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Ferris Mueller and the Powerplay - Myths, Stats and Reality.


Has Mueller helped the powerplay? Yes. But, how much?

 

Now...this article is intended as a companion piece for Beachie's Mueller/Porter-Wolski trade analysis after 11 games.

Comparing the 11 games since Mueller joined the Avs and the games prior to this some interesting patterns emerge. Some raw numbers on the powerplay:

  • In Mueller's 11 games with the Avs, there have been 52 powerplay shots on goal (4.73 shots per game). Mueller has been on ice for 35 of them. This means he is on-ice for basically 2/3's of shots on the powerplay.
  • In the 62 games prior, the Avs took 303 powerplay shots on goal (4.89 shots per game).

Analysing these figures, Mueller's addition has not actually had a significant effect on the number of shots taken on the powerplay per game - Mueller's arrival has actually slightly decreased the number of shots per game on the powerplay. Granted, this may be because there has been an increase in the number of quality scoring chances which has generated more goals and has prematurely ended the powerplay.

 

But, if you compare powerplay units with Mueller on it versus powerplay units without Mueller you get a better sense of his value:

  • Since Mueller, the Avs have spent 56:07 on the powerplay.
  • Mueller has played 24:40 on the powerplay and has been on ice for 35 scoring chances. This translates to 1 scoring chance per 42.3 seconds of powerplay ice time.
  • Powerplay's without Mueller have spent 31:27 on the ice for 17 scoring chances. This translates to 1 scoring chance per 111 seconds of powerplay ice time.

This difference is significant - Mueller-manned powerplays generate shots 2.6 times more than their non-Mueller counterparts. Obviously, some of the effect seen here can be attributed to the disparity between the strength of the 1st and 2nd powerplay units and also to the other players on the 1st powerplay unit clicking with Mueller (in particular Liles) - but regardless having Mueller is clearly helping.

 

Interestingly, the conversion rate of shots into goals is roughly the same on Mueller (4/17 = 24% conversion) and non-Mueller powerplays (7/35 = 20% conversion). Obviously, this proves one conclusion that people draw when the powerplay doesn't work - Shooting More = More Powerplay Success. Further, it eliminates the idea that Mueller is simply riding a wave of good luck as far as shooting percentage goes (his overall shooting percentage since joining the Avs is 21%).

MileHighHockey.com is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of MileHighHockey.com.

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