FanPost

Distribution of Goals Across the Forward Lines

I've been curious for a while about the different setups that teams take to scoring their goals. I'm mainly wondering how a team's goals are usually distributed among the forward lines. This is more of an informational post, but I will make some observations that bring up plenty of questions about individual teams and their situations and chances of making playoffs.

To find the answers I've broken down goal scorers for each team using a database I found. I did not adjust for trades (Vanek's goals go to MTL since that is where he ended the season) and I did not adjust for injuries. I did not try to adjust for actual line usage. I simply applied the Top 3 Forwards in goals as Line 1, Next 3 F as Line 2, etc. I also tallied all Defensemen goals as it's own column.

Final Pts and Final Rank refer to League Standings Points and Overall League Standings Rank.

1-3 F 4-6 F 7-9 F Other F Defense Total Goals FINAL PTS FINAL RANK
1 BOS 85 63 35 26 54 263 117 1
2 PIT 98 57 30 35 41 261 109 6
3 CHI 93 67 37 30 30 257 107 7
4 ANA 96 53 32 37 36 254 116 2
5 COL 79 66 33 19 48 245 112 3
6 SJ 97 53 33 22 34 239 111 5
7 WAS 100 47 34 24 32 237 90 17
8 OTT 73 56 34 25 46 234 88 21
9 STL 85 56 31 27 34 233 111 4
10 MTL 86 53 38 32 24 233 100 9
11 NYR 76 54 49 23 31 233 96 12
12 PHI 80 62 42 16 32 232 94 13
13 DAL 88 46 36 30 27 227 91 16
14 DET 65 49 36 49 26 225 93 15
15 TOR 89 58 23 18 35 223 84 23
16 CBJ 76 52 37 28 29 222 93 14
17 WPG 74 52 29 13 51 219 84 22
18 MIN 82 39 33 31 30 215 98 11
19 TBL 74 57 30 19 32 212 101 8
20 PHX 67 50 28 22 43 210 89 18
21 LAK 75 42 34 18 36 205 100 10
22 NSH 66 39 29 18 53 205 88 19
23 CAR 76 47 27 24 30 204 83 24
24 NJD 67 49 26 21 35 198 88 20
25 VAN 58 37 32 32 37 196 83 25
26 CGY 66 43 26 26 33 194 77 27
27 EDM 83 40 23 16 29 191 67 28
28 NYI 76 38 25 29 19 187 79 26
29 FLA 53 39 26 28 26 172 66 29
30 BUF 57 30 18 13 28 146 52 30
AVG 78 50 32 25 35 219

Observations:

1) 1-3 F, 4-6 F, 7-9 F, and Total Goals all seem to be good indicators of a team making the playoffs. In each case, only 3 teams in the top 16 did not make the playoffs. So, offense gets you into the playoffs.

2) The Other F category (All Forwards that are no in the team's top 9 in goals scored) and Defense Goals does not seem to correlate with a team's chance to make the playoffs.

3) It appears to me that for most teams, the better your Top 3 F, the better your 4-9 are. It's not directly proportional, but it does appear to have an impact.

I may come back along with more analysis if I notice something else in the data.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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