When it comes to lighting the lamp, all goals are not created equally. That is, not all are scored while both teams are at even strength.
Scott Cullen digs into the numbers to see who did the most damage, on a per-60-minutes basis, during the 2010-2011 NHL season.
A few things stand out from the leaders list.
Naturally, Sidney Crosby finished at the top, but Michael Grabner's goal-scoring prowess shines even more using any metrics that take ice time into account, while Alex Burrows' lack of power play presence makes him an even-strength goldmine.
Some rarely-used players, including Dustin Jeffrey, Bobby Butler and Matt Calvert, showed offensive promise in the time they were allotted.
While many of the names among the leaders are to be expected, it can be informative to see players that don't necessarily play significant roles on their teams yet are still productive in secondary (or, in some cases, tertiary) roles.
Whether it's Danny Cleary having a big year for the Red Wings, Curtis Glencross and David Moss getting the job done for the Flames or Nikolay Zherdev scoring for the Flyers when he was allowed off the bench, there are players that don't necessarily conjure images of big goal-scoring seasons that made their mark in 2010-2011.
Here are the top 50 even-strength goal-scorers for the 2010-2011 NHL season, on a per-60-minutes basis:
(minimum 25 games, ESG = Even-strength goals; ES TOI = Even-strength time-on-ice, in seconds; ESG/60 = Even-strength goals per 60 minutes)
Goal-scoring is hardly the measure of a defenceman's value, but it's interesting nonetheless to compare the productivity of the leading defencemen, if only to see which names are surprisingly mixed in with the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom and Lubomir Visnovsky.
To that end, Steven Kampfer, David Schlemko and Nick Leddy are among those defencemen not considered primetime offensive contributors who did find the net at a rate comparable to the best in the game.
Here are the Top 20 defencemen in even strength goals, on a per-60-minutes basis (minimum 25 games):
Finally, to get some value out of the even-strength goals per 60 minutes when looking at the bottom end of the spectrum, I decided to only use forwards that scored at least 10 goals in the 2010-2011 NHL season. Not that 10 goals is the benchmark for a competent scoring forward, but it would at least eliminate the bulk of the fourth liners that don't typically hit that mark (nor are they expected to score that much).
There are some surprises on this list, at least based on name recognition. It's understandable, to some degree, that setup men like Joe Thornton and Henrik Sedin might find themselves on this list, but a little more surprising to find highly-regarded offensive performers like Joe Pavelski or Shane Doan producing relatively few goals at even strength.
In both cases, Pavelski and Doan can attribute some of their goal-scoring woes to their supporting cast. According to the good folks at www.dobberhockey.com, Pavelski spent more time playing with Torrey Mitchell and Kyle Wellwood than anyone else at even strength, while Doan's most frequent linemates were Eric Belanger and Scottie Upshall.
Considering Upshall's place on the leaders list, 10-time 20-goal scorer Doan just may not be a top finisher anymore.
Here are the forwards with the lowest goals per 60 at even strength (minimum 25 games, 10 total goals in the 2010-2011 NHL season)
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.