Looking at Goals per Game…

One of our readers, Homie, thought that PPG wasn’t an accurate enough assessment on a player’s offensive value, so I decided to do one on Goals Per Game. Homie felt that Rick Nash was more valuable than I stated, and that he would be a top five GPG guy. Since Nash has been in the league for six years, I used those years to determine who has been the best sniper during that time.

Keep in mind that players like Oveckin and Crosby haven’t been in the league for six year, while other like Sundin, Jagr and Sakic were in the twilight of their careers.

Sorry Homie, but Nash is still not a top-five goal scorer, in fact he isn’t even in the top ten. Goals are one dimension of offence, and while I deem them more important than assists, to be considered great you have to be efficient scoring and passing.

Nash averages 0.44 GPG, 0.36 APG and is a 0.80 PGP player. He isn’t a point-a-game player in this league, so he isn’t great. He is good, but not great.

Here is the Goals Per Game in the last six years:

gpg_table1

I also decided to look at the all-time top goal scorers in the history of the game and see what their GPG was. These are the guys who averaged over a goal every second game, excluding active players.

gpg_table2

Here are the rest of the players who have scored 500 or more career goals. Only 41 players have lit the lamp 500 times.

gpg_table3

The active players that are on the list include: Brendan Shanahan (656), Teemu Selanne (579), Mats Sundin (564), Mark Recchi (545), Mike Modano (543), Keith Tkachuk (525) and Jeremy Roenick (513).

It’s too bad that Bossy’s career ended so early. You wonder how many more goals he could have scored. For the record in Gretzky’s first ten years (774 GP) he scored 637 goals for a 0.82 GPG, and in Lemieux’s first ten he played 494 games, tallied 599 goals for a 0.82 GPG.

Right now only Ovechkin, Heatley, and Kovalchuk are on pace to be considered amongst the ELITE goal scorers. Time will tell if they can keep up their torrid GPG pace.

  • Gregor,

    I know it has nothing to do with the article. (Nice stats posts lately by the way)

    But if Colorado is going to pick up Roy as their GM and more specifically as a coach, shouldn't they be firing Granato first? I'm no scientist but I'm thinking that's a douche bag maneuver if I've ever seen one.

  • baggedmilk wrote:

    Gregor,
    I know it has nothing to do with the article. (Nice stats posts lately by the way)
    But if Colorado is going to pick up Roy as their GM and more specifically as a coach, shouldn’t they be firing Granato first? I’m no scientist but I’m thinking that’s a douche bag maneuver if I’ve ever seen one.

    I'm not the biggest Tony Granato fan, but what is happening in Colorado is a joke. It sure looks like they are trying to hire a new coach, but until it is announced they won't can Granato. Clearly they don't want him, so let him go.

    And if Granato accepts another demotion then the man is a marvel. It would mark the second time he was demoted from head coach to assistant or somewhere else in the organization. He must really love the Avs or just have no pride.

    If they give Roy both roles that is an accident waiting to happen. You can't do both jobs effectively anymore.

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    Comparing goal scorers now vs all time is tough when you consider goals/game are 20% – 40% lower then they were 30 years ago.

    Look at the top guys…Gretzky, Hull, Esposito, Richard…They were all from different eras. Great goal scorers will score regardless of the era. Look at Ovechkin's 0.67 it rates pretty very high. I know that number will come down as he gets older, but he is off to a great start.

  • Another great post Gregor. I can't believe Rick Vaive scored that often. I'm a die hard Leafs fan and I'm stunned his GPG was that high. I'm not sure it makes him a Hall of Famer, but at least he gets some valid consideration.

    And I think Bossy was the greatest pure goal scorer I ever saw. You are right in wondering how many he might have scored. I think Gretzky was a better goal scorer, but Bossy was the purest if that makes any sense.

  • Jason Gregor wrote:
    Ogden Brother wrote:
    Comparing goal scorers now vs all time is tough when you consider goals/game are 20% – 40% lower then they were 30 years ago.
    Look at the top guys…Gretzky, Hull, Esposito, Richard…They were all from different eras. Great goal scorers will score regardless of the era. Look at Ovechkin’s 0.67 it rates pretty very high. I know that number will come down as he gets older, but he is off to a great start.

    I agree, but putting AO in the 80's and he'd likely have a couple 80+ goal seasons under his belt already.

  • Let me be the first douche to point out the obvious: there are no Oilers in the top fifty. It would be nice if the Oilers scouting department (revamped under Lowe) had found even ONE player to crack that list; after all they have had nearly a decade to do so. I see at least two Ex-Oilers Barry Fraser drafted…

  • Chris wrote:

    Let me be the first douche to point out the obvious: there are no Oilers in the top fifty. It would be nice if the Oilers scouting department (revamped under Lowe) had found even ONE player to crack that list; after all they have had nearly a decade to do so. I see at least two Ex-Oilers Barry Fraser drafted…

    How long has Lowe been GM? 8 years? How many of those guys were drafted in the last 8 years? Off the top of my head, looks like 16. How many were drafted outside of the top 5? 3 guys? 4 guys?

  • @ Ogden Brother:

    Excuses. Excuses. If the system was flush with guys who were likely to crack that list in the next five to six years I'd cut Lowe's crew more slack… The beauty of Predergast's gig is that it can take a decade before people catch on to the fact that you aren't doing that great a job. It's almost too bad they found Hemsky… or there would have already been a complete house cleaning.

    It would be difficult to argue that Predergast is incompetent; given his record. However, it would be even more difficult to argue that he is the absolute best in the business. If the Oilers want to ever win a cup again: it's time Katz found, and hired the absoulute best in the business.

  • Ogden Brother wrote:

    How long has Lowe been GM? 8 years? How many of those guys were drafted in the last 8 years? Off the top of my head, looks like 16. How many were drafted outside of the top 5? 3 guys? 4 guys?

    So should we expect Sam Gagner to be there in a few years? I sure hope so.

    And guys drafted outside of top ten are in last 8 years are Cheechoo, Zetterberg, Semin, Roy, Perry, Boyes, Frolov, Cammalleri and Parise.

    No GM can choose all of them obviously…but one would be nice.

    Gregor what is Hemsky's GPG?

  • James wrote:

    Gregor what is Hemsky’s GPG?

    Hemsky has 93 in 421 games…0.22
    Penner has 73 in 261 …0.28
    Horcoff has 120 in 560 …0.21
    Kotalik has 121 in 445 …0.27
    Cogliano has 36 in 164 …0.22
    Gagner has 29 in 155 …0.19
    O'Sullivan has 43 in 207 …0.21
    Nilsson has 26 in 192 …0.14
    Moreau has 136 in 787 …0.17
    Pisani has 76 in 362 …0.21

    I don't think you need any other Oiler forwads. Needless to say not great numbers, and right now Penner has the highest. Of course his 29 goal season helps that. But some sobering goal scoring numbers to say the least.

  • @ Jason Gregor:

    Wow – my head is spinning with all of these 'stats' posts lately.

    Bottom line I think is with 30 teams in the league everyone places more emphasis on 'the guy' for each team. Your Nash example is perfect for the arguement.

    War NHL contraction…

  • BUCK75 wrote:

    @ Jason Gregor:
    Wow – my head is spinning with all of these ’stats’ posts lately.
    Bottom line I think is with 30 teams in the league everyone places more emphasis on ‘the guy’ for each team. Your Nash example is perfect for the arguement.
    War NHL contraction…

    Don't worry Buck they are the exception rather than the rule. Some interesting numbers though.

  • Jason Gregor wrote:

    I don’t think you need any other Oiler forwads. Needless to say not great numbers, and right now Penner has the highest. Of course his 29 goal season helps that. But some sobering goal scoring numbers to say the least.

    WTF..Nothing like putting a damper on my day… haha. You have just illustrated how badly we need a goal scorer. When you look at the Oilers numbers you just wrote, it makes it more obvious how lacking we are.

    Can Gagner become a sniper? Eberle? Please someone…I love Hemmer but I just don't think he can be a regular 30 goal guy. I hope Im wrong. I'm not saying we trade him, but let's get a scorer, because it's obvious we don't have one.

  • Chris wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    Excuses. Excuses. If the system was flush with guys who were likely to crack that list in the next five to six years I’d cut Lowe’s crew more slack… The beauty of Predergast’s gig is that it can take a decade before people catch on to the fact that you aren’t doing that great a job. It’s almost too bad they found Hemsky… or there would have already been a complete house cleaning.
    It would be difficult to argue that Predergast is incompetent; given his record. However, it would be even more difficult to argue that he is the absolute best in the business. If the Oilers want to ever win a cup again: it’s time Katz found, and hired the absoulute best in the business.

    Excuse, reality, take your pick.

  • James wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    How long has Lowe been GM? 8 years? How many of those guys were drafted in the last 8 years? Off the top of my head, looks like 16. How many were drafted outside of the top 5? 3 guys? 4 guys?
    So should we expect Sam Gagner to be there in a few years? I sure hope so.
    And guys drafted outside of top ten are in last 8 years are Cheechoo, Zetterberg, Semin, Roy, Perry, Boyes, Frolov, Cammalleri and Parise.
    No GM can choose all of them obviously…but one would be nice.
    Gregor what is Hemsky’s GPG?

    I doubt it, I see him as more of a 25 – 30 goal 75 – 85 point guy.

  • Jason Gregor wrote:

    James wrote:
    Gregor what is Hemsky’s GPG?
    Hemsky has 93 in 421 games…0.22
    Penner has 73 in 261 …0.28
    Horcoff has 120 in 560 …0.21
    Kotalik has 121 in 445 …0.27
    Cogliano has 36 in 164 …0.22
    Gagner has 29 in 155 …0.19
    O’Sullivan has 43 in 207 …0.21
    Nilsson has 26 in 192 …0.14
    Moreau has 136 in 787 …0.17
    Pisani has 76 in 362 …0.21
    I don’t think you need any other Oiler forwads. Needless to say not great numbers, and right now Penner has the highest. Of course his 29 goal season helps that. But some sobering goal scoring numbers to say the least.

    On the flip side of that, the team has been consistantly (fairly) in the upper end of middle of the pack for goal scoring in the conference. Does it really matter if the scoring is spread vs concentrated?

    I've said it a few times, but it's the GAA that is keeping this team from moving up the ranks.

  • @ Ogden Brother:

    I don't want to spend all day tracking and referencing various scouting reports that read as noncommitally and vague as the daily horoscope; but IMO the the 2007 draft year will one day serve as the catalyst for change in the Oiler amateur scouting department. This tendency to be too cute at the draft table is especially evident in 07 when Predergast/MacGregor went WAY outside the box not once; but twice in the first round alone. Time will tell, but I suspect they will regret picking a big D-man who can't skate 15th overall, and a Junior A player from the BCHL who wants to be a scholar instead of a pro athelete 21st overall. Completely blowing a first round pick under the new CBA is very serious; Blowing TWO first round picks in ONE year could prove devestating. I figure there are around 10-15 players picked after Plante who are tracking well ahead of him in terms of development already… and Nash doesn't want to turn Pro.

  • Chris wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    I don’t want to spend all day tracking and referencing various scouting reports that read as noncommitally and vague as the daily horoscope; but IMO the the 2007 draft year will one day serve as the catalyst for change in the Oiler amateur scouting department. This tendency to be too cute at the draft table is especially evident in 07 when Predergast/MacGregor went WAY outside the box not once; but twice in the first round alone. Time will tell, but I suspect they will regret picking a big D-man who can’t skate 15th overall, and a Junior A player from the BCHL who wants to be a scholar instead of a pro athelete 21st overall. Completely blowing a first round pick under the new CBA is very serious; Blowing TWO first round picks in ONE year could prove devestating. I figure there are around 10-15 players picked after Plante who are tracking well ahead of him in terms of development already… and Nash doesn’t want to turn Pro.

    I think your expectations are way out of whack. Getting one top liner and one role player out of three first round picks is pretty solid.

    The big blemish on the Oiler track record is 2003, if they would have pulled one of the handful of legit all-stars still available with that pick the team would be in a completly different position. Outside of that year the drafting has been average or better.