Here's an update of Paul Stastny's numbers. These are current through the LA game on 2/22. As last time, these are numbers (goals in blue, assists in red, points in green) per game as an average of the preceding ten games, a metric I like because it shows trends and resists fluctuations and noise (like sudden 2 goal games, sup LA).
Paul is playing better after the all star game--TYPICAL STASTNY TYPICAL--with the important caveat that, at least so far, it's lower than it's been before. This is the time of year when historically he bumps up against 1.6 points per game here and there.
Another important note is what's driving the improvement: Assists. It was weird for the first half of the season when his goals were driving his production, and the difficulty with assists seems to coincide pretty strongly with Matt Duchene's move to LW. Now I haven't allowed for his fluctuations to other lines, of course, which there have been a lot of. But Left Wing Lock has Stastny's two most common even strength lines at Jones Stastny Hejduk (4.64% of COL's forward lines) and Duchene Stastny Hejduk (3.52% and actually listed as 23-9-26, which I found odd). The much-maligned Galiardi Stastny Winnik idea clocks in at only 1%, for comparison's sake.
I've always had this vague, unsubstantiated idea in my head that Duchene and Stastny do not work well together at even strength. Numbers were a bit slippery to back that up. Now, from an experimental standpoint, look Matt, I'm all for ya and don't want you hurt, but that knee injury set up a beautiful little ABAB design here. In the last 10 games of the Tank, the Avs' second most common forward line consisted of Duchene, Stastny, and Hejduk at 8.94% (with 23 9 Olver being the most frequent, 10.13%, and Stastny's 2nd most frequent line eating up a whole 2.55%, centering Hejduk and Stoa) (Left Wing Lock). I'd show more than that but LWL's settings don't allow it. When Stastny's numbers were low he was playing with Duchene. Then Duchene drops out, and after settling on a line not full of Winniks, Stastny's numbers start to climb back up to ppg territory.
It will be very very interesting to see what happens now that Duchene is back from injury.
A: Stastny is beastmode.
B: 9 26 23 is Stastny's most common line and his numbers suck butts.
A: 9 drops out of the picture, Stastny deals with a Wheel of Linemates until returning to 54 26 23, and his numbers begin to kick back up.
B: Duchene comes back, reuniting 9 26 23. Do Stastny's numbers stay up, or go back to the butts?
Obvious confound here is his post-ASG surge. He does this every year if he plays a full season, Tank excluded. And I also want to reinforce the idea that this isn't a knock on either Stastny or Duchene in and of itself. But if Stastny's production does drop back down to the .4-.6ppg range like it had been, that's pretty sound experimental evidence that Duchene and Stastny do not belong on a line together. And as for the lowered production overall, well, sup Milan Hejduk? How's that 9% shot treating you? Where did 12-15% go?
It's the waiting game now, and I'm probably more excited about this find than I should be. :3
(oh and by the way, this is not the post I thought it would be. I spent a while going through Paul's history and seeing who he scores his points with. That post may or may not ever happen, but, spoiler alert, it's Hejduk, Andrew Brunette, Ryan Smyth, and Chris Stewart.)