Ranking the Game Changers

It happens about four or five times a game, and whenever it does, it brings the fans out of their seats - a big hit or takeaway that directly results in a scoring opportunity. The question is, who produces those signature moments? As a followup to the question of how Hits might impact Shot Quality and offensive production, I thought it would be interesting to find out how often Hits and Takeaways result in Shots, Missed Shots, Blocked Shots, or Goals within 10 seconds of the turnover. Data again comes from the 2005-6 NHL Regular Season Play-By-Play files.

I'm including Missed Shots and Blocked Shots here, as they are really the result of either a poor effort by the shooter or an outstanding effort by the opposing team, but either way these are unrelated to the value of the turnover generated by the player making the Hit or Takeaway.

Edit: Many thanks to Anonymous, for pointing out how to tighten up the table presentation.
Top 10 in Offensive Chances Generated From Hits
Trent HUNTER, NYI 30
Brendan MORROW, DAL 27
Dustin BROWN, L.A 24
Christopher NEIL, OTT 21
Arron Asham, NYI 20
Alexander OVECHKIN, WSH 18
Steve OTT, DAL 17
Shane DOAN, PHX 16
Dainius ZUBRUS, WSH 15
Donald Brashear, PHI 15
Michael RYDER, MTL 15
Jed ORTMEYER, NYR 15
Grant MARSHALL, N.J 15
Steve BEGIN, MTL 15


Check out last year's Calder Trophy winner, Alex Ovechkin! He's really the lone offensive superstar on this list.
Top 10 in Offensive Chances Generated From Takeaways
Scott GOMEZ, N.J 22
Daniel ALFREDSSON, OTT 22
Jason WARD, NYR 21
Mike MODANO, DAL 20
Saku KOIVU, MTL 20
Ryan SMYTH, EDM 19
Jason BLAKE, NYI 19
Marian HOSSA, ATL 18
Alexander OVECHKIN, WSH 17
Andrei MARKOV, MTL 17
Joe SAKIC, COL 17
Ilya KOVALCHUK, ATL 17
Ian LAPERRIERE, COL 17


A few dandies in here, more interested in swiping the puck than merely making a hit. Notice Ovechkin's the only player on both lists. And now, the totals...
Top 10 in Offensive Chances Generated From Total Turnovers
Trent HUNTER, NYI 41
Alexander OVECHKIN, WSH 35
Brendan MORROW, DAL 35
Christopher NEIL, OTT 30
Dustin BROWN, L.A 28
Shane DOAN, PHX 28
Michael RYDER, MTL 27
Arron Asham, NYI 27
Dainius ZUBRUS, WSH 26
Marian HOSSA, ATL 26
Saku KOIVU, MTL 26
Daniel ALFREDSSON, OTT 26


And finally, there's the most impressive play of all, when a player makes a Hit to take the puck and then scores a goal immediately afterwards. It's pretty rare, happening only 20 times last year. The only player to record multiple such feats was Lee Stempniak of the St. Louis Blues. To top things off, he made those plays in back-to-back games first against Detroit on February 1st, then against Chicago the next night. Maybe he he got hypnotized into thinking he was the second coming of Cam Neely or something - regardless, he's off to a good start this year with 10 points in his first 12 games.

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