he shot less frequently:

  • More than 2.57 shots/gm: 30GP – 16G – 19A – 35PTS, +9
  • Less than 2.57 shots/gm: 42GP – 7G – 27A – 34PTS, -8

That’s a rather significant difference; certainly this season Hemsky enjoyed success when he shot more. I wondered though whether the shooting was strictly a function of time in each zone – I saw two real possibilities to explain the phenomenon:

1) Ales Hemsky takes more shots when he’s spending more time in the offensive zone; therefore, the increased shot count coincides with periods of success because he’s spending more time at the right end of the rink

Or

2) Ales Hemsky is a better offensive player when he records more shots; the time in the offensive zone will have some correlation to Hemsky’s shot count but won’t explain it entirely.

The best measurement of time in the offensive zone that we have right now is Vic Ferrari’s Corsi program. So I ran those ten game segments at his site for comparison’s sake:

  • Nov. 26 – Dec. 17: 3.7 shots per game, +5.3 Corsi per game
  • Nov. 2 – Nov. 20: 2.9 shots per game, +0.2 Corsi per game
  • Dec. 19 – Feb. 3: 2.9 shots per game, +0.8 Corsi per game
  • Feb. 5 – Feb. 24: 2.5 shots per game, -0.3 Corsi per game
  • Oct. 12 – Nov. 1: 2.3 shots per game, +1.7 Corsi per game
  • Mar. 20 – Apr. 1: 2.2 shots per game, +0.5 Corsi per game
  • Feb. 26 – Mar. 19: 1.6 shots per game, -2.0 Corsi per game

At this point, we can see that there’s some overlap; the highest and lowest Corsi events correspond with the highest and lowest shot rates. However, there isn’t a ton of overlap, and it’s probably fair to say that for Ales Hemsky, taking more shots is an indication that he’s at the top of his game.

This bodes well for the future; Hemsky’s shot rates have been on an upward slope since the lockout, and this year marked a personal high in shots taken.

  • Hippy

    Oilersordeath wrote:

    agree to the fact that he had no one to play with but still you watch guys like Zetter and Datsuk

    I'm not sure I'd call them little either. Hemsky has his faults just like any other play but I don't think getting knocked off the puck easily is one of them.

  • Hippy

    It's hard to make a realistic comparo with Zetter and Datsyuk because they're better than Hemsky in the first place. Then they have a MUCH better team of guys to work with (jeez they support the puck well in the O zone). I often wonder how a guy like Hemsky would do on a team like Detroit. You know, with a roster of decent, seasoned NHL players who make a point of giving a crap every single game.

  • Hippy

    David S wrote:

    I often wonder how a guy like Hemsky would do on a team like Detroit. You know, with a roster of decent, seasoned NHL players who make a point of giving a crap every single game

    I sometimes wonder that too. There is more to being a Champion than just having talent, or posting a point per game.

  • Hippy

    I'll throw this one out there again – thoughts on Detroit W Mikael Samuelsson? Is he capable of being better with a bigger role, or does he just fit in with Detroit good. He's not that "big-time fancy name superstar" that everyone wants, but I see him as being a guy that can provide solid secondary scoring, and he comes from a winning environment. Not just for the Oil, but in general – is Mikael Samuelsson someone that could be an under-the-radar steal or not? Its unlikely he's back in Detroit next season given their current cap situation.

    2 other names in Detroit I'd keep an eye on:
    Jiri Hudler
    Valterri Filppula

    Filppula's getting 3 mil and Hudler's a RFA. Hudler's small, so he might not fit in here, but he is skilled and could be an upgrade on certain other small skilled Oilers. A similar question could be asked of him as Samuelsson – Would he thrive with a bigger role, or does he have the level of success he does because of the "softer" minutes? The way I see things shaking down, at least 1 of them will be moved. What's Hudler's value to Detroit if Filppula's getting 3? Who's got the better trade value and who do they keep? Or do they move both? Either way, the Wings should be able to continue to stock & restock their vast array of talent.

  • Hippy

    RossCreek wrote:

    I’ll throw this one out there again – thoughts on Detroit W Mikael Samuelsson?

    I know you think I'm "full of it" but I agree with you that Samuelsson is an under-rated player… I could see him being a nice upgrade in a Pisani-type-role for less than a 2.5 million cap hit.