Banging home the rebounds

Despite the misgivings around NHL data that were discussed here yesterday, we'll press ahead with our analysis with the understanding that the quality of our data is sometimes compromised, so we have be careful about the judgments made from any conclusions. Since rebounds were the topic on the goaltending side, one thing we can look at is how often rebounds led to immediate follow-up shots. For the purpose of this study, the definition of a rebound shot is a shot which occurs within 5 seconds of another shot, with no other intervening events (i.e. a stoppage and faceoff).

Yes, 5 seconds is longer than you typically think it takes someone to whack a loose puck in the crease, but for these purposes, I'm leaving room for a shot, rebound out into the slot, and enough time for a single pass & shoot. The goalie's rebound (and the defense's failure to clear it) is just as costly in that situation as if a dribbler was left hanging free for a "Johnny on the spot" tap-in.

All in all, I showed 3,875 such shots taken last year, roughly 3.15 per game between two teams. These shots are critically important, as they are almost twice as likely to score as other shots, when equalized in terms of distance, shot type, and situation (PP, PK, EV).

Here's a quick list of rebound shots taken by team, sorted by the portion of their total shots that resulted from rebounds, that being a gauge of how important rebound shots are to their offense:

Click to enlarge


And conversely, here's a look at which teams gave up more or less rebound shots on the defensive end:


We're left, then, with some interesting points to ponder in the light of player movement this summer. Did the Edmonton Oilers (3rd worst in Rebounds For) see Dustin Penner as the solution to their woeful ability to get second-shots from in close? Among individual players, Penner was 13th in the league with 20 such chances. Tomas Vanek, who was also courted by Oilers GM Kevin Lowe with an offer sheet, was tied for 11th with 21 such shots. Perhaps there was indeed a method to Lowe's purported madness...

P.S.: Sorry for the picture files instead of HTML tables which one can easily copy & paste. Does anyone know a way to easily create a table out of Excel 2007 that I can pop in as HTML? When I try saving files as Single Web Page, the HTML is cluttered with all sorts of extra formatting...

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