Over the past week, I wrote two posts focusing on the primary and secondary assists by Ilya Kovalchuk in 2011-12. I chose Ilya Kovalchuk as he had the most assists on the team including the 2011-12 regular season and 2012 playoffs. I looked at assists because I wanted to see how many came from legitimate passes, when they happened, what kind of passes they were, and who scored off the assist. I found out that the majority of Kovalchuk's 57 assists were from legitimate passes. Sixteen weren't, and the differences in the types between the eight non-pass primary and eight non-pass secondary assists were clear. Combined, it's proof that Kovalchuk's points weren't too inflated by "cheap" assist counts. Combined, they speak to Kovalchuk's ability to make plays happen - which is just as much a part of scoring in hockey as actually scoring the goal. Something Kovalchuk also led the team in the regular season and playoffs combined last season.
I didn't include either chart in either post so the focus would be on the findings from reviewing each assist. This post corrects that omission. Consider it a post-Christmas present, a Boxing Day data dump, or just providing how I came up with both posts.
First, here's the secondary assist chart. Kovalchuk had 26 of these, 25 of them actually have video from NHL.com that shows his involvement in the play, and the summary and findings of this chart is in this post.
|Date||Assist To||Goal By||Type||Pass?||Situation||Video|
|12/31/11||Elias||Parise||Turnover||No||ES - EN||Link|
Second, here's the primary assist chart. Kovalchuk had 31 in 2011-12, including the playoffs. Here's the post with all of the primary assist findings from the videos available through this chart.
|10/10/11||Parise||Up-ice pass||Yes||PP - EN||Link|
|5/23/12||Parise||Pass||Yes||ES - EN||Link|
After putting up the two posts about Kovalchuk's assists, one additional suggestion comes to mind. It would be great if the official play-by-play report denotes the type of assist. They already do that for goals, such as whether it was a tip-in, a slap shot, a snap shot or a wrist shot. It wouldn't have to be complex. Something simple such as whether it was a pass, a shot for a deflection, or off a turnover. I think it would help sort out how goals are being developed beyond a simple count. I can't say I'm confident we'll see this kind of change, but it's a thought. Anyway, please peruse the video links at your leisure. Thank you for reading.