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Ranking the Game Changers

It happens about four or five times a game, and whenever it does, it brings the fans out of their seats - a big hit or takeaway that directly results in a scoring opportunity. The question is, who produces those signature moments? As a followup to the question of how Hits might impact Shot Quality and offensive production, I thought it would be interesting to find out how often Hits and Takeaways result in Shots, Missed Shots, Blocked Shots, or Goals within 10 seconds of the turnover. Data again comes from the 2005-6 NHL Regular Season Play-By-Play files.

I'm including Missed Shots and Blocked Shots here, as they are really the result of either a poor effort by the shooter or an outstanding effort by the opposing team, but either way these are unrelated to the value of the turnover generated by the player making the Hit or Takeaway.

Edit: Many thanks to Anonymous, for pointing out how to tighten up the table presentation.
Top 10 in Offensive Chances Generated From Hits
Trent HUNTER, NYI30
Brendan MORROW, DAL27
Dustin BROWN, L.A24
Christopher NEIL, OTT21
Arron Asham, NYI20
Alexander OVECHKIN, WSH18
Steve OTT, DAL17
Shane DOAN, PHX16
Dainius ZUBRUS, WSH15
Donald Brashear, PHI15
Michael RYDER, MTL15
Jed ORTMEYER, NYR15
Grant MARSHALL, N.J15
Steve BEGIN, MTL15


Check out last year's Calder Trophy winner, Alex Ovechkin! He's really the lone offensive superstar on this list.
Top 10 in Offensive Chances Generated From Takeaways
Scott GOMEZ, N.J22
Daniel ALFREDSSON, OTT22
Jason WARD, NYR21
Mike MODANO, DAL20
Saku KOIVU, MTL20
Ryan SMYTH, EDM19
Jason BLAKE, NYI19
Marian HOSSA, ATL18
Alexander OVECHKIN, WSH17
Andrei MARKOV, MTL17
Joe SAKIC, COL17
Ilya KOVALCHUK, ATL17
Ian LAPERRIERE, COL17


A few dandies in here, more interested in swiping the puck than merely making a hit. Notice Ovechkin's the only player on both lists. And now, the totals...
Top 10 in Offensive Chances Generated From Total Turnovers
Trent HUNTER, NYI41
Alexander OVECHKIN, WSH35
Brendan MORROW, DAL35
Christopher NEIL, OTT30
Dustin BROWN, L.A28
Shane DOAN, PHX28
Michael RYDER, MTL27
Arron Asham, NYI27
Dainius ZUBRUS, WSH26
Marian HOSSA, ATL26
Saku KOIVU, MTL26
Daniel ALFREDSSON, OTT26


And finally, there's the most impressive play of all, when a player makes a Hit to take the puck and then scores a goal immediately afterwards. It's pretty rare, happening only 20 times last year. The only player to record multiple such feats was Lee Stempniak of the St. Louis Blues. To top things off, he made those plays in back-to-back games first against Detroit on February 1st, then against Chicago the next night. Maybe he he got hypnotized into thinking he was the second coming of Cam Neely or something - regardless, he's off to a good start this year with 10 points in his first 12 games.

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