The Best Players In every attribute: Stanley cup final edition

I have recently developed a rating system for players using a combination of NHL play by play statistics and the phenomenal hand-tracked data of Corey Sznajder. The idea was to replicate the ratings seen in EA Sports NHL video games. A scale of 0-99 with most NHL players averaging to a rating of 82 is used. I came up with as many areas of the game I felt could be explained with a combination of the stats I had available and turned them all into theses ratings.

With that being said, lets have a look at the best players in each area from the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

Shooting

Finishing

  • Kucherov 90
  • Killorn 90
  • Johns 90

Kucherov and Killorn are clinical shooters and Dallas will have to keep them from shooting as they are threats every time they get a chance. Dallas, on the other hand, are behind in this area. Johns scores at a high rate for a defenseman but their true threat will be Gurianov who sits at 88.

Volume

  • Kucherov 89
  • Seguin 89
  • Gurianov 89

Kucherov not only has the clinical release but he also shoots a lot. A dangerous combination. Dallas once again have Gurianov as a real threat and Seguin could be dangerous if he gets hot.

Shot Location Quality

  • Heiskanen 93
  • Coleman 89
  • Lindell 89

This goes to show Dallas’ active defensemen on the attack, they get up for high-quality shots relative to their position. Coleman will be trying to get to the tough spots in front of the net for the Bolts.

Overall Best – Nikita Kucherov

Kucherov will be the most dangerous shooter in this series

Passing

Offensive Zone Playmaking

  • Kucherov 96
  • Point 94
  • Sergachev 89

Here we can see Tampa’s strength – passing in the o-zone. The duo of Kucherov and Point are so dynamic in this area and their defence can contribute to the attack as well.

Net-Front Playmaking

  • Verhaeghe 90
  • Kucherov 89
  • Coleman 87

Once again, Tampa are the dominant playmakers. We continue to see Kucherov’s outstanding playmaking and Coleman’s net-front presence in dangerous areas.

Stretch Passing

  • Kucherov 89
  • Sergachev 88
  • Verhaeghe 88

Once again, the same best passers come through and it’s all Tampa when it comes to moving the puck

Overall Best- Nikita Kucherov

But we just saw Kucherov, so here’s the best defencemen passer – Mikhail Sergachev

Transition

Skating

  • Klingberg 93
  • Point 93
  • Heiskanen 91

These three are going to be fun to watch. This highlights just how mobile Dallas’ back end will be and how important they are to their transition on the counter-attack. Point will also be a skating threat, as I’m sure most who watch him would have noticed.

Entries

  • Verhaeghe 93
  • Heiskanen 91
  • Gurianov 90

Seeing Heiskanen is this category only furthers the proof that Dallas use their defensemen as rovers to carry the puck into the zone. Tampa will have to keep that in mind when defending the entries.

Exits

  • Klingberg 96
  • Johns 92
  • Palat 90

Klingberg scoring an incredible 96 shows his importance to the Stars’ buil-up play. Tampa, are much more likely to build-up with their forwards such as Palat.

Overall Best – Brayden Point and Miro Heiskanen

Two players really stand out. One from each team and each position.

Defence

Forechecking

  • Gourde 92
  • Benn 92
  • Gurianov 89

Both these teams are full of great forecheckers. Gourde and Benn will be fun to watch as two of the best in the league. Winning the battles on the forecheck is going to be key in this series and these guys are going to want to bring the physicality.

Rush Defending

  • Cernak 90
  • Lindell 88
  • Bogosian 87

Having defensemen that can build-up is great, but defending the blue line is also important. This is where Lindell is important to the Stars as a backbone. However, the Lightning also have big solid defencemen to do that job.

Stick Checks

  • Gourde 90
  • Dickinson 90
  • Hedman 89

Once again, we see an attribute that makes Gourde such an effective forechecker, the ability to strip pucks off opponents. Dickinson will look to do the same for Dallas while Hedman will be a troubling presence for Dallas attackers.

Bodychecking

  • Schenn 99
  • Johns 92
  • Paquette 91

I mentioned that forechecking will be important, but it will also be tough with one of the best hitters in the league, Luck Schenn on the boards. Dallas have their own defensive threat on the walls in Johns. However, if a team can escape the hit, time and space to make a play arises so both teams will have the ability to turn this strength into a liability.

Defensive Awareness

  • Paquette 89
  • Killorn 89
  • Dickinson 89
  • (top defencemen: Heiskanen and Shattenkirk at 87)

Most successful playoff teams have defensively smart forwards. This is once again seen here as the forwards are likely to be making smart plays throughout this series.

Shot Blocking

  • Paquette 91
  • Dickinson 89
  • Palat 88
  • (top defencemen: McDonagh 87)

Shot Blocking is controversial. Lots of players are great at blocking shots only because they get pinned in the zone. However, these forwards are also smart defenders. This once again goes to show Paquette’s and Dickinson’s value to this team as great defensive presences from the attackers.

Overall Best – Jamie Benn (forward), Jamie Oleksiak (defender)

I separated this one into forwards and defenders because of the different defensive impacts. Jamie Benn will be key as he brings quality on every one of these defensive areas.

Finally, The Best of The Best

  • Hedman 93
  • Kucherov 91
  • Point 91
  • Heiskanen 91

These four players are the ones who sit at above 90 overall and will be relied upon as big impact players for their teams. Hedman didn’t show up as a leader in any of the individual categories but put it all together and he’s a monster.

Access to the data

Finally, I will leave you with a reminder that all of this data, the player profile cards and more for the entire league are all available on this website for just $5. So if you’re curious about a player or your favourite team, click here to join now. This is a new website for me and I’m very excited to continue to develop new stats to understand the game and write analysis posts going forward.

Enjoy the Finals.

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