clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nicklas Backstrom's Power Play Prowess

We talk about scoring rates from time to time in these parts, and while it should be taken with a grain of salt (i.e. Jiri Hudler is not a better hockey player than Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin), it's certainly interesting to look at the clip at which certain players are scoring in certain situations and go from there.

Take, for example, Nicklas Backstrom on the power play. Through 35 games played, Backstrom was eighth in the League in 5-on-4 points per sixty minutes of ice time among players with at least 20 games played and at least two minutes of 5-on-4 ice time per game (as a point of reference, Crosby was 34th).

Of the seven players ahead of him, only one - Pat Kane - had more power play points than Nick's 18; none were on the ice for more 5-on-4 goals (in fact, Alex Ovechkin is the only forward in the League who has been on the ice for more of those tallies than Backstrom); only Kane and Teemu Selanne had more goals than Nick's six; only Eric Belanger had more primary assists per sixty than the Caps' pivot (and Belanger has only 58% of the power play assists overall that Backstrom has); and only Cam Barker and Mikael Samuelsson were on the ice for more goals per sixty minutes of 5-on-4 ice time than Backstrom.

Point being, Backstrom is making the most of his man-up ice time and is by just about any measure (including Goals For On Ice/60, in addition to the metrics above) one of the top power play pivots in the game.