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

    Looking at this, there is only 2 10 game segments where he didnt put up at least a PPG, and one of them was 8 in 10. He is a consistent performer, and I find it strange alot of Oil fans would consider him trade bait, compare this to Dustin Brown's totals. 0 pts in last 12 games would be enough comparison for me. For shame Jim Matheson, for shame.

  • Hippy

    Sure there was a choice….. last year when the injuries were rampant they had to rely on the kids and guys like Gagner and Cogliano stepped up playing basically first line minutes. Gagner was hot down the stretch and granted he may be too young to be able to carry a team but why not give him a shot? What have you got to lose, your job?

  • Hippy

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    He ~really~ let the team down in that last stretch.

    Mar. 20 – Apr. 1: 12GP – 2G – 8A – 10PTS

    2 goals in 12 games – the most important stretch of the year. I wouldn't go so far as to say he let the team down, but he sure didn't deliver like he said he wanted to. That's a pretty crappy time for your best guy to be anything less than at his best.

    I would however agree with David Staples here. Both Hemsky and Horcoff were driven into the ground, although it's not like there was any other choice.

  • Hippy

    Jack Bauer wrote:

    So you think his concussion had a lot to do with his piss poor performance down the stretch even though his best hockey was played when he came back?

    9 points in his last 10. He ~really~ let the team down in that last stretch.

  • Hippy

    I've gone to one Oiler game in my life, and that was the 10-2 loss to Buffalo (great choice, I know, I know), and some idiot behind yelled "SHOOT!! SHOOT!! SHOOT THE DAMN THING ALREADY!!!" Everytime Mr. Hemsky touched the puck. I think he doesn't shoot just to spite the rich badwords that can afford to get drunk at an Oilers game.

  • Hippy

    David Staples wrote:

    He got worse as the season went along . . .
    I’d say Ales is a better player when he’s not completely worn out towards the end of every shift because of lingering effects from a concussion.

    His point production was on the same wavelength as Horcoff's energy. Towards the end of the year they both started to wane. Someone really needed to clue MacT in that Horcoff and Hemsky are not siamese twins.

  • Hippy

    @ David Staples:

    So you think his concussion had a lot to do with his piss poor performance down the stretch even though his best hockey was played when he came back?

    Im not disagreeing with you 100% but I think it was more a lack of motivation, not playing for the coach, and acting like a princess that did it.

  • Hippy

    As the season was winding down I was wondering if the stats would match the "saw him good" when it came to what Hemsky was doing. It would appear so.

    What I was wondering is how the Oilers PP did in respect to those same 10 game segments.

    It was something aweful down the stretch and from the seats I had it looked to largely stem from how Hemsky was quaterbacking it. Uncreative, static and it looked like he never ever shot the puck which I would think is critical if for nothing else to inject some unpredictability into the set up.

    I haven't dug too deeply into the stats that are available but do they break down shots to EV, PP, SH? If so I would be curious to see how his shooting rate on the PP affects the PP % for the team.

  • Hippy

    He got worse as the season went along . . .

    I'd say Ales is a better player when he's not completely worn out towards the end of every shift because of lingering effects from a concussion.

  • Hippy

    Well, it's no secret that this team needs to be active this summer in making adjustments. Let's hope that means having some complimentary players who can keep up with Hemsky.

    I wonder if the coaching change will have an effect on his game, as MacT is the only one he's ever known as a pro. Part of me kind of hopes the new coach just says to him "forget about playing defence, just go out there and score", just to see what happens.

  • Hippy

    West Coast Oil wrote:

    If Hemsky should be shooting more then perhaps we should get him a set up man and make him take the shot.

    This here [] is "the box", This is you 😉 , This is you outside of the box [] 😉

  • Hippy

    You have to wonder if taking shots on net is something that can be taught or if it is similar to going to the tough parts of the ice.
    If Hemsky should be shooting more then perhaps we should get him a set up man and make him take the shot. Would this bring more success?