Friday, July 16, 2010

Sidney Crosby and Faceoffs: Part 2

This part will take a look at how Sid fared with games worked by specific linesman.

I always wondered if the way the linesman drops the puck has anything to do with who wins the faceoff. Maybe there was a pattern that some guys could pick up on and use to their advantage. Maybe some linesman allow some guys to cheat more and gain an advantage.

Despite the fact that we're talking about a very small percentage difference between average (50%) and very good (Sid won about 56%), the sheer volume of draws makes any small advantage significant. Sid took almost 1800 draws. The difference of a percentage point would be 18 more wins, so for Sid, he won 108 draws more than average. Since the Pens play a puck possession style, that number is significant.

So, in looking at the linesman, there is no way to identify who is dropping the puck. There are two linesman working each game and the data doesn't specific who drops each puck.

What we can do, however, is to "associate" the linesman with the faceoffs, so that in games worked by Marc Pare, we know that Sid has a specific success rate (53.7%).

Here are the top 10 linesmen Sid was most successful against:
Linesman Total # Win %
#97 Jean Morin 107 66.36%
#70 Derek Nansen 70 62.86%
#47 Dan Schachte 53 62.26%
#68 Scott Driscoll 93 61.29%
#59 Steve Barton 85 61.18%
#75 Derek Amell 231 58.87%
#50 Scott Cherrey 89 58.43%
#57 Jay Sharrers 86 58.14%
#66 Darren Gibbs 43 58.14%
#96 David Brisebois 156 57.69%

If any of these guys are announced as the linesman for a game, Sid is likely to have a good night.

On the flip side, here are the guys he has the least success against:
Linesman Total # Win %
#73 Vaughan Rody 62 46.77%
#88 Mike Cvik 49 48.98%
#55 Shane Heyer 42 50.00%
#54 Greg Devorski 159 50.31%
#90 Andy McElman 129 50.39%
#77 Tim Nowak 68 51.47%
#65 Pierre Racicot 33 51.52%
#92 Mark Shewchyk 64 51.56%
#61 Lyle Seitz 44 52.27%
#86 Brad Lazarowich 17 52.94%

You only really need to worry about linesman he faced more than 100 times on this list. I'd say the other numbers are insignificant due to small data size.

The last piece of information I tried to get is how many times Sid was kicked out of the faceoff. This data is not recorded anywhere, but I looked at any faceoff where Sid was on the ice but did not take the draw. I think in those situations, it is normally safe to assume that he had been kicked out of the draw.

According to that methodology, Sid was kicked out 63 times during the 2009-2010 season. Here are the top 5 guys that kicked him out of the draw:
Linesman Faceoffs Waved Out% Win %
#66 Darren Gibbs 43 8.51% 58.14%
#57 Jay Sharrers 86 7.53% 58.14%
#79 Mark Pare 149 7.45% 53.69%
#71 Brad Kovachik 148 6.92% 56.76%
#78 Brian Mach 179 6.77% 57.54%

You can see it didn't appear to have any impact on the win % as Sid was above his season average on all but one of those guys.

On the other end of things, Sid was waved out a grand total of once all year against these five guys (though the volume is low)
Linesman Faceoffs Waved Out% Win %
#47 Dan Schachte 53 0.00% 62.26%
#68 Scott Driscoll 93 0.00% 61.29%
#61 Lyle Seitz 44 0.00% 52.27%
#65 Pierre Racicot 33 0.00% 51.52%
#96 David Brisebois 156 0.64% 57.69%

I think the Driscoll number is significant. Sid is well above average against him with a decent number of faceoffs.

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