Has Stastny's stick shift changed his game?
Much was made of Stastny being one of the last wood stick holdouts, which I loved by the way. This year, however, several articles have been written about how he abandoned the wood for a composite. In the early part of the season, Stastny seems to have made a change in his game which causes him to shoot more often and more effectively.
My unsophisticated analysis shows that last season 32% of his points last year came from goals. This year 42% of his points come from goals.
He is also on pace for 43 more shots this season (242 up from 199)
Anecdotally, he seems to have more swagger and confidence than year's past. While he'll never be a player who seeks the spotlight, he seems less apologetic about his status.
Supposedly, the weight of the wood stick was a benefit on faceoffs. The results of that are inconclusive. Here are the home/away split stats:
Personally, I think faceoffs are a bad stat with a small sample size like this year's --way too many variables involving the other players in the circle, so to me that story is still to be written.
The one other thing of note is the line he is playing on this year. With Chris Stewart playing like he has that would likely have given him a lot more room to score, but it would seem to balance out between that and the number of times he gets an easy assist on the back of Chris Stewart. I guess what I'm saying is that the extra snap in his stick has Stastny feeling and playing more like a scorer, bringing more balance to his game and making him, in my mind , a more effective center.