Which slumping players are most likely to catch fire in the second half? For each team we will try to find the one single player whose talent and opportunity combines to create the best chance for a second-half scoring surge.
How can analytics help? So many factors can be quantified these days, each of which can have a huge influence on a player's scoring. To list just a few examples:
- How much ice-time they get, especially on the power play, according to NHL.com
- Who they play with, according to the data at Extra Skater
- The zones in which they primarily start their shifts (same source)
- The opponents they usually face (same source)
- Their shooting percentages, especially relative to previous career totals, according to Hockey Reference
- The shooting percentages of their linemates. And by linemates we mean all defensemen and forwards while they're on the ice, at even-strength only, according to Extra Skater
- And other factors, like injuries, participation in the Olympics, and so on.
For each team we will use these types of analytics to find a single player whose conditions are ideal for an increase in scoring, or for whom we anticipate a positive change in such conditions.
Of course, for each player we have both reasons to believe in a scoring increase, and reasons to doubt it. We'll complete the picture by including both the expectations set by analytics, and both viewpoints. Let's start in alphabetical order with the Anaheim Ducks (next slide).
All advanced statistics other than those above and those noted are via writer's own original research.