Thread: Player Discussion: Jamie Benn
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02-03-2012, 04:12 PM
glovesave_35's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Alistar View Post
Benn probably has been a bit lucky this year with the secondary assists - Dallas players have a 11.78% shooting percentage when Benn is on the ice during even strength play - that's the highest of any player on the team. His own shooting percentage is 11.8% which I don't think is extra-ordinarily high for such a skilled player, but we wouldn't expect his less talented line mates to keep that up.

On the other hand you could make the (obvious) argument that Benn's superior play making skills are making life easier for his team mates and the assist totals are an accurate representation of that. People have struggled to find much in the way of correlation between any player and their ability to affect shooting percentage in other people, but it seems like a common sense argument that such a skill exists.
Maybe it's because I have a natural aversion to mathematics but it's this kind of argument or point of discussion that does nothing for me. Trying to rationalize with numbers what we all see with our own eyes may help some people come to grips with things on a holistic level, I get that. But something as "advanced" as team shooting % when a certain player is on the ice is still a very crude measurement. Does the team volume shoot when lesser skilled players are on the ice because they lack the creativity to generate any semblance of offense otherwise? Are less shots taken when Benn is on the ice versus any other moment for whatever reason at all? Or do they take more and happen to score at a better rate? Regardless of any of those answers, his mates scoring at a better rate per shot when he's on the ice brings things back to the old eye-ball test - the team is most dangerous when Benn is on the ice.

You can slice things up any way you want mathematically but at the end of the day people are left to make conclusions and subsequently make predictions based on those conclusions. As scientifically based as you want to make the thing it still takes a human mind to give the numbers any kind of meaning and human minds operate differently and can come to (similarly reasonable but) different conclusions based on the same data.

Jamie Benn isn't "picking up" secondary assists that inflate his point totals he's picking up an earned statistic based on his play in all areas of the ice.

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