Point Shares a WAR-like hockey stat from Hockey-Reference.com that gives an overall assessment of a players contributions. Based on that, I’d like to see if the All-Star fan vote chose the right Devil to play.
The All-Star Fan Vote has revealed its choices. It withstood the John Scott Incident of 2016 and has consequently descended into banality. Now we just pick good players. Womp.
According to Hockey Reference, Taylor Hall is 93rd in the NHL among forwards in Point Shares with 2.7. The rest of the Devils top 6 — Parenteau, Zajac, Henrique, Cammalleri, and Palmieri — are all within a half a point share though. Defenders John Moore and Kyle Quincey also fall in that span. Quincey leads defneders with a PS of 2.5 which is 68th in the NHL. Cory actually almost doubles Hall in PS though with 5.2. That’s good for 18th among goalies. I should say off the bat that neither of these players should be in the all-star game.
Now you could make the case that any of those 6 forwards have just as much claim as Hall and you could make a case for any of them. Palms and Cam have turned up their games after slow starts, Zajac contributes a lot defensively, and both of those things describe Rico. Similarly the defenders don’t get any love but with Greene/Severson not working out to our liking, literally any defender has a claim to being our best. Except Jon Merrill. I hate that guy. But nonetheless, I’m going to make a really annoying case for Cory.
What’s interesting is you really only need to buy into one thing to make this conclusion — Point Shares are valid assessments of player performance across positions. Now, in most true statisticians’ and modern hockey data analysts’ minds, this conjecture is far from accurate. But it’s possible.
There are 8 Goalies, 12 Defenders, and 22 Forwards selected to the All-Star Team. So let’s imagine the NHL picked a secondary team. And a tertiary team. And so on...
The 2nd round of goalies would have landed us at 16 ... just two short of where Cory ranks in PS. A 2nd round of Forwards puts us at 44 — still not even halfway to Hall. And a second round of defenders gets us to 24, about a third of the way to Quincey. In short, it would have taken us 3 rounds to get to Cory, 6 rounds to get to Quincey, and 5 rounds to get to Hall. But, perhaps the disproportionate number of goalies selected is a weighing device.
Then let’s look at the worst player selected in each category. Taylor Hall is the 6th worst forward selected, scoring almost a full point higher than Jonathan Toews and Frans Nielsen. The worst defender selected was P.K. Subban with a PS of 2.4 (0.1 lower than Kyle Quincey). The lowest goalie was Mike Smith who was 5.2 (tied with Cory). So it appears that Hall is the one that most comfortably seats into this particular game.
Intuitively, the worst players are the ones that were forced in by virtue of simply being the best on their team. PK was the only Predator selected, Mike Smith the only Coyote. Toews was the weird one as one of a league-leading 4 Blackhawks, but even he doesn’t know why he’s on this team. The second best Coyote was Oliver Ekman-Larsson with a PS of 3.3 which means that, comparatively, he should have more claim to an AS spot vs Smith than Hall does vs Schneider, and yet Smith was chosen and Hall was not.
Of course, this is just a fan vote so perhaps I’m looking into it too much. P.K. Subban finished 10th on his own team. And perhaps Taylor Hall is been allotted the same benefit PK has — name recognition.
All I’m trying to say, is that our whole team is bad. Don’t let this selection validate your stance that Hall has been dragged down by the whole team — he’s performed at a level of comparable mediocrity to everyone else. Also Schneider may have gotten a bad wrap. Also Kyle Quincey is okay. Also none of this matters if you think Point Shares are nonsense — which I feel like many are inclined to believe after this article.
I’m getting side-tracked...
- Taylor Hall is a fair choice
- Several other Devils could have been selected just as easily
- Cory is one of them
- Long Live John Scott